Heart Health

Diet For Heart Disease. Heart Disease is one of the major… | by Hatha Vidya Traditional Yoga | Jan, 2024

Heart Disease is one of the major problems of the modernized world. It remains one of the major killer diseases among adults. The correlation between diet and heart disease has long been established. A healthy lifestyle, which includes a good wholesome diet along with regular physical activity, should be the first step solution in prevention as well as treatment of the disease.

Like most of the lifestyle diseases one of the major cause of heart disease apart from diet is the stress of the modern world. The stressful lifestyle takes a toll on the heart and one suffers the consequences in form of the heart disease. Yoga is a complete system and focuses on bringing a balance between body and mind, thus regular practice of yoga brings about a calming effect on the various systems and processes of the body thus reducing the harmful effects of stress.

Major dietary factors responsible for causing heart disease are:

Over dependence on convenience foods.

Diet high in inflammatory and processed food.

Lack of fiber in the diet.

How to eat with the Heart in your mind?

The dietary recommendations for heart disease are fairly simple. Most of the recommendations center around a healthy dietary pattern that emphasizes on increasing fiber intake, meeting the protein needs, consuming healthy oils and fats and avoiding trans fats. Let’s understand these recommendations:

Fiber:

Fiber is a component of plant food that is resistant to digestion by the human enzymes. Fiber in the diet is important for gastro-intestinal health as well as has been shown to possess cholesterol-lowering properties. The sources of fiber in our diet are whole grain cereals like whole wheat flour, brown rice, red rice, steel cut oats, jowar, bajra, millets, corn, fruits especially with the skin on, raw vegetables, green leafy vegetables, sprouts, beans, legumes etc.

Proteins;

Proteins are the building blocks of the body and make up all the muscles and tissues. Heart being a muscle, good quality protein is required to maintain its health. Protein in diet comes from lentils, legumes, nuts and seeds, milk and milk products, and non-vegetarian foods. In each meal, one should ensure that you have at least one good source of protein.

Trans Fats:

In recent times trans fats are being touted as one of the worst oils. These oils are liquid at room temperature but to improve their stability they undergo a hydrogenation process, which changes the composition of the original fat, the change is so much that the body cannot recognize the fat any longer and this gets deposited on the walls of arteries and causes plaque. Examples of these oils are vanaspati, hydrogenated oil, margarine etc. These oils must be avoided to maintain a healthy heart.

How to eat with the Heart in your mind?

Eat at least 2–3 fruits per day.

Eat salads at every meal chewing slowly.

Avoid distractions at meal time.

Have a handful of sprouts daily.

Have a variety of whole grain cereals.

Reduce total fat intake, use less oil in cooking.

If you are non-vegetarian, prefer chicken (skinned) & fish to other meats.

Have a handful of nuts daily.

Limit the intake of ‘empty calories’ and junk food.

Read labels to find out the kind of oil used in commercially available preparations, Avoid those with hydrogenated fat / trans fats.

Yoga in managing heart disease

Yoga can be very helpful in preventing and managing heart disease as Yoga focuses on bringing a balance between body and mind. The stress, bad diet and poor lifestyle takes a toll on the heart and one suffers the consequences in form of the heart disease.

The yogic diet (Mitahara) teaches moderation; the practitioners are encouraged to eat, fresh wholesome food in moderation with no distractions and to avoid all sorts of extremes in tastes, if one adopts the yogic lifestyle and diet one can most certainly keep most of the disease at bay.


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