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 HEART DISEASE & TREATMENT

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Planning Your Party without Harming Your Heart



            Everyone is entitled to celebrate, party and enjoy and themselves. But how should you celebrate without harming your health? Here is what to dip, what to sip, and which food you should feel free to pile onto your plate at your next party.

            Dr. Chattanong Yodwut, a cardiologist at Bangkok Heart Hospital, said “Choosing healthier party food is better for your health and heart. Mediterranean diet is one of the healthier eating plans. Research has shown that it reduces the risk of heart diseases.”​
 
Mediterranean Diet - eating plan for a healthier heart

           If you are looking for an eating plan that is healthy for your heart, the Mediterranean diet might be right for you. The things that you need to consider are choosing the right kind of food, limiting the amount of drinks, and exercising.



            The Mediterranean diet pyramid includes all the food groups in proportions and the frequencies that contributes to a healthy or an unhealthy diet. It places the base foods of plant origin, that provides key nutrients and other protective substances that contributes to general well-being and to maintain a balanced diet. Therefore, they should be consumed in greater proportion and frequency than food located at the central and upper levels of the pyramid.
  • Red meat, butter, white rice, white bread, white pasta, potatoes, and sweets – should be consumed least or no more than a few times a month
  • Milk, dairy products, cheese – 1-2 times/day
  • Fish, poultry, eggs – 1-2 times/day
  • Nuts, legumes – 1-3 times/day
  • Vegetables – unlimited
  • Fruits – 2-3 times/day especially beetroot (Nitric oxide in beetroot relaxes and widens blood vessels. It also helps reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.)
  • Wholegrain – at most meals
  • Plant oils (olive, canola, soy, corn, sunflower, peanut, and other vegetable oils) – at most meals
            Multiple vitamins can also be taken in an appropriate amount. Limit your alcohol intake to moderate amounts. If you have heart or liver disease, refrain from drinking wine or any other kind of alcohol. In addition, regular exercise and weight control are also very beneficial. 
 

Ways to drink without hurting your health

            When it comes to alcohol, the key is moderation. Certainly, you do not have to drink any alcohol, and if you currently do not drink, do not start drinking for the sake of your health benefits. Guidelines for moderate alcohol use are:
  • There must be 2 days in a week that you do not drink alcohol
  • In a week, you should not drink more than 7-21 standard drinks (less than 3 standard drinks a day)
  • Standard drinks are
- Wine: 140 cc
- Beer: 330 cc (1 can)
- Spirit 40 degree: 40 cc (1 shot)

            Dr. Chattanong said “While moderate alcohol use may offer some health benefits, heavy drinking has no health benefits. Excessive drinking can increase your risk of serious health problems. No one should begin drinking or drink more frequently on the basis of potential health benefits. However, if you do drink alcohol and you are healthy, there is probably no need to stop as long as you drink responsibly and in moderation.”​
 

Is drinking wine really good for your heart?

            Flavonoids are substances found in red wine. They might be key ingredients that helps prevent damages to blood vessels, prevent blood clots, and reduces inflammation of blood vessels. There are different amounts of flavonoids in different kinds of wine. However, we can gain flavonoids from eating vegetables and fruits. Therefore, there is no need to start drinking alcohol.
 

Activities that benefit the heart

Being physically active is one of the most important things you can do to keep your heart healthy. The guidelines advise that:
  • Choose an activity that is appropriate with your age and health
  • Choose an activity that makes you feel relaxed
  • Choose an activity that creates a fun atmosphere
 
            Choosing a healthy diet, moderate drinking or no drinking, and being physically active are the most important things that you can do to keep your heart healthy. If there are any signs and symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately.
 
Reference: Dr. Chattanong Yodwut, cardiologist, Bangkok Heart Hospital