Heart Health and Diet
Heart disease is the third most common cause of death in Hong Kong. According to the Department of Health of Hong Kong, the number of deaths due to heart disease in 2020 was nearly 6,600, accounting for 13% of the total number of deaths, which is the highest level in the past 10 years. It indicates that heart disease has already become one of the top public health challenges.
Fortunately, most heart diseases are preventable and controllable. According to an international study, 90% of sudden heart attack cases worldwide are caused by a combination of nine modifiable risk factors, including smoking, lack of fruits and vegetables intake, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, abdominal obesity, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, suboptimal lipid levels, and mental stress.
Here are some healthy eating tips from Humansa’s dietitian:
- Low Salt Diet: Excessive salt intake in the diet, including processed and preserved foods, sauces, etc., can lead to high blood pressure. Do not consume more than 2 grams of sodium (i.e. 1 level teaspoon of salt) per day.
- Low sugar diet: Avoid foods and beverages high in sugar. For a person of normal weight, sugar intake should be less than 10% of total energy intake, which is equivalent to 50 grams (about 10 level teaspoons).
- Low-fat diet: Fat intake should be less than 30% of total energy intake. Diet should be high in unsaturated fats (commonly found in fish, avocado, nuts, sunflower oil, canola oil and olive oil). Also avoid saturated fats (commonly found in fatty meats, butter, palm and coconut oils, cream and high fat cheese) and trans fats (commonly found in processed foods, fast foods, snack foods, fried foods, cookies and margarine).
- High-fiber diet: Consume no less than four servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit per day.
In addition, clinical trials have shown that the DASH Diet can help control blood pressure and blood glucose, lower blood lipids and prevent chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease. If you would like to learn more about the DASH Diet, please contact our Humansa dietitian. The dietitian will understand and assess the clients’ dietary problems and nutritional needs, and then customize a dietary treatment plan for them. Dietitian also will monitor continuously and track the progress to evaluate the effectiveness.