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Prevent Heart Disease with this Essential Health Advice

Did you know that the single biggest killer in the UK is coronary heart disease? You could have high blood pressure or cholesterol without being aware of it. We’ve all heard that it can be the ‘silent killer’; some of us just don’t recognise the signs detailed below.

Along with the US, the UK is one of the leading countries for obesity. A third of all children in the UK are obese or overweight, putting them at greater risk of heart disease in the future.

Fortunately we are beginning to recognise the effects and causes of heart disease and are taking action. Deaths from heart disease fell by 38,000 in the UK between 2000 and 2007. Over half of these saved lives were due to reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

What is Coronary Heart Disease?

The coronary arteries supply your heart with oxygen-rich blood; this is where heart disease starts. When ignored the arteries become blocked with fatty deposits, making the artery narrower. This makes it even more difficult to deliver the oxygen-rich blood to your heart. The lack of blood causes angina - discomfort and pain in the chest are symptoms of this. Ignoring angina allows blood clots to form; when a piece of fatty deposit in your artery breaks off. If the clot blocks the coronary artery, the heart is then starved and this will lead to a heart attack.

You are susceptible to Coronary Heart Disease if:

  • You are overweight/obese
  • Eat too much salt
  • Don’t perform enough exercise
  • Lack of fruit and vegetables in your diet
  • If you smoke
  • Drink too much alcohol
  • If your caffeine consumption is high

Unfortunately, you may be prone to heart disease if you have any of these attributes:

  • A blood relative that has high blood pressure
  • African or Caribbean descent
  • If you are 65 or older

There are ways you can reduce the risk of heart disease. These include changing a few of your lifestyle habits. Looking to change your habits doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself! Our blog on 6 Tips to Boost Your Immunity this Winter has some great ideas.

Ways you can prevent heart disease

It’s all very simple really, just take one or all of these steps:

Eat a balanced diet

We’ve all heard that we need a healthy balanced diet and it’s true! Your diet should be low in saturated/trans fats and high in fruit and veg. Five hand sized portions of fruit and veg per day is enough. Try choosing those that are vibrant in red colours as these reduce the risk of heart disease. Fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, beans and seeds are high in the protein, vitamins and minerals that are important for your body to function properly.

Try to do 30 minutes of exercise a day

It’s all good and well having a balanced diet, but if you are adopting the life of a couch potato you won't see many benefits! Staying active is incredibly important and 150 minutes of cardio activity a week is the recommendation. That's just half an hour of walking, 5 days a week! Being in the outdoors in the fresh air can really benefit your stress levels and well being, not just your heart. Exercising regularly helps you sleep better and focus more in your daily life.

Pay attention to your weight

We know that some people can find it difficult dealing with their weight. A healthy weight can really help cut back your risk of heart disease by lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol. Not only is maintaining a healthy weight great for your heart; if you lose just 10% of your body weight, you will automatically improve your pelvic floor muscles by up to 50%!

Monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol

If you've been told that you have high blood pressure, or suspect that you might have it, then it's important to check it regularly. This is easy to do with a blood pressure monitor like the Beurer BM40 Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor. It's a good idea for all of us to find out our levels of cholesterol - this is easy to do at home with a test like the CholesterinCHECK Cholesterol Test.

Comment below with your own health tips!

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16 thoughts on “Prevent Heart Disease with this Essential Health Advice”

  • Helen Battle
    Helen Battle 03/02/2015 at 11:15

    My husband suffers from high cholesterol so this would be a great prize to win to help him get on the right track

  • bev

    My cholesterol and blood pressure went down when I cut the salt - such a small change but made a difference.

  • Diane Hicklin
    Diane Hicklin 03/02/2015 at 13:15

    I always have porridge oats for breakfast and walk the dog for at least an hour every day

  • Tracey Peach
    Tracey Peach 03/02/2015 at 18:27

    Try to eat less fat on a daily basis

  • Hazel Rea

    Only eat healthy fats and have a walk (or some other exercise) every day.

  • janine atkin

    eat less fat and exercise more

  • Ruth Harwood
    Ruth Harwood 04/02/2015 at 09:54

    Little changes can mean a lot - change to lower fat, less processed foods and you'll see the difference xx

  • claire griffiths
    claire griffiths 08/02/2015 at 00:14

    try to reduce you intake of salt and exercise more

  • Steve Mullen
    Steve Mullen 08/02/2015 at 06:14

    anyone with a family history of heart disease should have a tester just for safety and piece of mind

  • Rachel Graves
    Rachel Graves 08/02/2015 at 09:11

    This would be a great prize as high cholesterol runs in my family.

    My tip would be: try to eat as much fresh fruit and veg as possible - an easy way to do this is to add a handful of salad leaves to every meal.

  • Spencer Wright
    Spencer Wright 08/02/2015 at 12:28

    Lots of walking & fresh air &, as a bonus, you get to see some beautiful countryside!

  • Eleanor Powell
    Eleanor Powell 08/02/2015 at 17:41

    I no longer add salt to anything when I am cooking, steam veg rather than boil it and it tastes better!

  • Jennifer Deavall
    Jennifer Deavall 08/02/2015 at 21:12

    Drink an anti-cholesterol drink every morning.

  • Erica Price

    Add vegetables to every meal

  • Natalie Crossan
    Natalie Crossan 09/02/2015 at 08:58

    People think it's all about adding less fat, it's really not. Fat is essential to our diets, my Mum eats tonnes of fat and she's not only a stick, her cholesterol is low and her health is better than ever. It's about cutting out man-made refined rubbish. Sugar is the enemy!

  • Kim W

    Eat a good diet low in saturated fats and refined foods like sugar etc.