Protect Your Heart

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol(kuh- les -tuh-rawl) is a type of fat found in your blood. Your liver makes cholesterol for your body. You also can get cholesterol by eating foods that contain fat:

meat, fish, eggs, butter, cheese and whole milk

healthy artery Unhealthy heart

You need cholesterol to help your brain, skin and other organs grow and do their jobs in the body. But having too much of it can cause problems.

Think of the blood vessels in your body like pipes in your house. If you have too much cholesterol in your blood,it can collect in the blood vessel walls, causing these "pipes" to become narrower. This can clog the blood vessels and keep blood from moving freely throughout your body.

Over many years, if the clogging gets worse, it can cause a heart attack or stroke. Your doctor can find out what your cholesterol level is by taking a little of your blood and testing it.

Eat a good diet for healthy arteries

What about Cigarettes?

Say No To smoking

Even with your very first cigarette, your heart beats faster and your breathing is faster and shallower. Your blood pressure rises and you breathe in over 4,000 toxic substances .

Things found in cigarette smoke

  • Acetone : main ingredient in nail polish remover
  • Ammonia : used in household cleaners
  • Carbon Monoxide: exhaust from a car
  • Vinyl Chloride :same compound used in trash bags
  • Benzene : found in gasoline
  • Hydroquinone : used in paints and motor fuel
  • Acetaldehyde : used in glue
  • Acetaldehyde : used in glue
Smoking damages nearly every organ in the human body.

In the respiratory system, smoking damages your lungs and can lead to emphysema, bronchitis and pneumonia. Your heart and your circulation suffer too.

Smoking causes heart disease and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Smoking causes many different types of cancer and is the most preventable cause of death.

Why is Physical Activity Important?

Physical activity pyramid

Being physically active is fun, helps you look and feel your best, and gives you more energy to do other things.

Physical activity helps your body work better, too! It can:

  • Improve blood circulation throughout your body.
  • Help keep weight under control.
  • Improve blood cholesterol levels.
  • Boost your energy level.
  • Help you sleep.
  • Make you feel good about yourself.
  • Give you stronger muscles.

The more active you are, the faster your heart beats

Because your heart is a muscle, it becomes stronger and more efficient when you exercise it. You definitely want your heart to be strong enough to pump blood throughout your body! To benefit most from physical activity, try to get at least 60 minutes of moderate- or highintensity activity each day.

If you are active at a low - intensity level, you should be able to sing while doing the activity. If you are active at a moderate - intensity level, you should be able to talk comfortably while doing the activity. If you are too out of breath to carry on a conversation, the activity is considered high - intensity.

Get moving today

Balance it Out

Eat foods from all these categories to be at your best.

Grains

Grains

Eat 6-7 oz every day mostly from whole grain

Whole grain breads and cereals

Vegetables

Vegetables

Eat 2-2.5 cups everyday

Carrots, Spinach, Green beans, broccoli

Fruits

Fruits

Eat 2 cups everyday

Bananas, apples, pears, peaches, strawberries

Oils

Oils

Get 3 teaspoons per week

Corn Oil, canola oil, sunflower oil

Nuts, Seeds and Legumes

Nuts, Seeds and legumes.

Eat 1 1/2 handful of nuts or seeds per day and half a cup of cooked legumes per day.

Meats

Poultry and fish

Eat 3-6 oz every day. Eat fish two times per week

Eat 1-2pcs of either  chicken, turkey, fish OR lean beef per week

Dairy

Milk

Get 3 portions of one or one portion of each of the following daily:

  1. 200ml (a glass) of milk irrespective of form i.e. whole milk, skimmed or fat free
  2. Piece of cheese size of a matchbox roughly 30g
  3. Yoghurt 150g i.e. a small pot

Content courtesy of American Heart Association(also known as the heart fund) © 2010

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