Your heart is set to be the center of your health. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in India. People in our country are already 3-4 times more at risk of heart disease than in western countries. There may be different types of heart disease in your body. As OnlyMyHealth celebrates World Health Day 2022 and seeks to raise awareness of issues that may affect your health, it is imperative to talk about heart health. We conducted a live session to answer all your questions about heart health.
Why is heart health important?
This is the most important question that needs to be answered before moving on to other questions about the heart. We spoke in an exclusive interview Dr. Sanjay Mittal, Senior Director – Clinical and Preventive Cardiology, Heart Institute, Medanta Hospital, Gurugram. He told us that it is important to talk about heart disease right now because the incidence of heart disease has been increasing by 20 to 25% in the last few years. People in rural areas in particular are suffering from rapid heart attacks. This is mainly due to nutritious food and following human routine. There are also many misconceptions about heart health terms such as heart attack, heart failure and cardiac arrest.
Risk of heart disease in young people
According to Dr. Mittal, Indian youth are suffering from heart disease at a very young age. Already, heart disease in people in India often occurs at a young age. Some teens develop heart disease and strokes under the age of 30. It is amazing and frightening because it affects the whole generation.
A big reason for the increased risk of heart disease in young people is the eating habits and daily routines that they follow. The increase in desk jobs and odd working hours makes it difficult for them to exercise and eat nutritious food at the same time. It is also rich in Indian food. Unhealthy food items that can pose a threat to health at a very young age.
Genetics also plays a big role in this. Most people in India suffer from heart attack at an early age because of their family history. There is also a genetic condition that causes our nerves and bodies to accumulate fat earlier than other aborigines. It can be reduced by taking care of the body from childhood.
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The cause of heart attack
- Increases the rate of body fat accumulation
- Lack of practice
- Work stress and sedentary lifestyle
- Pseudo vegetarianism means vegetarian food but with ingredients that harm your body
- Increased use of carbohydrates in the diet
- The amount of sweets eaten is high
- Smoking and tobacco use.
Diet and cardiovascular health
Diet provides fuel to your body. Like fuel, you only need to consume the number of calories needed to function. If it does not, it can accumulate in your body as fat. This accumulation of fat increases the risk of heart attack. Talking to us, Dr. Mittal also told us about bad eating habits which increase the risk of heart attack and failure.
Although the majority of the Indian population is vegetarian, the food we eat is not healthy. In Indian families, there is a wide variety of foods that are fried. These foods contain a lot of calories and carbohydrates that are not eaten by your digestive system and eventually accumulate in the nerves. Samosa, Pakora, Finger Chips, Bread Pakora, Puri etc are actually worse than eating junk food. Many foods also contain trans-fats which are extremely risky for heart attack.
Tips to keep your heart healthy
1. Exercise moderately
Physicians recommend regular moderate exercise to reduce the risk of heart disease. Doing unfamiliar exercises can actually put you at risk for heart attack. Therefore, it is important that you take in the amount of calories you have consumed. Walking, cycling, swimming and such activities can be beneficial in reducing the risk of heart disease.
2. Quit smoking
Tobacco use is a very serious problem in India. Quitting any type of tobacco greatly reduces the risk of heart failure. Tobacco use, especially in rural areas, is the leading cause of death. Many suffer from cardiac arrest due to heavy smoking in their daily routine.
3. Get regular health checkups
Go for regular health checkups to prevent diseases from affecting you. Also, if you find any signs of heart disease or heart failure, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible. If you have pain while walking or doing any work and it goes away when you rest, it is a sign of cardiovascular disease.
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4. Eat healthy, avoid sugar
A healthy heart also requires a healthy diet, complete with fruits, whole grains, vegetables and lentils. Eating a healthy diet can improve your blood pressure and cholesterol levels which can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Don’t try to get cholesterol out of the diet but reduce the calories. Try to avoid sweets or any kind of sweets added to your daily routine.
5. Maintain a healthy weight
Many people think that being overweight does not harm your health. In fact, obesity is a major cause of heart disease and cardiovascular health problems. Go for regular exercise, eat healthy food and do not consume too much sugar or empty calories. Try to lose your weight and maintain a healthy body weight that prevents you from cardiovascular disease.
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