I was visiting the Hospital for a routine checkup when I picked up a note from the counter with some valuable information for heart. It is the time of the year when you have to indulge not in the cravings but a health checkup, in case you have something pending from the previous year which needs your attention you may do so and get a complete body checkup done. We could know atleast a handful of them in our family or neighbourhood who have undergone a heart surgery. Treat your heart right than be sorry later.
For a Healthy heart two very important factors are:-
- Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight
- Reducing and maintaining an appropriate blood pressure and a low cholestrol level.
Waist level for men not to exceed 38, and women not more than 34. Body weight to match according to the required height. Follow the right BMI.
General tips to helps you get started are:-
1. Be realistic
– Be in sync with your dietitian, physiotherapist and doctor and set realistic targets.
2. Ensure quantity, quality and regularity
– Quantity should be based on your lifestyle.
– Go in for small portions, small plate and small servings to begin with.
For eg – Two men of the same height and weight will need different calories depending on physical activity.
– Quality is simple home cooked balanced food. Eg – Indian thali
– Regularity is eating atleast 5-6 mini meals a day.
- Breakfast, brunch, lunch, snacks and dinner are the ideal way of day to day indulgence.
- Break them into smaller portion so that you can snack healthy throughout the day. A date or an almond is filling and can be taken after breakfast in between meals to keep you satiated.
3. Drink plenty of water or other calorie free beverages
– People sometimes confuse thirst with hunger, so you may end up eating extra calories when a glass of water is really all you needed.
4. Be choosy about nightime snacks
– A low calorie snack like a fruit or a cup of skimmed milk is healthier option to snack on.
– Avoid deep fried too salty food products like papads and pickles at night.
5. Stock your kitchen with healthy foods
– You’ll be less likely to eat junk food if you have some food such as sprouted dals, idlis, corn cob, fruits lying in the kitchen.
6. Increase your fibre intake
-Ensure your diet is rich in fresh fruit and vegetables.
– A good fibre intake also ensures you have a healthy system free from constipation.
7. Limit your fat intake, especially saturated fat
– Instead of using deep frying as a method of cooking opt for healthier options such as grilling or baking
8. Limit your salt (sodium) intake
– Remove the salt shaker from the table. Packed and processed food should be largely avoided.
9. Choose lean meats over red meats
Fish is a healthier option, through crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters should be avoided as they contain high level of fat.
10. Limit your alcohol intake
– Predefine the number of drinks and stick to the regime. Red wine is a healthier option.
– In diseases such as diabetes alcohol is contraindicative and must be totally avoided.
11. Make breakfast a mandatory habit
– A nutritious breakfast ensures a productive day and a sound start in the morning
12. Switch over to skimmed milk
– It contains lesser fat as opposed to buffalo milk but gives you the desired protein.
STAY FIT AND HEALTHY. HEALTH IS WEALTH.