World Heart Day, TOI conducted a poll to understand how well people were taking care of their heart and the factors impacting the health of their heart.
More than 85% of respondents ate deep-fried food at least once a week
The poll highlighted our country’s deep affection for packaged and deep-fried items, as more than 85 per cent of respondents admitted to eating deep-fried and processed foods items at least once a week. The shockingly high figures suggest that we are yet to take our heart health seriously. For the unversed, there are several studies which have linked eating fried food items with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
So, if you are someone who just loves fried food and cannot do with those French fries, burgers or fish and chips, maybe it is time to change your eating habits. Studies have found that those who indulged in fried foods items once a week had a 7 per cent higher risk of heart attack and those who chose fried products daily, the risk jumped to 14 per cent. What’s more, fried food has been linked with a host of other illnesses, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
62.50% of respondents admitted to getting extremely stressed sometimes
In our increasingly hectic lives, stress has sadly become a part and parcel of our daily grind. From erratic long hours at work to finding the delicate balance between professional and personal lives, stress has a way of sneaking into our lives. While some amount of stress may be a normal (and even healthy) part of our lives and may even help us improve our performance, it is the chronic stress which wreaks havoc on the health—particularly our heart.
In response to the question about stress, a whopping 62.50 per cent of the respondents agreed to getting extremely stressed sometimes, while more than 28 per cent noted taking active measures to control their stress levels. However, more than 8 per cent of the respondents agreed that they had a high-pressure job, leaving them with no time to relax or rewind to bring down the stress levels.
Various studies have suggested that high levels of cortisol which is produced in the case of chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, and increase blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels. It can also trigger other heart problems including reduced blood flow in the heart muscles, which in the long run may multiply your risk of getting a stroke.
68.35 % of the respondents exercised for at least 30 minutes daily
The world heart day poll also highlighted that while people do need to be mindful of their dietary habits and work on their stress control mechanisms, majority of them do understand the importance of working out or getting at least 30 minutes of moderate activity daily. When it comes to minding the health of our heart, one may take a cue from this year’s theme of World Heart Day i.e. ‘Use Heart to Beat CVD’.
As the world braces itself for the
coronavirus pandemic, taking care of your heart is more important than ever before. You may begin by scheduling an appointment with a cardiologist to get the necessary tests done and to also understand the overall state of your heart’s health. Furthermore, regular exercise, healthy diet, meditation and yoga can play a huge role in protecting yourself against cardiovascular diseases.