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How to have a healthy heart?

As a health professional, when it is time to review research and progress on issues of public health interest in Mexico, it is important to consult updated statistics. The Mexican Society of Cardiology AC and the National Institute of Cardiology Ignacio Chávez, through the Ministry of Health, point out that until this 2020 ischemic heart diseases continue to be (like the last 5 years), the leading cause of death in Mexico with a rate of 32.14% .

Ischemic heart diseases include everything related to blood vessels such as coronary heart disease, rheumatic, congenital, cerebrovascular, etc. These chronic diseases generate high costs for their prevention and control, and represent a great challenge for public health in our country. Multiple studies today support that a healthy heart is linked to a healthy diet.

We have previously talked about the correct diet and today I want to emphasize that in the area of ​​the diet for a healthy heart, the American Dietary Guidelines (2015-2020) support the consumption of whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits; with a limited intake of lean meats, seafood, nuts, low-fat dairy products, and vegetable oil, for cardiovascular health.

Based on these recommendations, the consumption of trans fats, products high in sodium, excess sausages, refined carbohydrates and drinks sweetened with simple sugar, should be minimized or completely eliminated from the daily diet. And as in many occasions You have heard me mention it, the formula for a healthy lifestyle and a healthy heart includes 70% that eating plan, 20% physical activity and 10% adequate rest.

“We are what we eat” is a great phrase that many of us have heard, but speaking of a healthy heart, today I would like to modify this phrase and say “We are what we eat and also what we move.”

  • Regular and consistent exercise has impressive potential to improve our cardiovascular health – we know that exercise strengthens muscles.
  • Exercise helps the heart pump blood better throughout our body
  • It can keep our blood pressure normal or lower its levels
  • Improves our sports efficiency allowing the heart to recover faster post-exercise
  • Helps reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease

The recommendation is to be able to personalize the exercise, in search of improving the cardiovascular field. We must approach the specialists, the doctor and the physical trainer, who can guide us to know what is the best way to incorporate cardiovascular activity into our lifestyle. A plan can be established to safely and gradually increase cardiovascular exercise capacity, and set benchmarks for regulating blood pressure, resting heart rate, and cholesterol. All this will allow to have permanent positive results.

There are many risk factors that increase the chances of developing cardiovascular diseases: the type of diet, sedentary lifestyle, tobacco consumption, obesity, work stress, high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus. Reducing each of them can be an individual challenge to work with the goal of improving our human condition.

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