Following fad diets that help you shed too much weight too soon can lead to heart disease. A certified nutritionist will help customize a diet best suited to you.
You can’t see it, and you rarely even feel its presence but you know it’s there. Beating for you. Caught up with day-to-day activities and routines, we often tend to overlook Cardiac Health up until a lightening pain runs across our chest and we wonder if it’s a cry for help from our heart. Why wait till the eleventh hour? Why not take the reins now to maintain a healthy heart?
WHAT YOU EAT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE.
An important aspect to factor in while talking about heart health, is eating a healthy diet. Do not fall for crash diets that promise to help you lose weight too fast. Adopt a diet that has all necessary nutrients which includes carbs, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fats. However, cut off trans fats – they lead to high (bad)cholesterol that clogs arteries which of course can lead to damaging your heart muscle. Load up on leafy greens, high fibre foods and fish such as salmon, tuna or mackerel for a healthy dose of omega 3 fatty acids which helps protect the heart. Cut down on salt, to keep your blood pressure on check. High BP is another cause for heart disease. When buying packaged food make sure to read the label to be aware of the salt content and trans-fat percentage. If you find it high, we recommend you skip it altogether. Grab a bowl of nuts or salad and you will have your snack cravings covered. With professional help, design a heart healthy diet for yourself and stick to it.
MOVE ON AND KEEP MOVING!
You do not have to become a world-class athlete. All you need is to clock in at least 150 mins of exercise a week. You could divide this across the seven days however is most comfortable for you. A 20-minute brisk walk around the block every day is more than enough to keep your heart pumping at a healthy pace. You can choose from a variety of exercises depending on your current level of fitness and slowly build up the intensity – and even if you don’t it doesn’t matter. Just working out diligently is proven to prevent heart disease.
KEEP A CHECK ON YOUR WEIGHT
There is a definitive difference between being skinny and being of a healthy body weight. Being thin does not translate as being healthy. In order to maintain a healthy heart, it is important to maintain the right weight. Check with your doctor if your height and weight are in proportion. Being underweight and overweight can affect various functions of your body including your heart. Eat a balanced diet and get enough exercise to maintain a healthy body weight. Following fad diets that help you shed too much weight too soon, can lead to heart disease. A certified nutritionist will help customize a diet best suited to you.
The harmful effects of smoking on health are something constantly reiterated and easily overlooked. While most people see smoking as a major cause for lung disease, it is important to recognise its implications on cardiac health as well. Nicotine in cigarettes reduces the volume of oxygen to the heart. It also raises blood pressure and damages the cells that line the coronary arteries and other blood vessels. Nicotine is also known to increase heart rate and cause blood clotting. Quit smoking and also avoid being in surroundings that could lead to passive smoking as well.
Healthy lifestyle choices are paramount to maintaining a healthy heart and preventing heart disease. Periodic health check-ups and keeping an eye on your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and weight will help you identify any changes that could be a symptom of an onset of a heart condition. Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to taking care of yourself, especially your heart. Make the right choices and live a healthy life.
CONSULTANT – CARDIOLOGY
MBBS, MD (MEDICINE), DM (CARDIOLOGY)