Dietary Tips to Stay Healthy and Protect Your Heart

Today as we cope with the stress in our lives and work, along with minimum time for physical activity and fatter purses, more fatty foods and heart disease seems to be a huge treat to many.

The doctors feel, they better not take a chance and changing the lifestyle seems an impossible task so they are quick to recommend medication.

As a diet counsellor I have some bad news, popping the pills alone simply cannot change the blood cholesterol and triglyceride picture and you will still be at the risk of heart disease. Also pills for a long duration have their negative effects on the liver and kidney.

One has to make a definite effort to change and correct the eating pattern along with the pill. I recommend a gear system where one follows a very strict quantity control (calorie intake) and quality control that is strictly restricting fatty food intake for a 3 month or 90 days period. During this time all fatty food is to be completely avoided.

A - All Fried Foods, Nuts and Coconut
B Bakery items, Butter, Butter substitutes, Ghee, etc.
C Cream of milk, Chocolates, Ice-creams, Indian sweets, etc.
D Drinks Colas, Alcohol, Wine, etc.
E (Non- veg) Eat only fish and chicken at lunch Avoid Non- veg at night and Avoid gravy of non- veg dishes.

Oil may be used for seasoning food 2-3 teaspoons per person, per day.

Along with this restriction one must follow a healthy eating pattern of regular balanced meals with plenty of fiber. Try to eat whole wheat or cornflakes, oats or ragi preparations for breakfast. Lunch may be a mix of dry wheat rotis, or ragi ball with a little rice to 1 cup. Dinner must be only wheat roti and no rice, idly, dosa, rava or pasta items at night. Roti or whole wheat bread may be eaten at dinner. A big bowl of raw salad 2 cups or more tomato, cucumber, cabbage, lettuce, radish, capsicum, etc. must be eaten both at lunch and dinner to increase fiber intake. Fiber plays a huge role in breaking down cholesterol and triglyceride in the blood.

The calorie intake would be about 1000-1250 cals for women and 1250 1500 cals for men. Along with this a 25- 30 min walk daily and 2.5- 3 lts water daily are a must.

After the 3 months period all the quantity and fiber requirements must continue as a healthy lifestyle habit but in addition to this one may occasionally eat a fatty food from the forbidden list but a budget system must be followed. i.e. 1 treat per week. Please note it is only any one item such as one snack or one sweet or one meal out but not a whole day of fatty food intake.

So be food smart and heart smart to live a healthy, wealthy and happy life.

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