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Top 5 Fruits To Lower Cholesterol

When people hear the word cholesterol, they typically think of a fatty, plaque-building substance that comes from the foods we eat. But the fact is that cholesterol is a substance that the body also produces naturally and plays a vital role in the body. 

The total cholesterol in the body travels as part of the lipoprotein and performs functions like maintaining the integrity of cell membranes and synthesis of vitamin D, steroid hormones, and bile acids.

 Lipoproteins carrying cholesterol are of various types, like LDL cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, known as “bad” cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, known as “good” cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. This is because high levels of LDL-C over time may cause fatty buildup on the walls of the arteries, called plaque. HDL cholesterol is considered good cholesterol, as it absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver eventually excreting it. Hence, it is crucial to keep track of HDL-C with normal ranges of min. 50 mg/dl and LDL-C maintained at less than 100 mg/dl.  

Since the body can already synthesise cholesterol. One way to maintain normal cholesterol levels is to incorporate cholesterol-lowering foods into your heart-healthy diet plan. That being said, it is essential to add fruits to your diet that help you keep your cholesterol in check. Many of these fruits are tasty, readily available and affordable, making them easy to add to your heart-healthy diet plan

Discover below the top 5 fruits to reduce cholesterol.


1. An apple a day keeps cholesterol at bay

There is a reason the saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ got so famous. Eating apples once or twice a day can have a positive impact on your health. According to research, apples are particularly high in pectin which is a naturally soluble fibre. Dietary fibre is beneficial since it can bind with cholesterol in the digestive system, making it one of the best fruits to lower cholesterol. Apples also contain polyphenols that help reduce oxidation of cholesterol- and hence, have a protective action on the heart and manage heart diseases. Always remember to eat the apple with the peel since it contains pectin and polyphenols.

Recommended amount: Eating two apples a day is good for heart health. (source)


2. Citrus fruits – the way to go!

Citrus fruits are not only a daily dose of vitamin C- good for your immunity, but also among the best fruits to help reduce cholesterol. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and jackfruits are packed with vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which has a protective action by helping in reducing the free radical formation and hence, reducing LDL oxidation. Vitamin C can also enhance LDL recognition of LDL receptors benefitting the catabolism of LDL. 

Oranges are known to contain pectin which helps reduces cholesterol absorption. (source)  Studies have shown that adults who consume 100% orange juice may help in lowering total and LDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, the study also showed that males had a 23% reduced risk of low HDL concentrations, compared to non-consumers. Hence, oranges have beneficial properties for the heart and overall health. 

Recommended amount: One or two servings of citrus fruits per day. (source)

3. Watermelons – beat the heat, protect the heart!

Watermelons are low in calories and high in fibre, which makes them a great addition to a heart-healthy diet. The fibre in watermelons can help lower cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol and reducing its absorption into the bloodstream.

The antioxidants in watermelons, such as lycopene, vitamin C and beta-carotene, can help reduce inflammation in the body and has a positive impact on heart health. (source)

Lastly, watermelons are a delicious and convenient way to stay hydrated, which is important for maintaining a healthy heart. However, people with diabetes must consume watermelons in moderation (100-150 gms at a time).

Recommended amount: One can consume between 100 to 150 gms of watermelon a day. (source)

4. Berries for the heart

These tasty delights are a rich source of antioxidants and are low in calories and fat. They contain anthocyanins, which can help manage cholesterol levels by reducing oxidative stress in the body. In the berries family,  blueberries, blackberries and strawberries have the highest antioxidants, making them some of the best fruits to lower cholesterol. Blueberries help heart health by helping reduce blood pressure and contain anthocyanins that help reduce the oxidation of LDL. Ellagic acid found in strawberries can help neutralise free radicals and reduce LDL cholesterol oxidation, which may lower the risk of heart disease

Recommended amount: One serving (half cup) of berries per day (source)


5. Avocados – the perfect way to start the day

Avocados are great for your health because they contain more monounsaturated fats than saturated fats. This is because monounsaturated fats are considered to be a healthier type of fat compared to saturated fats. According to the National Institutes of Health, Monounsaturated fats can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels while also increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.  

It is also high in a sterol called beta-sitosterol which may help lower cholesterol absorption. The dual combination of monounsaturated fats along with beta-sitosterol makes it a great LDL cholesterol-reducing fruit. 

Besides consuming fresh whole fruits for cholesterol control, you must also consider cooking your meals with cooking oil that cares for your heart. Saffola Gold helps keep your cholesterol in check and it has a natural antioxidant oryzanol which is known to support immunity. Saffola Gold has a balance of MUFA and PUFA which is vital for good health. 

Recommended amount:  1/3 of a medium avocado (50 grams) per day. (source)


The Takeaway

While fruits are an important component of a healthy diet. A heart-healthy balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats can provide the essential nutrients and soluble fibre needed for good heart health. In addition to a healthy diet plan, regular physical activity can also play a crucial role in reducing the risk of CVD. Engaging in regular physical activity can help improve heart health by reducing blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, and maintaining a healthy weight. By incorporating these lifestyle changes, you can help keep your heart healthy!


Myths and Facts About Your Heart Health

The heart is one of the most vital organs in the human body, responsible for pumping blood and supplying oxygen to every part of our system. It goes without saying that keeping your heart healthy should be a top priority. However, with so much information on the internet, it can be challenging to decipher what is factual and what is just a myth.

In this blog, we will explore some of the common myths and facts about heart health, helping you understand the difference between fact from fiction and make informed decisions about your cardiovascular health. So, let’s dive in and learn more about how to keep your heart healthy!

  • MYTH #1: Only older adults need to worry about heart health.

