Dr. Dennis Doan’s Guide to Heart-Healthy Habits

Interventional Cardiology | Conditions & Treatments | UT Southwestern  Medical CenterIn the symphony of life, your heart takes center stage as the grand conductor, orchestrating the rhythm that sustains your existence. However, the demands of modern life often lead to neglecting this vital organ, making it crucial to consciously protect your heart. Heart disease has become an insidious adversary, silently claiming lives worldwide. To counter this, Dr. Dennis Doan is here to guide you on embracing heart-healthy habits. By incorporating small, manageable changes into your daily routine, you can fortify your heart health and amplify your overall wellness.


Fueling Your Heart with Nourishing Food


The food you consume transcends mere sustenance; it serves as the energy source for your body and significantly impacts heart health. Embrace a heart-healthy diet that minimizes the consumption of junk food and focuses on fresh, nutrient-dense staples. Dr. Dennis Doan offers the following tips:


Colorful Fruits and Vegetables: These are nature’s nutrient powerhouses. Aim to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet to benefit from a wide range of vitamins and antioxidants.


Whole Grains: Opt for whole grains rich in fiber to help reduce bad cholesterol levels. These grains include options like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oats.


Lean Proteins: Choose lean protein sources such as poultry, fish, and legumes over red meats. These options are lower in saturated fats, making them heart-friendlier.


Healthy Fats: Incorporate healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, and olive oil into your diet. These fats can replace trans or saturated fats, contributing to improved heart health.


Sodium and Sugar Reduction: Be mindful of your salt and sugar intake, especially in processed foods where these are often hidden. Reducing these can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels and prevent heart disease.


Activating Your Heart’s Strength through Physical Activity


Physical activity is a cornerstone of heart health, offering a natural defense against cardiovascular disease. Aim for approximately 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. However, every movement you make counts, whether it’s cycling, swimming, dancing, or even gardening. Additionally, incorporating strength-training exercises at least twice a week can build muscle, boost metabolism, and further support heart health.


Prioritizing Heart-Friendly Peace with Stress Management


While stress may feel omnipresent in your life, it’s essential to understand that prolonged stress can have adverse effects on your heart. Dr. Dennis Doan advocates for incorporating mindful practices into your daily routine to counteract stress. These practices may include yoga, deep breathing, and meditation. Cultivate hobbies that bring you joy, nurture positive relationships, and carve out downtime in your schedule to ensure your heart is at ease.


Adequate Sleep: A Heart’s Time to Recover


Sleep is a restorative potion for the heart. Inadequate sleep is often linked to conditions like hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. Dr. Dennis Doan recommends striving for approximately 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night. Developing a regular sleep schedule and creating a conducive sleep environment can significantly improve sleep quality. Additionally, winding down practices, such as reading a book or practicing light stretches, can prepare the body for rest.


Regular Health Checks: Tracking the Pulse of Your Heart


Even with enhanced lifestyle changes, a robust approach to heart health necessitates regular visits to the doctor. Routine screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar are essential for evaluating your heart health and detecting potential threats early.


Sustainable Weight: Easing the Burden on Your Heart


Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for heart health. Excess body weight forces the heart to work harder, potentially leading to heart disease. Combining regular physical activity with a balanced diet can assist in weight management and relieve the heart from unnecessary strain.




Dr. Dennis Doan’s guide to heart-healthy habits emphasizes the profound importance of nurturing your heart, the conductor of your body’s symphony. By making mindful choices in your diet, prioritizing physical activity, managing stress, ensuring adequate sleep, and regularly monitoring your heart’s health, you can embark on a journey towards a heart that beats strong and harmoniously, supporting your overall well-being.