What is Heart Disease?
“Heart disease includes conditions that narrow or block blood vessels (coronary heart disease). This can lead to a heart attack, angina and some strokes. Heart disease also covers conditions that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or cause abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias).”British Heart Foundation
There are many different types and causes of heart disease. There are many factors that can put people at risk of heart disease.
Some of these include;
” – Age. Growing older increases your risk of damaged and narrowed arteries and a weakened or thickened heart muscle.
– Sex. Men are generally at greater risk of heart disease. The risk for women increases after menopause.
– Family History. A family history of heart disease increases your risk of coronary artery disease, especially if a parent developed it at an early age (before age 55 for a male relative, such as your brother or father, and 65 for a female relative, such as your mother or sister).”Mayo Clinic
Poor lifestyle choices such as a diet full of sugar, salt and fat, smoking and a lack of physical activity can be contributing factors to developing heart disease.
While there is no cure for heart disease, it doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom there are some ways that you can prevent heart disease.
- Being more physical
- Improve your diet – cut out junk food
- Quitting smoking
- Having regular health screenings
- Getting enough sleep
Further information about heart disease prevention can be found here.
Good food for helping/preventing heart disease?
There are many recommendations about what food is best to eat for preventing heart disease with the most common ones being fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein.
“A low-fat, high-fibre diet is recommended, which should include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (5 portions a day) and whole grains.
You should limit the amount of salt you eat to no more than 6g (0.2oz) a day as too much salt will increase your blood pressure. 6g of salt is about 1 teaspoonful.”NHS England
Eating more fresh fruit and vegetables can help with heart disease because many are low in calories and they contain vitamins and nutrients which help contribute to heart health.
Whole grains are a great source of fibre which can help control cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Whole grain foods include brown rice, wholegrain pasta, and wholegrain bread.
Healthy fats such as olive oil, avocados and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. If eaten in moderation healthy fat can help lower cholesterol and protect against strokes and heart attacks.
Lean Protein such eggs and lean ground meat or even oily fish like salmon can help lower cholesterol and contribute to your health overall.
Food to avoid can be found here.
Living with Heart Disease
“Living with a heart condition can mean coming to terms with what’s happened and how different aspects of your life may be affected.”NHS Inform
Tips for living with heart disease can be found here.