Fact: For decades it was believed that heart diseases can occur only at an older age. However, according to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 2023, it is happening in younger adults more often. This is attributed to higher rates of obesity and high blood pressure in younger individuals. It is hence crucial to understand what the risk factors for obesity are and be mindful of them. A sedentary lifestyle, an unhealthy diet high in sugar, saturated fats, and sodium, low in proteins, and vegetables, and absence of physical activity, increased stress, and poor lifestyle choices make an individual susceptible to heart disorders and diseases in the future. It is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a balanced diet. Also, early and routine check-ups and monitoring of heart health are essential.

  • MYTH #2: Heart Disease occurring due to family history cannot be prevented

Fact: While family history plays a role in the risk of developing heart disease, modifiable lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and smoking significantly impact heart health. If you make the right choices and be mindful of your lifestyle patterns, you can manage your health even with a family history of heart disease.

  • MYTH #3: If I manage my total cholesterol, I won’t get heart disease

Fact: High total cholesterol is a significant risk factor for heart disease, but it is not the only one. Total blood cholesterol is also synthesized in the body and plays different functions. However, several other factors can increase your risk of developing heart disease, including a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, and diabetes. These factors are modifiable and can be worked upon. It’s essential to understand that these risk factors are interrelated and can compound one another, further increasing your risk of heart disease. By reducing smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and engaging in regular physical activity, you can manage high blood pressure and diabetes, which further help reduce your risk of heart disease.

  • MYTH #4: All fats are bad for the heart.

Fact: While saturated and trans fats should be limited in a heart-healthy diet, unsaturated fats, such as those found in higher amounts in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish, are actually good for heart health. Saturated fatty acids should be limited since they may increase the LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the body and trans fats should be completely avoided. Tran fats are unhealthy fats because they not only increase levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol but also decrease HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). The LDL and HDL cholesterol have an impact on your overall heart health. On the other hand, according to ICMR-NIN, 2020, replacing saturated fatty acids with unsaturated fats, such as monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA), can have a positive impact on heart health. These types of fats, in adequate amounts, help decrease levels of LDL cholesterol and increase levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol, which helps remove excess cholesterol from the bloodstream.

WHO recommends the consumption of moderate amounts of fats and oils with an optimal balance of SFA, MUFA, and PUFA including omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Blended oils like Saffola Gold have a good balance of MUFAs and PUFAs in a single oil, providing a good supply of both fatty acids which are highly beneficial for heart health. So no, not all fats are bad for the heart; it is all about which one you choose and in moderate amounts.

  • MYTH #5: Exercise isn’t necessary for heart health if you eat a healthy diet.

Fact: While a healthy diet is undoubtedly essential for heart health, exercise is equally important. WHO recommends that adults engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, such as brisk walking or cycling, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise, such as running or playing sports. By combining regular exercise with a heart-healthy diet, individuals can significantly improve their overall cardiovascular health.

In conclusion, taking care of your heart health is essential for leading a long and healthy life. By understanding the myths and facts surrounding heart health, you can make informed decisions to protect your heart and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Remember that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and managing stress, can go a long way in keeping your heart healthy. It’s also important to be aware of the warning signs of heart disease and seek medical attention if you experience any symptoms.


10 Healthy Antioxidant Rich Foods

You probably already know that a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy eating habits, consuming alcohol, and smoking may all speed up ageing and illness. But have you ever wondered why?


The answer, in part, can be explained by free radicals.


Free radicals are formed either by metabolic processes occurring in the body or from external sources such as x-rays, ozone, smoking, air pollutants,  and industrial chemicals. Free radicals can cause damage to cell walls, cell structure and the genetic material of the cell and oxidise LDL cholesterol leading to heart attacks. Consuming antioxidant-rich foods preserve cell integrity and prevent damage to the DNA. Antioxidants are moleculesthat are known to protect our body from the harmful effects of excess free radicals by binding with oxidants. 


It is important to maintain a balance between free radicals and antioxidants. Foods high in antioxidants have been linked to reducing the risk of chronic oxidative stress-related diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as coronary heart disease and high blood pressure by scavenging free radicals and inhibiting oxidant formations. Antioxidants, especially flavonoids, help significantly reduce inflammation. It is therefore imperative to consume antioxidant-rich food every day to maintain heart health. 


In this article we will reveal 10 of the best antioxidant-rich foods to help you fight free radicals and maintain a healthy heart and other organs in the long run. 


1. Berries   

Berries are a powerhouse of nutrients. Fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and cranberries are rich sources of vitamins and fibre. Studies reveal that regular consumption of berries can help reduce inflammation and significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.  Although all the fruits in this family have great health benefits, blueberries can be considered the best among antioxidant-rich foods. It is rich in a specific kind of antioxidant called anthocyanins which help manage complications like obesity and cardiovascular diseases.


2. Dark chocolate

If you want to up your antioxidant intake, consider adding dark chocolate (above 70% cocoa content) to your diet. Research says a single serving is also a source of antioxidants.  Dark chocolate has a high cocoa content, a rich source of flavonoids, which have been shown to lower inflammation levels, improve cardiovascular health and maintain normal cholesterol levels in the body. Make sure to not consume in excess and watch the sugar content of these chocolates. 

3. Beetroot

Beetroot contains high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenols. They are rich in nitrates that directly impact the smooth functioning of the cardiovascular system. Studies reveal that regular consumption of beetroot juice can improve blood pressure levels, better cognition and help with overall health. Consuming beetroots as a salad before your meal can also be a good way to incorporate them into your daily diet.  

