Have a Heart……Keep it healthy.

With the news of South Asians…includes Indians, being at the higher risk of heart disease, its time we take a look at how to prevent it. A healthy lifestyle certainly matters. This includes not smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, daily exercise, de- stressing, regular health checks…and eating healthy.

What is eating healthy for the heart?

The DASH Diet[ Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension] encourages you to reduce the sodium in your diet and eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium. The DASH diet include lots of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. It also includes some fish, poultry and legumes, and encourages a small amount of nuts and seeds a few times a week.

You can eat red meat, sweets and fats in small amounts. The DASH diet is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and total fat. Mediterranean diet fits the DASH recommendations.With our own Indian diet, foods and cooking styles vary regionally. Hence we cannot recommend one diet as the best. It would be best to modify each one’s diet by consulting a professional dietician. But overall we need to-Use less oils and fats in cooking,Cut down on salt while cooking and later.

 Never pressure cook vegetables, we have a tendency to over cook them. They must retain crunchiness.Dairy should be skimmed or low fat.Whole grains- include millets, whole wheat, unpolished rice . Have a variety of staples at your table.Eat seasonal and regional fruits as snack daily.

Overall, reduce eating processed and packaged foods, fast foods and junk.So choosing a right snack that has whole grains, nuts seeds, and no added sugars or fats is very important.

-Deepa Kamath

[Chief Dietician]

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