Eating for a healthy heart

Did you know that almost one in six men and one in ten women in the UK will die from coronary heart disease ? So why not make 2017 the year that you take care of your heart’s health?

Giving up smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet and being active are all ways that you can help look after your heart.

For ideas of how to quit, see the section on the Benenden website on giving up smoking. There are also plenty of ideas for getting fit here.

But what about a healthy diet – how easily can you adapt your eating habits to ensure you’re helping your heart?

According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), everyone should aim to eat a well-balanced diet. It warns against “faddy crash diets that may not provide the balance of nutrients you need”.

Food groups

It is a good idea to think of food in categories. When trying to eat for a healthy heart, it’s advisable to eat:

The lowdown on fats

For a healthy heart, getting your fat facts right is vital. Aim to:

Shake up your salt intake

Modern convenience foods are all too often high in salt. Eating too much salt can increase our risk of developing high blood pressure, which can lead to coronary heart disease or strokes. For most people, it’s important to keep an eye on salt levels, as 75% of the salt we eat comes from everyday foods such as cereals and bread. Avoid adding salt to dishes and look for low-salt recipes.

And don’t forget alcohol

If you enjoy alcohol, it’s important to stay within the new recommended guidelines, as too much can lead to a host of issues, including increased risk of heart disease.

For more information:

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