What are the natural ways to reduce heart diseases?
There are lots! Studies suggest that over 90% of your risk of having a first heart attack can be predicted by nine potentially modifiable risk factors. These include whether you smoke; whether you have type 2 diabetes and if so how well controlled it is; your cholesterol; your blood pressure; your weight; how regularly you exercise; and whether you eat enough fruit and vegetables. Many of these are interlinked – for instance, if you’re overweight, reducing your weight by 10kg will cut your ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol by 15%; raise your ‘good’ HDL cholesterol by 8% and cut your blood pressure by 10/5 millimetres of mercury (about as much as a single blood pressure tablet) as well as reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes. Reducing the saturated (largely animal) fat in your diet, increasing your intake of oily fish, nuts, fruit, vegetables and ‘unrefined’ carbohydrates will also help. Aerobic exercise – the kind that makes you mildly out of breath – is ideal for your heart. You should be aiming towards half an hour of this sort of exercise five times a week.