Despite advances in medical treatments, cardiovascular disease remains one of the leading causes of death in the UK. However, you may be surprised to learn that there are several simple lifestyle changes that can significantly improve your heart health.
Research suggests that incorporating just a few minor adjustments to your daily routine can make a real difference. To reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, here you’ll discover some surprising yet effective ways to keep your heart healthy.
Prioritise healthy snacking
Contrary to popular belief, snacking can be good for your health. Switching to healthy snacks like nuts can also do wonders for your heart.
According to Gaynor Bussell, a spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, walnuts in particular are an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids. These have been shown to reduce inflammation in the arteries. Nuts are also generally beneficial for heart health as they help to lower cholesterol levels and keep you feeling fuller for longer.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that nuts are high in calories, so it’s best to consume them in moderation. A handful of nuts per day is a good guideline to follow to ensure you reap their health benefits without overindulging.
Don’t lose touch with friends
Research conducted by social psychologist John Cacioppo at the University of Chicago, suggests that loneliness can have negative impacts on heart health. According to Cacioppo, feelings of loneliness are linked to the hardening of arteries, leading to high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease.
Loneliness is also known to raise levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, which can interfere with circulation and cause the heart to work harder. Even fruit flies that are isolated have been shown to have worse health and a shorter lifespan than those that interact with others.
So, if you want to keep your heart healthy, don’t lose touch with your friends. Aim to enjoy some social interaction each week if you can.
Switch to healthy cooking methods
To promote heart health, it’s best to avoid frying or cooking foods in fat, such as butter or ghee. This applies to all types of food, including meat, fish, and vegetables. Opting for cooking methods such as baking, grilling, steaming, boiling, or poaching, can help to reduce your intake of unhealthy fats and promote a healthier diet.
Adding salt, cheese, or cream to meals for flavour can contribute to high blood pressure and other health issues. Instead, consider using spices, herbs, and lemon juice. By making simple changes to the way you prepare and season your food, you can enjoy delicious, healthy meals that are beneficial for your heart and overall well-being.
Limit your alcohol consumption
Drinking certain types of alcohol in moderate amounts can have a positive impact on your heart health. It can raise levels of ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL) and help prevent blood clots.
However, drinking excessive alcohol can lead to a range of health problems, including damage to the heart muscles, abnormal heart rhythms, liver disease, and high blood pressure. Cutting back your alcohol consumption is therefore more likely to be beneficial to your heart health.
If you are worried about your heart health, book an appointment with Dr Konrad Grosser today. He can assess your current heart health, and help determine the best course of treatment for any issues you might be experiencing.