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The best way to look after your heart is with a healthy lifestyle.

1. Be Smoke-free
  • Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood and damages blood vessel walls.

  • It promotes inflammation of the arteries and atherosclerosis (deposit of cholesterol on the wall of your arteries).

  • It is also carcinogenic especially at the pulmonary level but also in the digestive or urinary track and upper respiratory system.

  • Smoking is the leading cause of infarct in patients of < 50 years.

2. Manage your cholesterol level
3. Manage your blood pressure level
4. Manage your diabetes, it is important to prevent heart attack or stroke
5. Be physically active
  • Regular physical activity (150 min/week) from mild to moderate intensity is excellent for your heart.

  • It's never too late to start: 30 minutes a day is enough 5x/week or 45min 3x/week or 60min/2x week!

6. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of heart disease and other health problems. It can help to know your body mass index (BMI: weight/size2 ) and your waist measurements to allow you to define a healthy weight.

7. Food
  • Eat fruits and vegetables. 

  • Enjoy a variety of nutritious foods 

  • Reduce your salt consumption to 5 gr/d (one teaspoon/day maximum)
    Salt intakes increases your blood pressure and promotes water retention.
    Foods such as pizzas, pastries, biscuits and take away foods contains the most salt. Avoid products that contain more than 120 mg of salt/100 gr. Season with spices and herbs. 

  • Replace “unhealthy fats" with "healthy fats»: 

    • Unhealthy fats are saturated and processed fatty acids.

    • Healthy fats are monosaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (Omega 3 and 6)

    • Examples of good monosaturated fat: avocados, almonds, peanuts, rapeseed oil, olive, sunflower etc.

    • Examples of polyunsaturated fats: poison, tahini, oil and margarine made with flax, chia, soy, sunflower, etc.

    • Omega 3 is also found in eggs, chicken and meat

    • Here are some tips:

      • Go nuts! Eat nuts, almonds, pistachios, etc...

      • Eat fish 2 to 3 x week

      • Cook with oil mentioned above.

8. Limit your alcohol intake to 1 serving per day
  • Alcohol promotes dehydration in your body. Water is very important for transporting nutrients within your body.

  • It is also directly toxic to your heart.

  • It increases your fatty acid levels and decreases good cholesterol.

  • To limit your consumption:

    • Alternate your alcoholic beverage with flat or bubbly water.

    • Use half-portions.

      • Choose beverages with a low alcohol content.

      • One serving = 1 beer from 375 ml at 3.5% = 275 ml at 7% = 100ml of wine at 13.5% = 30ml of a spirit at 40%.

9. Limit your consumption to sweet beverages
  • Sweet drinks contain a lot of sugar and little nutrients. These are softs, non-fresh fruit juices, sports or energy drinks.

  • Get used to having a bottle of water with you all the time. You can also add pieces of the fruit to give it more pleasant taste.

10. Take care of your mental health:
  • Maintain activities that allow you to develop your social life. Stay close to your family and friends. If you feel depressed or stressed, talk to your doctor.

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