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World Health Day: On World Health Day 2022 amidst a pandemic, a polluted planet, rising diseases such as cancer, asthma, heart disease, WHO will focus global attention on the urgent actions needed to keep humans and the planet healthy and promote a global health care system. Movement to create a society focused on welfare. y

 

On this occasion, Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Asian Heart Institute, Mumbai, Dr. Tilak Suvarna spoke about 6 lifestyle choices we need to make for not only a healthy heart but for overall physical health and long-term wellness.

 

  • Unhealthy Snacking Habits:

Our poor food choices produce worse health than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined. Saturated fat and trans fat—two types of bad fats that have been identified as potentially harmful to the heart—are consumed in large amounts in our diets today. One packet of potato chips can meet half of the daily requirement of fat in a person. If you are fond of eating bhujia with tea, then you get a high amount of calories along with high amount of salt and trans fat. Fries are laden with fat. By eating large servings, a person exceeds the safe limit for trans fats. Most of the oils in which Indian snacks are fried contain at least 13-19 percent saturated fat.

 

A better option would be to avoid fried foods and opt for healthy snacks like roasted chickpeas, fruits, multi-grain biscuits, dry fruits etc. As part of a healthy diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains. , fish (preferably oily fish – at least twice per week), nuts, legumes and seeds. Choose fat-free and low-fat dairy products and lean meats and poultry (skinless). Limit sugar-sweetened beverages.

Buy your fresh groceries from local producers and avoid highly processed foods and beverages.

  • Excessive salt intake:

Excessive salt in the diet contributes to high blood pressure which is a leading cause of heart disease, heart attack and congestive heart failure. Eating too much salt causes too much water to be retained or stored in the body, worsening the fluid build-up associated with heart failure.

Adults should eat less than 6 grams of salt per day – that is, about a teaspoon. This includes the salt that is in ready-made foods like bread, as well as the salt you add during cooking and at the table. Children should eat less salt than adults according to their age. Check the nutritional information on food labels and try to choose low-salt options and ingredients. Flavor your food with black pepper, herbs, garlic, spices or lemon juice.

  • Lack of physical activity:

With a lack of physical activity comes many risks, including high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular problems. One of the simplest, positive changes you can make to effectively improve your overall health is to start walking. Brisk walks of 30-40 minutes daily are flexible and have a high rate of success as people can live with it.

To improve overall heart health, the American Heart Association suggests at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity) per week.

Environmental pollution is the number one killer in the world today. Try walking or pedaling to work at least once a week. Choose public transport. Everyone’s collective participation will go a long way in reducing pollution on our planet.

  • Excessive alcohol consumption:

Excessive alcohol is associated with high blood pressure, high levels of blood fats and a greater risk of heart failure. In addition, excess calories can lead to weight gain, a risk to heart health. No amount of alcohol is good or prescribed for your health.

  • Smoking and Chewing Tobacco:

Smoking increases the risk of developing heart disease, including coronary heart disease and stroke. Thus smoking damages the lining of your arteries, leading to a buildup of fatty substances (atheroma) that narrow the arteries. This can lead to angina, heart attack or stroke. The carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This means that your heart has to pump more to supply the needed oxygen to the body. It’s also bad for passive smokers.

  • excessive stress:

Stress can indirectly affect your heart. It’s possible that stress can raise your blood pressure, make you eat more, exercise less, and smoke more, and thus make you more likely to have heart problems. Managing stress makes sense for your overall health. While it is impossible to live your life completely stress free, it is possible to make some changes in your lifestyle, which can reduce the harmful effects of stress on one’s heart. Take time to relax, indulge yourself in a hobby or a fun recreational activity, meditation and breathing exercises that can be good stress relievers.

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