As per WHO, cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the major cause of mortality globally, as well as in India.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a general term used to describe disorders that can affect heart (cardio) and/or body’s system of blood vessels (vascular).
CVD includes heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, peripheral artery disease, rheumatic heart disease, congenital heart disease and heart failure.
Economic transition urbanization, industrialization and globalization bring about lifestyle changes that promote heart disease. These risk factors include tobacco use, physical inactivity, and unhealthy diet.
To avoid heart problems in the future start adopting a healthy lifestyle today.
Here are five heart disease prevention tips we can follow in our daily life
Make Healthy Food Choices
Eating a special diet called the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan can help protect your heart.
Following the DASH diet means including foods having increased vegetables, fruits, low fat dairy products, whole grains, fish, low in saturated fats and trans fat and rich in potassium, Magnesium, Calcium, protein and fibre.
Limiting certain fats is important. Of the types of fat — saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and Trans fat — saturated fat and trans fat increase the risk of coronary artery disease by raising blood cholesterol levels.
Sources of saturated fat include:
Red meat, Dairy products, Coconut and palm oils.
Sources of Trans Fat Include:
Deep-fried fast foods, Bakery products, packaged snack foods, Margarines, Crackers
Omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, may decrease your risk of heart attack, protect against irregular heartbeats and lower blood pressure. Fish, Flaxseed oil, walnut oil, soybean oil and canola oil are sources of Omega -3.
Following a heart-healthy diet also means drinking alcohol only in moderation — no more than two drinks a day for men, and one a day for women. At that moderate level, alcohol can have a protective effect on your heart. More than that becomes a health hazard.
Exercise lowers blood pressure, reducing strain on the heart, increases good HDL cholesterol that transports fat away from the arteries and back to the liver for processing.
It also helps in reducing the levels of bad LDL cholesterol that can form fatty deposits in the arteries and contribute to heart disease.
All individuals should exercise at least 30 to 60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity most days of the week. However, even shorter amounts of exercise offer heart benefits.
Quit smoking / Tobacco
Smoking or using tobacco continues to be one of the most important risk factors for developing heart disease, Main content of Carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke replaces some of the oxygen in blood. This increases the blood pressure by forcing heart to work harder to supply enough oxygen.
Smoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a build-up of fatty material (atheroma) which narrows the artery. This can cause angina, a heart attack or a stroke.
When it comes to heart disease prevention, no amount of smoking is safe.
Smokeless tobacco and low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes also are risky, even passive smoking is considered to be harmful. Chewing tobacco is very dangerous it increases the risk of complications of heart attack, it doubles the risk of heart attacks then smoking.
When you quit smoking or stop eating tobacco, your risk of heart disease drops dramatically within just one year. And no matter how long or how much you smoked, you’ll start reaping rewards as soon as you quit.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or having obesity can increase your risk for heart disease.
This is mostly because they are linked to other heart disease risk factors, including high blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Controlling your weight can lower these risks.
Even a small weight loss can be beneficial. Reducing weight by just 10 percent can decrease your blood pressure, lower your blood cholesterol level and reduce your risk of diabetes.
Get Regular Health Check ups
High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage heart and blood vessels. But without testing for them, you probably won’t know whether you have these conditions. Regular screening can tell you what your numbers are and whether you need to take action.
BLOOD PRESSURE. Regular blood pressure screenings start in childhood. It is a major risk factor for heart disease. It is important to get your blood pressure checked regularly – at least once a year for most adults, and more often if you have high blood pressure. Optimal blood pressure is less than 120/80 millimetres of mercury
CHOLESTEROL LEVELS. Adults should have their cholesterol measured at least once every five years starting at age 20. You may need to be tested more frequently if your healthcare provider determines that you’re at an increased risk for heart disease or stroke. Some children may need their blood cholesterol tested if they have a strong family history of heart disease.
DIABETES SCREENING. Since diabetes is a risk factor for developing heart disease, want to consider being screened for diabetes. Talk to doctor about when should have a fasting blood sugar test to check for diabetes.
Depending on risk factors, such as being overweight or a family history of diabetes, doctor may recommend first testing for diabetes sometime between ages 30 and 45, and then retesting every three to five years.