Including or excluding a single food source or nutrient is not going to make or break a healthy diet. What goes into your meal plate every single day, how you combine different foods to make a meal and what has been your eating habits for the past months are integral. The foods that you eat and the activities that you choose to do in order to lose weight must now impact your cardiovascular health in any way. Based on these criteria experts have come up with a list of the best and worst diet plans for cardiovascular health.
Simply the Best
Any good diet plan must encourage people to pursue them, be appealing yet realistic and above all, work for a lifetime of good health. We brand some plans as the best when they are easy to follow, are based on plant-based foods and have rock-hard evidence for helping people lead a healthier life. The below-given plans surely stick to these criteria and go well on the heart:
Mediterranean Diet: Do you know that people living around the Mediterranean regions suffer from least risk of cardiovascular risks compared to people living elsewhere in the world? Fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans and fish form a major portion of the diet while poultry, eggs and dairy are allowed in moderate quantities. This diet promotes the use of olive oil for all its food preparations. It even allows some red wine on your table though it never supports the concept that drinking wine is good for the heart! So, what’s preventing you from choosing this diet plan?
DASH Diet:Designed to accommodate the needs of patients suffering from hypertension this diet has been a major firecracker amongst all groups of people now. This diet promotes the intake of foods high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and discourages the intake of saturated fats, sugars and salt. This diet provides you with every opportunity to eat more of fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and low-fat dairy while recommending the individual to stay away from sweets, red meat and processed foods that are high in salt. The diet has stood the test of time and proved to be a real winner surpassing the tests of physicians/nutritionists/dietitians who are authorities in blood pressure maintenance.
Portfolio Diet: This can even be called as the cholesterol-lowering diet plan as its main focus is to get your LDL levels down. This is a vegetarian diet that includes a portfolio of cholesterol-lowering foods. The portfolio diet suggests people to replace meat with tofu, milk with soy milk, include lots of sticky fiber and include nuts too.
Nordic Diet:This diet might even be called as a sister to the Mediterranean diet keeping in mind their very many similarities. Both of these diets allow moderate inclusion of eggs, fish and some amount of dairy but restrict the use of processed foods, meats and sweets. The Nordic diet too encourages the use of fruits, veggies and whole grains emphasizing more on the use of grains such as rye, barley and oats. Use of root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, fruits such as berries and fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel is profoundly seen. We are well-aware that the Mediterranean diet uses olive oil but here, the use of canola oil is recommended which is also a healthy monounsaturated fat. The special feature of the Nordic diet is the profound consumption of berries. A research by scientists has linked eating berries to reduced risk of heart attack and increased scope of weight loss. Though the Nordic diet isn’t proved to be as successful as the Mediterranean diet for heart health it is definitely one of the healthiest diets that can even aid in weight loss.
Further details about each of the diets are available at www.firsteatright.com and a sample diet plan too helps each of us plan and execute it accurately. Choose any of the above while staying far away from fad diets such as the keto diet, Atkins, low-carb & low-fat diets, the whole 30 diet and Dukan diet.
“Birds of the same feather flock together”
Like-mindedness is a great attribute for a friendship to blossom between two adults. Apartments too are victims of groupism where we see individuals forming sub groups. If you notice, adults belonging to each of these groups are more or less of the same age group. Have we ever seen an older adult being a part of kitty parties or having a genuine time with youngsters in a party or meet up? Almost never. Individuals designate specific attributes to specific ages- for instance, we brand teenagers as notorious, young adults as disrespectful, people in their late 30s or 40s as being involved too much in their family and older adults as the gossip lot who talk about nothing beyond gossip or family complications. If you think about this practically, it seems genuine to accept that people of the same age group can only be besties as they understand what each other go through, relate to multiple events in life and so on. So, the fact that older adults are likelier to stick with a group exercise program when they are of the same age comes as no surprise but only a support to many out there.
