In addi­tion to con­trol­ling cho­les­terol and blood pres­sure, in the pre­ven­tion of heart dis­ease, it is impor­tant to think about nutri­tion, sug­ar and salt intake, exer­cise, qual­i­ty and quan­ti­ty of sleep. A long life with­out any heart prob­lems depends on more than just blood pres­sure and cho­les­terol lev­els. Often, the patien­t’s lifestyle leads to seri­ous health prob­lems that can be com­plete­ly avoid­ed. Pre­ven­tive mea­sures have been shown to be effec­tive in reduc­ing mor­bid­i­ty and mor­tal­i­ty from heart dis­ease, but rates remain high. What affects heart health?

Alcohol consumption and heart function

Alcohol consumption and heart function

Many may have heard that small dos­es of alco­hol pro­tect the heart from dam­age. But the opin­ion of sci­en­tists about alco­hol as a means of pro­mot­ing heart health is ambigu­ous. If the patient has heart dis­ease, alco­hol should not be a “med­i­cine”. Any type of alco­hol is not the best way to reduce the risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar patholo­gies. Some stud­ies have shown that drink­ing red wine can increase HDL, or “good” cho­les­terol, but experts say the increase is min­i­mal. Phys­i­cal activ­i­ty bet­ter and safer stim­u­lates the for­ma­tion of HDL.

Small dos­es of alco­hol tak­en infre­quent­ly will not harm the heart, but do not believe the idea that alco­hol will ben­e­fit it. More­over, the effec­tive­ness of drugs can be reduced or their side effects are enhanced, some­times quite strong­ly.

Drink­ing too much alco­hol can lead to high blood pres­sure and triglyc­eride lev­els in the blood. Experts believe that healthy peo­ple who drink alco­hol should do so in mod­er­a­tion. No more than once or twice a week and in mod­er­a­tion.

Salt intake and provocation of heart disease

Some experts say that the wide­spread use of sodi­um in the diet neg­a­tive­ly affects the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem. Table salt caus­es flu­id reten­tion in ves­sels and tis­sues, increas­ing the vol­ume of cir­cu­lat­ing blood, which can con­tribute to high blood pres­sure, the risk of stroke and pro­vokes heart dis­ease.

A report in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine found that if Amer­i­cans reduced their dai­ly salt intake by 3 grams, we could sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce the num­ber of new cas­es of coro­nary heart dis­ease, stroke, heart attack, and death from com­pli­ca­tions of these dis­eases. The authors of the arti­cle not­ed pre­vi­ous stud­ies in which the aver­age Amer­i­can male con­sumes 10.4 grams of salt dai­ly and the aver­age Amer­i­can woman receives 7.3 grams.

It is worth lim­it­ing the intake of salt in the diet to 1.5–3 g per day. You need to be care­ful: often the salt does not come from the salt shak­er. Stud­ies show that peo­ple get up to 80% of their dai­ly salt intake from processed foods (sausages, cheeses, fast food, and even cot­tage cheese).

Excess sugar in the usual diet

Excess sugar in the usual diet

A dai­ly diet rich in sug­ar brings not only the plea­sure of taste; sweets can also cause health prob­lems. Like salt, sug­ar is found in excess in processed foods, which make up a large part of the diet of our fel­low cit­i­zens. Sweet soda, con­fec­tionery, choco­late and many desserts are dan­ger­ous. A can of soda con­tains about 8 tea­spoons (or 33 grams) of sug­ar, which is about 130 calo­ries.

One such jar per day is equal to the rec­om­mend­ed amount of sug­ar, which should be sup­plied dai­ly with food. The main prob­lem with sug­ar is the amount of excess calo­ries that neg­a­tive­ly affect the fig­ure and can con­tribute to meta­bol­ic changes, increase the chances of devel­op­ing a vari­ety of heart dis­eases. It is worth mon­i­tor­ing not only the con­sump­tion of pure sug­ar, but also oth­er foods con­tain­ing light car­bo­hy­drates (sweets, cook­ies, ketchups, sodas)

Night sleep: quality and quantity

Many peo­ple in the con­di­tions of mod­ern life in cities and vil­lages con­stant­ly lack sleep. Not only does a poor night’s sleep feel shaky the next day, but it can have long-term con­se­quences for the heart. No less dan­ger­ous are var­i­ous sleep prob­lems, even if its dura­tion is quite sat­is­fac­to­ry. It is well known that sleep apnea leads to fre­quent, pro­longed paus­es in breath­ing dur­ing the night and is asso­ci­at­ed with stroke or coro­nary heart dis­ease.

The rea­son is not clear, but it has been sug­gest­ed that peo­ple with dis­turbed breath­ing dur­ing sleep have high­er blood pres­sure over­all because they do not get the rest that nor­mal­ly allows blood pres­sure to drop and relieve the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem dur­ing the night.

And a study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion found that old­er peo­ple who slept five hours or less a night had an increased risk of coro­nary heart dis­ease than those who got eight hours of sleep. The prob­a­ble cause was cal­ci­um buildup in the walls of the arter­ies, found on CT scans, which began long before the onset of symp­toms and was asso­ci­at­ed with sleep depri­va­tion.

Physical activity: the problem of low activity

Physical activity: the problem of low activity

Many patients are aware of the impor­tance of exer­cise in pre­ven­tion, and this state­ment remains the same: reg­u­lar, vig­or­ous exer­cise pro­vides many health ben­e­fits, espe­cial­ly for the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem. Phys­i­cal inac­tiv­i­ty — a sharp lack of phys­i­cal activ­i­ty, increas­es the risk of prob­lems with the heart and blood ves­sels, weight gain and meta­bol­ic dis­or­ders.

To main­tain activ­i­ty and pre­vent patholo­gies, phys­i­cal activ­i­ty should be at least 150 min­utes of mod­er­ate-inten­si­ty activ­i­ty every week. It can be brisk walk­ing, which increas­es the heart rate, cycling, gym­nas­tics, fit­ness. On aver­age, you need 30 min­utes of exer­cise dai­ly for five days a week.

Experts sug­gest that any­one who does not have heart dis­ease increase their dai­ly activ­i­ty to 60 min­utes a day, five days a week. But it is pos­si­ble to break up the ses­sions into, for exam­ple, three 20-minute ses­sions per day, since the effect of aer­o­bic exer­cise is cumu­la­tive. How­ev­er, phys­i­cal activ­i­ty in peo­ple who have already been diag­nosed with patholo­gies of the heart or blood ves­sels should be dis­cussed with a doc­tor, and train­ing should be car­ried out under the super­vi­sion of a phys­io­ther­a­pist or an expe­ri­enced train­er.

Take the test

Hyper­ten­sion risk test

Do you know what your blood pres­sure is? But it is one of the main indi­ca­tors of the state of health. We sug­gest tak­ing a small test that will allow you to decide on this issue and fig­ure out what should be done to main­tain nor­mal blood pres­sure.

Car­di­ol­o­gy. Nation­al guide / ed. E. V. Shlyakhto - 2015


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