4. Spinach

Dark leafy vegetables are naturally rich in antioxidants, and spinach is one such good example. It is low in calories and contains many vitamins, minerals and fibres. This green leafy vegetable is packed with vitamins A, C and K, which have many protective benefits for the body.  Spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capabilities. 

5. Guavas

This delicious fruit is a rich source of antioxidants and essential vitamins such as vitamins A and C, lycopene and fibre. Studies reveal that different part of the plant exhibits different benefits. Guava improves blood flow throughout the body, improve digestion, reduce oxidative stress to the heart, and help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The nutrients in guava also have beneficial properties for the body. 

6. Beans

An essential member of the legumes family, beans are ranked high in the antioxidant food list. They contain a certain kind of antioxidant called kaempferol which has anti-inflammatory benefits. It is also rich in dietary fibre, which can come in handy in improving digestion and forming healthy intestinal micro bacteria. Beans are also good sources of plant protein, these have protective effects and improve overall health. 

7. Oatmeal

Among the healthier breakfast choices, oatmeal is packed with protein, dietary fibre, vitamins B, C, E and K and calcium. It is filling and nutritious and can be topped with nuts or vegetables of your choice, making it tasty.Studies show that oats are rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, polyphenols, flavonoids and chlorophyll. They scavenge free radicals, protect against cell damage and activate cell repair. Oats are a good source of soluble fibre – beta-gluten. Beta-gluten is beneficial for overall health helping with satiety and reducing cholesterol. A healthy oatmeal breakfast is a good way to incorporate oats into the diet. 

8. Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a rich source of many different antioxidants, including ellagic acids, gallic acids, anthocyanins, and ellagitannins.  The antioxidants in pomegranates, particularly polyphenols like ellagic acid and tannins, may help reduce inflammation in the body and lower cholesterol levels, which can help prevent heart disease. Pomegranates are a good source of dietary fibre, which is important for maintaining healthy digestion.

9. Turmeric

One of India’s most loved spice, made it to the top 10 antioxidant food list. Turmeric is also well regarded for its medicinal properties and contains vital components. Turmeric contains the antioxidant curcumin, which is anti-inflammatory and increases the body’s ability to produce antioxidants. It also helps in reducing oxidation in the body. Consuming turmeric along with pepper increases its bioavailability. Its anti-inflammatory property makes turmeric and milk a famous home remedy to cure a cold and cough in India.

10. Nuts

Last but not least, nuts are considered among foods high in antioxidants. Although they have a high fat and calorie content, they have many health benefits. Nuts contain healthy fatty acids that help overall health. Based on studies, regular nut consumption may have beneficial effects against certain chronic conditions.


Nuts contain many different carotenoids, phytosterols (plant steroids) and ellagic acids with strong antioxidant properties. Also, out of all the nuts, pecan and walnuts have shown the highest ability to scavenge free radicals. A handful of soaked nuts can be consumed first thing in the morning as part of a healthy diet. 


So, there you have it, a comprehensive list of the top 10 antioxidant-rich foods you must definitely add to your heart-healthy diet plan to improve your health and overall well-being. 


However, eating food that contains antioxidants is not enough; you should also use cooking oils packed with antioxidants. Saffola Total blended cooking oil has an advanced antioxidant system with the power of 5 antioxidants like Oryzanol, Tocopherol,  Tocotrienols, Phytosterol and Squalene. Its active antioxidant system fights free radicals and prevents oxidative damage exhibiting a protective effect on heart health.


Health Benefits Of Running & Its Effect On Heart

Running is a great form of physical activity that can have many benefits for your overall health, including your heart health. It has proven to be supportive of your cardiovascular system. It is no secret that running is one of the most effective ways to stay fit and healthy. Regular running can help obtain better heart health by improving overall cardiovascular fitness. Let’s see how…

How is running good for your heart health? 

Here are some of the health benefits of physical activity for your overall health  


  • Lowering blood pressure: Regular running can help manage your blood pressure, which is a good indicator of overall heart health.


  • Reducing stress: Running can helpmanage stress and improve mental health, which can  help have a positive impact on heart health.


  • Burning calories: Running can help you burn calories and maintain a healthy weight, which can also help protect your heart.


  • Strengthening the heart: Running can help strengthen your heart and improve its function and can improve overall cardiovascular health.


  • Improving cardiovascular fitness: Running can help improve your cardiovascular fitness, which is the ability of your heart and blood vessels to deliver oxygen to your muscles during physical activity. This can help you obtain better overall and heart health. 

What is the right amount of running?


The right amount of running for heart health depends on an individual’s age, fitness level and overall health. It is essential to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and duration of runs. A beginner runner may start with two or three runs per week, with each run lasting 15-20 minutes. As the body adapts, the runner can gradually increase the duration and frequency of runs. Setting a routine helps in improving running fitness. It is crucial to stretch after a run. Stretch both legs 2-3 times and hold each stretch for 45 seconds. Make sure to train, rest, hydrate and follow a healthy diet to maintain good physical health. 


It is also important to consider the overall health status of an individual before engaging in intense or excessive running. Individuals with a history of heart disease or other underlying health conditions should consult with their doctor before starting a running program. Additionally, older adults and individuals with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or other risk factors for heart disease should take extra precautions when starting a running program.

Is long-distance running good for the heart? 

Long-distance running is also good for the heart. It is important to start slowly, and then gradually increase the intensity, and know when to stop or consult a doctor before starting a long-distance running program especially if you are a heart patient. By following these guidelines, runners can enjoy the many benefits of running for overall and heart health while managing the risk of diseases including heart disease.


