Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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Heart disease describes various conditions that affect your heart or blood vessels. The cause is usually a build-up of fatty deposits in the arteries or a higher risk of blood clots. Heart disease is one of the main causes of death in the UK, according to the NHS. Luckily, there are certain ways to maintain a healthy heart.
From heart attacks to heart failure, problems with the fist-sized organ can shave off from 10 to 16 years of your life, the American Heart Association reports.
Keeping the heart healthy is one way you can live longer.
One food that may protect the heart is fish, the Mayo Clinic states.
“If you’re worried about your heart health, eating at least two servings of fish a week could reduce your risk of heart disease,” according to the health portal.
The part of fish especially good for the heart is omega-3 fatty acids.
Omega-3s can be beneficial for heart health and cut your risk of dying from heart disease.
These fatty acids are found especially in fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna.
Another good source of omega-3 fats is fish oil.
Supplements containing fish oil have been linked to better arterial function and lower blood pressure, according to the National Library of Medicine.
Blood pressure is a risk factor for developing heart disease as it can make arteries less elastic and decrease the flow of blood and oxygen to the heart, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains.
Another heart disease risk factor that can be lowered by eating fish is high cholesterol.
High cholesterol describes the build-up of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood.
Eventually, the fatty substance makes it difficult for enough blood to flow through the arteries.
Even though fish is fatty, it contains a good type of fat beneficial for the heart.
For example, other types of fat like saturated fats can lead to high cholesterol and heart disease.
The Mayo Clinic explains that fish makes a good alternative to high-fat meats.
How much fish should I eat?
The NHS recommends including two portions of fish in a week’s meal plan.
And one of these should be oily fish. This translates roughly into 140 grams of cooked fatty fish a week, according to the health service.
However, eating this fatty food isn’t the only way to lower your risk of developing heart disease.
From exercising to quitting smoking, various lifestyle interventions can also help, the health service adds.
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