National Nutrition Week 2022: Here are some tips for a healthy heart
Consider your eating patterns, attempt to replace bad habits with a more balanced view, and make tiny adjustments each day as the first step in implementing a new diet plan.
As easy as it may sound, changing a long-term diet may be difficult. Your eating habits, both conscious and unconscious, greatly affect what and how much you eat. Consider your eating patterns, attempt to replace bad habits with a more balanced view, and make tiny adjustments each day as the first step in implementing a new diet plan. We spoke to Mrs. Aruna Mallya Senior Dietitian, KMC Hospital, Dr. B R Ambedkar Circle Mangalore who gave us some advice to have healthy heart.
There are two types of risk factors: modifiable and non-modifiable. Modifiable risk factors are diet, body weight, cigarette smoking, diabetes, hypertension and lack of exercise. Non-modifiable risk factors are heredity, gender-male and age .
What can you do to reduce your risk factors? Try to reduce the risk factors first.
STOP SMOKING: Smoking narrows blood vessels, adding more work for your heart and studies show that chances of getting heart attacks are more among smokers. So try to stop smoking gradually. Reduce the number of cigars everyday and eventually you will be able to stop it completely. Start chewing sugar free chewing gums so that your mind gets diverted when you feel like smoking. Stopping any bad habit is quite difficult but if there is a will there is a way.
CONTROL HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: Hypertension puts extra pressure and the heart has to work harder.
Here are ways to control your blood pressure:
- Do not Smoke.
- Reduce stress
- Use less salt in your diet
- Maintain ideal body weight
- Exercise regularly
- Take medications
CONTROL DIABETES: Keep your blood sugar level close to normal levels as far as possible. Follow the diet prescribed by your dietitian as closely as possible. Take medications on time and do not forget your daily walks.
WEIGHT CONTROL: A regular weight control programme with balanced diet and exercise will certainly help you to control your weight. Lifestyle changes helps in weight control. Remember exercise and diet programme has to be designed as per your body needs by a fitness trainer and a Dietitian. Lose the extra pounds and maintain an ideal Body Mass Index. Do not go for crash diets and do wrong exercise which will leave you in a bad shape, take care to work under the guidance of specialists.
EXERCISE: Regular exercise helps in lowering Blood Cholesterol (LDL) and it also helps in improving HDL i.e. good cholesterol in our body. A regular brisk walk for about 30-45 minutes five times a week should be ideal. Do not exercise when you are not well, too tired, immediately after food and give rest to your body at least one day in a week.
CHOLESTEROL: It is a soft fat like substance found in our body’s cells. It is an important part of healthy body because it is a part of cell membrane and some hormones. But excess can cause heart problems, gall stone and obesity. Most concentrated sources are egg yolks and organ meats. So eat more of white meat, egg whites, fruits and vegetables. Use good quality oil for cooking which is liquid at room temperature rather than butter and ghee. Consult a Physician and a Dietitian if you’re LDL and Triglycerides are above the normal limit.
ALCOHOL: It gives empty calories and can be turned into fat by adding weight to the body. Consume alcohol occasionally and limit to 2 -3 drinks a week.
CAFFEINE: Stimulants containing caffeine are found in tea, coffee, colas, chocolates and cocoa drinks should be used in moderations as they increase the frequency of heart beats and increases the blood pressure. Limit it to 2 cups a day. If you are in the habit of drinking coffee and tea more than this, then drinks half cup every time so that you can drink it 4 times in a day.
Lastly, do not forget to get a regular health check done every year. Any disease in initial stages can be well treated than in advanced stages. Try modifying yourself and be HEALTHY….