Your heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout your body and supplying nutrients and oxygen to the tissues. For proper functioning of your body, it is essential to keep your heart healthy. However, over time, a number of underlying causes and conditions affect your heart health.
Here are a few factors that impact your heart in one way or the other –
Cholesterol – The first thing you need to know about cholesterol is that it is of two types – good and bad. Bad cholesterol (LDL) found in dairy products, red meat, and eggs can clog your arteries that feed your brain and heart, thus, putting you at risk of stroke and heart attack.
Get a blood test done to know your cholesterol levels. If it is high, then consult a doctor and switch to a low-fat diet that will lower your ‘bad cholesterol’.
High blood pressure – The excessive pressure and damage resulting from high blood pressure causes the coronary arteries to become narrow, and slowly leads to plaque build up – a process known as atherosclerosis. As the arteries thicken with plaque, blood clots form. Due to a blocked artery, the blood flow through the heart muscle gets interrupted, starving the muscle of nutrients and oxygen. This ultimately leads to a heart attack.
Monitor your blood pressure and understand what the reading means. Adopt adequate measures to keep your blood pressure below 130 mm/Hg (Systolic) and under 80 mm/Hg (Diastolic).
Blood sugar levels – High blood sugar, over time, can injure the blood vessels and the nerves controlling them and your heart. The higher your blood glucose levels and the longer you suffer from diabetes, the higher the chances of developing heart disorders.
Exercise and a low-fat diet that limits sugar intake can help lower blood sugar levels and put you at a lesser risk of heart ailments resulting from diabetes.
Smoking –Tobacco present in cigarettes contract the blood vessels, and thus, smoking increases your chances of developing heart ailments.
If you want to live a healthy life, quit smoking today.
Excessive bodyweight – Excessive body fat, especially around the belly, puts you at risk of heart diseases. Being overweight or obese puts a strain on the heart muscles and the heart has to work hard to pump blood. This, in turn, spikes up blood pressure, which contributes to heart diseases.
Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body weight.
Consult a doctor and discuss your goals for blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Ask for a healthy diet plan and stay active to battle these underlying conditions affecting your heart health.