2 Simple Principles
Food is vital to our life. Each day, we consume at least 2 to 3 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). In order to make our foods tasty and variety, condiments such as salt, sugar, pepper, chilies, etc. are added to our foods. Sometime, soft drinks, wines or beers are taken to complement our foods. Some of these condiments and the type of foods we eat everyday, if presented in large quantities, may not be good to our health.
Fat and Cholesterol
Fat and cholesterol are not the same. However, both cholesterol and saturated fats in diet may raise blood cholesterol level which may eventually cause heart disease. Therefore, it is recommended that you should take only 15 to 32g of saturated fat and less than 300mg of cholesterol per day. You should avoid fried and oily food and replace saturated fats with poly-unsaturated fats (such as some vegetable and fish oils) and mono-unsaturated fats (such as olive and canola oils).
Only 2.5g of sodium is required for our body in a day. Being the major component of salt, sodium maintains fluid balance in our body and helps our muscles, including heart muscle to relax. However, excessive sodium intake will cause fluid retention in our body and contribute to high blood pressure.
Taking too much sugar means a high calorie intake which Can lead to weight gain. So avoid or cut down soft drinks, dessert such as cream cakes, pastries, and foods with high carbohydrate.
High blood pressure can also be caused by excessive intake of alcohol. You may, however, take a unit of two each day but do keep to a safe level with some alcohol-free days.
On the other hand, consuming more fresh and high-fiber foods, and increasing intake of plant-based protein can help us maintain a healthy body.
Fiber can lower blood cholesterol. At least 20 to 35g of fiber should be taken per day. Fiber can be classified into soluble and insoluble: soluble fiber can be found in oaks, barley, dry beans, apple, orange, pear and carrot while vegetables and whole grains are good examples of insoluble fiber.
Fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables are non-processed and do not contain salt. This will limit your intake of salt.
You should replace meat with beans and bean products a few times a week. Plants do not contain cholesterol though some (such as coconut) may contain fats.
Besides diet, moderate amount of exercise can also help you to have a healthy body. Physical activity improves your heart by reducing blood pressure and enables you to control your body weight. It helps prevent and control heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.
Based on the above information, a health organization has used the easily-remembered numbers 3-5-7 to propose two simple principles that can bring you a heart-healthy lifestyle:
3-5-7 Healthy Heart Diet Principles
Highs (high in fiber, freshness, plant-based protein);
3-5-7 Healthy Heart Exercise Principles
kilometers walk (or 5000 steps) per day;
Stress and smoking can cause heart disease too, so do manage your stress level and stay away from smoking.
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