Your heart health is in your hands. The do’s and the don’ts for heart health do not necessarily mean giving up something you like more and embracing something you find revolting. It is all about balance in lifestyle and diet and of course! Kicking some of those bad habits you are hooked onto.
A few tips from experts to improve your heart health: Sensible diet and eating habits
1) Eat a balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables whole grains and fiber. Difficult? There is an easy way out. Divide your plate into different sections and fill them up as veggies, fruits, sprouts, legumes etc
2) Cut down on hydrogenated oils: These would include all kinds of fats found in margarine, vanaspati ghee (dalda), and fats found in bakery products. These oils are a source of trans fats which extremely heart unfriendly. Therefore, you need a very good substitute. You can use pure olive oil, soy oil, rice bran oil and unsalted, unprocessed (homemade) butter etc.
3) Go dairy the low-fat way: Milk and its products are very healthy being calcium and mineral rich. However, milk is rich in organic fat too which our body needs but not in plenty. As such while shopping it would be the right way to shop if one opts for zero fat dairy products or products with no more then 1% fat. Too much of fat would eventually mean accumulation in the blood vessels and compromised heart health.
4) Fish is good food: Cardiologists all over world advice that including fish in our food at least twice in a week is good for heart health. Fish is rich in omega-3 fats and some amino acids which are very good nutrients for the heart.
5) Cutting off saturated fats and cholesterol-rich food: Saturated fat was never a requirement of the body and high cholesterol is a strict no-no. In fact, our body produces sufficient amounts of cholesterol and we need only a little amount from food. These two are oil soluble substances whereas blood is water soluble. As such saturated fats and bad cholesterol end up clogging the arteries which ultimately leading to heart attacks and strokes.
6) Exercise is a must
With a sedentary lifestyle, exercise is a must. Physical inactivity has been directly related coronary artery diseases. So physical activity in any form is a must. For those who are obese a 30-minute walk or any kind of physical activity will suffice. Of course, for those who want to lose weight, they need more efforts to put in. In addition to negating coronary artery diseases, regular exercise ensures a good level of cholesterol maintenance, blood pressure control and maintenance of blood sugar level.
7)Smoking: The healthy heart killer
Just one cigarette kills the health of the heart many times. If one takes care of everything from the diet to exercise and still smokes the risk that the heart being prone to disease still looms large. It is the single most harmful habit one can have to affect the heart like no other. If one can cut down on one cigarette of the total number of cigarettes smoked per week that is also a big step towards the rebuilding of a healthy heart.
A heart is that muscle which has the responsibility of keeping our physical existence intact. A full stop on the working of the heart and we are only as good for the coffin. An organ so vital deserves its part of respect, love, and care. So, take care of your heart health and lead a healthy life!