Thursday, January 11, 2007

Diet for life

Eating for a healthy heart.

I have no intention of becoming a boring lecturer on the rights and wrongs of how to live and enjoy life after a heart attack, but personal experience may help others either come to terms with why it happened and 'why I survived', or how one can prevent it happening.

What has been stressed to me over the past couple of weeks are the four main risk factors that combine to produce the circumstances leading to coronary heart disease (and it is this disease which is the cause of heart attacks.) These risk factors are smoking, high blood pressure, diet, and exercise - or lack of to be precise! Reducing these risk factors helps promote a strong and healthy heart muscle and prevents the coronary arteries from being furred up with cholesterol deposits, once a major coronary artery becomes more than 50% blocked the risk of a heart attack suddenly increases by a massive degree.

Even after a coronary, occurs one can massively reduce and remove the risks of a second or further attack by removing all four of the risk factors. This is where the change in lifestyle comes in. I have to say that I am enjoying my diet which now precludes fatty foods like pastry, pies, pasties, fried fish and chips, bacon butties etc., and includes far more fresh fruit and vegetables than I was consuming previously. There is still a little room for oven chips and the odd cake, BUT one must learn to burn calories at the rate you consume them. This is where the exercise comes in, and I am now walking far more than I have done for a number of years too!

If you are in the same boat as I, or know someone who is recovering from a heart attack, can I recommend that you read this BBC article, The Truth About Food. It certainly gives 'food for thought' , and with the addition of a little lean meat and oily fish it will make a wholesome, nutritional, and cholesterol free diet for those who need it.


BBC Magazine

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