Rejoice your Age
We can’t blame older adults for what they are when people belonging to every other younger age group fail to accomplish their physical activity requirements blaming someone or something. Its either lack of time, too much work pressure, examination or tiredness that are the common reasons quoted. So, don’t you think elderly people can sail through with a solid reason or two such as old age or ill health to stay out of exercise routines? Alas, we don’t realize that we are going to be the loser after all the justifications and reasons that we give! Its our health that going to take a toil and our wellness that goes off for a spin. Wellness involves both mental and physical wellness and the absence of either can put one’s life in jeopardy. For more details, please visit www.firsteatright.com.
Inactivity has the power to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity and arthritis alongside physical limitations that affect overall quality of life. At least during younger years, we do have certain mandatory tasks to complete which keeps us busy but during old age we are left with not much of imperative chores. Its mostly in our hands to keep us fit and healthy. Earlier studies have pointed to the fact that older adults wish to exercise within their own age group. Researchers wanted to know whether following their own choices would motivate these adults to adhere more and exercise regularly. The study team consisted of 627 participants with an average age of 72 put into three different groups. One group had participants who were of same gender and age, while another group had participants of the same age but not gender. The last group was a mix of participants with no restriction to age or gender.
At the end of the 24-week period those participants who exercised with people of their own age attended 9.5 more classes than others in the mixed-age group. Participants in the mixed-age group attended 24.3 classes, those in the same age, mixed-gender group attended 33.8 classes and others in the same age, same gender group attended 30.7 classes. Apart from matching gender and age requirements the researchers also encouraged participants with custom T-shirts which helped these individuals to identify themselves as part of one bigger group and meet each other over coffee.
When individuals feel connected to each other they are likelier to stick with their routine. Retired communities offer a great opportunity to its residents in this regard and even fitness centers can conduct classes for people belonging to similar age groups. When that’s the case these older individuals feel elated as they have a new meaning to life, are not ready to give up on these classes at any time and continue workout schedules vigorously.
Cholesterol is not a necessary evil but an essential healthy substance vital for the well-being of a person. Humans are smarties and most of us have a great reputation in people management and are clever enough to get things done without hurting people’s feelings. Its time to apply the same management skills to our health too the only difference being that we focus on nutrient management. Cholesterol remains a tricky substance that causes good or bad effects depending on the way it is handled. Repeatedly we are advised to avoid cholesterol-rich foods but actual fact remains that only 20% of cholesterol in the bloodstream comes from the food that we eat. So, what’s the need for all this hoopla and hype?
Your Body’s Baby
Often every individual, fat or thin, obese or underweight, is advised to go for a blood test to check for cholesterol levels. Though cholesterol is measured via our blood the fact remains that it is found in every cell in our body. Before we go into the details of cholesterol production lets first clearly understand what cholesterol is. Cholesterol is a waxy substance needed by the body as a building block for cells. It remains essential for vitamin D production, secretion of hormones such as testosterone and estrogen and bile acids. So critical is it for our body’s functioning that almost 80% production happens in the liver and only the remaining 20% is obtained from the food that we eat. So, food and the liver exist as the two sources of cholesterol. Foods high in cholesterol such as meat and full-fat dairy are the ones that contribute towards your saturated and trans fat levels too. Find other common cholesterol-rich foods listed at www.firsteatright.com that are loved by us and commonly consumed despite their unhealthy nature. When an individual consumes such foods, the liver is forced to produce more cholesterol than it normally would. Such increase in production increases unhealthy cholesterol levels in such individuals. For instance, when you consume some food that provides you with 200-300 mg of cholesterol per day the liver produces an additional 800 mg per day. The proportion of cholesterol therefore depends on the portion of high-cholesterol food that enters your body.
Cholesterol (a fat) moves around the body but is of no use when it travels alone. To maximize cholesterol’s value the body packs cholesterol with other fats into spherical protein-rich particles called lipoproteins (lipids+proteins). These particles aid in the movement of cholesterol throughout the body. Lipoproteins are mainly classified into low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL).
LDL & HDL:LDL are also called as bad cholesterol as these contain pure cholesterol that are sent to tissues all over the body and also induce the formation of artery-clogging plaque. HDL are also known as good cholesterol as they safely remove excess cholesterol and send it back to the liver for excretion. This LDL cholesterol combines with other substances to form hard deposits on the inside of the arteries. This narrows the artery and results in atherosclerosis which have the ability to lead to heart attack or strokes.
