Keep Your Heart Healthy
by Joseph D. Tabora, M.D.
This article starts below.
There are three things you can do to keep a healthy heart:
- Avoid unnecessary salt intake. If possible, eat food as prepared, without adding condiments and seasoning. If you must add seasoning, use the least amount possible. Soy sauce, fish sauce (patis), and fish paste (bagoong) are high in salt. A high salt diet predisposes to high blood pressure, which, over time, causes the thickening (hypertrophy) of the heart muscles, making it a less effective pump of blood. Untreated, hypertrophy will eventually lead to heart failure.
- Cut down your cholesterol. A high cholesterol level, mostly due to high dietary fat, slowly forms plaque deposits on the arteries throughout the body, including those supplying the heart. Over time, these deposits eventually obstruct the artery, causing a heart attack.
- Start exercising today. It doesn't take much time to give your heart a workout. Thirty minutes, 5 times a week of brisk walking is the minimum amount of exercise that improves the heart's health. But start slowly -- two and a half minutes 3x/week and adding 2.5 minutes every week until the goal of 30 minutes is reached. Exercising starts the process of neovascularization which protects the heart from a heart attack.
Following these simple dietary modifications and exercise regimen will keep your healthy heart happily pumping for a lifetime.