Around 200,000 deaths linked to heart disease each year have been deemed preventable by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to a report from the CDC, people can limit their chances of having a heart attack or stroke by eating more fruits and vegetables, limiting salt and sugar consumption, controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and taking more walks.

"Even one preventable death is one too many," Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC director, told reporters. "It's really possible for us to make rapid and substantial progress in reducing these deaths."

Researchers from the CDC collected data from the National Vital Statistics System and the U.S. Census Bureau reported between 2001 and 2010. Even though the United States as a whole showed a 29 percent drop in avoidable deaths, research showed that six in 10 preventable deaths linked to cardiovascular disease occurred in people below the age of 65.

Among the states with the most sobering statistics, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Tennessee were given specific attention due to death rates over 87 per 100,000 residents, ABC News reported. The full report is available with the CDC’s Vital Signs reports on Preventable Deaths from Heart Disease and Stroke.

"These findings are really striking because we're talking about hundreds of thousands of deaths that don't have to happen," Frieden added. "Many of the heart attacks and strokes that will kill people in the coming year could be prevented by reducing blood pressure and cholesterol, and stopping smoking."

Heart disease is responsible for nearly 800,000 deaths each year, making it the leading cause of death in the United States. The research team from the CDC was able to provide tips and lifestyle choices for avoiding the risk of cardiovascular disease. Avoid food options packed with salt and trans fat, and opt for fruits and vegetables to avoid raising blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Diet improvements can help promote a healthier heart by inhibiting diabetes development.

Devote two-and-a-half hours of the week to light exercise, such as a walk or jog to help control your weight. As your weight rises (above a healthy weight, at least), so does your chance of having a heart attack or stroke.