Cholesterol’s Journey through the Body
There are hundreds of articles on farting that mostly suggest the reader about reducing unpleasantness while farting, minimizing the foul smell or something in similar lines. There are very few of them that talk about ways and techniques that teach a person to fart. This is not a joke but of course, farting is essential! Farting is the way the body releases swallowed air and gas. It is mostly a natural process that happens without any external help but rarely, there is a buildup of gas in the body that causes pain, bloating or an uncomfortable feel within yourself. These go away only when you fart and I am serious about it. I once visited a physician for some ear infection during which I met a small school girl sitting beside me with her mom. On a causal note when I asked the girl if she had a holiday today, she told me that she missed school just because she had developed gas and suffered from stomach pain. There were quite a few patients waiting to meet the doctor before us and we had to wait for more than 30 minutes. Meanwhile, the little girl moved around the place, sat down and started doing hip shakes. Suddenly she farted and all her gas and stomach pain vanished in seconds! So much strong is the impact of farting.
The foods that we eat, eating too quickly or tightness in the abdominal muscles are all to be blamed for retained gas in the body which can be relieved by performing certain yoga poses, relaxation poses or techniques that can surely help you relieve pain and release the gas buildup.
Yoga Poses that Can Help You Fart
Yoga poses or asanas can be done in any place at any time. But the following poses specially help a person to fart and it is better to ensure that you are comfortably positioned, preferably doing it alone, and relaxed. One should feel relaxed as this is key to pass gas.
Child’s Pose (Balasana)
This is one of the basic yoga poses that helps relax your lower back, hips and legs and release gas. To get into this pose, kneel on all fours and sit back on your heels pushing the bum back. Bend forward with your forehead touching the ground, stretch your arms in front of the body touching the mat and adjust your knees to make yourself comfortable. While the forehead touches the ground, allow the torso to rest on the legs which creates a gentle pressure on the abdomen and induces farting. You can adjust your pose according to your needs, either keeping your hips wider or lifting your bum.
Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
This pose is called so due to the similarity in which babies often hold their feet while lying on the back. Lie on the back, lift the knees to the sides of the body. Keep your knees bent with the soles of the feet pointing towards the ceiling. If you can, grab the feet with your hands relaxing your back. Stay in this position for up to a minute. This position helps to release gas from the bowels.
Knee to Chest Pose (Apanasana)
Lie on you back and extend both your legs and arms. Bring both knees to the chest while exhaling and clasp your hands around them. Keep the knees and ankles together, grab the upper thigh or the front of each knee and put the thighs close to the chest. Tuck your chin into the chest or kiss the knee. Hold yourself in this position for anywhere between 15 seconds and 1 minute. An easier variation of this pose includes bringing the knees close to your chest and holding them with the hands but keeping the head on the ground. This helps relieve gas in the bowels.
Seated Foot Forward (Paschimottanasana)
Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of the body and bend forward from the hips. Push yourself such that your chest touches the knees without bending them. This creates pressure on the abdomen and makes you fart. Also, try to touch your toes with your hands.
The way you stand while doing your squats puts pressure on the right areas of the stomach to release trapped gas.
Any yoga pose or exercise movement that involves twisting helps you fart. It can be lying on the back and moving your bent knees from one side of the body to the other or twisting your torso while standing up. Such twisting movements pressurize your core and release gas.
Other Practical Tips
Apart from exercising and yoga, there are quite a few other tips that can help release gas and reduce bloating. Foods such as carbonated drinks, artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol, fiber-rich foods, chewing gums, dairy products, nuts and fatty foods might help you pass gas. These might not be good for those who already suffer from too much pain and bloating but workable in case of others.
While the tips discussed above helps someone release gas, many individuals look forward to ways to reduce the need to fart. Farting may be socially impolite and unaccepted, but it is natural and healthy to pass gas when someone is alone. It is a sign of eating healthy foods and there is nothing to worry about until it’s not excessive, smells bad or comes along with excess abdominal pain and discomfort. To know more about flatulence, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.