Love Your Heart



How often do you have your blood pressure or cholesterol levels checked? Maybe not that often. Yet, coronary heart disease (CHD) is the UK's biggest killer - around one in five men and one in seven women die from the disease and an estimated 2.6 million people live with the condition.

CHD is when your coronary arteries (the arteries that supply your heart muscle with oxygen-rich blood) become narrowed by a gradual build-up of fatty material within their walls. Having high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and being overweight can be all risk factors that increase your likelihood of getting heart disease. Eating a diet high in saturated fats (butter, cheese, fatty meats) can also be a risk factor as the liver turns saturated fat into cholesterol and too much of this can raise your blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease.

However, fats aren’t all bad - we need some fat in our bodies and eating the right kind of fat is vital for good health. Essential fats can help by lowering levels of triglycerides (a type of fat on the blood) helping to prevent clotting and regulate heart rhythm.  These fats can help reduce the risk of allergies, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, depression, fatigue, eczema and heart disease.

So, where do we get these heart busting essential fats from? The best source is from oily fish, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring. Seeds, nuts, avocados, olives and olive oils are other good sources. 

On average, we in the UK only manage a third of a portion per week of oily fish, but I would say aim to eat two portions per week (if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, don’t eat more than two portions of oily fish a week.)  So, why not make a fish pie, mash some mackerel with cream cheese to make a delicious dip or try a quick and tasty salmon and prawn spaghetti recipe.

Wishing you a happy and healthy week!  

Here are six more tips to help you stay healthy; keeping healthy throughout your life can reduce the risk of some illnesses including cancer, so it's important to keep your health at the top of your priorities.

Comments are closed