However, it is important to note that excessive running can lead to injuries and chronic fatigue, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Studies have also shown that excessive running (32 km a week) can lead to a condition called “athlete’s heart,” which is characterised by an enlarged heart and thickened heart walls. 


The Takeaway

In conclusion, running has numerous benefits that extend far beyond physical fitness. It can improve mental health, boost self-esteem, and increase longevity, among other things. Most importantly, running has a positive impact on heart health. However, it’s essential to remember that running alone is not enough to maintain a healthy heart. Also, it’s imperative to check with your healthcare professional on the amount of exertion basis the underlying physiological condition. A heart-healthy balanced diet full of nutrients is crucial to overall heart health. You can also opt for a heart-healthy cooking oil like Saffola Gold which has natural antioxidants that help build immunity and keep your heart strong.

So, lace up those running shoes and hit the pavement, but don’t forget to nourish your heart with ample amounts of nutritious foods and moderate amounts of heart-healthy oils like Saffola Gold!

Read more: Tips To Stay Healthy While Working from Home


10 Healthy Eating Habits For A Heart-Healthy Diet

Most people know that a healthy diet with optimum protein, rich in fruits and vegetables and an adequate intake of water provides numerous health benefits to the body. But the challenge is incorporating healthy eating habits into your daily routine without getting overwhelmed. 


The key is to take small yet significant steps to make your regular diet healthier. The choices you make each day will have a big impact on your overall health and well-being. Here are 10 excellent healthy eating tips that will ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs to function in the most efficient manner. 


1. Have breakfast daily

Breakfast is called the king of all meals for a reason. If you think skipping breakfast will help you lose weight, think again. After waking up from your overnight sleep, the body has not received any nutrition for 6-8 hours. Breakfast replenishes the store of nutrients and energy in the body. 


A healthy breakfast high in minerals and fibre but low in sugar, fat and salt can kickstart your metabolism and helps you get through the day. When you skip breakfast, you tend to overeat in the next meal due to hunger pangs. 

2. Eat more fruits and vegetables

Vegetables and fruits are also synonymous with foods good for the heart. An excellent way to ensure you get your daily portion of vegetables and fruits is to eat them at the beginning of the meal. Starting your meal with a salad helps you fill up on fibre and reduces hunger. ICMR recommends consuming 300g of vegetables and about 100g of fresh fruits a day.  Fruits form an important food component of your diet. Fruits are rich in water, fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. The natural sugar found in fruits is digested slowly due to the presence of fibre, reducing major spikes in blood sugar levels. Consume at least 1 fruit (100g) a day.  Consuming fruit juices (even 100%) is not a healthy replacement for fruits as they are devoid of fibre. 

3. Choose the right oil for cooking 

Saturated and trans fat can increase the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood. It is usually found in foods such as red meat, hard cheese, ghee, butter, cakes, lard and pies. Trans fats are generated in many bakery products which use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. Consume foods that are sources of healthy fatty acids, MUFA: PUFAs like nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. For a healthier choice, cook your food in cooking oils that contain a good balance of MUFAs and PUFAs.


Switching to heart-healthy cooking oil is an excellent way to manage your saturated fat intake. To maintain normal cholesterol levels, you can try cooking with Saffola Gold, a blended edible oil containing  oryzanol. Its dual-seed technology provides a good balance of MUFA and PUFA. To know more about how to choose the right healthy oil for Indian cooking, click here.

4. Include more fish in your diet

Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and trout are rich sources of good healthy fats.  Oily fish contains Omega 3 fatty acids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that aid various body functions.  


Aim to eat at least two portions (about 300g) of fish per week, including one piece of oily fish. 

5. Drink enough water

Drinking water before meals can offer several benefits for our health. Firstly, it promotes hydration, which is essential for maintaining good health. Moreover, drinking water before meals can help us feel fuller and reduce our calorie intake during the meal, promoting weight maintenance. It is recommended to consume 8 glasses of water a day.  

6. Include more whole grains and millets in your diet

Make your diet healthier by choosing whole grains such as whole wheat flour, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, and brown rice over refined starchy carbohydrates. They are a good source of fibre and help you feel full for longer. Studies show that whole grains are also associated with health benefits owing to their fibrous properties. Millets are other beneficial foods that can be included. Jowar, bajra, and ragi provide healthy nutrients that contribute to your overall health. 

7. Reduce your intake of salt 

According to NIN-ICMR, Dietary Guidelines for Indians, salt intake should not exceed more than 6 grams of salt per day. Sodium is an essential nutrient, however, the upper limit for consumption is 2000 mg/day. Consuming too much salt and sodium can put you at risk of developing high blood pressure which may lead to heart disease subsequently.  Be mindful of your processed foods consumption and the sodium in them on a per-serve basis. It is also important to be mindful of the salt you add while cooking food. 

8. Eating well also means eating right

Mindful eating is an important aspect of your healthy eating journey. The pace at which you eat can determine if you are likely to gain weight. Studies say hormones signal your brain when your stomach is full, but it takes 20 minutes for your brain to get that signal. 


That is why you should eat slowly and put your fork down a couple of times between meals. You should also resist the temptation to overeat. Chewing your food thoroughly is also linked to better digestion and improved weight management. 


9. Eat on smaller plates 

Studies  reveal that the size of dinnerware can affect how much we eat. Eating from small plates makes your portion look large, giving you a feeling of satiety. Eating from a smaller plate can trick your brain into thinking that you are eating more. This way, you will avoid over-eating or taking multiple helpings.  

Developing healthy eating habits takes time and consistent effort. That is why it is helpful to incorporate small changes each day to make healthy eating a lifestyle. While some of these tips talk about portioning your food correctly, some talk about adding essential nutrients to your heart-healthy diet plan. However, all these tips will significantly impact keeping your heart healthy and your overall diet healthier.


