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Follow a healthy diet for a healthy heart
Ever wondered why wild animals do not suffer from common lifestyle disorders such as a high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, cancers, osteoporosis, heart attack, metabolic syndrome, fatty liver and polycystic ovarian disease amongst others. The reason for this is that they live in accordance with the laws of the nature.
Speaking about the issue, Padma Shri Awardee, President HCFI & Honorary Sec. Gen IMA, Dr. KK Aggarwal said in a statement, "A balanced and healthy lifestyle is the key to preventing and reversing any of the diseases mentioned above. And the first step towards living a healthy life is to maintain an ideal weight."

A fad of going on crash diets, stressful work environments encouraging people to eat comfort foods, all day desk jobs and size zero concept have increasingly distorted a person's definition of an ideal weight and wholesome eating. What most people do not understand is that a healthy diet not just requires consuming calories equivalent to thirty times their current weight; it also means that the right balance of macro and micronutrients should be eaten.

While macronutrients are the chemical components of food such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats that provide the body with energy and are needed in large quantities; micronutrients are required in small amounts and include several minerals and vitamins. When consumed in the right quantities and balanced with adequate physical exercise, these can help a person prevent most common lifestyle disorders.

"My formula for ensuring a healthy diet is to consume a mixture of seven colours and six tastes in every meal. Each food colour represents a type of vitamin so red apples are a source of lycopene, green leafy vegetables and fruits provide the body with B complex and orange food items are a source of vitamin C. Similarly the sweet, sour and salt taste promotes weight gain and on the contrary pungent, astringent and bitter tastes reduce weight," he added.

Diet tips for a healthy heart

  • An ideal diet should also be low in sodium and no person should consume more than 6 gm of sodium chloride in a day.

  • The consumption of trans fat, which is found in hydrogenated oils or vanaspati ghee, should be minimal as it is bad for the heart and reduces the good HDL cholesterol levels and increases the bad LDL cholesterol.

  • A person should avoid eating out as much as possible since the food in most restaurants and hotels is high on trans fat and usually will be bad for the heart

  • Refined carbohydrates like white bread, white flour, white rice and refined sweetened cereals and white sugar should be avoided and replaced with options like whole grain flour, healthy green cereals and oat meal

  • Any sweet item containing more than 10% sugar should be limited. On an average the sugar content in soft drinks is 10%, Indian sweets is 30-50% sugar

An ideal diet should be:

1.One meal of fruits only.

2. One meal which has a mix of besan products, fruits, salads and a portion of fish, chicken or mix vegetables.

3. And the third meal should be a regular meal comprising of two mixed grain chapattis/brown rice with vegetables and dal.

In between meals, one can consume fruits, salads, black tea/coffee and dark chocolates without added added sugar or milk.

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