Article on World Heart Day – 29th September 2013
by Dr. Geeta Dharmatti, president, Indian Dietic Association, Pune chapter.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” ― Benjamin Franklin
Initially, I used to wonder why these innumerable days are celeberated. Then, I personally felt that it is because of these days we have awareness for the same. My Nutritional Needs would like to highlight such days and create an awareness for the same.
In 2000 ,to inform people around the globe that heart disease and stroke are the worlds leading cause of death, By 2030, it is expected thar 23 million people will die from CVD annually.
Theme for World Heart Day 2013:
This year’s theme address to importance of life-course approach to the prevention and control of cardiovascular disease (CVD) with focus on women and children. This is to highlight, what actions can be taken through a persons life to reduce their risk of CVD.
Changing eating habits or modification of lifestlye can kick-start your way towards healthy heart:
As a Nutritionist we always feel that an individual realises that eating certain foods can increase your heart risk, it is often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine tune diet.
These are few tips for your healthy heart:
- Control Your Portion Size:
How much you eat is just as important or rather more important than what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking seconds and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to eating more calories, fat and cholesterol. Eating more of low calorie , nutrient rich foods such as fruits and veggies and less of , processed, packaged, sodium rich , can shape your heart and waistline.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables:
Plant foods are fiber rich which also are colourful. Make it a point to eat 7-8 portions of these in day. Seek your nutritionist help to adjust the same in your diet. Colours are important part of nutrition as they are rich in antioxidant. Try to avoid Canned, Packed or Frozen fruits and vegetables.
- Eat unprocessed Whole grains:
Inclusion of grains like wheat, jowar, bajra, ragi etc will help to regularise your energy levels and heart health. Bakery products should be rare item. Sugar loaded grains to be avoided. It is a good idea to enrich your grain with barley or flaxseed to get extra nutrients.
- Know your good fat in the diet:
Animal fats to be avoided to the larger extent. Eat more of n-3 rich foods as nuts, sprouts, than animal fat like whole milk , meat cheese etc. Know the cholesterol, saturated fat and transfat in the food before you eat. Best way to reduce saturated and transfat in your diet is limit the amount of solid fats butter,dalda while cooking.
Understand the food label before you buy and eat. Changing your cooking oils is a good idea. Seek your nutrionist help to calculate the right proportion and nature of fat in your diet. Fat is important for ones health but choosing the right ratio of fatty acids like omega6/omega 3 will give you a healthy heart. Fish is good alternative to include in diet 200 gm of fish /week helps us to achieve the right ratio. Prefer river fishes to sea food
- Choose Low-fat Protein Sources:
Proteins are important part of ones diet. Efforts should be taken to understand the amount of protein needs for an individual. Choose low fat/ good fat proteins like fish, chicken, egg. Eat more of plant protein: legumes, beans and sprouts will give fiber and proteins in diet.
- Need to Understand the salt/sodium requirement and intake:
Healthy adults should not have more than 2300mg of sodium in a day ( about a teaspoon). High amount of salt comes from canned or processed foods and ready to eat foods. Awareness should be brought to know the sodium content of the packed food which you eat and limit the salt. To neutralise high intake of outside food include fruits and vegetables serving to 10 per day.
- Plan you day ahead:
Create your food journal by planning all the above actions for your healthy heart. Selection of food emphasing on vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Watch your portion sizes and add variety to menu choices. This will ensure that you will get all the nutrients.
- Allow yourself an occasional treat:
Allow yourself an indulgence every now and then. You can have disciplined weekdays and bingy weekends. If overindulgence is the exception, rather than rule, you’ll balance things out over the long term. What’s important is that you eat healthy foods most of the time.
- Physical activity:
Be physically active every day. Research has shown that getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity on 5 or more days of the week can help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and keep your weight at a healthy level. Apart from daily exercise habit, look for Non-Energy Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) , taking 10,000 steps a day, Increased mobilisation throughout the day will also give your good physical stress.
- Manage Stress:
Studies have noted relationship between Coronary Heart Disease and Stress in persons life may affect the risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Teach body to manage stress. This will be achieved by indulging in an activity which distress, meditation and sports or outdoor activity.
We wish you to be the change and lead and example for the discipline and feel good always.
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
– Thomas Elva Edison.