Monday, November 2, 2009

Tips for Avoiding Heart Disease.

Are you worried about your heart and cholesterol levels ?
Are you worried about your cholesterol levels ?
If you have high cholesterol level in blood,then you need to change your diet and lifestyle to lower the cholesterol and your risk of heart disease.Even if your doctor prescribed a cholesterol lowering drug,
you'll still need to change your diet and become more active for cardiovascular health.These simple tips can help you keep cholesterol levels in check.

Understanding cholesterol : LDL vs HDL.
Cholesterol : Good and Bad.

Your body need a small amount of cholesterol to function properly.But we may get too much saturated fat and cholesterol in our diet-and both raise levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol.LDL cholesterol can cause plaques to build up in arteries,leading to heart disease.HDL "good" cholesterol on the other hand,helps clear bad cholesterol from your blood.Your aim should be to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol,starting with your diet.

Downsize : Portion control helps you loose weight and lower
cholesterol levels.
Give Yourself a Hand.
Many indians now eat super-sized meals,with portions that are twice the size recommended for good health.That can contribute to weight gain and high cholesterol.Here is an easy way to practice portion control for a meal : Use your hand.One serving of meat or fish is about what fits in the palm of your hand.One serving of fresh fruit is about the size of your fist.And a serving of cooked vegetables,rice or pasta should fit in your cupped hands.

Eat more plants : Fruits and veggies are nature's low
cholesterol diet.
Serve Up Heart-Healthy Food.
Load your plate with fruits and vegetables-five to nine servings a day-to help lower LDL "bad" cholesterol.Antioxidants in these foods provide the benefit or it may be that when we eat more fruits and veggies,we eat less fat.Either way you'll also help lower blood pressure and maintain a healthy weight.Foods enriched with plant sterols,such as margarine spreads,lahsoon,yoghurt etc.can also help lower LDL cholesterol.

Fight cardiovascular disease by eating Fish.
For Heart Health,Look to the Sea.
A heart healthy diet has fish on the menu twice a week.Why?. Fish is low in saturated fat and high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids.Omega-3 fatty acids help lower levels of Triglycerides-a type of fat in the blood which thickens the blood.They may also help lower cholesterol and slowing the growth of plaque in arteries.Go for fatty fish,such as salmon,tuna,trout and sardines.Just don't drop the filets in the deep fryer-you'll negate the health benefits.

How to lower cholesterol ? Make time for breakfast.
Start Your Day With Whole Grains.
A bowel of oat meal or whole-grain cereal has benefits that last all the day.The fiber and complex carb
ohydrates in whole grains help you feel fuller for longer,so you'll be less tempted to overeat at lunch.They also help reduce LDL "bad" cholesterol and can be an important part of your weight-loss strategy.Other examples of whole grains include wild rice,popcorn,brown rice,barley and whole-wheat flour.

Snack smart : Grab a handful of almonds,walnuts,or pistachios.

Go Nuts for Cardiovascular Health.

Need a snack ?. A handful of nuts is a tasty treat that help in lowering cholesterol.Nuts are rich in mono-saturated fats-which lower LDL cholesterol while leaving HDL cholesterol intact.Several studies show that people who eat about an ounce of nuts a day,have a lower risk of heart disease.Nuts are high in fats and calories,so only eat a handful.And make sure they are not covered in sugar or choclates or fried.
Aim for low cholesterol: Swap
butter for healthy oils.

Unsaturated Fats Protect the Heart.
We all need a little fat in our diet-about 25-35 % of our daily calories.But the type of fat matters.Unsaturated fats-like those found in canola,olive oil and safflower oils-lower bad cholesterol and may help raise good cholesterol.Saturated fats-like those found in desi ghee,butter,cream and palm oil and transfats (used in bakery), raise LDL cholesterol.Even good fats have calories,so eat in moderation.

Choose carbs wisely : Those high in fiber can reduce risk
of atherosclerosis.
More Beans,Fewer Potatoes.
You need carbohydrates for energy,but some do more good to your body than others.Whole grains -such as brown rice,or quinona,whole wheat pasta and beans esp. germinating moong and motth beans, have more fiber and raise only mild sugar levels.They lower risk of diabetes and high cholesterol.Other carbs like those found in white bread,white potatoes,white rice and pastries,quickly boost blood sugar levels and mayincrease the risk of type-2 diabetes.

