A Hearts-Healthy Lifestyle comprises of a balanced diet, regular exercise, reduced high cholesterol levels, no smoking and reduced stress levels.
- Avoid saturated fats.
- Consume whole grains, fresh fruits & vegetables rich in fiber.
- Keep Salt intake to minimum.
- Source of Proteins-Soya, Fish.
- Vitamins & Supplements.
- Natural chemicals in cooked Tomato, Garlic, and Onion offer protection for the heart.
SOME GENERAL DIETARY GUIDELINES
- Reduce food intake (and start exercising) to maintain a desirable body weight.
- Eat more fiber. This can be obtained from natural foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grain oats, beans etc. A high fiber diet reduces the absorption of fats and cholesterol from the intestine.
- Drink caffeine and alcohol in moderation. Limit yourself to less than 2 cups of tea or coffee and one alcoholic drink per day. Anything more than this can increase you cholesterol.
- Reduce the intake of fat to less than 30 % of your total caloric intake. Vegetarian food is healthy and reduces cholesterol.
- Choose oils containing unsaturated fats as your cooking medium. As a general rule of thumb, any fat, which is solid at room temperature, contains saturated fats that are bad for you. Choose oils that are liquid at room temperature, since these generally contain unsaturated fats. These include sunflower oil, safflower oil, groundnut oil, olive oil, corn oil, etc.
- However coconut oil and palm oil are exceptions to this rule and should be avoided.
- Use non-stick cookware, which reduces the requirement of oil during cooking.
- Never deep-fry your food.
- When eating out, choose dishes that are boiled, baked, steamed or grilled rather than fried.
EXERCISE – Regular & Moderate
Getting some regular, Daily Exercise can reduce your risk of fatal heart disease. And when you combine physical activity with other lifestyle measures, such as maintaining a healthy weight, the payoff is even greater.
WHAT IS AN EXERCISE?
Any physical activity is a form of exercise.
This includes non-structured exercise like cycling, working in the garden or walking.
Structured exercises include jogging, aerobics and weight lifting.
Walking is probably the best form of exercise in the world. It is a safe and effective way to become and stay fit. It helps improve the efficiency of the heart, lungs and muscles.
Walking is effective for weight reduction, relieving stress, improving muscle tone, increasing bone and joint strength and in general creating a feeling of well being.
Although it is ‘just’ a natural everyday activity, walking is extremely good for you. Previously dismissed as “too simple to be taken seriously” by the west, walking is now being looked upon with respect all over the world. This simple form of exercise appeals to all being convenient, inexpensive and fun to enjoy alone or with friends. It requires no special athletic skills or equipment and is probably the only form of exercise that can be performed by any age group, without any previous training, at all times and anywhere. Best of all, it’s free!