Experts agree: diet is crucial in the development and prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD). And recently, we’ve not been doing so well in eating a healthy diet. The latter half of the 20th century saw major changes to our diets -- moving from plant-based foods to high-fat, animal-based eating. This has helped create an obesity epidemic that is spreading to low- and middle-income countries. New dietary habits combined with sedentary ways of life are fueling the rate of chronic disease and early death.
You can change this trend by changing how you and your family eat. A healthy diet is low in saturated fats, salts and refined carbohydrates (such as white sugar) and high in fruit and vegetables. In addition, eating whole grains, at least two servings of fish a week and nuts can reduce your risk of CVD.
The World Health Organization(WHO) recommends that we all:
Limit energy intake from total fats and shift fat consumption away from saturated fats to unsaturated fats and towards the elimination of trans-fatty acids.
Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Adults should consume at least 500g of fresh fruits and vegetables a day.
Limit the intake of free sugars and salt consumption from all sources. Recent guidance recommends eating less than 1,500 mg of sodium per day and less than 50gr of added sugar (such as in sugary drinks, sweetened tea and coffee) per day – so less than 12 teaspoons of added sugar per day.
Next time you reach for the pastry shelf, consider your heart –and make a healthier choice.
source: World Heart Federation