Listen To Your Heart: Making Women More Aware of their Heart Health This Women’s Day

It’s important for both men and women to be aware of their health. According to the World Health Organization, 2019, non-communicable diseases account for 66% of total adult deaths in India. and cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death due to NCDs (WHO, 2019).  The Global Burden of Disease study estimates age-standardised death from CVD as 272/lakh among Indians 

However, The British Heart Foundation (2022), estimates that globally more post-menopausal women (290 million) suffer from heart disease compared to men (260 million). Women often have different symptoms of heart disease than men and must look for the signs and symptoms carefully. They are exposed to more hormonal changes than men and they need to take care of their heart health more effectively and efficiently. 

As women, we don many hats – from being working professionals to being a mother, women are the centre of everyone’s world. While multitasking we often tend to neglect to look after our health. Be it physically or emotionally, we miss out on putting ourselves first. But with today’s fast-paced environment, we need to ensure we are doing our best, it is crucial that we look after ourselves in a much better way. 

If you are a working professional or a stay-at-home mother, you need to be aware of your heart health. Here are some tips for women to help improve and maintain their heart health. 


How do you know if your heart is healthy?

There are several ways to check if your heart is okay as a woman. Here are 5 key points to keep in mind:

  • Monitor your blood pressure: High blood pressure is a significant risk factor for heart disease. It’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly and work with your healthcare provider to manage it if it is high.
  • Track your cholesterol levels: High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. Have your cholesterol levels checked regularly and work with your healthcare provider to manage them if they are abnormal.
  • Manage stress: Chronic stress can increase your risk of heart disease. Practice stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises.
  • Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes that occur during menopause can increase a woman’s risk of heart disease. Women should speak with their healthcare provider about managing their heart health during menopause.
  • Nutrient deficiencies: Women are sometimes at higher risk of certain nutrient deficiencies that can impact heart health. Due to menstruation, they lose out on iron stores. It’s hence, important to eat a balanced diet and speak with your healthcare provider about any necessary supplements.

In addition to the above factors, age also plays a role in heart health. As women age, their risk of heart disease increases. Regular check-ups with a healthcare provider and appropriate management of any risk factors can help maintain heart health as you age.

 Warning signs of a silent heart attack in women 

A silent heart attack, also known as a silent myocardial infarction (MI), is a heart attack that does not cause any noticeable symptoms. Silent MIs are more common in women and older adults, and they can be just as serious as heart attacks that cause symptoms.

Some warning signs of a silent heart attack in women may include

  • Unusual fatigue: A silent heart attack may cause a feeling of extreme fatigue or tiredness that is not relieved by rest.
  • Dizziness or light-headedness: Some women may feel dizzy or lightheaded during a silent heart attack.

How can you make your heart healthier?


  • Exercise Regularly: 

Regular physical activity can help improve heart health by lowering blood pressure, total and LDL cholesterol and reducing stress. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises, such as brisk walking, most days of the week. You can check out some of the Yoga asanas that help improves your heart health.

  • Reduce smoking:

 Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease, so it’s important to quit if you currently smoke. There are many resources available to help you quit, including medications, support groups, and online resources.

  • Maintain a healthy diet:

 A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein can help lower the risk of heart disease. Avoid foods including oils that are high in saturated and trans fats, as well as added sugars and sodium. You can opt for Saffola Gold, a blended oil with antioxidants and a good balance of MUFA and PUFA which can help on your journey for a healthy heart. 

  Which foods are good for women’s heart health

  • Fresh Fruits and vegetables: These s are high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals and can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Whole grains: These include whole wheat flour, oats, quinoa, brown rice and millets like jowar, bajra etc. They are high in fibre and can help lower cholesterol.
  • Lean proteins: These include chicken, fish, tofu, and beans. They are low in saturated fat and can help lower cholesterol.
  • Healthy fats: These include avocados, nuts, and seeds. You can also consume MUFA- PUFA-rich oil like rice bran oil, sunflower oil, olive oil or a multisource edible oil like Saffola Gold. They can help improve heart health. 

These are some of the foods that help prevent heart attacks in women.

Quick Heart Health Home Remedies for Women

  • Garlic: Garlic contains allicin that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric contains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It may help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation.
  • Ginger: Ginger contains gingerols that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and may help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation.
  • Green tea: Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins that may help lower cholesterol and improve heart health. 

3 Ayurvedic Remedies for Women’s Heart Health

  • Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that can help reduce stress and anxiety. It has also been shown to improve heart function and reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Arjuna:: Arjuna is a herb commonly used in Ayurveda for heart health. It is believed to support healthy cholesterol levels, improve heart function, and promote healthy blood flow. (source)The bark of the arjuna tree is typically used to make supplements or teas. It can be taken regularly as a preventative measure or as directed by a healthcare provider.
  • Hawthorn: Hawthorn is a herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to support heart health. (source)It can help improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure. Hawthorn can be taken as a supplement or in tea form.  

These home remedies to manage heart disease along with a heart-healthy diet plan and exercise can help you look after your heart health efficiently. 

Note: It is important to note that these tips should be used in addition to, not as a replacement for, medical treatment for heart disease. 

If you have heart disease or are at a risk for heart disease, it is important to see a healthcare provider for proper diagnosis and medical treatment. By following these tips and being proactive about your heart health, you can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health and well-being.

To know more tips about women’s heart health you can read on to – Heart Health Tips for Women.


Diabetes And Heart Health: Are They Associated?

