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Beat bad fats to prevent heart disease

Vector image of heart and a pulse graph.
Rithika Rajgopal
Feb 21, 2024
3 minutes

You're probably aware of the widespread prevalence of heart disease in our country. However, it's essential to note that your diet significantly impacts your heart disease risk. Pay particular attention to harmful fats, like saturated and partially hydrogenated trans fats, as they can disrupt your cholesterol levels. Addressing this aspect of your diet is crucial for maintaining optimal heart health.
Image showing fast and junk foods.
Did you know? According to WHO, cardiovascular ailments could cost India around $237 billion in healthcare expenditure. Research indicates that keeping trans fatty acid intake below 1% of total calories is crucial. Consuming 2-3 grams increases coronary heart disease risk by 21%, and over 5 grams raises the likelihood by 25%. For guidelines on safeguarding yourself, read on:

  • Avoid or limit your consumption of processed foods such as cakes, pastries, takeaway meals etc. which contain high amounts of saturated fats that can play havoc with your cholesterol levels and thereby invite heart disease.
  • Completely avoid foods containing artificially produced trans fats like baked and fried fast foods since these are the main culprit behind the onset of heart diseases and try to limit your consumption of red meats.
  • Do not consume too much butter, certain oils and margarine spreads etc. and keep your intake within the standard recommended limits as these also contain bad fats.
  • For improving your dietary patterns set yourself small and achievable goals. Have these foods only as an occasional treat in moderate quantities not more than once a month.
  • Do not buy foods if you see that their labels state that these contain hydrogenated oils. Steer clear of all kinds of processed meat products like sausages and before cooking your meat remove the skin along with as much fats as you can off it.
  • Replace foods with high fat content with more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables and go for dairy products like skimmed low-fat milk etc. You should have a bowl of yoghurt daily instead of fast foods if you want to avoid heart disease.

Image showing healthy foods.

  • Include healthy foods like avocado, olive oils , pulses, beans and legumes in your diet to improve your heart health and negate the ill-effects of unhealthy fats.
  • Finally, consult an expert dietician and fitness professional to formulate the diet chart and exercise routine that suits you best and follow it consistently.

Remember that your heart health is one of the most important factors responsible for the quality of your future life the next time when you feel like buying that packet of chips or burger. Don't let your unhealthy diet affect your heart and turn your life upside down!! Start setting   your health goals and live up to them now!!

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