Eating Health heart

6 Major Ways of Reducing Your Chances of getting Heart Disease

When it comes to our heart health, some people are quite unfortunate to have had it passed down to them by genetics in the family line. However, that’s not the only way heart disease can be contracted. Living an unhealthy lifestyle is basically an invitation to a heart problem. For those, who didn’t inherit this insufferable disease, there are some easy ways to keep yourself guarded against heart disease.

Quit Your Habit

quit habit
The obvious one is to stop smoking.
Smokers die on average 10 years earlier than non-smokers as shown in a study of a million UK women published last year.
If you can stop smoking before you are 40, you are 10 times less likely to have health problems than if you continue.
As well as benefiting your heart, you will see rapid improvements in your breathing, mood and reduce your risk of stroke, diabetes, cancer, circulation problems, and numerous other problems.

Watch Your Weight

The association between heart disease and being overweight is extremely strong – not least because obesity puts you at risk of type 2 diabetes which, in itself, increases the risk of heart disease and multiple other conditions.
If you carry more weight around your waist than your hips you are even more at risk.
To calculate your waist to hip ratio, divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement.
A high ratio (over 0.85 for women or 1 for men) means an increased risk of health problems such as heart attacks, high blood pressure or diabetes, even if you aren’t that overweight.

Is fat-free best?

fat free
You have probably been advised to cut out saturated fats and replace butter with unsaturated fat spreads.
This is because a diet high in saturated fats is thought to be one factor that leads to high levels of bad cholesterol in the blood, which in turn may cause narrowing of the arteries and heart attacks.
However, there is now some controversy as to whether these dietary changes make much difference to your risk of heart disease.
A recent overview of multiple studies found no evidence that restricting saturated fat and increasing polyunsaturated fat consumption lowered the risk of developing heart disease.
The jury is still out on this one, and it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to eat high-fat doughnuts, pastries, chips and other sources of processed, saturated fat.
However, butter, cheese, and cream in small quantities may not be the complete villains they were

Stress life

And finally, while you should be aware of keeping your heart healthy, don’t let it stress you out as stress doesn’t help your heart either.
The stress hormone, ‘cortisol’ can increase unhealthy fat around the middle, raising your risk of heart problems, as well as leading to cravings for high fat and sugar foods, which only make things worse.
So, for a healthy and happy heart, start making a few small changes today – your heart will love you forever.
Dr Sally Norton is the founder of health hub

Say no to sugar

no to sugar
A large population study in the United States showed that people who consumed more than 25 percent of their daily calories from added sugar had an almost three times higher risk of dying from heart disease than those who had less than 10 percent, independent of other risk factors including weight.
More and more evidence suggests that too much sugar is contributing to the obesity and diabetes epidemic too, and as it offers no nutrients whatsoever, it is time to cut back.
Gradually reduce the sugar you add to your food or drinks, avoid fizzy drinks and look carefully at labels – you will be amazed at how much sugar is added to all sorts of food, both sweet and savory

Eat less salt

less salt
The British Heart Foundation is clear that too much salt can raise blood pressure and increase the risk of heart disease later in life.
Adults should have less than six grams (one teaspoon) a day.
Cutting back on salt doesn’t just mean keeping your hands away from the salt cellar when you are eating, there is also a lot of hidden salt in processed food.
Check the labels and cook from scratch wherever possible – then you are in control.
Dr Sally Norton is the founder of health hub

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