Diabetes is a growing syndrome in the world. India is home to the second-largest diabetes population. According to a study by the International Diabetes Federation, India has the second-highest number of people with diabetes in the world, with an estimated 77.2 million people living with the disease in 2019. The study also found that the number of people with diabetes in India is projected to increase to 134.3 million by 2045. Additionally, about 57% of these individuals remain undiagnosed (ICMR-INDIAB, 2022). 

These staggering statistics serve as a wake-up call for us to take action and prioritize our health. It’s time to raise awareness about diabetes and take control of our well-being

Dealing with diabetes can be a challenging journey, but it’s important to remember that managing your blood sugar levels can, not only help your body cope with the condition but can also be a powerful tool in preventing other health issues, such as heart diseases.

Yes, you read that right. 

There is an interesting relationship between diabetes and heart disease.

What is Diabetes and What are its Symptoms?

Type 2 Diabetes is an impairment in the way the body regulates and uses glucose. This chronic condition can lead to too much glucose/sugar in the bloodstream. Diabetes can be caused by two interrelated problems, where the body is unable to produce a hormone, insulin, that regulates blood sugar movement into the cell or the cells do not respond to available insulin and do not take in blood sugar for utilization.  

Eventually, uncontrolled diabetes can lead to circulatory, nervous, kidneys and immune system-related complications.. Let’s take a look at how there is a strong correlation between diabetes and cardiovascular health.

According to the CDC, here are some common diabetes symptoms you need to watch out for

  • Urinating a lot, often at night (Polyuria)
  • Frequently thirsty (Polydipsia)
  • Frequent feeling of hunger (Polyphagia)
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Experiencing numbing or tingling of hands or feet
  • Feeling very tired
  • Having very dry skin
  • Having sores that heal slowly
  • Suffering more infections than usual

How Diabetes Affects Your Heart

Those who have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing heart disease at an early age. When compared to non-diabetics, adult diabetics pose approximately double the risk of developing heart disease or stroke. (Source)

Heart disease may occur because over time high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart. Blood flows through the arteries with more force when you have high blood pressure, which can damage the arterial walls. Your risk of heart disease might significantly increase if you have both high blood pressure and diabetes.

The good news is that taking small healthy steps and managing your diabetes can help reduce your risk of developing heart disease or stroke!
Know more about how sugar affects your heart health.

How To Manage Diabetes

The question, “how to control sugar” has definitely crossed your mind. Yes, some people are prescribed medication to control diabetes, however, along with doctor’s instructions making simple lifestyle changes can go a long way in helping you manage  diabetes.

Here are some suggested lifestyle modifications: 

  • Maintain a Healthy Weight

According to a study, people with a high BMI, who lost around 7% of their body weight through dietary and physical activity improvements had a nearly 60% reduction in their chance of getting diabetes. To manage disease progression, the American Diabetes Association advises prediabetic individuals to lose between 7% and 10% of their body weight if they have a higher BMI. Indians have a higher body fat percentage genetically, and a healthy BMI of 18-22.9 should be maintained for better overall and heart health. 

  • Get More Active

According to the World Health Organization (2020), adults aged 18-64 years should do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity; or at least 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity. Regular physical activity can increase the body’s ability to use insulin and lower glucose levels, reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, exercise can improve cardiovascular health by reducing blood pressure, improving cholesterol levels, and promoting healthy weight.

  • Eat Healthier

Consuming a balanced diet   is helpful in managing both diabetes and heart health. Consume more whole grains (about half the total cereals), good quality protein, and fresh produce. If you are a diabetic, avoiding sugary drinks, refined carbohydrates, sweets and snacks will help you maintain your blood sugar levels. Drink more water and steer clear of alcohol. A healthy diet to manage your diabetes will also help you on your journey to strengthen your heart health.

Here are 4 Foods to Eat to Manage Diabetes

  • Nuts

Snack on items rich in protein and healthy fats, such as nuts, to avoid evening refined carbohydrates cravings and keep you feeling fuller until dinner. Nuts also contain polyunsaturated fats (PUFA), and phytosterols which have been linked to decreasing the progression of type 2 diabetes. You can also opt for a blended oil (multi-sourced) like Saffola Gold which has a good balance of MUFAs and PUFAs to help keep your heart healthy.

  • Oats

In a one-cup serving (250 gms) of oatmeal, there are about 3 grams of soluble fibre. Enjoying a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast will keep you fuller for a long time. According to a study, individuals who consume sufficient fibre—more than 26 grams per day—have an 18% reduced risk of getting type 2 diabetes than those who consume less than 19 grams daily. Fibre helps in maintaining stable blood sugar levels, which may reduce your chance of diabetes.

  • Protein

Protein can help manage diabetes by helping to regulate blood sugar levels and slowing down blood sugar rise post-consumption. High-protein foods can also increase feelings of fullness, which can help manage weight and improve insulin sensitivity. It’s important to note that some high-protein non-veg foods can also be high in saturated fat, so it’s important to choose lean protein sources and limit processed meats, such as sausages and bacon. 

  • High-Fibre Fruits

Eating fruit regularly can provide a richness of vitamins and minerals in your diet. You should concentrate on fruits that are high in fibre, such as apples (with the peel), berries, and citrus fruits, as a diet high in fibre has been shown to lower the risk of diabetes and lower blood pressure.

  • Green Vegetables

All veggies should be a part of your diet, but when it comes to reducing the risk of diabetes, it’s crucial to concentrate on green and non-starchy vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, kale, and broccoli, and green leafy vegetables like spinach, and fenugreek give you the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly.
In addition to having a high fibre content,cruciferous vegetables also include anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the risk of diabetes-related blood vessel damage and aid in blood sugar regulation.

