29 Sep The Basics of Heart Health
The basics of heart health include six steps that anyone can take to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke. These basic steps include proper diet, exercise, avoiding tobacco, and moderating the use of alcohol. In addition, maintaining a proper weight and seeing a doctor regularly for checkups are on the list. Let’s review some details to help you accomplish this.
A proper diet for heart health involves avoiding foods with the wrong kinds of cholesterol, which can block arteries that bring oxygen and nutrients to your heart, which the muscle needs to thrive and survive.
Reducing the wrong type of cholesterol involves reducing your intake of saturated fats. These fats are found in red meat, such as beef, pork, venison, lamb, and bison. Non-red meats, which have less saturated fats, are generally defined as poultry, fish, and shellfish.
Saturated fats are also referred to as “low-density lipoproteins.” These are considered the “bad” form of cholesterol. You can consult a doctor at Pacific Medical Care for proper diet plans at 619-333-8114.
Eliminating trans fat is another way of saying eliminate what is called partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. This is the oil frequently found in “prepared foods,” which refers to manufactured cookies, cakes, crackers, sweet-breads, donuts, and other similar pre-cooked items. This ingredient, in fact, is considered such a poor choice that the Food and Drug Administration has banned its use starting the first of the year 2021.
Increase your intake of Omega-3 fatty acid, which is found to lower blood pressure. This substance is found in various fish, including salmon, herring, and mackerel, and in walnuts, flaxseed, and other items.
Increase intake of soluble fibers is also good for the heart, as it helps prevent the absorption by the body of the wrong type of cholesterol. High levels of soluble fiber can be found in kidney beans, oatmeal, Brussels sprouts, apples, and pears.
Increase intake of whey proteins, which are found in dairy products and in nutrition supplements. The trick is that whey proteins lower the bad type of cholesterol, although dairy products high in fat contain cholesterol. The trick is to enjoy low-fat dairy products.
Needless to say, the proper amounts of exercise are critical for maintaining heart health. The rule of thumb for adults is to exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes five days a week or vigorously for at least 20 minutes three days a week.
- Quit smoking
Within 20 minutes of quitting smoking, your risk of a heart attack goes down. Within three months, your blood circulation has improved and your lungs have begun to restore themselves. Within a year after quitting, your risk of heart attack goes down 50 percent.
It should be emphasized that there are many methods to help smokers quit that are very effective, from medication that blocks the pleasure of smoking (giving smokers no reason to continue) to patches, lozenges, or gum that supply various amounts of nicotine, which you can control and diminish slowly over time.
- Weight loss
Obesity raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Losing weight is not always easy, but the rule of thumb is to concentrate your weight loss through proper nutrition, rather than expecting to burn off the calories. Eat properly and exercise works far better than over-eating and hoping to make up the difference by working it off.
- Regular check-ups
In San Diego, call Pacific Medical Care at 619-333-8114 to schedule an appointment for a heart-health check-up.