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Maintaining body weight will prevent heart disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is one of the major causes of mortality in India. CVD accounts for 28% of all deaths in India, more than any other cause.

Maintaining body weight will prevent heart disease
Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and wellness consultant


South Asian genetic makeup is already susceptible to elevated levels of harmful LDL (low-density lipoproteins) or ‘bad’ cholesterol and lower levels of beneficial HDL (high-density lipoproteins) or ‘good’ cholesterol. Hence, it’s imperative to start being more cautious about your lifestyle and be aware of your cholesterol levels.

As a first step, check your serum cholesterol levels and make an active effort to keep them within normal range. This is vital in building your overall heart health. A small yet significant change you can make is to reduce the intake of trans fats and saturated fats. Replace them with foods that are rich in mono-unsaturated fats like almonds, olives, avocados, etc.

A large body of scientific evidence and years of global research suggest that almonds can be beneficial in helping to manage heart disease risk factors. A recent study highlighted that the inclusion of 45 gm of almonds as part of a healthy diet may help in reducing dyslipidaemia, a condition marked by high LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels and low HDL cholesterol levels, which is known to be one of the primary risk factors for CVD among Indians.

To maintain good heart health, it’s important to keep your weight under check. Factors such as increased blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, and elevated levels of triglyceride that is often linked to abdominal fat, contribute to heart disease. Keep a check on your weight and waistline to improve lipid levels.

It’s important to treat your body with respect. Be cognizant of what you and your family eat. Try to make your diet healthier; this will feel like a mammoth task in the beginning, but in the long run it will be worth the effort. Incorporate small changes in your diet by opting for healthier snacks like plain or flavoured almonds, fruits or sundal which will not only help keep you satiated but also aid in your overall health.

Include some form of exercise in your daily routine. Ensure that you work out for at least 30 minutes per day and five days a week. This exercise can range from a brisk walk or a jog to vigorous workouts such as swimming and Zumba. Make active efforts towards leading a fitter lifestyle. If you have any health concerns, please check with your doctor before starting the exercise routine.

According to a recent survey, 89% of the population in India said they were suffering from stress compared to the global average of 86%. To keep stress under control, it is important to spend quality time with people you love, practice meditation, and do the things that makes you happy. Doing all this aids in your overall well-being. Especially for those who are prone to counter stress with emotional eating, it’s important to channel your thoughts into more mindful eating. You could grab a handful of almonds or healthy snacks such as carrot sticks with hummus, boiled corn or muesli to satiate your cravings. The healthy snacks will promote feelings of fullness, in turn limiting you from binging on unhealthy foods.

Smoking is one of the most preventable causes of heart disease. Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body including the heart and blood vessels. Smoking is also a major risk factor for peripheral artery disease. Quitting smoking has a positive impact on heart health. It lowers the risk of atherosclerosis and blood clots. Heart disease risk associated with smoking begins to reduce soon after quitting.


  • Keep your cholesterol levels under check
  • Keep your sugar level and blood pressure in control
  • Maintain a healthy diet 
  • Swimming or jogging is beneficial for your body
  • Quit smoking

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