Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the world’s leading cause of death, accounting for one out of every three deaths. Cardiovascular diseases are also the leading cause of death in the Philippines, with an estimated 50,000 people dying each year.
In the United States, one person dies from cardiovascular disease every 36 seconds. Heart disease claims the lives of around 659,000 people in the United States each year, accounting for one out of every four deaths. Between 2016 and 2017, the United States spent $363 billion on heart disease.
The existence of a combination of risk factors, such as cigarette use, an unhealthy diet and obesity, physical inactivity and alcohol use, hypertension, diabetes, and a high cholesterol level, is usually the cause of heart attacks and strokes.
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Here are tips on how to take off your heart:
1. Check your blood pressure and blood sugar levels regularly.
Regularly checking your blood pressure and blood sugar is an important part of maintaining a healthy heart.
Even if they already have high blood pressure, some people do not show signs, which might harm the heart. If you have behavioral risks (unhealthy food, physical inactivity, cigarette and alcohol use), talk to your healthcare provider so they can help you plan the lifestyle changes you need to get your heart health back on track.
If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension or diabetes, work with your doctor to develop goals and take your medications regularly. Include your family and friends in your quest for a healthier heart.
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2. Healthy fats, not trans fats, should be consumed.
Fats, including saturated, polyunsaturated, and unsaturated fats, are essential in our diet. One fat we don’t need is trans fat, which has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke over time.
This is because trans fat clogs your arteries by raising your bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowering your good cholesterol (HDL).
You can enhance blood flow throughout your body by eliminating them from your diet. What exactly are trans fats? They are industrially manufactured fats that are commonly used to give flavor and texture to packaged baked products, snack foods, margarine, and fried fast food.
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3. Eat a diet that is good for your heart.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts are all part of a heart-healthy diet. Reduce your intake of salty meats like ham, bacon, tocino, sausage, and hotdogs, as well as salty foods like dried fish. Instead of using high-sodium condiments like soy sauce, fish sauce, bagoong, and ketchup season your dish with calamansi juice and vinegar.
Processed, canned, and quick meals should all be avoided. Sweetened foods such as doughnuts, cookies, and the like should be replaced with fresh fruit and vegetables, and sweetened drinks sodas and sweetened juices should be replaced with water if you’re thirsty.
4. Maintain appropriate dental care, including flossing your teeth daily.
Although patients with periodontal (gum) disease generally have the same risk factors for heart disease, dental health is an excellent indicator of overall health, including heart health.
Many studies have demonstrated that bacteria in the mouth that contribute to the development of gum disease can enter the bloodstream and produce an increase in C-reactive protein, a marker for blood vessel inflammation. As a result of these changes, you may be at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
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5. Lose weight if you’re overweight.
A body mass index (BMI) of 25 or more is considered overweight or obese. On the other hand, central obesity, also known as adiposity, is defined as a waist circumference of more than 80 cm for women and more than 90 cm for men. A large waist circumference indicates more intra-abdominal fat and is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Reduce your daily calorie intake by 500 calories, which will result in an average weight loss of half to practically one kilogram per week.
6. Sleep well.
Sleep is crucial to maintaining a healthy heart. No matter your age or other health practices, not getting enough sleep may put you at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease.
People who slept less than six hours per night were nearly twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack as those who slept six to eight hours per night, according to a study of 3,000 adults over the age of 45.
Sleep deprivation is thought to disturb underlying health issues and biological processes, such as blood pressure and inflammation, according to researchers.
7. Increase your weekly physical activity time to at least 2.5 hours.
Physical activity aids in the control of blood pressure, cholesterol, and other blood lipids, as well as weight loss.
It is preferable to engage in some physical activity than to engage in none at all. Inactive people can begin with small amounts of physical activity (even as part of their everyday routine) and progressively increase the duration, frequency, and intensity of their workouts.
Adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week (e.g., climbing stairs, dancing, or doing domestic activities that cause a small increase in heart rate).
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8. Don’t stay in one place for too long.
A recent study has revealed that, regardless of how much activity you get, remaining sitting for long periods is detrimental to your health. This is bad news for those who spend their days sitting at a desk.
Researchers discovered that individuals who sat the most had a 147 percent increase in cardiovascular events and a 90 percent increase in death due to these events when they looked at the combined data of several observational studies that included nearly 800,000 participants.
Furthermore, sitting for lengthy periods (particularly while flying) raises the risk of deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot).
9. Tobacco should be avoided.
Tobacco usage and secondhand smoke exposure are both detrimental to your heart. Quitting smoking is the greatest present you can give your heart in terms of health, with immediate and long-term benefits such as living up to ten years longer.
The risk of heart disease is nearly half that of a smoker after a year of quitting. After quitting smoking for fifteen years, the risk of heart disease is the same as it is for non-smokers.
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10. Alcohol should be avoided.
More than 200 diseases and injuries have been related to alcohol usage, including cardiovascular ailments. While most Filipinos say they only consume alcohol once in a while, binge drinking is very frequent in the country. Because there is no such thing as a safe level of alcohol use, it is best to avoid it altogether to protect your heart.