Healthy eating – reduce your risk of developing heart disease – British Heart Foundation

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A healthy diet can help reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease and stop you gaining weight, reducing your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.
It can also help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of some cancers.
Even if you already have a heart condition, a healthy diet can benefit your heart.
We recognise this may be a worrying time for lots of people and we know that people tend turn to food as a way of coping with stress or other emotions. This is common, but when you’re feeling down it’s even more important to fuel your body and mind with nutritious, feel-good food. This isn’t always the easiest or most attractive option, but it will make you feel much better in the long run. 
Everyone should aim for a well balanced diet. Faddy crash diets may not provide the balance of nutrients you need.
The best way to understand it is to think of foods in food groups.
Try to eat:
Choose options that are lower in fatsalt and sugar whenever you can.
A well-balanced diet should include at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day. Try to vary the types of fruit and veg you eat.
They can be fresh, frozen, dried or tinned. Pure unsweetened fruit juice, pulses and beans count as a portion, but they only make up a maximum of one of your five a day, however much you eat in one day.
A portion is about a handful (80g or 3oz), for example:
Sign up to our free Heart Matters service where you can access our portion finder and healthy recipe finder.
To help look after your heart health it is important to make sure you choose the right type of fats.
So to help keep your heart healthy:
Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which can increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Unsaturated fats, which can be monounsaturated fats (for example olive oil, rapeseed oil, almonds, unsalted cashews and avocado) or polyunsaturated fats (including sunflower oil and vegetable oil, walnuts, sunflower seeds and oily fish) are a healthier choice.
Another type of fat, known as trans fat, can also raise the amount of cholesterol in the blood.
At the moment UK guidelines encourage us to swap saturated fats for unsaturated fats.  You might have seen reports about a study we helped to fund which suggests there’s not enough evidence to back the current UK guidelines on the types of fat we eat. We think more research is needed before suggesting any major changes to healthy eating guidance.
Eating too much salt can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure. Having high blood pressure increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease.
If you drink alcohol, it’s important to keep within the recommended guidelines – whether you drink every day, once or twice a week or just occasionally.
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2 thoughts on “Healthy eating – reduce your risk of developing heart disease – British Heart Foundation”

  1. Greetings! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading through your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics? Many thanks!

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