We’ve now understood the
relationship between diabetes and heart disease and know that managing diabetes is a key part of maintaining a healthy heart. We hope that this article has given you some new and useful information that you can use to keep your heart healthy!


New Year, New You: 7 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy in 2023

The start of a new year is a time for renewal and rejuvenation. Many people use this opportunity to set ambitious health goals such as achieving a healthier weight, making positive lifestyle changes, and committing to a regular exercise routine.  

Despite the best of intentions, it’s not uncommon for individuals to find themselves struggling to keep up with their resolutions. It can be challenging for people to stick to their health and wellness plans, as their goals can often be ambitious and difficult to maintain long-term.   That’s why creating resolutions that not only improve our health but are also sustainable in the long term can be very beneficial in the maintenance of a healthier lifestyle.

Here are some heart-healthy tips for the new year that are easy and sustainable!

1.  Drop the Fads

It’s important to remember that fad diets and extreme exercise routines are not sustainable in the long term. Instead, focus on making small changes to your daily habits that can have a gradual but significant impact on your heart health. This New Year, make a decision to end the dieting cycle and establish a healthful eating pattern that suits you rather than deciding to adhere to yet another restrictive fad diet. 

A diet that is high in whole, nutrient-dense and low in highly processed, sugary foods is the healthiest!Here’s a guide to the 5 Superfoodsyou should include in your heart-healthy diet!

2. Switch to a Healthier Cooking Oil

Cooking oils are a staple in Indian households, and choosing the right one can be beneficial to your heart health. Saffola Total is a great option as it is clinically proven to reduce bad cholesterol levels and help better heart health. This makes it a heart-friendly option for cooking. You can also opt for a heart-healthy cooking oil like Saffola Gold, which has a good balance of healthy fats like MUFA and PUFA that can help you on your journey to stay healthy and fit. 

3. Limit Processed Food Intake

Snacking is a part of our daily routine. Instead of reaching for a bag of chips, try replacing it with whole fruit. Fruits are high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, and can help manage heart health. Additionally, sugary beverages like soda and energy drinks can be high in calories and can contribute to weight gain leading to other conditions as well.  Instead, try traditional drinks like chaas which is a traditional Indian drink made from yoghurt, water, and spices. It’s a great way to stay hydrated 

4. Switch to Low-Sodium Salts

Salt is a common ingredient in our meals, but it’s important to remember that more than the recommended amounts of 5g/day (2000mg sodium) can, over time, raise blood pressure. Try using low-sodium salts like Kosher salt, pink Himalayan salt or salt alternatives like lemon zest, pepper, garlic powder etc., to reduce your sodium intake.

5. Get That Body Moving

Physical activity, including exercise, helps maintain heart health by improving cardiovascular function, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and promoting healthy weight and blood circulation. Regular exercise also helps reduce stress, improve sleep, and boost overall mood, which are all beneficial for heart health.

6. Get Better Quality Sleep

Sleep is a crucial component of general health, and sleep loss can have negative effects. For instance, a lack of sleep can make you more susceptible to heart disease, depression, and weight gain. In order to find the best strategies to increase the amount and quality of your sleep, it’s vital to consider your sleep schedule and lifestyle. Some easy measures to enhance sleep quality include limiting screen time before bed, decreasing light exposure in your sleeping area, minimising coffee intake, and setting a consistent bedtime.

7.  Practice Meditation

The practice of meditation has been proven to improve mental health and is also a healthy tip for a healthy heart. For those suffering from anxiety, stress or depression, meditation could be very beneficial. There are many different ways to meditate, and it’s easy to find books, podcasts, and apps that teach you how to start a meditation practice, so giving it a try is a great New Year’s resolution to help you stay mentally strong.

By making small changes to your daily habits, you can manage your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease. Remember to focus on simple changes that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine. With these heart-healthy resolutions, you can start the new year off on the right foot and take the first steps towards a healthier and happier you.


Foods That Help To Reduce LDL Cholesterol

Globalization has brought about rapid changes in lifestyle and dietary habits. These changes have caused a rise in lifestyle-related diseases. These lifestyle-related diseases include obesity, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus, respiratory diseases and cancer. According to experts, lifestyle-related diseases including cardiovascular diseases are estimated to account for around 60% of all deaths in India. In India in 2016, CVDs contributed to 28·1% of total deaths. The risk factors for cardiovascular disease are family history, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, and inactivity. 

There are two types of cholesterol, Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol and High-density Lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol. The LDL cholesterol is termed as bad cholesterol since it can collect in the walls of the arteries and raise the chances for heart health problems. HDL, or the “good” cholesterol, picks up excess LDL cholesterol and takes it back to your liver. It can then be excreted from the body. LDL Cholesterol is one of the two major lipoproteins, saturated fatty acids can raise LDL cholesterol and a high amount of this is harmful to our bodies.

Cholesterol is another substance that performs key functions in the body, however, an excess can be detrimental to health.

This is why it is vital to start making healthier decisions to lower LDL cholesterol levels in your blood. One way to do that is to maintain low cholesterol and a low saturated fat diet.  We can better manage our blood cholesterol by making small changes to our diet. Certain cholesterol and saturated fat-lowering foods can be incorporated into our diet to reduce total and LDL cholesterol.  

Cholesterol Reducing Foods List

    1. Oats and whole grains: Whole grains like barley, oats and whole wheat are all beneficial foods that can be incorporated into the diet. The reason it’s recommended to consume whole grains is due to their bran content. Every grain, like wheat, loses the bran in the milling process. Bran is the outer layer of the cereal grain. You can include bran in your diet or eat coarser flour like whole wheat. These grains contain soluble fibre, which possesses a lot of health benefits. By binding with cholesterol and eliminating it from the body, whole grains can be a part of the heart-healthy diet plan.


