American Heart Association issues new set of guidelines

Eating brightly-coloured vegetables, whole grains and avoiding Palm oil can help to keep the heart healthy

Cardiovascular diseases include diseases which are related to the circulatory system. It could also include cerebral ailments like strokes and also diseases related to other organs of the body like the kidneys, retina etc. In fact, the blood vascular system is related to every part of the body and any anomaly could have devastating effect on the body.

The heart is the most important part of the body and food affects it in a big way. However, it does not mean that we must eat bland food or shun French fries completely.

According to American Heart Association head, Dr Robert Achel, fast foods should not become a routine part of one’s diet and should not replace normal meals when someone is hungry. Instead of having a list of foods which should be eaten or not eaten, one must make suitable changes to form a healthy pattern of eating.

Here are six healthy habits which will keep your heart healthy and help you pre-empt any heart ailment:

1. Regular Exercise

A workout totalling 150 minutes in a week will help to keep your weight in control and also help keep the circulatory system working in perfect order. Keep a check on your calorie intake and modify it appropriately with advancing age. With every decade of life, the calorie requirement reduces by 70 to 100 calories. Therefore, titrate your food requirements according to age.

2. Increase intake of brightly-coloured vegetables

Brightly-coloured vegetables contains a high amount of Phytokinins which are a very good anti-oxidant. Brightly-coloured vegetables contain a lot of nutrients which are good for the heart. Eating whole vegetables is better than consuming juice since vegetables also contain a lot of fibers, which are beneficial for health.

3. Use raw cereals instead of refined cereals

Whole ground flour is much better than refined flour since the former contains a lot of fiber. Eating whole cereals ensures that all the three layers of the seed-ecto, meso and endoderm are preserved. Studies have revealed that the three layers of the seed contain ingredients which keep a check on substances which cause harm to the heart.

4. Prefer good source of protein

Vegetable protein also contains fibers which are beneficial for the body. Prefer a low fat milk product which is wholesome and does not increase cholesterol.

5. Shun use of Palm oil

Studies have shown that oils obtained from Sunflower, Soybean, Corn contain high amounts of poly-unsaturated fats reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases by more than 30%. Tropical oils like Palm oil and Coconut oil increase the HDL and LDL cholesterol and must be avoided.

6. Reduce intake of Sugar / Salt

Try to cut down on extra sugar and salt. Keep a check on blood sugar levels. Diabetes is a silent killer and affects almost every organ of the body including heart, kidney, blood vessels and eyes. It also increases the risk of infections. This is especially important because the world is going through a COVID-19 pandemic where diabetics are at a higher risk than normal persons.

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