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Irregular sleep patterns, unhealthy eating habits, and strenuous work culture are affecting our physical well-being, and the heart seems to be bearing the brunt. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide. India accounts for one-fifth of the total number of deaths caused by cardiovascular diseases like coronary heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, cerebrovascular disease, congenital heart disease, deep vein thrombosis, and rheumatic heart disease.
Taking care of your health is, therefore, more relevant than ever before and a healthy diet plan has a great role to play. The growing prevalence of heart diseases can be prevented by raising awareness and addressing behavioural risk factors such as unhealthy diet, obesity, tobacco consumption, consumption of alcohol, and physical inactivity.
In this article, we will focus on a heart-healthy diet and various tips for a healthy lifestyle that can help maintain a healthy heart.
You may be thinking about how to improve heart health. The plan is not that tough to accomplish. Before knowing what to do, you must understand what needs to be avoided in case you have heart health problems. These include:
There are certain food items that help improve your heart health. Consider taking these heart-healthy foods:
Lean meats and low-fat dairy products can fulfil 15-20% of protein intake in the diet of heart patients. Portion control is another crucial aspect. Eating in a limited amount throughout the day rather than having heavy three-course meals helps digestion and puts less stress on the heart.
If you are wondering what is a healthy diet or how to go with healthy diet plans, here are some tips that will help you grasp the trick.
Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for the health of your heart as they are rich in fiber, which helps in reducing bad cholesterol and provides nutrients that protect your heart. These food items help in keeping you full, thereby making you eat less. It also helps in moving fat through the digestive system. You can eat vegetables in the form of salad and soups to get variety in your meal.
Tip: Next time you want to munch on a packaged snack, opt for an apple, a banana or any seasonal fruit.
Drinking enough water makes your heart pump easily through the blood vessels to the muscles. It also enables the muscles to work smoothly. Staying dehydrated can cause serious health problems, such as headaches and swollen feet that may cause heart stroke.
Tip: Keep your water bottle handy. Set regular alarms on your phone to remind you to drink a glass of water hourly.
Trans-fats are mostly found in food items such as fried food, pizzas, and snacks. Taking trans-fat reduces the level of HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins), which may eventually cause cardiovascular diseases and may increase plaque in the blood vessel walls. In the worst case, this may lead to even death as well.
Tip: Plan and prepare your meals in advance so as to avoid the temptation to order food from outside.
>>Check: Heart Mediclaim
Saturated fats are found in dairy products, red meat, and tropical oil. It should be restricted to not more than 10% of the calorie intake. Instead, you can include protein sources in your diet, such as eggs, fish and vegetables.
It is advised to eat food items such as brown rice, oatmeal and sweet potatoes that help in controlling your blood sugar levels.
Tip: Foods high in sugar are advised to restrict. Avoid keeping chocolates, candies and sweets at home if you cannot resist the temptation.
Taking meals at regular intervals helps in controlling your blood sugar level and cholesterol, and helps in burning fat. It is equally important to eat in moderation. Taking large portions of nutrient-rich food can help you control your heart as well as your waistline.
Tip: Create a diet plan for yourself (Take help from the internet to avoid additional charges). Strictly follow the diet schedule.
Only knowing what is healthy food may not suffice the purpose here. You must also have an idea of heart health supplements. Your doctor may also recommend it. Supplements help getting the right amount of nutrients that food alone may not be able to provide to your body. It may be in the form of oral tablets of multivitamins and minerals.
Tip: Take supplements only if your doctor prescribes them. Don’t tale at your own.
Some traditional Indian recipes, when cooked with less salt and oil/ghee, can be healthy and tasty alternatives for patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Cooking with oil of groundnut, mustard, rice bran, sesame, and sunflower can further benefit heart patients. Indian recipes using seeds such as fenugreek, mustard have great health benefits. These items are rich in fibre and famous for reducing cholesterol level.
The amount of salt in cooking also needs to be monitored. Heart patients are advised to take no more than 2 grams of salt. Here are some good foods to eat and include in the diet of heart patients:
They say eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. On that note, your breakfast is the most important meal and you shouldn’t miss it. Additionally, it must be rich in all nutrients combining carbohydrates and protein,
Poha, upma, idli, dosa, thepla, paratha, khandvi, or dhokla are supplemented with a glass of milk or a glass of buttermilk, rawa chilla, boiled egg, scramble egg with brown bread etc. are a few breakfast options you can add. As fermented foods have probiotics which are very healthy for your heart.
What you eat in your lunch is equally important. Eating a balanced lunch that includes carbs, protein, fibre and probiotics is recommended to maintain a good health. Rotis or a bowl of rice with a vegetable curry or fish/ chicken curry, daal, salad and a bowl of curd/ raita, lentil salads, chicken salad, vegetable oats etc. are a few options to choose from.
Khakhra, puffed rice, chaat containing boiled corn/ sprouts, along with a cup of green tea are perfect options to give your energy a boost in the evening.
Always go for the lighter options including vegetable soup, dalia, boiled egg, Chapatti or a bowl of rice with a vegetable curry, daal, salad and curd. Also, heart patients are advised to have their dinner early, which is not later than 8-9 PM.
Nowadays, dieticians suggest traditional Indian recipes with healthier alternative ingredients like khichdi with moong dal and barley, vegetable curries with fibrous vegetables such as broccoli and carrots, idli and upma with oats or quinoa, or roti and parathas with multigrain flour basis on the food choices of an individual. All these recipes can increase the nutritional value of the food.
*Note: Please consult with your doctor before taking these diets.
With the change in lifestyle, people are becoming prone to critical illnesses, and heart illness is one of them. Although a healthy diet plan, coupled with an active lifestyle, can significantly lower the risks of heart disease, the possibilities of an emergency hospitalisation and expenses arising out of it can be denied. Hence, buying a health insurance plan has become a necessity in order to keep your savings intact.
If you are looking for comprehensive health insurance that covers you or your loved ones for treatment expenses arising due to heart ailments, you can consider Care Heart Insurance. The below are the reasons Care Health Insurance can be a wise option for you:
Early screening and management of conditions such as diabetes and hypertension can significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Hence, along with healthy food for the heart, it is also important to go for regular health check-ups and keeping yourself active throughout.
>> Read Also: Importance of Healthy Diet during Pregnancy
The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.
All plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.
Published on 27 Feb 2024
Published on 27 Feb 2024
Published on 23 Feb 2024
Published on 23 Feb 2024
Published on 23 Feb 2024
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