The main cause of premature death is the development of cardiovascular diseases. The way of living, mostly the nutrition has a leading role in the development of such diseases.
Although there are threatening risk factors, which we cannot influence, we can have effect however on the factors related to our way of living, e.g.: amount of fat, cholesterol, salt, amount of fibre taken in daily.
The simplified figure of healthy nutrition is the nutritional guide, which has 3 typical forms: house, pyramid or rainbow type. We explain the pyramid type.
The base of the pyramid consists of foods that need to be a consumed in the biggest proportion. Cereals and foods made of cereals (of whole grain) belong to this group.
On the second level are the vegetables, vegetable dishes and fruits. It is suggested to eat from these 3-5 times a day to maintain our health.
Foods rich in protein are placed on the 3rd level of the pyramid, e.g.: meat, fish, milk, milk products and eggs.
On the top of the pyramid are the sugary foods. It’s best to eat the least out of these to protect our health.
In several nutritional guides egg is not listed in either of these levels because of the fact that it might increase the blood’s bad cholesterol. According to a study carried out by EUFIC (European Union Food Informational Council), the blood cholesterol is increased mainly by the quantity and quality of consumed fat and the cholesterol intake has a much lesser effect on it. On the other hand, egg is a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals.
Besides nutrition, vitamins and minerals that supply the body with energy, the body needs water as well. 2-2, 5 liters of liquid is needed, primarily in the form of water, mineral water or juices.
Unprocessed or cooked?
Besides choosing the right kind of foods we have to care about the method of intake, aiming to have the most possible amount of nutriment taken in. So we have to consider to eat our food either unprocessed or cooked. Both methods have its advantages and disadvantages. Let’s see some tips which help us find the optimal solution:
- When we have the choice, it’s best to eat vegetables and fruits unprocessed (fresh and ripe) because this will preserve the whole food value.
- If you have no unprocessed foods available, instead of tinned food, choose the frozen foods.
- Decrease the amount of fat by using less dressing rich in mayonnaise.
- When you boil the vegetables, don’t waste the water in which the valuable vitamins and minerals are.
- Potatoes are suggested to be boiled, baked with its peel, or pleated instead of cooking in oil.
- Instead of white rice use brown rice, which contains more fibre (the only disadvantage of boiling brown rice is that it needs more water and more time).
How to decrease cholesterol
It is an essential question how much fat we use to prepare our food, because it has effect on the cholesterol level of our body. To decrease the amount of fat, instead of frying, cook in kitchen film, crockery, micro, on grill or boil the food. As an effect of bad cholesterol, there can be a thickening plaque layer on the wall of blood vessels which impedes the flood of blood. This might increase blood pressure and the risk of heart diseases.
The juice of pomegranate is a natural panacea, which protects from the increase of cholesterol and the development of plaque layers - drinking regularly the juice of pomegranate decreases the thickness of plaque layers in the wall of the blood vessels by 30 %. Eating pomegranate is efficient in the prevention of about 100 diseases besides the cardiovascular diseases. The beneficial effects of pomegranate are proved by a study testing people between 65 and 75 for 3 years. Its results have shown that the pomegranate course decreased the thickness of plaque layers in blood vessels by 60 %, and therefore decreased the bad cholesterol by 58 %.
Fish oil for your heart’s health
We have heard a lot about the beneficial effects of eating fish. But do we know why it is good? There is omega-3 fatty acid in fish, fish oil and vegetables, that decreases the chance of cardiovascular diseases.
Omega-3 fatty acids have 3 types: the multiply-saturatedalpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Especially the DHA and EPA have good effects on our body. This is proved by a research carried out among eskimos in Greenland.
Eskimos eat abundant fat of sea animals, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. These decrease the amount of triglycerides, heart rate, arteriosclerosis and blood pressure. Thanks to these facts, the cardiovascular diseases are practically unknown among eskimos.
The recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acid is 1,6 gram/day for men and 1,1 gram/ day for women. But be careful with the consumption of omega-3 fatty acid if you have a developed heart disease. In this case the allowed daily amount is 1 gram. Here is a list of foods that contain omega 3 fatty acid: fishes in different forms (sandwich creams, baked, grill or salad); tofu, soy, rape, linseed, nut. For those who does not like fishes or cannot eat the recommended amount, the fish oil capsule is recommended as an alternative solution.
Using salt and sugar
Using honey, or artificial sweeteners for cooking help us to moderate our sugar intake.
Consuming too much or too low amounts of salt both has bad effects on our health. To eat proper amount of salt, use less of it when preparing foods. Use fresh or desiccated herbs, substitute the salted, tinned foods with fresh foods instead.
Recommended diet to protect your heart
The factors in the development of heart diseases are gender, age, genetic makings, obesity, diabetes, not enough physical activity, untreated high blood pressure, high fatty –acids level, smoking and stress. When there are more factors present, the risk is much higher.
That is why the main purpose is to decrease risk factors. In case of developed heart diseases or other cases the post preventive acts are necessary to avoid aggravation of damage in organs and blood vessel mutation. This is the work of the doctors taking part in rehabilitation and also the change in the way of living and the making of a healthy meal plan.
Workout of healthy meal plan
In case of overweight or obesity, the most important is to determine the correct amount of energy needed for your body, with the help of which weight loss can be achieved. It practically means a sustained food quantity intake. Besides this, regular physical activity supervised by a doctor is essential to achieve weight loss.
The protein content of the meal plan is suggested to be 10-20 % of the total energy, this should be 50-60 % in case of carbohydrates, and less than 10% in case of added sugar.
The recommended percentage of fatty acids in the meal plan: saturated and trans fatty acids should be below 10 % , multiply unsaturated fatty acids below 10 % and single-unsaturated fatty acids between 12-15 %.
As for the cholesterol, the daily recommended intake is 300 mg. The most effective way of decreasing blood cholesterol is to reduce the amount of saturated fatty acids taken in. Most saturated fatty acids can be found in foods prepared from animals: fatty meats, liver creams, salami, pork fat, refuse dairies, chitterlings, egg-yolk. In contrary to that the multiple and single unsaturated fatty acids reduce the blood cholesterol, e.g.: liquid oils, olive oil, oily nuts deriving from plants. Another risk factor in the development of heart diseases is the amount of triglyceride. Decreasing the amounts of triglyceride is important throughout secondary prevention. The easiest way to do so is to eat more fishes.
Furthermore it is suggested to skip the carbohydrates (mainly sugars) and alcohol.
The proper amount of vitamin intake is suggested of the following types: folic acid, B vitamins, vitamin E and vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamin C, Ca, K, Mg, selenium, zinc.
Foods rich in fibre block the absorption of fat and reduces cholesterol. A daily amount of 30-50 g is recommended.
To protect your heart’s health it is suggested to eat 4-5 times a day.