Diet for Cardio-Vascular Diseases
Numerous population and health studies since the 1950s have confirmed that diet is a major force in both the cause and prevention of cardio-vascular diseases. By carefully analysing the results, researchers have identified certain risk factors that predispose people to cardiovascular diseases : heredity, advancing age and gender (pre-menopausal women have a lower risk than men and older women) are among those over which people have no control. Tobacco use tops the list of controllable risk factors. Poor dietary habits is instrumental in most other factors: they include high blood cholesterol, which promotes the buildup of fatty deposits in the coronary arteries and leads to angina and heart attacks; obesity which increases the risk of heart attack and contributes to other cardiovascular diseases; high blood pressure which can lead to a stroke and heart attack; diabetes, a disease which affects the heart, blood vessels, and other vital organs.
If unsuitable diet can promote cardio-vascualr diseases, so too can a proper diet improve one's odds against it, even in the presence of such unalterable risk factors as advancing age and family history of earlier attacks. There is nothing radical about a healthy diet for a healthy cardio-vascular system; in fact, it's the same common sense balanced regimen that protects against cancer, adult-onset diabetes, and obesity. Carbohydrates, especially such starchy foods as noodles, rice, potatoes, beans, and other legumes, breads, and cereals, along with ample fresh fruits and vegetables form the foundations of prudent diet. About 10 to 12 per cent of adi-ult calories should come from protein foods - meat, fish, poultry, egg whites, and a combination of grains and legumes. Fats, sugars, and salt should be sparingly used. A special warning about salt intake, which increases blood pressure. To reduce salt consumption, do not add salt during cooking or at the table or eat processed foods with salt added.
Dietary Guidelines are:
Eat Plenty of :
- Fresh fruits and vegetables, foods with plenty of vitamin C, beta carotene, and other anti-oxidant nutrients.
- poultry, seafood, wheat germ, and fortified cereals for vitamin E.
- Apples, oat bran, 'chira', and other foods high in soluble fibre.
Cut Down on:
- Meat, especially fatty portions.
- Eggs, whole milk, organ meats, and other high-cholesterol foods
- Fats, especially those that are saturated.
- Iron-fortified foods (unless recommended by your doctor )
- Tobacco use in any form
- Salty foods (if you have hypertension)
- Meal Planning for a Healthy Cardio-Vascular System
A good diet that will ensure a healthy heart and circulatory system can also be delicious. The emphasis should be on fresh fruits, vegetable, legumes, whole grains, and a low intake of fats, sugar and salt. The meal suggestions here are simply a guide. By choosing equivalent foods to suit your taste and prevent monotony, it is possible to plan a healthful diet that is both varied and interesting.
- Low-sugar or no sugar cereals (oats, corn flakes, rice krispies), low-fat milk, fruits, and seeds (sesame, sunflower, or pumpkin)
- Whole-wheat bread or chapatties, with 'no added sugar' jam or preserves
- Fresh fruit salad with low-fat plain yogurt
- Fruit mashed and blended with low-fat milk and plain yogurt, and a small amount of honey.
- Oatmeal with low-fat milk and topped with dried or fresh fruits.
- Whole-wheat toast with cottage cheese (chaana), fresh fruits
- Fresh vegetable soup soy crackers.
- Skinless chicken salad sandwich on whole-wheat bread.
- Skinless chicken or tuna salad dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and fresh lime juice.
- Tuna on whole wheat toast with broiled tomatoes
- Broiled fishcakes (made with white fish or sea fish) with mixed salad or steamed vegetables.
- Chicken or tuna with char-broiled vegetables served with chapatties.
- Lentil or bean salad with whole wheat bread and lettuce salad.
- Broiled or poached fish with steamed vegetables and small boiled potatoes in their skins
- Grilled beckty or sea fish with baked potato and steamed vegetables
- Chicken casserole with brown rice and steamed green vegetables.
- Pasta with tomato-based sauce and salad dressed with extra-virgin olive oil and sesame seeds.
- Broiled prawn or tuna kebabs with a salad
- Broiled vegetables brushed with extra-virgin olive oil, served with brown rice and a salad
- Baked fish with whole-wheat bread crumbs and herb (coriander leaves or mint) topping and broiled tomatoes and steamed vegetables.
- Dal to start or accompany the meal
Dessert Suggestions :
Fresh fruits; low-fat yogurt; fresh fruits topped with low-fat yogurt and sprinkled with brown sugar and broiled until caramelised; Baked apples with low-fat yogurt.
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