The Truth About the Life Habits and Heart DiseasesIt is true that drugs cannot cure existing heart disease. They are only able to control and prevent further damage to heart muscle and blood vessels.
For beginning, person should consider his/her lifestyle habits which may increase the risk of heart disease development. Risk factors for heart disease include:
- increased blood pressure
- increased bad cholesterol level
- physical inactivity
- over 55 for men and more than 65 for women
- family members who have had heart disease or heart attack early in life
Fortunately, there is a rule of vice verse. If one removes the risk factors, adopt healthier habits and proper diet, he/she can improve his/her health.
SmokingSmoking causes damage to the heart and blood vessels. Here's how:
- Nicotine from cigarettes narrows the blood vessels, increases the blood pressure and makes it difficult for the heart to pump blood through the body.
- Smoking reduces oxygen level and raises the amount of poisonous carbon monoxide in the blood increasing chances of a heart attack.
- blood pressure will begin to decline
- the oxygen and carbon monoxide level in the blood will return to normal
- in a year person will notice the improvements such as calming of the smoking cough, lack of air will be reduced, breathing and circulation will be improved
WeightExcessive weight is a risk factor for developing heart disease. Obese people have a greater chance to develop sleep apnea, a condition in which there is short cessations of breathing many times during sleep. It increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and heart damaging.
On the other hand, if person takes steps to restore his/her pounds in the range of ideal weight, he/she reduces the risk of developing heart problems. Even the weight loss for only 5% or 10% of current body weight will lead to:
- decreasing blood pressure
- reducing the risk of heart attack
- lowering bad LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL good cholesterol
- decreasing triglycerides level in the blood
Losing excess weight is the easiest to achieve and maintain if one starts slowly and gradually to lose 1-2 kg per week. He/she should enter 500-1000 calories less each day, eating only the food that is healthy for the heart. The most important thing is to reduce fat and sugar intake.
Nutrition for a Healthy Heart includes:
- entering more fruits, vegetables, whole grain products (integral), poultry, fish and products with reduced fat
- entering less total fat, saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol
- limit intake of red meat, sweets and sweetened drinks
- reducing the salt intake - sodium, salt component, leads to increased blood pressure, and heart work more difficult
ExerciseModerate physical activity is important for everyone, even for heart patients. Lack of physical activity can lead to deterioration of heart muscle, increase in blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, which all continue to hamper the work of the heart.
30 minutes a day of physical activity, including housework, gardening, washing cars, cleaning the garage, and walking will be of great help in protecting the heart.