an image of a doctor holding a heart

Protect your heart this World Heart Day

September 29 is World Heart Day and this year we are encouraged to reduce our cardiovascular risk, and promoting a heart-healthy planet for everyone.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the number one cause of death internationally and the second major cause of death in Qatar. In Qatar, 24% of all deaths are attributable to CVD. However, there are simple steps that can be taken to reduce your risk:

Adopt a heart-healthy diet
• Adopt a Mediterranean diet, one that is rich in fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains and olive oil
• Limit saturated fats – these are found in things such as red meat, full-fat dairy products and coconut/palm oils
• Limit trans fats, for example, deep-fried foods, packaged snack foods, processed bakery products and margarines
• Always check the Nutrition Fact label on products and choose those containing no trans fats and/or no partially hydrogenated oils
• Limit pre-packed/processed foods that are often high in sugar, fat and salt
• Prepare lunches at home to help ensure you have access to healthy food choices if they are not available in the cafeteria or in cafes and shops
• Stock up on healthy meal and snack options for your home, work and school

Don’t smoke
• Smoking is the most significant risk factor for CVD. Chemicals in tobacco can damage your heart and blood vessels.
• No amount of smoking is safe – the more you smoke the greater your risk of developing CVD becomes

Be Active
• Exercise for 30 minutes a day. This level of exercise will help you maintain a healthy weight and greatly reduce your risk of CVD
• Cut down on time spent watching television or sitting at home or in the office

Positive lifestyle behaviors
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Avoid stress
• Get regular health check-ups

For more information about World Heart Day and making heart-healthy lifestyle choices, take a look at the campaign website: http://www.world-heart-federation.org/what-we-do/awareness/world-heart-day-2014/heart-healthy-choices/

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