Change your Lifestyle to protect yourself from Heart Disease
Making lifestyle changes can help you protect yourself from heart disease and other related illnesses.
Heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, is an umbrella term for health conditions that affect the heart or the blood vessels. Normally, heart disease is associated with a build up of fatty deposits inside the arteries, which comes with an increase risk of blood clots. It is also associated with damage to the arteries in organ; commonly, the brain, heart, kidneys and eyes. Unfortunately, heart disease is one of the main causes of death in the UK, but what many people do not realise is that the risk of developing heart disease can be reduced by making some simple lifestyle changes.
There are a number of risk factors that could increase your chance of developing heart disease, these include; high blood pressure; smoking; high cholesterol; diabetes; inactivity; being overweight or obese; if you have a family history of heart disease; or your ethnic background.
The good news is though, certain lifestyle changes can be made to reduce your chances of developing heart disease later on in life.
Avoid eating or using vegetable oils:
Vegetable oils which include corn, soy, and sunflower, are all high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-6 PUFA). Research has shown that these can be harmful, and can cause; oxidative damage and inflammation, which can massively increase your risk of heart disease.
Vegetable oils are often hidden in both processed and packaged food, so it is important that you check the labels properly before consuming.
Eat less sugar:
Although we are all aware that a lot of sugar is bad for our health, however, what we might not realise is that all carbohydrates are eventually broken down into sugar in our body. Eating simple carbohydrates can cause a spike in insulin and blood sugar, which can contribute to oxidative damage and inflammation, increasing the risk of heart disease.
Eat more nutrient dense foods:
Eating nutrient dense food is the key to a good diet. This does not just have to be limited to vegetables either. Beef liver for example, is absolutely packed full of key vitamins and minerals.
Another surprising food that we should all be eating are egg yolks. Egg yolks provide us with 13 essential nutrients, and it is safe to eat three eggs a day. In fact, it is recommended, and will reduce your chances of developing heart disease.
Take a cod liver oil supplement:
Taking a cod liver oil supplement every day is very beneficial to your health, as it contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which will help to protect against inflammation. It also is a great source of vitamin D as well, and research suggests that low levels of this vitamin can lead to poor heart health.
It should be noted though that not all cod liver oils are good, and some have been treated with heat and chemicals, which can destroy the naturally occurring vitamins, which are then added back in synthetically. It should be noted though that these do not have the same benefits as those that are naturally occurring.
A healthy heart starts with an active lifestyle, something that all too many of us do not do enough of.
More than half of us are not regularly active, which means that you are over two times more likely to develop heart disease. On top of this, regular exercise will reduce inflammation and oxidative damage, thus reducing your chances of developing heart disease.
Research suggests that just 30 minutes of exercise every day during the week will decrease the number of deaths caused by heart disease by a huge 20-30 percent.
Maintain a healthy weight:
A number of studies have shown that obesity can cause inflammation and oxidative damage, which will dramatically increase the risk of heart disease, so losing excess weight is a great way of reducing this risk. But, do not lose too much weight though, as actually being too underweight can increase the risk of heart disease too.
There is no question that smoking is bad for your health, as it promotes both oxidative damage and inflammation. Smoking even one cigarette a day will increase your risk of developing heart disease by a whopping 40 percent.
As well as smoking, too much exposure to synthetic chemicals as well can increase your risk of developing heart disease. When you consider that there are approximately 1,000 new chemicals being introduced to the environment every single year, you should take precautions that you take measures to limit your exposure.
Manage any stress you have:
Whilst this is not always easy to do, too much stress will put a strain on your heart, so it is important to address what is causing your stress, and to try and enjoy life.
Research has suggested that stress management should be a very important part of preventing heart disease.