September 27 is celebrated as World Heart Day. Over 17.2 million people die each year from cardiovascular diseases, making these the leading cause of death worldwide. Yet 80 percent of premature deaths from heart diseases and stroke could be avoided by controlling the main risk factors, such as tobacco, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity.
Heart disease can be caused by a number of factors such as:
Your heart is the way to your emotions and the pillar of your body. Dr Neeraj Dhingra, nutrition consultant, Pusa Institute advises a healthy lifestyle to keep your heart healthy and active:
Being overweight increases the risk of heart disease. Eat just enough calories to maintain optimum weight. Cutting down 500 calories a day will make you lose 2 kg a month.
1. Eat no more than two tablespoons of good oil every day. Include one teaspoon desi ghee (rich in MUFA) as well.
2. Avoid saturated fats. It is never too late to cut down on the following:
3. Reduce intake of cholesterol-rich foods like egg yolk, organ meats, whole milk, dairy products, red meat, shellfish.
4. Work fiber into your food; for the sake of fiber, your choice of food should be:
5. Flax seeds, methi seeds- these are also rich in heart-friendly omega 3 fatty acids 5. Watch out for carbs as well. Eating low glycemic foods (unrefined complex carbohydrates) helps in lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Go in for whole grains sprouts, legumes, dry peas, oats, barley, bran, apples, other fruits and vegetables instead of white bread, burgers, noodles, pasta and rice.6).
6. Good nutrition- only 23-30 percent of your daily calories should come from fat out of which only 6-7 percent has to be taken as saturated fats.
7. Youngsters should inculcate healthy eating habits and stay away from fast foods like burgers, pizzas etc. as they are full of trans fats and processed carbohydrates. Just once a week they may be permitted to satisfy their taste buds.
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