Eat Well and Prevent Heart Disease

 

By Maria Anderson

Some of us are born with a genetic predisposition towards heart disease,  but that doesn't mean it's inevitable. There are many ways you can prevent the onset of heart disease or keep it from worsening if you have been diagnosed with a specific heart issue.

In terms of heart disease, everything goes in the wrong direction when you're overweight. But when you lose the weight, that all starts to correct itself: Blood pressure comes down, glucose comes down, HDL "good" cholesterol goes up. All the good things start to happen when you lose weight.

Here are three prevention strategies to initiate: 

1. Eat Fibre

Most people need to increase the amount of fibre and whole grains in their diet. There are lots of ways to do this like including oats, barley, quinoa, beans and lentils, nuts, and seeds and fruit. On the Bodytrim diet we recommend you eat hi fibre carbohydrates in the morning and a good way to do this is to toss in a few fibrous vegetables to your omelette   Also try adding legumes to casseroles, salads and soups for a higher protein and fibre content.

2. Exercise Regularly

The Australian Heart Foundation recommends that you include at least 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity (such as brisk walking) on most, if not all days of the week, for health benefits. This is all in line with what we recommend on the Bodytrim diet and as you know this amount of activity can be accumulated in shorter bouts, such as three 10-minute walks per day. Make it fun by getting a friend to workout or walk with you. That way, you're more likely to be consistent. Wear your pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day. Not meeting your goal? Go for walk breaks instead of snack breaks at work, and take the stairs whenever possible.

3. Sleep Well

Preliminary research results indicate that swings in blood pressure and dips in oxygen levels associated with sleep apnea could make your arteries more prone to damage. If you suspect that you have sleep apnea (symptoms include snoring loud enough to disturb your sleep or that of others, shortness of breath that wakes you up, abnormal daytime sleepiness, or periods of stopped breathing during sleep), see your doctor about treatment.

4. Stay Positive

And perhaps even more important is to keep your mental health in good shape. People who see the world optimistically actually tend to be less likely to get heart disease. So, if you find yourself feeling angry or stressed out, do something relaxing like taking a long walk. You will see the benefits on the inside as well as on the outside. Remember the cup is not half empty it’s half full!

 

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