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Small Changes, Big Benefits

When it comes to your heart, small changes to your routine can dramatically improve your health over the long-term.

When it comes to heart health, small changes can have big benefits.

When you add more physical activity, eat better, and get enough sleep, you reduce your risk for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States – more than cancer and more than COVID-19.

That doesn’t mean you need to start running marathons or cutting favorite foods from your diet, but making small adjustments to your daily routine can set the foundation for healthier living.

So, where to start?
  • Smart Substitutes: Instead of cooking with butter, try olive oil. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to reduce the level of bad cholesterol in your blood. The high percentage of saturated fat in butter has been shown to lead to heart disease and other health issues.
  • Don’t Get Salty: Instead of two pinches of salt, try one. Better yet, experiment with different herbs and spices to season your food. Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure and put you at higher risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Lovely Leafy Greens: Spinach, kale, Swiss chard – if it’s green, it’s likely good for your heart. Instead of iceberg lettuce, try these leafy greens in sandwiches and salads. They’re rich in heart-healthy nutrients.
  • Movement Matters: A regular gym routine can do wonders for your health, but adding even a little bit of movement to your day has proven benefits. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. Instead of decompressing in front of the TV after work, walk around the block and listen to a podcast or call a friend.
  • Talk to the Experts: An annual checkup with a primary care provider can help you better understand your risks and prevent problems before they even start. In addition to the always-important blood pressure check, your provider may also order bloodwork to check your cholesterol levels. Be sure to mention any history of heart disease or other health issues in your family.

New to MetroHealth? Need help with appointment scheduling or choosing a MetroHealth Primary Care Provider? Call 216-My-Metro  (216-696-3876) or visit


R. Douglas Bruce, MD

Internal Medicine