Heart diseases include a range of illnesses that damage your heart, including, congenital heart defects and coronary heart diseases. Cardiovascular diseases occur when blood vessels become clogged and lead to stroke or heart attack. Moreover, heart conditions that affect the rhythm, valves or muscles are also characterized as heart diseases.
Cardiovascular diseases vary among men and women due to several factors. Symptoms of cardiovascular diseases include chest pain, tightness, coldness, and angina discomfort. You may not know that you are at risk of a heart disease unless you suffer a stroke or a heart attack.
While there are many factors that contribute to heart diseases, improper eating plays a pivotal role in affecting heart health. Healthy eating protects the heart from damage, whereas unhealthy eating contains fats that clog your arteries and prevent the heart from receiving adequate blood supply for optimal functioning. When the symptoms are severe, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor can properly diagnose the condition, identify symptoms, devise an appropriate treatment plan, and guide you regarding diet and exercise to take care of yourself.
When your dietary regimen includes saturated fats, sugar, salt and cholesterol, you run a higher risk of suffering from heart diseases. High cholesterol levels or bad cholesterol – LDL – leads to the formation of plaques and clogs arteries. If you are overweight or obese, there is a higher likelihood of developing a heart condition. Sedentary lifestyle or lack of physical activity also puts you at risk of heart attacks.
Eating health can effectively reduce your risks of obesity, coronary heart diseases, LDL cholesterol and high blood pressure. Healthy food also provides your body with the necessary nutrients that are required every day. You are in a better position to recover from heart conditions or cardiac arrest if you eat well. It’s tricky to change your eating habits because old habits die hard. The key is to take small steps every day to reduce your cravings for junk food. Here’s what you could do:
- Choose whole grain foods as they are rich sources of fiber, help control blood pressure, and maintain optimal heart health. Avoid or limit consumption of doughnuts, waffles, muffins, pies, and white bread. Avoid taking in excessive trans fats or saturated fats to increase good cholesterol or HDL cholesterol.
- Cut down on meat consumption. Even though meat contains essential proteins that are necessary to keep you healthy, don’t overdo on meat consumption. Some meat types and servings contain more saturated fats. What you should be aiming for is monounsaturated fat to protect heart health.
- Check food labels before purchasing them. Even though some labels may say ‘reduced fat’, they might just contain trans fats that are just as harmful for your heart health.
- Go for more fruits and vegetables. Remember the rule – fruits before vegetables as that helps digest nutrients from fruits better. Switch to extra virgin olive oil as it is scientifically proven to protect heart health and fight off obesity.