We all know that heart disease is a disease that is common not only in India but also in some of the major parts of the world. It is found that most of the time, cardiac diseases turn into quite a lethal condition in the patient’s body, which can lead to an untimely death. It is often said that cardiac diseases mostly occur among aged individuals and males. So, it is more important for aged males to take good care of their cardiac health. Heart diseases can be controlled and treated easily if the patient can follow a healthy diet, strictly abide by the instructions given by the healthcare experts, and follows some healthcare guidelines. To keep your heart healthy, you need to know how the proper diet rules are to be followed that will help you to maintain a healthy functioning of your heart and to prevent the chances of developing different types of heart diseases such as heart stroke, heart failure, heart attack, cardiac arrest, and many other cardiovascular diseases. There are some ways to maintain proper heart health. So, a thorough discussion is required for cardiac patients and those who are particularly aged and have minor chances of developing cardiac difficulties, so that they can take good care of their hearts. Some of those methods and rules can be listed here as follows:
1. Add more and more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains to your diet:
There is no substitute for fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables comprise an important part of a balanced diet. Many health care experts and dieticians advise people with cardiac diseases or any other physiological disorders to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet. This is because, fruits and vegetables are filled with plenty of essential vitamins, minerals, powerful dietary antioxidants, fiber, and other vital nutrients that are very much beneficial for maintaining the overall functions of the body, for keeping you healthy, and in the due course take good care of your heart by preventing the chance of occurrences of all types of harmful cardiac diseases. Apart from fruits and vegetables try to include whole grains that are rich in fiber content, which is found in foods such as rice, barley, maize, corn, wheat, bread, oatmeal, cornmeal, and rye. These fiber-rich food components help to lower the levels of bad or LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol and help to keep the levels of good or HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol at an optimum and thus keeps your heart healthy. You can also have legumes and beans. Try to enrich your regular diet with plenty of plant-based food substances so that you can derive all the health-beneficial nutrients from plants and get a healthy heart.
Apart from these, you should also consider including fruits and vegetables in your diet that are rich in vitamin K content, because this can help to maintain overall good health for your heart. Vitamin k is mostly important for those who consume blood thinners because vitamin k helps in the proper coagulation of blood.
Try having vitamin k- rich foods such as:
- Brussels sprouts
- Green Cabbage
- Green vegetables such as collard
- Colored vegetables such as turnip
2. Cut your fat intake: limit red meat consumption
If you have a cardiac issue, then you must choose meat in your diet wisely. Meats, mostly red meats are filled with saturated fats and trans-fat. When you already have cardiac issues, such as high blood pressure or high levels of cholesterol, then you are supposed to reduce the consumption of fats and calories in your everyday diet. Though animal fats such as milk and dairy products are still allowed (though many doctors recommend the consumption of fat-free milk and dairy goods for patients with high cholesterol), it is a basic rule to avoid the consumption of red meats, mostly mutton, beef, and so on if you have high cholesterol or other signs of heart damage. If you must include meat in your diet for proper intake of protein, then consider adding poultry meat and chicken (like chicken breast), turkey, pork tenderloin, and so on. These foods will help to get nutrients and proteins in your body without including the unhealthy and harmful trans-fat.
Apart from red meat, people with heart diseases should also avoid the consumption of foods that are high in calories. Try to avoid oils that are rich in trans-fat and saturated fats and reduce the consumption of oily and fried foods. You can also avoid having high-calorie foods such as fast foods, sweets, and desserts, such as pastries, cakes, ice cream, and so on. Try to avoid adding sugar or artificial sweeteners to fruit juices or in foods, because these are quite high in calorie content.
3. Have various types of proteins in your diet
Protein is one of the essential nutrients that need to be consumed in your regular diet. So, it is important to have healthy proteins through food components that do not increase your cholesterol levels but provide a healthy balance of proteins and other healthy nutrients in your body, such as lean meat, fish like salmon, and plant-based food sources that are rich in protein such as kidney beans, soybeans, pulses, and so on.
4. Concentrate on which carbohydrates you are having
People with cardiac diseases should follow this rule. Excessive consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods increases the blood sugar levels in the body and this increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. So, avoid intake of sugar and have carbohydrates through brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and sweet potatoes.
5. Reduce the intake of salt
Many people tend to have fruits, nuts, or any other food substances with added table salt. This is a bad and unhealthy practice for those who have cardiac disorders. This is because salt increases your blood pressure levels, which can pose a greater danger to your heart health by increasing the risk of occurrences of cardiac diseases like heart failure, cardiac arrest, or heart stroke. To substitute the use of salt in your diet, you can also use herbs, spices, and other tastemakers that are safe and do not contain added salt and/ or sugar.
6. Avoid overconsumption of caffeine
People who have cardiac diseases should avoid the consumption of excessive amounts of coffee and/ or any other food substances or beverages that consist of high amounts of caffeine. Caffeine and other stimulants, if consumed in higher amounts can prove to be lethal if a person suffers from acute cardiac disorders such as high blood pressure or atrial fibrillation.
7. Completely avoid consumption of alcohol and cigarette smoking
Apart from this, try to lower your consumption of alcohol, smoking cigarettes, or consumption of any other type of harmful drug, because if these substances enter your body at a condition when the heart is already damaged, or having severe issues, the chances of cardiac disorders increase, leading to occurrences of heart stroke, cardiac arrest, or any other cardiac disorder.
8. Get hydrated frequently
In a country like India, hot and humid weather prevails throughout the year. So, there are greater chances of getting dehydrated easily. Thus, it is important to stay hydrated, mostly for those who have cardiac disorders and high levels of blood pressure. You must drink plenty of water each day to stay hydrated and to keep your heart healthy also.
What More Rules Should You Follow? Here Is the Chart
Apart from the above-mentioned rules, you can follow some other diet rules as well to maintain the healthy functioning of your heart. Here is a chart that will help you to get an idea about what type of foods you should have in your daily diet and how much of these foods you can consume daily. Go through the chart to get a clearer picture:
|Food/amount||Serving/exchange||The size of|
|1 cup cooked rice or pasta||2 starch||tennis ball|
|1 slice bread||1 starch||compact disc case|
|1 cup raw vegetables or fruit||1 fruit or vegetable||baseball|
|1/2 cup cooked vegetables or fruit||1 fruit or vegetable||cupcake wrapper full or size of ice cream scoop|
|1 ounce cheese||1 high-fat protein||pair of dice|
|1 teaspoon olive oil||1 fat||half-dollar|
|3 ounces of cooked meat||1 protein||deck of cards or cassette tape|
|3 ounces tofu||1 protein||deck of cards or cassette tape|
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