OVERVIEW OF HEART DISEASE

The heart and circulatory system disease is called cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD includes Strokes, Angina and Heart attacks. Angina and Heart attacks, in one word, are coronary heart disease (CHD).

Heart disease is caused by a build-up of fatty deposits in the walls of your coronary arteries which can then cause them to narrow.

Over time, the artery may become so narrow that it can’t deliver enough oxygen to your heart, especially during exercise when more oxygenated blood needs to be pump through your heart. This can lead to angina – a pain or discomfort in your chest.

A piece of the fatty deposit can break away from the artery wall forming a fatty clot, which can completely block an artery, leading to heart attack.

The two major factors that are responsible for the fatty deposit built-up and clot formation are high blood cholesterol (blood fat) and raised blood pressure.

Prevalence of heart and circulatory disease in UK:

  • It still remains the UK’s biggest killer
  • One in three of all deaths (e.g. 180,000) are due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD)
  • 2.2 million people are suffering from CHD
  • 0.9 million people have suffered a stroke

(British Heart Foundation Statistics)

 

ROLE OF THE DIET

Diet and healthy lifestyle play an important part in keeping your heart healthy. A well-known risk factor for developing heart disease are weight gain, raised blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels. All of these risk factors are related to a diet full of high-fat, sugary and salty foods and sedentary lifestyle.

Healthy eating can reduce your risk of heart disease by:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Increasing good HDL cholesterol that transports fat away from the arteries and back to the liver for processing
  • Reducing levels of bad LDL cholesterol that can form fatty deposits (atherosclerosis) in the arteries and contribute to heart disease
  • Preventing blood clots that can lead to heart attack and stroke
  • Losing weight and keeping body weight in the healthy range

A healthy diet can also increase your chances of survival after a heart attack by relieving pressure on your heart and circulation.

 

HOW CAN A DIETITIAN HELP?

If you would like to find out more and receive tailor-made dietary plan, please contact our ACE diets Specialist Dietitian.

We will work with you to help you to achieve the diet and lifestyle that will keep your heart as healthy as possible basing our advice on the latest available research evidence.

We can help you to design cholesterol lowering diet, blood pressure lowering diet as well as diet that is packed with nutrients known to promote heart health.