How diet and exercise can help prevent heart attack; cardiologist offers tips | Health

Popular singer KK recently died of a heart attack or heart attack after performing at a concert in Kolkata. This has raised concerns about heart health in general in humans. Since lifestyle factors play a critical role in heart disease, experts recommend proper diet and exercise to improve heart health and prevent heart attack. It is also important to manage risk factors such as smoking and stress to reduce the chances of heart problems. (Also read: Keep Heart Disease Away With These Simple Breathing Exercises)

A heart attack occurs when the blood flow that brings oxygen to the heart muscle is reduced or cut off completely. Foods with high amounts of sugar, salt, refined carbohydrates and saturated fat can increase your risk of heart attack and lead to a build-up of fatty plaque, cholesterol and other things that can cause blood clots.

Eating healthy foods and limiting alcohol intake while increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other heart-healthy foods can help boost your heart health.

dr. Sanjay Kumar, director of cardiology, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad, talks in an interview with HT Digital about proper diet and exercise to prevent a heart attack.


• Limit the amount of sodium in food to a maximum of 6 g. This means choosing low-salt and ‘no added salt’ foods and seasonings at the table or while cooking. The nutrition facts label on food packaging shows the amount of sodium in the item.

• Limit drinks that contain alcohol. Too much alcohol can raise blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood. Alcohol also adds extra calories, which will lead to weight gain. Excessive alcohol also raises your blood pressure.

• Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH): Doctors recommend the DASH eating plan for high blood pressure. The DASH eating plan focuses on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other foods that are heart-healthy and low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium. This diet plan is also particularly helpful for the prevention of coronary artery disease.

• DASH also focuses on fat-free or skimmed milk and dairy products, fish, poultry and nuts. The DASH eating plan reduces red meat (including lean red meat), sweets, added sugars, and sugary drinks. It is rich in nutrients, protein and fiber. The DASH eating plan is a good healthy eating plan even for people who don’t have high blood pressure.


– Routine physical activity can lower many risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including LDL or bad cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity.

– Physical activity can also lower the risk of diabetes and raise HDL cholesterol levels. HDL is the good cholesterol that helps prevent heart disease.

Humans have health benefits from just 60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. 4-5 km brisk walk per day is what is needed.

– Heavy weights and exercises are not recommended as they can also lead to plaque rupture and thus acute coronary events. Regularly walking 4-5 km per day lowers systolic blood pressure by 20-30 mm Hg.


Maintaining a healthy weight can lower the risk of hypertension. A general goal to aim for is a body mass index (BMI) of less than 25.

BMI measures your weight in relation to your height and provides an estimate of your total body fat. †

A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. A BMI of 30 or more is considered obese. A BMI of less than 25 is the goal for preventing and treating hypertension and heart disease.


To smoke

BP begins to drop within 24 hours of not smoking. Within a year of quitting, the risk decreases significantly by making two years, the risk decreases to some extent from non-smoker.


– Research shows that the most commonly reported “trigger” for hypertension is an emotionally distressing event, especially one involving anger. Some of the ways people deal with stress, such as drinking, smoking, or overeating, are also not healthy.

– Learning to manage stress, relax and deal with problems can improve emotional and physical health. Having supportive people in your life with whom you can share your feelings or concerns can help relieve stress.

– Physical activity, medications, and relaxation therapy can also help relieve stress.

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