Top 10 Healthy Heart Tips
A healthy lifestyle = a healthier heart. Take a look at these 10 things you can do to look after your heart
1. Give up smoking
If you're a smoker, quit. It's the single best thing you can do for your heart health. Smoking is known to be one of the main causes of CHD.
Just one year after giving up, your risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker.
2. Get active
Staying active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Aim to do 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity every week or about 30 minutes of activity five days a week.
3. Manage your weight
Being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease. Stick to a healthy, balanced diet low in fat and sugar, with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
4. Eat more fibre
Eat at least 30g of fibre a day to help lower your risk of heart disease. Fibre can be found in a variety of sources, from wholemeal bread, to oats and wholegrain cereals, potatoes with their skins on, and of course, plenty of fruit and vegetables.
5. Cut down on saturated fat
The level of cholesterol in your blood is raised when your diet contains too many foods that are high in saturated fat. Choose leaner cuts of meat and lower-fat dairy products like 1% fat milk.
6. Get your 5 A DAY
Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables a day. They're a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals.
7. Cut down on salt
To maintain healthy blood pressure, avoid using too much salt when cooking or at the table. Also, don’t forget to watch out for those ready-made foods which have really high salt levels. You can be more salt aware by checking food labels – a food is high in salt if it has more than 1.5g salt (or 0.6g sodium) per 100g.
Aim to eat less than 6g of salt a day in total – that's about one teaspoon.
8. Eat fish
Eat fish at least twice a week, including a portion of oily fish (such as mackerel, fresh tuna, sardines and salmon). They are also a good source of omega-3 fats, which can help protect against heart disease.
9. Drink less alcohol
Don't forget alcohol contains calories! If you are regularly drinking more than the NHS guidelines you will notice the impact on your waistline. Try to keep to the recommended daily alcohol limits to reduce the risk of serious problems with your health, including risks to your heart health.
10. Snack on nuts and seeds
By eating a mixture of unsalted nuts and seeds for snacks (in small amounts) you are adding good unsaturated fats into your diet, helping you to stay fuller for longer but also helping to lower your cholesterol level.
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