We all know that what we eat affects our health, but many of us are confused by what ‘healthy eating’ really means. The answer lies in enjoying a wide variety of nutritious foods, with the ultimate goal of reducing heart disease risk factors. Combine this with an active lifestyle, and you’ll be on your way to keeping a strong and healthy heart.
Check out our top tips for a healthy heart below.
Test your heart with our calculators
TOP TIPS FOR A HEALTHY HEART
Quit smoking. If you are a smoker, you are twice as likely to have a heart attack than a non-smoker.
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
You should aim to eat at least four to five serves of vegetables and two to three serves of fruit a day.
Choose lean meats, poultry and fish
Portion sizes are the key when it comes to choosing meats and poultry.
Cut down on salt
Try to choose low-salt foods and use salt sparingly.
Curb your alcohol intake
If you drink alcohol, it’s best to limit your intake. One-two standard alcoholic drinks per day is acceptable.
The heart is a muscle, just like any other muscle in your body - it needs exercise to keep fit so it can pump blood efficiently around your body.
Get your weight under control
If you carry extra weight as fat, your chances of developing life-threatening diseases such as coronary heart disease and diabetes are greatly increased.
Be aware of your risk factors
Get your risk factors for heart disease, including your blood cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose, checked regularly by your GP.
Recognise the early warning signs for heart attack
Common warning signs include uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the centre of the chest, lasting more than a few minutes.
Berry and Apple Pastries
Makes 8 pieces; 545 kilojoules/130 calories per serve; 3g total fat; 0.6g saturated fat; 125mg sodium.
Makes 24 bars 445 kilojoules/105 calories per serve; 3.5g total fat; 0.6g saturated fat; 20mg sodium
Thai-cured lamb and noodle salad
Serves 4 1240 kilojoules/295 calories per serve; 7.5g total fat; 2.7g saturated fat; 175mg sodium
ASK THE INSTITUTE
Do you have a question but cannot find the answer?
ask the institute