Heart Disease And Diet: 5 Popular Myths Busted! Know What Heart Patients Should Eat And Avoid
Heart patients should consume a healthy diet. A healthy lifestyle and diet can help you fight the risk of heart disease effectively. Here are some myths about heart disease and diet, you need to know.
Add fibre and antioxdant-rich foods to your diet
- Add enough fruits and vegetables to your diet for a healthy heart
- Exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight
- You should add colourful berries to your heart-friendly diet
Heart disease affects a large population today. Poor lifestyle and diet are two major contributors to these increasing numbers. According to WHO, individuals at risk of cardiovascular disease may demonstrate raised blood pressure, glucose, and lipids as well as overweight and obesity. These can all be easily measured in primary care facilities. Identifying those at highest risk of cardiovascular diseases and ensuring they receive appropriate treatment can prevent premature deaths. Heart patients are also advised to keep a constant check on their diet and lifestyle to fight further risk. But many fail to understand what to do and what not to when suffering from heart disease. In this article here are some myths about heart disease and diet that you need to know.
Heart disease and diet: Top myths debunked
Myth 1- Salt is harmless and needed for taste and body fluid balance
For most patients, normal salt in diet is fine, but one should avoid additional salt sprinkled on food and salad. The American Heart Association recommends less than 2300 mg/day. Those with high blood pressure and heart failure can reduce to 1500 mg/day. This helps control blood pressure and fluid retention.
Myth 2- Packaged and processed food is safe and hygienic
Although attractively parceled and marketed by companies, these artificial foods have high salt and preservative contents. So, avoid luncheon meat, sardines, salted peanuts, cashew and potato wafers and tasty ready to eat snacks.
Instead 5 plain almonds or walnut and 3 to 5 cashew helps improve good cholesterol and reduce the bad variety. 5 unsalted pistachios are good to improve your blood cells.
Myth 3- Italians have less heart disease, so it is safe to have pizza, pasta and dairy products
The Mediterranean diet includes plenty of nuts, cereals, fruits and vegetables along with olive oil and fish. Avoid excess butter, cheese, margarine and fried fatty food including burgers, pizza, samosa and vadas.
Myth 4- For vegetarians' milk and dairy products are essential
Cardiac patients should avoid full fat milk. Use low fat or skimmed milk. Avoid excess of curd and cottage cheese and instead have half cup of butter milk. Supplement with Dal, legumes and soya.
Myth 5- After angioplasty and bypass surgery, I can eat anything
After blockages have been removed by stents or bypass grafts, we should be more careful to prevent new and future blocks of fat deposition by following correct diet, lifestyle and medication. This increases the durability of such invasive procedure and protects you from undergoing surgery again
Exercise is mandatory for good health in heart patients. It includes 3 types. Aerobic - running, jogging or skipping or climbing stairs.
Resistance -strength training and light weights and bands
Flexibility including yoga.
Start with 10 to 15 minutes every day. Increase by 5 minutes every week until you reach 30 minutes of brisk exercise for at least 5 days in a week. This is termed moderate intensity . Vigorous intensity exercise is 20 mins for minimum 3 days a week
A healthy diet and regular exercise are the cornerstone for a disease-free life.
(Dr. Bharat Shivdasani- Interventional Cardiologist Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre)
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