A recent study published by the Economic Times mentioned that there are approximately 30 million Indians who suffer from various heart ailments like attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. 25% of heart-related deaths occur at a young age, thus it becomes crucial to take proper care of your heart while making certain lifestyle modifications from an early age.
If you are not physically active, it can act as a major risk factor for your heart.
So get up and get going! Incorporate some of the habits mentioned below into your daily life to keep your heart healthy and happy.
Fat or Fatty – Know The Difference
When it comes to dietary fat, what matters most is the type of fat you eat. Including healthy fats in our diet is good, but we need not consume high amounts of trans fat, as it is known to increase the risk of developing heart disease or stroke over a lifetime. Tran’s fat also tends to clogs arteries by raising the bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and lowering the good cholesterol levels (HDL) in our body. Try and include foods that have soluble fiber such as oatmeal, kidney beans, brussels sprouts, pears and apples in your diet. This can help you bring your cholesterol at an optimum level i.e. less than 200.
Add on – Check!
Food – for Heart
In India, approximately 5.5 crore people suffer from a heart condition due to low nutritional levels in their diet. So, consume low-calorie food with vitamins, minerals and fiber, eat at least 5 servings of green leafy vegetables and 4 servings of fruits daily, limit the consumption of sodium and alcohol and try to switch to more whole grains, fish, nuts. This could potentially lower risk of CVDs.
Right food = Right direction to a healthy heart!
Focus on “Cardio” in Cardiovascular
Studies have shown that people who aren’t very active are more susceptible to CVDs than those who are! The American Heart Association recommends a half-hour of cardiovascular exercise 5 to 7 days per week as regular aerobic exercises keep you fit and improves your overall health. Play kickball with your kids, go mall walking, jumping jacks, or shoot hoops.
Exercise can be fun, enjoyable and keep diseases at bay!
Overweight – The Fat Trap!
If your body mass index (BMI) is above 25, then you may be overweight or even obese. Also, central obesity or adiposity can be an issue for you if you have a high waist circumference of 80 cm (for females) or more than 90 cm (for males). A high waist circumference points to more intra-abdominal fat and is often associated with a higher risk for developing CVDs. Eat healthily, follow a regular physical exercise routine and you can end up reducing approx. 500 kilocalories from your daily diet. Outcome – weight loss, approximately half to almost 1 kg in just a week. Losing 5 to 10% of your body weight (only if recommended by a doctor) can reduce the danger of various cardiovascular diseases and keep you away from the ‘fat trap’!
Be + or – Shall Overpower
Can being positive protect you from heart disease? To an extend yes!
Having a positive outlook like being optimistic, showing gratitude, and being cheerful is often considered to be mood boosters that in turn keep you at peace. Negative emotions are associated with the release of stress hormones, resulting in a higher heart rate and blood pressure that increases the risk of heart disease. This is a vicious cycle! In the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, a 2017 study of 70,021 older women showed that those who had the foremost positive attitude had a 38% lower risk of heart disease than those who thought negatively.
So, stay positive! Stay healthy!
Dental Hygiene Important? –Yes It Can Matter!
Those who have periodontal (gum) disease are often at a high-risk factor for a heart attack and stroke. How? The inflammation in the gums and bacteria may eventually lead to narrowing and clogging of important arteries that are responsible for proper heart functioning. Some epidemiological studies have examined the association between oral health and CVDs, and they reported that people with periodontal disease are at a 25% higher risk of heart disease. Another research indicates that 84.4% of individuals with CVDs had periodontal disease as compared to 22.5% of individuals without CVDs.
So, brush and floss daily!
The Killer – Smoking!
Smoking is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease. Nearly 20% of CVDs are due to cigarette smoking and smokers are almost twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with those who haven’t smoked. Nicotine harms the insides of blood vessels and reduces the amount of oxygen the heart receives, making the heartbeat faster and the damaged blood vessels work harder. But don’t worry there’s still a ray of hope – When you stop smoking, only 20 minutes after quitting, your heart rate and blood pressure will drop closer to normal levels. After 12 hours of quitting, the carbon monoxide level in the blood drops to normal, allowing more oxygen supply to your heart. And after four years of quitting, your risk of stroke drops to a minimum of one of the lifetime non-smokers. So, try and say no to tobacco!
Adding that extra spoon of sugar, are we?
Data from the National Heart Association shows 65% of individuals with diabetes die from some sort of heart disease. Thus, tweaking your food choices and adding some steps with prescribed medication is a proven method to control diabetes and manage all the factors that will impact your long-term heart health. As per Dr. Mantzoroz, a 50-year-old man can have the potential to live to 93 years of age. For this, he would have adopted all recommended lifestyle changes that might lead to having controlled blood sugar level and blood pressure, desired cholesterol levels in check and a consistent healthy weight; otherwise, his life expectancy would be reduced to say 43 years or so. The sizable difference isn’t it!
So, step ahead and add the extra years. Keep a check on your sugar intake!
BP Shot Up?
More than 1 in 3 adults in India have high blood pressure or hypertension. The interesting fact is that most people do not know that they have it, as there are usually no warning signs. High blood pressure can damage your arteries by making them less elastic, which decreases the flow of blood and oxygen to your heart and leads to heart disease. So try and cut down on caffeine, monitor your BP, do all the above-mentioned points and get help from a doctor at the right time if your BP shoots up!
Relax your heart!
Get Some Fresh Air
Getting some fresh air into our lungs has plenty of health benefits. After conducting various studies researchers have concluded that being outside in nature for just 20 minutes a day is enough to significantly boost your heart performance. So, take a deep breath, go for an outing in the park or the beach to reduce stress level, clear your lungs and normalize your heart rate.
Improve your health with certain lifestyle modifications and with proper care to avoid CVDs. If you would like to speak to our cardiologist, do call on +91 8010139903 and let us help you feel better!