Healthy Heart Month
It’s February and everything has gone all hearts and flowers in the shops! So, I thought that I would focus on the theme of heart health.
As with many things, nutrition has a role to play in contributing to the good and bad elements of our lifestyle. Which can influence our health.
Over on my social media I shall be posting lots of health facts and I have created a recipe download for February. Unsurprisingly this is full of heart-healthy recipes.
For this blog I just wanted to focus on some of the statistics: –
Every 8 minutes someone in the UK dies from coronary heart disease
CHD (Coronary Heart Disease) kills twice as many women each year as Breast Cancer
CHD is the leading cause of death worldwide
In the UK, one in seven men and one in twelve women die from coronary heart disease
The annual healthcare cost of heart and circulatory disease is £9billion
That’s just some of the shocking statistics I found whilst researching for this month. I knew from the research on my book that some children are displaying the health characteristics of CVD whish in itself is shocking and terrifying. But we have seen with the increase in Type 2 Diabetes in children (40% in recent years). Children are capable of getting what’s previously been considered adult conditions.
The answer, perhaps is why?
What is it about what we do today that is so damaging to our health? Particularly as surely now we are more aware of what’s good and bad for us. Well if we consider how many of the modifiable factors we ‘get wrong’ perhaps it isn’t surprising?
“The modifiable risk factors for the prevention of coronary heart disease are: – Smoking, inactivity, obesity, diet, excess alcohol, stress, high cholesterol, hypertension and type 2 diabetes.”
“In fact, when it comes to diabetes – adults with Type 2 Diabetes are 2-3 times more likely to develop heart and circulatory diseases and are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as those without diabetes.”
I still find that on the whole people have quite a terrifyingly relaxed attitude towards Type 2 Diabetes. Not really taking action until the final warning stages and sometimes even then just thinking that the medication will do the job. Aside from the links with CVD, Type 2 Diabetes is a horrible disease. One that with lifestyle changes can largely be avoided!
In my posts throughout February on social media I shall be looking at these modifiable factors. As well as, looking at the nutritional influences.
The last thing I want to highlight in this introduction though is activity and of course inactivity!
Some facts about why we should move more and what might be in store if we don’t…
The World Health Organization believes that more than 60% of the global population is not sufficiently active.
If you are physically active you will increase your life span, regardless of any adverse inherited factors.
Physical activity, at any age, protects against a multitude of chronic health problems including many forms of cardiovascular disease.
Studies show that doing more than 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate physical activity every week or an hour of vigorous physical activity every day will reduce your risk of coronary heart disease by about 30%.
A middle-aged woman doing less than one hour of exercise per week doubles her risk of dying from a cardiovascular event compared to a physically active woman of the same age.
Whilst we mention women let’s not forget that for females during and after the menopause. The risk of getting coronary heart disease and other circulatory conditions rises.
At this time a woman’s body will produce less oestrogen than it used to. Oestrogen helps to protect different parts of the body, including the heart and blood vessels.
This could possibly read as quite a depressing tale. But my aim is to highlight what could potentially be a silent killer/ticking time bomb. There are actions we can take to help ourselves. Even with an existing CVD condition (perhaps even more importantly).
The main contributing factors to CVD are those modifiable factors outlined above along with: –
- Poor sleep (an independent risk factor for CVD)
- Stress (not recognised as a direct link but as an indirect one)
- Poor diet – trans-fats, sugar, artificial ingredients, unhealthy gut microbiome
- Anxiety & depression – there is evidence to show that depression can be a risk factor for CVD
Check out the Healthy Heart download on my website