RISK FACTORS FOR CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
Food you should avoid:
- Fats to avoid: food high in saturated and trans fats such as animal products (fatty meat, cheese, butter), vegetable fats (cocoa butter, coconut oil, palm oil), fast food, processed food (pastries, cakes, biscuits, potato chips)
- Beneficial fats (should still be eaten in moderation): food high in polyunsaturated (omega 3 & 6 fatty acids) and monounsaturated fats such as nuts (almonds, cashew, hazelnuts), grains, seeds (sunflower seed, sesame), vegetable oil (corn, soybean, sunflower), oily fish (sardine, salmon, tuna, codfish), avocados, olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sesame oil
- A diet high in sodium increases risk of hypertension, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
- Not only found in salt (also contained in soy sauce, tomato sauce, chilli sauce, oyster sauce etc.), but also in monosodium glutamate (MSG), baking soda and baking powder.
- Drinking in moderation protects your heart, but too much increases risk of cardiovascular disease.
Fruits and vegetables
- A diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables protects your heart.
- Whole grains contain folic acid, B vitamins and fibre, all of which are important protectors against heart disease. Processed grains like that used to make white bread and pasta do not have the same benefits as wholegrain cereals.
- In countries where fish consumption is high there is a reduced risk of death from all causes as well as cardiovascular mortality.
- Eating nuts regularly is associated with decreased risk of coronary heart disease.
- In a study of people without any heart disease, eating 47g of soy protein a day led to a 9% drop in total cholesterol and a 13% reduction in LDL cholesterol.