Be active : Exercise boosts good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol.
Move it !
Even 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week (20 minutes three times a week for vigorous exercise
such as jogging) can help lower LDL "bad" cholesterol and raise HDL "good" cholesterol-although more exercise is even better.It also helps you maintain an ideal weight and reducing your chance of developing clogged arteries or veins.You don't have to exercise 30 minutes straight-you can break it up into 10 minutes increments.

Fight high cholesterol with the easiest exercise in the world.
Walk it Off.
If you are not used to exercising or
hate the thought of going to a gym-just go for a walk (3 k.m. in 30 minutes).It is easy,healthy and all you need is a good pair of shoes.Aerobic or cardiovascular exercises such as fast walking or cycling lowers risk of stroke and heart diseases,helps you loose weight,and keep your bones strong.If you are just starting out,try a 10 minute walk and gradually build up from there to 3 k.m. in 20-30 minutes.

For cardiovascular health
:Activity counts if it increases your heart rate.

Work Out Without Going to the Gym.
If exercise sounds like a dirty word to you,here is some good news : You can boost your heart health by incorporating physical activity into your day.Any kind of cardiovascular activity counts--gardening,dancing,or taking the stairs instead of elevator.Even house work such as sweeping,cleansing floors(poccha),or vigorous dusting can
qualify as exercise-as long as you are
doing serious cleaning that gets your
heart rate up and not just light dusting.
Want to lower cholesterol ? :
Make some simple changes in your life.

Take Charge of Your Health.
If you have high cholesterol,you and your doctor may be using a number of strategies to lower cholesterol levels.You may be working on your diet,loosing weight,exercising more,and may be taking cholesterol drugs.There are other activities you can take too to make sure you stay on the right track.

Watch what you order : Restaurant and party foods can
be bad for your heart.
What to Do When Eating Food
If you are eating healthy food at home to keep cholesterol in check,don't blow it when you eat out.Restaurant and party foods can be loaded with saturated fats,calories and sodium.Even healthy choices may come in super-size portions.Try these tips to stay on track : (1) Choose broiled,backed,steamed,and grilled foods -not fried.(2) Get or keep sauces on the side.(3) Practice portion control by asking for-half your meal to be boxed up before it's brought out.

Shop smart : Read the nutrition label with a heart-healthy diet in mind.

Look for Hidden Traps
A close look at nutrition label is essential for a low cholesterol diet.Try these tips : (1) Check serving size : The nutrition information may look good but does the package contain two servings instead of one ? (2) If it says "whole grain"read the ingredients.Whole wheat or whole brown rice should be the 1st choice.(3) A food with "0 gram cholesterol"could still raise your LDL cholesterol.(4) Saturated fat is the other culprit to watch for.

Relax-Lowering stress is good for heart health.
Don't Stress Out.
Chronic stress can raise B.P.,adding to your risk of atherosclerosis--which occurs when fatty plaques from bad cholesterol build up in arteries.Researches show that for some people,stress might directly increase cholesterol levels.Reduce your stress levels with relaxation exercises,meditation,yoga,pranayam or biofeedback.Focus on your breathing and take deep refreshing breaths.It is a simple stress-buster you can do anywhere.

Loose weight to feel great : Drop pounds and lower cholesterol.

When Loosing Means Winning
Losing weight is one of the best things you can do to fight cardiovascular disease.Being overweight affects the lining of your arteries,making them more prone to collect plaques from cholesterol.Losing weight-esp. belly fat which is linked to hardening of your arteries--helps raise HDL "good" cholesterol and lower the bad cholesterol.Aim to keep your body mass index (BMI)--an indicator of body fat,under 25.

Watch your numbers : Pay attention to weight ,B.P.
and cholesterol.
Follow Your Doctor's Advice.
Managing your cholesterol is a life long
process.See your doctor regularly to keep tabs on your health.Follow your doctor's recommendations on diet,exercise,and medication.Working together you can keep your heart fit,strong and smiling.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, you have such wonderful health information easy to understand and follow...I love the way you direct me to find healthy portion sizes...I will remember that with ease...From now on, I will measure portions by the size of my hand! Simply wonderful!! Thank you so much, my friend!! Hope you had a wonderful time visiting your children! I'm so happy for you! God bless you! ~Janine