Cardiovascular Disease

An estimated 17.3 million people die of cardio vascular diseases (CVD), every year globally and almost 80% of the deaths occur in low to middle income families. Now, what are these cardio vascular diseases? These are diseases of the heart or blood vessels caused by narrowing of the blood vessels of the heart by small fatty lumps called atheroma. This can lead to conditions like angina, heart attack and heart failure. There are certain factors which can cause these fatty lumps, and are known as risk factors. Some of them are preventable and others may not always be so. Other treatable risk factors include hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes and kidney diseases.

 

The preventable risk Lifestyle factors are:

 

  • Unhealthy diet: A healthy diet can go a long way in preventing the risk of these diseases. There is strong evidence to prove that a healthy balanced diet right from child hood can be protective against cardiac diseases.  A healthy diet would comprise at least 5-7 portions of fruits and vegetables combined, moderate amounts of cereals which should be whole grains and legumes and limiting animal fats like butter, ghee or cream. Non vegetarians will do good by sticking to the lean meats like chicken, fish and eggs (preferably egg white).
  • Salt :  Intake of salt, directly or indirectly can reduce the risk of CVD problems considerably. An intake of not more than 5 grams, i.e. a tsp. of salt is adequate enough to maintain a healthy level. Indirect sources like highly salted foods, processed foods, bakery items, pickles, papad etc. should be avoided in excess.

 

  • Alcohol:  As per the Heart Foundation. U.K., moderate amount of drinking alcohol can be safe but higher levels can definitely cause problems.

 

  • Being Overweight or obese: The risk of CVD increases with increase in weight of more than 10% -20% of the expected. Abdominal obesity, meaning excess fat deposition on the tummy can proportionately increases risk factors.   As per recommended standards, waist measurements of more than 92 cms for Asian men and more than 78 cms for women is a significant health risk.

 

  • Lack of physical activity: People performing minimum of 30 minutes a day of outdoor physical activity have a lower risk of developing CVD compared to sedentary people. Moderate physical activity includes brisk walking, cycling, swimming, jogging etc.

 

Some of the non preventable risk factors not in our control are:

 

  • Hereditary factors, meaning having a close family member like a brother or father who might have developed a heart disease before the age of 55 years, or mother or sister who might have developed a heart problem before the age of 65 years.

 

  • Gender: Males have a higher risk of developing CVD.

 

  • Age : Increasing age increase the risk factors.

 

  • Ethnic Group: Population form the Asian continent is more likely to develop CVD as compared to their western counter parts.

At this clinic you will be counseled regarding how best you can plan your daily eating pattern and make the right choices  of various foods which will help you maintain a healthy disease free life ahead.