The word ‘cardiovascular’ relates to the heart and blood vessels. Cardiovascular disease is also known as heart disease is generic term used to explain diseases caused by irregular flow of blood to the heart, structural problems and diseased vessels.
Some of the most common types of heart diseases include:
- Coronary heart disease
- Cardiac arrest
- Rheumatic heart disease
- Hypertensive heart disease
- Peripheral artery disease
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death. Our lifestyle choices put us at a higher risk of developing this deadly disease. Poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, excessive consumption of alcohol and smoking are some of the contributing factors.
As per the World Heart Federation a diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by 73%. Let’s look at how we can reduce the risk of developing this disease with eating right.
- Fats: Excessive consumption of dietary fats escalates the risk of developing heart disease. Saturated fats and trans fats lead to high cholesterol levels. High cholesterol (LDL) can clog arteries and disrupt blood circulation. Saturated fats are found in animal products, and trans fats are found in bakery items like cakes, cookies etc. The good fat is unsaturated fat which is found in fish, vegetables, seeds and nuts. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are found in fish, seeds and nuts. Consumption of fish reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Dietary Fiber: It is found in whole grains, beans, nuts, vegetables and fruits. Increased intake of dietary fiber is associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases. Dietary fiber is known to-
- Lower cholesterol levels by removing them out of the body before they are absorbed.
- Help maintain healthy weight by giving you the feeling of fullness hence reducing calorie intake.
- Reduces blood pressure.
- Sodium: Hypertension is closely linked to cardiovascular diseases. High intake of sodium in your diet puts you at risk of developing hypertension. Here is an interesting fact- as per the World Heart Federation website; a reduced intake of sodium by about 1 gram can reduce the number of deaths due to stroke by 22% and the number of deaths due to coronary heart disease by a considerable 16%. And such reduced salt intake would reduce the number of people needing treatment for hypertension by a walloping 50%. So, think before you sprinkle!
- Alcohol: Moderate to low consumption of alcohol is said to be good for the heart and may reduce risk of coronary heart disease. But it should be strictly limited as too much consumption of alcohol may lead to other health problems and may increase the risk of other cardiovascular diseases.
It has to be said that a healthy diet is a huge part of staying healthy. As the timeless adage goes- prevention is better than cure, let’s do what is in our power to keep maladies at bay. We, at One Life have a team of qualified dietitians to help and support you in your journey towards a healthier and happier life.