I spent dinner with a friend last evening and amongst some of the topics we talked about was Heart Health. I should know as my dad passed on, due to heart failure. It was not a heart attack. His heart just could take the load anymore, it just gave up.
My friend gave me some reading materials, which he happened to have with him and the first paragraph read " Heart Disease affects about 9million adults, killing one every 37 seconds in the US. It is the number 1 killer in Malaysia and number 2 killer in Singapore. What research has shown is that 90 percent of heart diseases can be prevented by changing one's diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking.
Currently, I am working on a personal project in collaboration with a few people to come out with a 3 prong approach to a better health, maintaining a desired weight and fat levels without having to starve (I for one love food to much to ever want to give up on eating all those yummilicious foods), with an exercise routine that you can incorporate into your daily life (without having to pay fees to join a club, if you don't want to or have the extra money to throw away) and an overall good health program.
These are just a few things to think about in the mean time.
1. Carbohydrates is something you need, in order to ensure a balance diet. But you can choose whole grains instead of refined ones. Whole grains such as brown rice, wheat, whole-wheat pastas contains more fibre which slows the conversion of starch to glucose and fats. Desserts and pastries which are normally made of refined flour often contain a lot of hidden fats and unwanted sugar.
2. Saturated Fats vs Unsaturated Fats. Saturated fats leads to plaque buildups in the arteries. Cut down on butter, sour cream, margarine, fatty meats. Instead go for olive oil or canola oil which contains healthy monounsaturated fats.
3. High quality proteins. These provides the essential amino acids necessary for a healthy heart. Natural protein comes in the form of soy, legumes and marine fish.
4. Vegetables and Fruits. Eat vegetables and fruits in as many color as you can. These color vegetables and fruits are a natural source of phytonutrients that neutralizes free radicals in our bodies and prevents premature aging of the heart, the arteries and the cells.
5. Supplements. In our fast paced lives, we will find it hard sometimes to have all the necessary food types to ensure a balanced diet, which is essential to maintain a healthy and fit body. Supplements like fish oil and vitamins as red yeast rice, omega-3 fatty acids and multivitamins do provide valuable benefits for lowering cholesterol and protecting the heart. Make sure that you get them from reliable manufacturers that ensure safety, efficacy and integrity.