06/09/2011 02:29 pm ET | Updated Aug 09, 2011

WATCH: Simple Lifestyle Changes To Slash Heart Disease Risk

Coronary heart disease is a modern epidemic, ranking as a leading cause of death among both men and women -- and it, perhaps unsurprisingly, is a symptom of today's developed countries who eat fewer natural foods and exercise less frequently. In countries with more traditional “hunter/gatherer” diets and vigorous exercise patterns, heart disease is practically nonexistent, nutritionist Elizabeth Somer tells Howdini in this interview.

"Those people then migrate to the United States and in one generation are having heart disease at the same rate than we are,” Somer says. “So it’s more to do with -- a whole lot more to do with -- lifestyle than it is to do with genetics.”

So while people with a genetic predisposition may need to be especially aware of risk factors, preventing heart disease is something we should all be focused on. Even Somer says she’s had to make some lifestyle tweaks after her cholesterol went up during menopause.

See how she brought her heart disease risk back down, along with other easy tips that you can incorporate into your everyday routine.