This Saturday 29th September 2012 is World Heart Day.
A day dedicated raising awareness of the world’s biggest killer, Cardio Vascular Diseases (CVD).
CVD is a name given to disorders of the heart & blood vessels which include Heart Disease, Stroke & hypertension.
In Northern Ireland 2010 there were 4476 deaths caused by CVD, a high figure given that 80% of CVD is behaviour related.
Behavioural risks include smoking, increased blood pressure & being overweight and something we can do something about.
- Exercising regularly.
- Maintaining a healthy weight.
- Eating a healthy balanced diet.
- Not smoking.
Eating for Heart Health
- Aim for 2 portions of fish per week, one of which should be oily e.g. salmon, trout & mackerel. Oily fish is a great source of omega 3, a fatty acid which helps to protect your heart.
- Eat whole grains & high fibre foods. Foods such as wholegrain bread, breakfast cereals, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, beans, oats, & lentils contain soluble fibre which can help to lower cholesterol.
- Limit your salt intake aim for no more than 6g salt per day. Remember most of the salt we eat is already in the foods we buy so check the labels. High intake of salt is linked to high blood pressure.
- Don’t drink alcohol excessively. This has been linked to increased formation of blood clots & increased blood pressure.
- Limit your total fat intake in particular saturated fats & trans fats. This will help to keep blood cholesterol down.
Shopping tips for Heart Health
- Use traffic light labels to help you identify foods which are moderate (amber) & high (red) in salt, saturated fats & total fats. These foods should be eaten in moderate amounts. Aim for foods with more green lights.
- Go for wholegrain varieties of breakfast cereals, bread & past. Choose brown rice instead of white.
- Remember your 2 portions of fish.
- Include lots of fruit and vegetables in your shopping. These are a great source of fibre as well as vitamins and minerals.
- Never go shopping on an empty stomach or you are likely to be drawn to high fat/calorie foods.
If it is an area you want to learn more about or need assistance in making those permanent changes then please get in touch, follow us on facebook and twitter.
Information checked & correct on 16th May 2018.