Watch out! Are you at Risk of having Heart Disease or Stroke?


Each year, about 17.5 million lives are claimed by the world’s largest killer: heart disease and stroke. If you thought that this is only affecting people from the age group of 60 years and above then think again.

It could also happen to you, regardless of any age.

Worldwide, heart disease has become more prevalent among the younger generation with a significant risk in both males and females. Studies have shown that the main cause can be attributed to poor lifestyle choices by young working adults in urban cities. This group of people lead increasingly sedentary lifestyles which are typically coupled with unhealthy eating habits and significantly prominent work-related stress. All the aforementioned aspects are contributing factors to occurance of heart-related diseases.

Risk Factors

There are several risk factors for cardiovascular diseases; some of which cannot be changed such as age, family history and ethnicity. Still, there are many risk factors that can be treated/controlled such as:

·        Exposure to tobacco (smoking)

·        High blood pressure (hypertension)

·        Physical inactivity

·        Obesity (BMI above 30)

·        Uncontrolled diabetes

·        Uncontrolled stress and anger

·        Unhealthy diet (intake of high cholesterol foods)

·        Medication that provokes hypertension

 

Save your heart: Prevention is best  

A lot of things can to be done in order to reduce the risk of heart disease. Most people don’t realize that small changes could lead to a better and healthier lifestyle. A well-balanced diet being one of the most integral parts. Proper consumption of the food pyramid elements such as appropriate amounts of carbohydrates and proteins as well as sizeable portions of fruits and vegetables would help in maintaining a healthy diet. This in turn would maintain cholesterol levels and lower the risk for high blood pressure.

Mono-unsaturated fats are a healthy alternative to the "bad" fats that you typically find in most processed foods. Consumption of this healthier alternative would lower the potential of heart disease and stroke. Oils rich in mono-unsaturated fats are also good sources of Vitamin E which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants may help prevent damage to the body's cells as well as provide protection against serious diseases including heart disease and cancer.

Examples of food high in mono-unsaturated fats include:

·       Wheat germ oil

·       Sunflower seeds

·       Almonds

·       Olive oil

 ·       Peanuts

·       Macadamia nuts

·       Hazelnuts

·       Avocados

All it takes are small changes to one’s daily eating choices which can have a greater impact on your overall health in the long term. Awareness on heart disease is important and perhaps the only way in saving unnecessary lives lost to the disease. So, are you aware of it today? 

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