Did you know that with the right actions, you can improve your heart health drastically and prevent Cardiovascular Diseases (CVDs)? By now, you have all heard that it is crucial to exercise regularly and follow a cautious diet to keep your heart beating happily. But is that all that needs to be done?
Something as dangerous to your heart as cholesterol is heart health myths! Knowledge is power (and a key to good heart health) and misinformation may just usher in Heart Diseases. Quite a few misconceptions about heart health have been perpetuated by ignorant people and irresponsible media houses. To show your heart the love it deserves, stops believing in these heart health myths right away!
Myth 1: Young people needn’t be worried about their heart health
Truth: Unhealthy diet is triggering plaque formation (due to high LDL levels), which in turn is causing hypertension in children and adolescents. Obesity too is on the rise because most of us (children as well as young people) live a sedentary lifestyle. These risk factors manifest as heart diseases in people as young as 20.
Myth 2: My Diabetes is under control, so my heart is safe
Truth: There is some truth to this myth. Unchecked diabetes is a huge risk factor for heart diseases. However, just because you are taking medication for diabetes, does not mean you can rest assured that your heart is taken care of. Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease, even if your blood sugar level is well managed. You need to consult your doctor to see if you need special medication to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels within the normal range. Lose weight if you are obese and quit smoking immediately.
Myth 3: Cholesterol levels cannot be high among young people.
Truth: Today’s youth gorges on foods that flood our bodies with cholesterol. The amount of cholesterol we need is produced by our bodies and the cholesterol that comes in through foods is in excess of the requirement. The more cholesterol-drenched foods we eat, the more the level rises. Deep-fried foods, cookies, cakes, pizzas, hamburgers and red meat are your heart’s enemies. The excess cholesterol and triglycerides eventually lead to hypertension and then heart attacks or cardiac arrest.
Myth 4: I have a family history of cardiac issues, there’s nothing I can do.
Truth: You can greatly minimize the chances of being diagnosed with Cardiovascular Diseases even if they run in your family by working on the modifiable risk factors like – body weight, lifestyle and dietary changes. Exercising regularly and basing your diet on vegetables, whole grains, fruits, soya products and skimmed milk products. At least half an hour of brisk walking, jogging, jumping rope, swimming or cycling five days a week can improve your heart health. Do not indulge in the habits of smoking and excessive alcohol intake.
Myth 5: I am a senior citizen, it is normal for me to have hypertension
Truth: Both diastolic and systolic pressure increase with age. That is why ‘normal blood pressure is not a static figure and it changes with age. Ask your doctor what should be considered a healthy BP at your age. If your doctor thinks your systolic and diastolic pressure is higher than what is normal for your age group, you will have to start taking blood pressure medicines.
Heart Diseases are on the rise. 4.77 million people lost their lives to cardiac issues in 2020. Immediate action needs to be taken. And the first step towards that is awareness and debunking heart health myths. We need to understand that our present lifestyle can ruin our heart health. We need to instil healthy habits to keep cardiac issues at bay.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.