Heart Health

It is no secret that heart disease is consistently on the rise in the U.S., Canada and the rest of Western society. Cardiovascular disorders, including heart disease, stroke, heart attacks, and related disorders, kill more Americans than any other diseases combined. In 1990 approximately one million Americans died from cardiovascular disease. Arteriosclerosis (which is the hardening of the arteries) is the number one cause of heart attacks and strokes. Because of unfit dietary habits, lack of exercise, and other factors, fat and cholesterol accumulate in abnormal amounts around the heart and inner walls of the arteries. This causes blood flow to slow and blood pressure to rise. Blood clotting is also a problem when the arteries are clogged which, if a clot breaks loose, can cause strokes or heart attacks according to where they end up. Heart disease is usually in an advanced stage before the problem becomes readily apparent. Therefore, prevention of heart and cardiovascular disorders should be the first goal. While heart disease is quite common in Western society, it is much less common in "primitive" societies. This is due principally to the lifestyle and dietary habits of Americans-a view long considered valid by health experts, scientists and nutritionists. Of the many dietary faults, the most common are increased intake of sugar, refined flour and simple carbohydrates, alcohol and tobacco consumption, high intake of red meat and other animal products, and a lack of dietary fiber. Other risk factors include a family history of heart disease, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, type A personality, stress, diabetes, obesity, high blood cholesterol levels, physical inactivity and coronary artery disease. So, what to do? While many people simply look for a "three-a-day" pill that will make them better, reason tells us this is utterly impossible. The follow give sound guidelines in various areas that may lead to a happy and healthy heart.
DIETThis is the area where one can most affect his of her health. Following a diet low in animal fat and refined sugars but high in fiber is highly recommended. Whole grains, almonds, fresh fruits and vegetables, a variety of legumes, skinless turkey, chicken and fish should be the main dietary elements. Brown rice, garlic, onions, olive oil, raw fruits and vegetables, sprouts, asparagus, apples, bananas, beans, buckwheat, seeds, whey powder, and yogurt are especially good for the heart. Things to avoid include caffeine, alcohol, red meat, refined carbohydrates, and white flour. Limit intake of dairy products: these contain high amounts of fat. Homogenized dairy products contain an enzyme called xanthine oxidase which is believed to cause artery damage and thus lead to arteriosclerosis. Use olive oil and canola oil when using fat. Avoid palm oil, coconut oil, peanut oil and cottonseed oil.
EXERCISE:It is important to include exercise in the daily routine. Aerobic exercise is known to help improve the heart1s pumping ability, reduce serum cholesterol levels, decrease the risk of heart disease, and reduce the risk of high blood pressure as well as many other ailments. Exercising an average of three to five days a week for thirty minutes will benefit the body. Actually any amount of exercise is beneficial for the body, so try and do something each day.

Information provided is intended to provide an electronic reference library about nutrition and health. The views expressed in this or other sections of this site, have not been independently researched or confirmed.
Updated on : 2/19/2012 6:18:52 PM
kaz@betterlife.com
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