EXCLUSIVE: This World Heart Day, India's leading nutritionist shares ideas on how to live a heart healthy life

Updated on Sep 29, 2021 10:49 PM IST  |  60K
   
EXCLUSIVE: This World Heart Day, India's leading nutritionist shares ideas on how to live a heart healthy life
EXCLUSIVE: This World Heart Day, India's leading nutritionist shares ideas on how to live a heart healthy life
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Diet and lifestyle modification can lower the risk of heart disease and factors that cause heart disease, such as obesity, blood pressure and high cholesterol, as well as other chronic health issues, such as type 2 diabetes. A balanced diet is the key to heart health nutrition. Fad diets may not provide the necessary nutrient balance. Here are few tips that we work along with our clients at QUA Nutrition Clinics.

Choose healthy fats
It is critical to choose the right type of fats to help protect your heart health. Limiting your intake of trans and saturated fats is important to lower blood cholesterol and the risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to the accumulation of plaques in your arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis, which increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Replace saturated fats with mono and polyunsaturated fats. One can find these in nuts, seeds and olive oil. Do MUFA & PUFA gene test to see if it works well with your body.

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Eat to your heart’s content
Portion size is as important as choosing the right foods. Even healthy foods in the wrong quantity will eventually harm you. Portion size must be defined in concurrence with your health parameters, blood reports, body composition and objectives & goals. A good way to start is by measuring foods through measuring cups and spoons.
 
Wholegrains
Fibre and other nutrients in whole grains help manage blood pressure and heart health. Make your diet heart-healthy by replacing refined grains with whole grains. Add whole grains such as steel-cut oats, barley and brown rice to your diet.  I suggest no refined flour and do a food allergy test to see if you’re allergic to any grains. I believe in the new age GRAIN is a drain on your body as we no longer need high carbs intake like our ancestors.

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Fruits & Veggies
When clients visit me at first, I see very few colours on their plates. My first step towards changing the way they eat is to get them feats on different fruits and vegetables. Apart from being healthy alternatives and nutritionally rich food sources, fruits and veggies also help cut back on calorie intake. Eat fruits fresh, avoid the ones that come as a flavoured food item with high sugar. For those on the heavier side, I say avoid fruits and stick to vegetables. No FRUIT Juices as they are not beneficial for those looking to maintain a healthy weight. Eat a Fruit. Juice a Veggie!

Watch your salt intake  
Excessive salt consumption can result in high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Moderate salt intake is an essential part of a heart-healthy nutrition plan. Much of the salt that we eat now comes from our convenience of eating processed and canned foods. So limit intake of junk foods. Another way is to use less salt during cooking and at the food table.

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Read the labels
It’s important to be aware of the foods on your grocery list. At times the branding on the food packaging can con you into believing that you are eating healthy food. It might not offer the health benefits as mentioned on the pack or there might be more to it than projected. Take nutritionists to help to identify the best foods for your heart health.

Planning your nutrition with a qualified nutritionist can help you identify the best foods and strategies to overcome your medical condition. A nutritionist can guide you on the right path and make a diet strategy for you keeping your heart in mind.

RYAN QUICK ACTION POINT

  • Do a heart profile blood test which includes homocysteine and c reactive protein along with lipoprotein a and lipoprotein b.
  • Do glucose and diabetic blood check as sugar makes cholesterol stick and that causes heart blocks
  • Add dark chocolate 80% and above as this protects the heart
  • Walnuts should become your best friend as its high in omega3 which protects the blood vessels
  • Do a blood test that determines your omega 6:omega 3 blood levels. A ratio of 3:1 is said to be best. Most people with heart disease have ratios of 50:1 and above. By knowing this you can change your diet to help you move your nutrition in a heart safe zone.

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About the author: Ryan Fernando - India’s leading Celebrity & Sports Nutritionist

ALSO READ: World Heart Day 2021: Look out for these warning signs of a heart attack

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