A healthy heart is essential for our overall well-being. At any age, adopting a healthy lifestyle will help the person avoid heart disease and reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke. Moreover, stress has time and again proven to be one BIG trigger to most of the heart diseases, so first of all, do more of what you love and keeps you happy. It’s never too late or too early to start caring for your heart.
Here are some more ways to keep your heart healthy:
1. Control the Portion Size
How much one eats is just as important as what one eats. Overfilling the plate, taking seconds, and eating until the person is full will result in them consuming more calories than they need. Restaurant portions are always larger than anyone requires. Maintaining a waistline is another challenging task, but controlling the portion will definitely help the person stay in shape and keep a perfect waistline.
Following tips might help the person control their portion’s size:
- Take small plates or bowls, which can actually help one maintain their portions.
- Intake of low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods, for instances, fruits and vegetables.
- Take smaller amounts of high-calorie, high-sodium foods, such as refined, processed or junk foods.
2. Be Selective in Fats
Fats, including saturated, polyunsaturated, and unsaturated fats, are important in the diet. One fat which is not required is trans fat, which has been related to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke over time. This is because trans fat clogs the arteries by increasing a person’s bad cholesterol and lowering the person’s healthy cholesterol. Cutting down the trans fats can definitely enhance the blood flow throughout the body. This can be an essential way to reduce blood pressure too. A high blood cholesterol level can cause atherosclerosis, an accumulation of plaques in your arteries, increasing your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Following are the simple tricks to cut down saturated fats:
- Trim any excess fat from your meat or select lean meats with less than 10% fat.
- When cooking and serving, use less butter, margarine, and shortening.
- When possible, make low-fat substitutions for a heart-healthy diet. For instance, instead of butter, top your baked potato with low-sodium salsa or low-fat yoghurt, or toast with sliced whole fruit or low-sugar fruit spread instead of margarine.
3. Add More Vegetables and Fruits in the Diet
Since childhood, we have learnt that vegetables and fruits are rich sources of vitamins and minerals. Moreover, vegetables and fruits are zero in calories plus a good source of dietary fibre. Vegetables and fruits, like other plants or plant-based foods, contain compounds that can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is easy and delicious to integrate vegetables and fruits into one’s diet. Eating more fruits and vegetables might help one cut back on higher-calorie foods, like meat, cheese and fast foods.
Keep washed and cut vegetables in the refrigerator for fast foods.
4. Reduce the Amount of Salt
High blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease, may be caused by consuming too much salt. Salt (sodium) restriction is an essential component of a heart-healthy diet.
Although reducing salt intake at the table or in the kitchen is a good start, but, canned or packaged foods such as soups, baked goods, and frozen dinners also contain a large amount of salt. Eating fresh foods and making their soups and stews will help minimise the salt intake.
5. Avoid Passive Smoking
Many studies have proven that the risk of developing heart disease is around 25 to 30 per cent higher for people who are exposed to passive smoking either at work or at home. When nonsmokers with high blood pressure or cholesterol are exposed to secondhand smoke, they are at an even higher risk of developing heart disease. This is due to the chemicals released by cigarette smoke, which encourage plaque buildup in the arteries.
6. Get Omega-3
Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as pilchards, sardines, mackerel, salmon, and fresh tuna, are thought to be particularly healthy for the person’s heart since they lower cholesterol levels. Spinach, wheat germ, walnuts, flaxseed and flaxseed oil, soy and canola oil, and pumpkin seeds are all excellent sources of omega-3 fats for vegetarians.
7. Exercise and keep a Check on the Weight
To minimise the risk of coronary heart disease, strive for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Reduce the intake of sugar, which can also help in shredding the unnecessary weight. Staying on a particular weight can decrease the risks of heart problems.