Heart (or cardiovascular) disease is a major cause of death in the UK, and is one which is influenced heavily by what we eat. Cardiovascular diseases are a general term for conditions that lead to narrowed or blocked blood vessels. These can put us at increased risk of heart attacks, angina (chest pain) or strokes.
High blood pressure, high cholesterol or high triglycerides, type 2 diabetes and being overweight are all factors which put us at increased risk from cardiovascular diseases. Often times we develop more than one of these risk factors together. They are very heavily influenced by our lifestyle including what we eat, how much exercise we take and how much alcohol we drink and whether or not we smoke.
Often these risk factors can be treated by taking medications which will be prescribed by a GP, however many people feel that they wish to try to reduce their risk factors by changing their diet and lifestyle first.
The good news is that, all the above risk factors are very closely linked to similar dietary and lifestyle habits. A diet which is heart healthy can help to reduce cholesterol or triglyceride levels, lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and achieve a healthy weight. This means that, by making some very simple and easy dietary and lifestyle changes you can lower several risk factors for heart disease at once. The difficult part can be knowing where to begin!
Many foods that can seem like healthy choices can contain hidden sugars and fats which contribute to high cholesterol, weight problems and diabetes risk. Sometimes people cut out foods unnecessarily or try to adopt a diet which is too extreme and they can’t sustain the changes. Other times, people are told that they have, or are at risk of developing a risk factor, but they are not overweight and are worried that they will lose weight by changing their diet.
At Stanner Nutrition Clinic your diet will be assessed by a qualified dietitian who will then explain to you how your current dietary choices influence your risk of heart disease. They will also be able to support you to make simple and easy dietary changes which will help your risk factors to improve your risk of disease by lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. These changes will be personalised to you, your food preferences and your needs as an individual. These changes will also help to reduce any excess weight (or prevent undesirable weight loss) and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
At Stanner Nutrition Clinic we have successfully helped many of our clients to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease through diet, enabling some to avoid taking medications to treat risk factors such as high cholesterol, high triglycerides, diabetes and high blood pressure.