Heart attack: Experts claim a vegan diet can 'help prevent' them
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Coronary artery disease describes the “dangerous thickening and narrowing of the coronary arteries – the vessels that bring blood to the heart”, explained the experts at John Hopkins Medicine. Furthermore, such narrowing disrupts the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle, which can lead to chest pain, heart failure, or a heart attack. One expert, Dr Seth Martin, suggests early preventative measures are the best protection against a heart attack.
However, it’s “never too late to effect change”, and starting now is better than never starting at all.
One of the most powerful ways to prevent a heart attack is to be a non-smoker.
If you’ve never become a smoker, your heart is likely to be in a much healthier position than somebody who lights up.
“Smoking is considered one of the key risk factors for heart attack,” Dr Martin emphasised.
But second-hand smoke can be just as dangerous, so it’s important to stay away from it as much as possible.
Dietary considerations are also paramount, with Dr Martin advising to limit:
- Saturated fats
- Trans fats
Examples of foods high in saturated fats include:
- Milk chocolate
- Lamb chops
Examples of foods high in trans fats include:
- Frozen pizza
- Microwave popcorn
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Aim for an eating plan that is “higher in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated” fats, as well as high-fibre foods.
- Sunflower oil.
- Sunflower seeds
- Corn oil.
“Become more active, and stay active, all through life,” continued Dr Martin.
“Aim to be active for 30 minutes a day, most days of the week,” the doctor advised.
Regular exercise can help strengthen your heart muscle and improve your cardiovascular system.
Exercise is also helpful in that it can help you to maintain or reach a healthy weight.
“If you’re overweight, losing just five percent to 10 percent of your current weight will lower your risk of developing coronary artery disease,” said Dr Martin.
Another key measure to help prevent a future heart attack is to find “healthy outlets” for stress.
Unhealthy ways to deal with stress include overeating, drinking, or sitting down too much.
Instead, you’ll be more “heart-healthy” if you can unload feelings of stress in healthier ways, such as:
- Through exercise
- Spending time with friends.
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