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One expert stressed the importance of a healthy diet when it comes to keeping our tickers in check. Speaking with Express.co.uk, Denis Kinane – founding scientist at Cignpost Diagnostics – said: “Today 7.6 million people in the UK are living with heart and circulatory diseases (CVD), every three minutes someone dies from a heart and circulatory disease and every five minutes someone is admitted to hospital due to a stroke. Whilst shocking, these statistics highlight the very real cost of CVDs.”
“The best way to reduce your risk is to eat a healthy, balanced diet and conduct regular physical exercise,” he added.
“Eating unhealthy, fatty foods which are high in cholesterol, will cause more fatty plaques to build up in your arteries increasing your risk of a heart attack.
“To offset this, people should reduce their intake of saturated fats and focus on being active – lowering your blood pressure and keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition.”
Research from the British Heart Foundation has shown that women are 50 percent more likely to receive the wrong initial diagnosis for a heart attack than a man.
With this in mind, Mr Kinane specifically recommended a potassium-rich diet for women to reduce the risk.
Three popular breakfast foods high in potassium are avocados, yoghurts and bananas.
He said: “Recent studies have also shown that women benefit exclusively from potassium-rich diets.
“Potassium helps preserve heart health (significantly greater for women than men) through helping nutrients move into cells.
“Consequently, it is key for heart and muscle health.
“In order to increase potassium intake, women should eat potassium-rich foods such as avocados, yoghurts and bananas.”
He also promoted exercise and avoiding certain habits as a way to reduce your risk.
“Being active and doing regular exercise will lower your blood pressure by keeping your heart and blood vessels in good condition,” he said.
“Regular exercise can also help you lose weight, which will help to lower your blood pressure.
“Another way to reduce your risk of heart disease is to avoid excessive drinking and smoking.
“Smoking causes atherosclerosis and raises blood pressure, increasing the chances of a heart attack.
“Likewise excessive drinking and binge drinking can increase blood pressure increasing your risk.”
Coronary heart disease is one of the most common types of cardiovascular diseases, which occurs when arteries become narrowed by a build-up of fatty substances along their walls.
If not treated, this can have a devastating impact on the body.
The main symptoms of coronary heart disease are:
- Chest pain (angina)
- Shortness of breath
- Pain throughout the body
- Feeling faint
- Feeling sick (nausea).
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