Jul 29

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Healthy Heart Diet


Healthy lifestyle can save you from many disease which approach with increasing age. Being fit in the middle age can lower your risk of heart failure in old age. If in middle age you make efforts to be fit and healthy you reduce your chances of heart disease.
Heart health is related to many factors like diet, amount of stress, hereditary factor, etc
The biggest factor which is responsible for heart health is diet. Role of diet is crucial in both prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.

1) Right fats for healthy heart- cholesterol levels have a strong correlation with the risk of heart attack. There are two kinds of cholesterol – good cholesterol ( HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL).
LDL cholesterol can penetrate the artery walls thereby clog them and increase the possibility of heart attack.  Cholesterol is made by our  body only, it is the diet which is directly related to cholesterol. Two components which trigger bad cholesterol in the body are saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats are found in animal products like ghee while transfers are oils that have been hydrogenated to turn them into semi hard fats like vanaspati ghee. These have a tendency to increase stickiness of the blood and also increase clot formation.Processed foods like biscuit, cookies, nankeens, chipps,  cakes usually contain hydrogenated fats. These fat not only increases the heart risk but also produce more free radicals which inturn advance ageing.
Animal fats like butter and ghee increase the production of inflammatory agents in the body causing arthritis, choking of arteries, migraine and sone skin problems.
Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats like nuts, seeds, fish and vegetable oil, sunflower, safflower, corn seed oil are generally considered a better option for heart health but only if taken in right proportion. Monounsaturated fats are slow to oxidize and hence don’t cause cell damage.
The ideal oil is one which has ab equal proportion of all the three types of fat : monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fat in the ratio 1:1:1. The near ideal combination oils are olive oil, mustard oil and rice bran oil.
The goodness of oil retains only if they are not over heated veins smoking point.

2) Omega3 and omega 6- oils do contain these essential fatty acids . Our bodies need omega 3 and 6 which can only come from food. We require them for heart health, weight loss, beautiful skin hair, brain, etc.
Omega 3 and omega 6 are those essential fatty acids which improves cholesterol levels in the body.

3) Sodium- sodium intake should be low. Excess of sugar and salt leads to too many disease. Too much salt directly elevates blood pressure. High sodium in the body increase the risk of hypertension. Sodium consumption and the high incidence of high blood pressure has been demonstrated in a number of studies. High blood pressure is one of the major risk for cardiovascular disease. Some of the sources of sodium are bread, butter,biscuits, pastries, cakes, sauces, milk cholcolates, caramel, cheese , pea nut butter, pickles, olives, prawns, scallops.
Older children up to their teens will need a slightly higher sodium intake per body weight than adults but this will be obtained if food intake is adequate to maintain growth and ideal body weight.

4) Fresh fruits and vegetables-
2 servings of fruits and 3 servings of vegetables a day should be the rule for healthy life.fresh fruits and vegetables contains components that protect against heart disease and stroke. If your consumption of fruits and vegetables are low your chances of having cardiovascular disease increase by 20%.

5) Whole grains- they are the unprocessed , unrefined grains with the bran or germ unremoved. like brown rice, wheat flour with bran, unpolished pulses, kidney beans etc. They contain colic acid, B vitamins and fibre which are important for heart health.
6)Dry fruits & Nuts-
Nuts have a favorable effect on cholesterol metabolism and have predominantly non saturated fats. They are also high in bioactive compounds and antioxidants. So next time don’t miss to pick a hand full of almonds.

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