Diet and Heart Diseases

For Indians eating right is a key component of lowering the risk of heart disease. The foods that we eat affect your weight, hormones and the health of our organs, including heart. Eating a healthy diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Keeping your heart healthy by making healthier food choices isn’t as hard as it sounds!

An international study has shown that a diet which includes a moderate intake of fat and fruits and vegetables, and avoidance of high carbohydrates, is associated with lower risk of death. The study found out that consuming a higher amount of fat is associated with a lower risk of death compared to lower intakes. However, a diet high in carbohydrates is related to higher mortality.

Here are some dietary ways to help prevent heart disease.

1. Eat more fruit and vegetables: Eat more plant-based diet. Your fruits and vegetables should be rainbow in colour. They contains fibre which is a nutrient that can help improve our hearts, and also high in like antioxidants as well.

2. Reduce salt: Salt a bit of a silent killer. Eating too much sodium over time can increase your risk of high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Use flavour alternatives like herbs and spices.

3. Reduce added sugar: Sugar can increase particular molecules in our blood called triglycerides and high triglycerides can increase the risk of heart disease.

4. Up the fibre: Fibre is your friend, not just for helping prevent heart disease, but for keeping your whole body function optimally. Fibre is found in foods like legumes, vegetables, fruits and whole grains like brown rice. Oats, in particular, contain a fibre called beta glucan and that’s been shown to reduce cholesterol, thereby reducing someone’s risk of heart disease.

5. Eat more healthy fats: Unlike trans fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like nuts and oily fish boost heart health. There’s some evidence around fish oils and omega-3s to improve heart health, heart rate, decreasing inflammation and increasing our good cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats like nuts, seeds and olive oil help improve heart health. Avocado is rich in fibre and also monounsaturated fats.

In recent times, cardiac diseases have become an epidemic, mainly because of unhealthy diet plan and stressful lifestyle. So on this Heart Month, Dr. Subrat Akhoury, Director, Cardiology and Cathlab & Sr. Interventional Cardiologist at Asian Institute of Medical Sciences, Faridabad focused on diet and stated that as diet and heart is closely related, it is better to follow a controlled diet plan to reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors