Nowadays sedentary and hectic lifestyle is taking a toll on our heart as well as health. Incidence of heart disease, heart attacks, stroke, and other heart problems are increasing day by day. The main reasons behind these heart diseases are sedentary lifestyle, physical inactivity, poor diet, smoking, stress and obesity. Fortunately, all these risk factors for heart disease are modifiable. That means we can reduce these risk factors of heart disease and prevent heart disease. Lifestyle management is the best way to maintain healthy heart.
1. Lose Weight:
BMI and CHD are positively related, as BMI goes up, the risk of heart disease also goes high. So, it is very necessary to lose weight. Even small amount of weight loss i.e. 10-20lbs can improve risk factors such as LDL, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, high blood pressure and improve your heart health.
2. Consume Heart Friendly Oils:
Include heart friendly oils like sunflower oil, soy bean oil, olive oil, rice bran oil, groundnut oil etc in your daily diet as they contain omega3, omega 6 fatty acids which are good for healthy heart. Always use Combination of oils. DO NOT mix two oils together. The quantity of oil also matters! Do not exceed 500 ml per person per month (3 – 4 teaspoons/ per day) Avoid fried and high fat foods. Instead of frying choose healthier options like baking, grilling, steaming etc.
3. Choose Healthier Option:
Even if you are eating non veg food, choose healthier options like egg whites, lean fish, grilled or baked chicken. Avoid having red meat or fried non veg food as they as high in saturated fats.
4. Eat more of Fiber:
Consuming high fiber food helps to keep you full, reduce your calorie intake, reduce weight, and also reduces cholesterol level and keep your heart healthy. Include high fiber foods like raw fruits, vegetables, whole grains like oats, jowar, Bajra, whole wheat, brown rice etc.
5. Limit Your Salt Intake:
Excess sodium and salt consumption is one of the main reasons for high blood pressure, which leads to other heart problems. So try to limit salt intake to 1 tsp per day. Avoid eating packed products, bakery products, processed foods as they also contain salt in it.
6. Avoid Bad Fats:
Avoid consuming bad fats like dalda, egg yolk, margarine, vanaspati ghee, butter which increases your cholesterol levels and increases risk of heart disease. Instead of these, include heart friendly oils, cholesterol free egg whites to your diet.
7. Be Active:
Being sedentary increases the risk of developing Heart disease. According to American Heart Association, even if you do 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week will help to reduce risk of heart disease. You can choose any activity like swimming, running, jumping rope, walking, playing outdoor sport. It will help to improve your good cholesterol (HDL), reduce risk of heart disease, and keep your heart healthy.
8. Be Stress Free:
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Type A Personality (impatient, time urgent, compulsive) and perceived stress are associated with increase heart disease risk. When your stress level goes up, your risk of heart disease also increases. So, be relaxed, do some meditation, yoga, pranayam to relieve your stress. Prioritizes your work, share your problems with friends, family and colleagues and handle stressful situation.
9. Limit your alcohol intake:
Limit on alcohol no more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women. You can choose red wine, as it contains Resveratrol, which helps to increase good cholesterol (HDL) by 11%.Do not start drinking if you are a non drinker.
10. Quit smoking:
Active as well as passive Smoking increases the risk of heart disease. It directly influences thrombus formation, plaque instability, arrhythmias and which leads to severe heart diseases.
Try to follow these small and easy tips in your daily routine and keep your heart healthy.