Diet plays an important role in terms of determining your heart health and risk of heart attack. According to the American Heart Association, a healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease. It is no rocket science. You just have to start making healthier food choices and give up sedentary lifestyle habits like regular drinking or binge drinking, smoking, sitting more and moving less, not exercising and regularly eating deep fried and junk food. In this article, we are going to talk about diet and lifestyle recommendations that can help prevent heart disease and heart attack.
Diet and lifestyle recommendations for reducing risk of heart disease and heart attack
- For starters, keep a track of your daily calorie intake. If you are overweight, work towards reducing your calorie as being overweight and obese increases risk of heart disease. Your daily calorie intake depends on your age, gender, underlying health condition and level of daily physical activity.
- Include exercising in your daily routine, even if you are physically active. Just because you are physically active and walk around all day, doesn’t mean that you don’t need exercise. Celebrity nutritionist Rujuta Diwekar says that the meaning of exercising is to challenge yourself physically in order to become fitter version of yourself. Exercising regularly is important to prevent risks of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, thyroid, PCOD and much more.
- 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise in a week or 90 minutes of high intensity exercise in a week is important for good health and overall well-being. Both cardio and weight training exercises are important for a healthy heart. Walking, running, jumping jacks, swimming and cycling are some exercises that can help you maintain a healthy heart rate and reduce risk of heart attack.
Diet for heart health
Eating the right kind of nutritious food is required to keep your heart healthy. Your daily diet should include carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre to provide you with complete nutrition. If you want to lose weight, you try intermittent fasting and portion control.
Foods for heart health
- Fresh fruits and vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables)
- Nuts and seeds
- Lentils and legumes
- Cooking oil according to your region
- Milk and dairy products
- Whole grains
- Fatty fish
Apart from including these foods in your diet, you need to cut down on saturated fats – which is in abundance in deep fried foods, packaged foods, red meat, diet soda and sugar-sweetened beverages – to reduce risk of heart disease. For keeping your blood pressure under control, you need to also cut down on sodium intake. Reducing intake of salty foods is important to reduce risk of heart attack.
Make healthier choices for a healthy heart
1. Make sure that majority of your diet includes home-cooked, naturally available food. Rujuta believes that anything that comes in a packet is not healthy for you.
2. Fibre-rich whole grains like brown rice, whole wheat, graham flour, whole oats, whole grain barley and oats, should be a part of your diet.
3. Include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids in your diet for heart health. These include fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines. Walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, kidney beans and soya bean oil are also rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.
4. Avoid foods that give you trans fats and saturated fat.
5. Practice moderation when drinking alcohol, preferably quit it. The sooner you quit, the better it is for your heart health.
6. Quit smoking. It can increase risk of cancer and also elevate blood pressure – which directly impacts blood pressure.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.
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