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Take Care of Your Heart

Cardiovascular disease is the world's most lethal killer.  The disease claims more than 15 million lives per year around the globe and the main issues for people with heart conditions include heart disease, strokes and raised blood pressure.  This is why, on the 29th September of each year, the World Health Organization arranges awareness events around 100 countries, including organised walks and runs, public talks and presentations around the topic of heart health.

What can you do to help your heart?

As they say, prevention is the best cure and there are a number of preventative measures that can be taken to help your heart.

Keeping active doesn't mean that you have to run the length of your city or overly exert yourself.  By simply opting to walk to the shops rather than take the car regularly will help to lower your cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of a heart attack.

Of course as well as exercising regularly there are important dietary points to remember.  By adopting a high fibre, low fat and sugar diet, including five portions of fruit and vegetables a day will help look after your heart.  Also, limiting the amount of salt that you eat (no more than 6 grams per day) will ensure that your blood pressure doesn't get too high and cause heart problems.

Eating the right food is extremely important and knowing which types of fat you are eating can help.  There are two types of fat: saturated and unsaturated.   Some examples of foods high in saturated fats are:

  • Hard cheese
  • Cakes and biscuits
  • Butter
  • Sausages

Saturated fats increase the levels of cholesterol in the body and should be avoided or consumed in moderation.  Unsaturated fats should be included as part of a balanced diet and high levels are found in:

  • Oily fish
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Avocados
  • Sunflower, rapeseed and olive oils

Of course there are a number of other harmful factors for your heart such as smoking and drinking and it is advisable to stay away from such harmful toxins for a number of health reasons.  By keeping active and by reducing the amount of saturated fats in your diet, you will go a long way towards keeping your heart fit, healthy and strong.

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