The heart is an organ that affects and is affected by, nearly all aspects of your life – including diet. Healthy food choices can reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke as well as specific risk factors like high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and type 2 diabetes. Change is an important part of living with heart disease or trying to prevent it. A jump in blood pressure or cholesterol earns you a lecture on healthy lifestyle changes. Heart attack and stroke survivors are often told to alter a lifetime of habits. Some people manage to overhaul their exercise pattern, diet, and unhealthy habits with ease. The rest of us try to make changes but don’t always succeed. Instead of undertaking a huge makeover, you might be able to improve your heart’s health with a series of small changes. Once you get going, you may find that change isn’t so hard. This approach may take longer, but it could also motivate you to make some big changes.
Simple tips for a healthy heart:
Take a 10-minute walk: If you don’t exercise at all, a brief walk is a great way to start. If you do, it’s a good way to add more exercise to your day.
Give yourself a lift: Lifting a hardcover book or a two-pound weight a few times a day can help tone your arm muscles. When that becomes a breeze, move on to heavier items or join a gym.
Eat one extra fruit or vegetable a day: Fruits and vegetables are inexpensive, taste good, and are good for everything from your brain to your bowels.
Make breakfast count: Start the day with some fruit and a serving of whole grains, like oatmeal, bran flakes, or whole-wheat toast.
Stop drinking your calories: Cutting out just one sugar-sweetened soda or calorie-laden latte can easily save you 100 or more calories a day.
Have a handful of nuts: Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and other nuts are good for your heart. Try grabbing some instead of chips or cookies when you need a snack, adding them to salads for a healthful and tasty crunch, or using them in place of meat in pasta and other dishes.
Sample the fruits of the sea: Eat fish or other types of seafood instead of red meat once a week. It’s good for the heart, the brain, and the waistline.
Breathe deeply: Try breathing slowly and deeply for a few minutes a day. It can help you relax. Slow, deep breathing may also help lower blood pressure.
Healthy diet for a Healthy Heart
Although you might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it’s often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine-tune your diet. Once you know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit, you’ll be on your way toward a heart-healthy diet.
Control your portion size
How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking seconds and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to eating more calories than you should.
Eat more vegetables and fruits
Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals, low in calories and rich in dietary fibre. They also contain substances that may help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Select whole grains
Whole grains are good sources of fibre and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health.
Limit unhealthy fats
Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease.
Choose low-fat protein sources
Fish is another good alternative to high-fat meats. And certain types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood fats called triglycerides.
Reduce the sodium in your food
Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Exercise makes your heart stronger. That helps it pump more blood with each heartbeat. That delivers more oxygen to your body. With more oxygen, your body functions more efficiently. Exercise can also lower blood pressure. It reduces your risk of heart disease and reduces levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol). Bad cholesterol can clog the arteries and can cause a heart attack. At the same time, exercise can raise levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol). HDL helps protect against a heart attack by carrying fatty deposits out of the arteries.
Aerobic exercise causes you to breathe more deeply. It makes your heart work harder to pump blood. Aerobic exercise also raises your heart rate (which burns calories). Examples of aerobic exercise include walking, jogging, running, dancing, swimming, and bicycling.
There are lots of ways to raise your heart rate during your regular day. Some examples include:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Walk during a coffee break or lunch.
- Walk to work, or park at the end of the parking lot so that you have to walk farther.
- Walk more briskly.
- Do housework at a quicker pace and more often.
Diet and exercise are an important part of your heart health. If you don’t eat a good diet and you don’t exercise, you are at increased risk of developing health problems. These increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. If you’re overweight, the extra pounds put extra stress on your heart. Losing weight can help your heart stay healthy. Remember that losing just 10% of your body weight will reduce your risks for diabetes and heart disease. For any further queries, you can contact Medisys Hospital as its one among the Top Heart Hospitals in Hyderabad. They will guide if you have any symptoms. The Cardiology Department of Medisys Hospital collaborates with excellent patient care, offers exceptional diagnostics, and treatment procedures at reasonable costs.