Your current knowledge of heart health may not be enough | Lifestyle.INQ

Your current knowledge of heart health may not be enough

How much do you really know about your heart health? If you think heart disease only happens to old people and just because you feel you are too young to worry about it, there’s no need to have your cholesterol checked until you’re middle-aged. Or if you know that heart disease runs in the family and you think there is nothing you can do about, think again. How you live your life right now—in whatever age you are—will impact your heart health and will either curb or increase the risk of any cardiovascular disease in the future.

We Filipinos think we know everything about the state of our hearts and believe that as long as the “signs” do not manifest, we won’t start paying attention to our heart health. However, most of the time, there are no warning signs. Coronary heart disease, also known as “the silent epidemic” by some doctors, can lead to angina, heart attacks, heart failure, and arrhythmias. It is one of the leading causes of death in the Philippines every year, and it can affect people regardless of age. ((PDF) Chronic diseases: the silent global epidemic (researchgate.net)

Coronary heart disease has been the cause of death of approximately 87,000 deaths (or 17% of deaths) in the country yearly. (Top 10 Killer Diseases in the PH: What We Can Do – Healthy Avenue Magazine)

There are various types of Cardio-vascular disease (CVD) and it occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle is blocked and puts a strain on the heart. This can lead to angina (chest pain caused by restricted blood flow), heart attack, and heart failure. There is no accurate cause of CVD but there are factors that can contribute to the risks of getting one. (Understand Your Risks to Prevent a Heart Attack | American Heart Association)

According to Dr. Danilo Mallari, a licensed Medical Technologist, Occupational Medicine practitioner and Head Physician at his Makati private clinic, heart disease can be attributed to family history, poor dietary habits, and sedentary lifestyle. These risk factors fall into two categories, the modifiable and non-modifiable. “Non-modifiable factors that contribute to the risk are age, genes or family history, and gender,” Dr. Mallari said. Simply growing and being born to a family with the disease makes you high risk. Gender is also a significant element as males are at a greater risk of heart disease than a pre-menopausal female. Genetic component increases the risk of anyone contracting the disease. If a first-degree male relative (your father or brother) has suffered from a heart attack before the age of 55, and a first-degree female relative (mother or sister) has also suffered one before they turned 65, your risk of having coronary disease is 50% more than the general population. If someone in the clan has diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol, the risk is greater.

The good news is, according to Dr. Mallari, some factors can be altered if we are ready to commit to a change of lifestyle. “Modifiable factors include poor nutrition and bad eating habits leading most Filipinos to have borderline to high cholesterol levels, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity. Living a sedentary lifestyle and the inability to manage stress are also key contributors. So, if we can start managing our weight by choosing what we eat, and do cardio-vascular activities such as walking, running, swimming, or biking, we can lessen our risk. Stress management is also a big factor, so it’s really important to relax and get ample rest and sleep,” he added.

Other contributing factors, he said, are based on our lifestyle. If you are smoking or consuming too much alcohol, temper it or quit. Smoking and heavy drinking have been linked to high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, and even cardiomyopathy, a disorder that disturbs the heart muscle.

One in two Filipino adults today have borderline to high cholesterol and a high percentage are either diabetic or hypertensive[CMMG1] (https://asean-endocrinejournal.org/index.php/JAFES/article/view/595/html)–all these contribute to heart disease—but like all changeable factors, we can lower our chances for it by seeing a doctor for a regular check up to manage blood sugar and blood pressure.

“Evidently, the food we eat can greatly impact our heart health. If we consume too much food or drinks that are high in sugar, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium, the more likely we develop diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and heart ailments like coronary artery disease and even heart attack. Thus, we should choose what is good for our hearts, and go for low-salt, low-sugar, and low-cholesterol dishes. We should also incorporate fresh fruits, vegetables, and juice up our diet as they are high in fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals our heart and the rest of the body need,” Dr. Mallari suggested.

Del Monte Pineapple Juice aims to provide quality, refreshing 100% natural pineapple juice for overall health and wellness to empower a fully lived life. Del Monte Heart Smart Pineapple Juice has Reducol®, which is a blend of stanols and sterols which may help lower cholesterol. According to a study, taking two servings of Del Monte Heart Smart daily may help lower cholesterol in eight weeks together with proper diet and exercise help improve results. Skip the sugary drinks and soda and opt for a Del Monte Heart Smart and your heart will thank you for it.

Pure 100% pineapple juice has a protective effect against the risk of heart disease. It is low in calories yet packed with nutrients including fiber, protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium, riboflavin, and iron, to name a few. These nutrients can benefit digestion, proper body function, and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, certain cancers, and heart disease. The high amount of potassium in 100% pineapple juice results in better blood pressure, detoxifies the body, is incredibly great for vision, and a host of other surprising benefits. (7 Surprising Pineapple Juice Benefits (healthline.com)

Del Monte always strives to make life better for all Filipinos and consistently chooses to make high quality food and beverages and relentlessly empower homemakers and every individual to provide better meals, strengthen and enhance family bonds, and in the long run, build better lives through a healthy lifestyle. “Prevention is better than cure” may sound like an old-fashioned cliché, but it still rings true; and it’s never too early or late to start that diet, quit smoking and drinking, get enough rest, manage stress, and choose the good over evil, especially when it comes to food and beverages. After all, Del Monte believes that life gets better, not by chance, but by the small, good choices we make.

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