    1. Legumes and beans: Legumes and beans are yet another type of cholesterol-lowering food that is also a part of a heart-healthy food family. This group includes lentils, peas and beans like chickpeas, black-eyed peas and many others. In India, these foods are consumed with great relish! Consuming these food items means consuming lots of fibre, vitamins, minerals and proteins. Regular consumption of legumes and beans in adequate amounts helps lower LDL cholesterol.


    1. Avocados: Dietary fibre is essential, and they are available plentiful in whole grains, legumes, and beans. However, another food item to be included is avocados, which are rich in good fatty acids like monounsaturated fatty acids. Research has shown that Monounsaturated fatty acids are beneficial for heart health by not only lowering LDL cholesterol but might also raise HDL cholesterol. Replacing saturated fatty acids with monounsaturated fatty acids may be beneficial for heart health. A low-cholesterol diet could include avocado. Avocado is nature’s plant/vegan “butter”; you can make guacamole out of it and even have avocado toast if you desire.


    1. Fruits and berries: Fruits and berries represent nature’s bounties. They are excellent because they are readily available to many and also because they are great as a snack. Fruits and berries are essential components of a balanced diet and are rich in fibre and various vitamins, minerals and bioactive compounds. They are also a heart-healthy food group and consist of antioxidants which can reduce inflammation. They lower LDL cholesterol and give the body various other benefits as well. 


  1. A healthy cooking oil: Oil makes up a major part of food preparation. You should choose the right kind of cooking oil which can help you maintain a healthier diet. Edible oil like Saffola Total is clinically proven to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. It contains oryzanol which helps keep your cholesterol in check! Its dual-seed technology helps you achieve a good balance of healthier fatty acids like MUFA and PUFA for better nutrition. 

The foods suggested above are widely available to us. It is possible for just about anyone to get their hands on these foods and create heart-healthy diet plans low in sat fat, sodium and sugar. This will help keep your cholesterol in check and ensure you’re eating a variety of nutritious foods that will make you feel great!


Blended Vs Refined Oil: Which One Should You Choose?

One of the biggest parts of our daily cooking is oils. While cooking oils receive a lot of flak, we cannot ignore this vital ingredient. Almost everything we cook needs a certain amount of oil, whether our vegetables or any other dish. However, when it comes to oils, there is always a debate about the type of oil we should go for! One debate is blended oil vs single seed refined oil. People choose to use blended oil because they believe it is healthier than single-seed refined oil. However, each type of oil has its own benefits and drawbacks. 

But first, let’s address the central question…

Difference Between Blended & Refined Oils

To answer this question, you must first know what they are. These are the same kind of oils but have different nuances. Refined single-seed oils are extracted from a particular (single) food ingredient like soybean, rice bran, groundnut, mustard, etc. Blended oils, on the other hand, are a mix of more than one type of oil, for example, soybean and rice bran or sunflower with olive oil. 

Let’s look at the benefits of both these types of oils.


Oils do not have a good reputation- among consumers. However, healthier oils low in saturated fats can be consumed daily in controlled amounts. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are found in various vegetable and seed oils. MUFAs and PUFAs are essential for health, and a balanced approach will help our bodies. 

Benefits of blended oil

The debate of blended oil Vs refined oil isn’t a debate since they come with exceptional benefits. Let’s check out some of the benefits of blended oil:

  1. Some blended oils are rich in MUFAs and PUFAs. These fatty acids are essential for the body. Some blends are proven to lower bad LDL cholesterol and help manage heart disease. 
  2. Blended oils with specific blends may help in managing cancer cells. They also lower triglycerides and overall body weight. 
  3. Blending oils help with a higher smoke point, making them ideal for frying our tasty treats. Their higher smoke point also makes them perfect for all types of cooking, without generating toxic chemicals.
  4. Blended oils are excellent for providing health benefits that exceed the benefits of a single-source oil. 


Single-seed oils are equally crucial for our health as blended oils. In fact, the question: why oils are refined is a popular one. Several oils need to be refined because they often contain certain impurities that can affect the consumption of this oil. These oils need to be refined to make them edible and safe to consume. Refined oils also ensure longer shelf life. 

Benefits of refined cooking oil

Again, pertaining to the debate of blended oil Vs single seed oil, both  come with their own sets of advantages and let’s take a look at them: 

  1. Fats are an integral part of our life. According to ICMR dietary guidelines, dietary fat intake should be 15-30% of total energy intake. This means that not more than 30% of our dietary energy should come from oils and fats. Refined oil is a good source of fats and should be a part of our diet. 
  2. Packed refined cooking oils are good also because there is less chance of adulteration. 
  3. Refined cooking oils are replete with fatty acids essential for our bodies Refined oils tend to keep twice as long as unrefined oils – at least 6 to 12 months if stored properly.

In Conclusion,

Both blended and refined oils come with their benefits, however, choosing them is a personal choice. Blended oil has quite a bad reputation when in fact, it’s a good thing. It doesn’t mean that it’s adulterated; it just means it’s been combined with other types of oil. Since blended oils combine two oils, to have a rich source of MUFAs and PUFAs from a single healthy cooking oil! 

For instance, Saffola Gold is a blended oil that combines rice bran and sunflower oil and is developed to be good for your heart health. You can choose Saffola Total with a blend of rice bran oil and safflower oil if you want to decrease your LDL cholesterol. A blend of these two oils has also been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels more effectively than single-source oils.
Also read more about natural ways to reduce cholesterol levels.