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7 Must-Follow Tips for a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

In the hustle and bustle of our modern lives, we often find ourselves racing against the clock, caught up in the whirlwind of daily responsibilities. In the midst of all this chaos, we tend to overlook one of the most vital aspects of our existence – our heart. Our hearts are, quite literally, the engines that keep us alive, tirelessly pumping blood, and oxygen throughout our bodies. It’s high time we shine the spotlight on our hearts and take proactive steps to ensure their well-being. 

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the world of heart-healthy living! Heart health is affected by various factors. It is thus important to explore the importance of heart-healthy oils, the joy of staying active, the wisdom of a balanced diet, the magic of a hearty breakfast, the therapy of laughter, and the bliss of a peaceful slumber. (source)

Are you ready to embark on this heartwarming adventure that’s bound to make your heart sing with joy? Let’s get started!

1. Incorporate Heart-Healthy Oils in your Diet 

When it comes to heart health, oils play a pivotal role. Not all fats and oils are equal, and some oils may, in fact, be good for your heart. Olive oil, a prominent heart-healthy oil, is a good choice to use in the kitchen. Packed with monounsaturated fats, olive oil helps lower bad cholesterol levels and may benefit heart health. Use it for salad dressings, sautéing vegetables, or even drizzle it over your popcorn for a heart-healthy twist on a classic snack. 

If you are looking for a heart-healthy oil that’s tailor-made for Indian cooking, consider trying out  Saffola Gold, a blended oil made from Rice bran oil and Sunflower seed oil, developed using dual-seed technology. This unique blend ensures a good balance of MUFAs (Monounsaturated Fatty Acids) and PUFAs (Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids), offering better nutrition for your heart.

2. Get Moving, Stay Active

Heart-healthy living isn’t complete without regular exercise. Staying active is vital for maintaining a healthy heart. Engaging in physical activities such as brisk walking, swimming, cycling, or dancing can significantly improve your heart health. You could attempt to indulge in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week to keep your heart in tip-top shape.

Not only does exercise help maintain a healthy weight, but it also helps reduce the risk of developing heart diseases like hypertension and diabetes. So, put those sneakers on, get out there, and make your heart pump to the rhythm of a healthier beat! (source)

3. Maintain a Balanced Diet

A heart-healthy lifestyle tips the scales towards a balanced diet. Try to fill your plate up with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These foods are rich in nutrients that promote heart health, such as fibre, protein, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Additionally, try to limit your intake of ultra-processed foods, sugary snacks, high saturated fat foods and excessive salt. Excess sodium (>5g/2000 mg/day) can lead to high blood pressure, which is a significant risk factor for heart disease. As an alternative, you could opt for fresh, homemade meals, seasoned with love and heart-healthy herbs and spices.

4. Don’t Skip Breakfast

Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, and for a good reason. It kick-starts your metabolism, provides you with essential nutrients, and helps regulate your appetite throughout the day.

Consider starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh berries, fruits and a sprinkle of heart-healthy flaxseeds or chia seeds. Oatmeal is an excellent source of beta-glucan, a soluble fibre, which helps lower cholesterol levels. You could add some dates and nuts of your choice for that extra crunch and a dose of healthy fats and some fruits for added vitamins. This delightful breakfast will set a positive tone for your heart-healthy journey.

5. Stress Less, Laugh More

In our hectic lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of stress. However, chronic stress can take a toll on your heart. It can lead to unhealthy habits like overeating, smoking, or excessive alcohol consumption. So, how can you break free from the stress trap and indulge less in unhealthy habits? Embrace the power of laughter!

Laughter is, indeed, the best medicine. It helps reduce stress hormones, increases endorphins, and improves blood flow – all of which benefit your heart. Make time for activities that bring joy and laughter into your life, whether it’s watching a humorous movie, spending time with loved ones, or engaging in hobbies that make you smile. 

6. Meditation and Yoga

You can also try out meditation and yoga, which are practices known for their potential benefits to mental and physical health. Meditation involves mindfulness techniques aimed at reducing stress and enhancing emotional well-being, while yoga combines physical postures, controlled breathing, and meditation elements to improve flexibility and promote relaxation. 

7. Sleep Like a Baby

Last but not least, don’t underestimate the importance of a good night’s sleep. Quality sleep is essential for heart health. During deep sleep, your body repairs and rejuvenates, including your cardiovascular system. Aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night to give your heart the break it deserves.

To improve your sleep quality, establish a regular sleep schedule, create a comfortable sleeping environment, and limit caffeine intake and the usage of electronic devices before bedtime.

In conclusion, following a heart-healthy lifestyle is quite an essential endeavor. Incorporate heart-healthy oils to your diet, stay active, maintain a balanced diet, don’t skip breakfast, stress less and laugh more, practise meditation and yoga, and get a good night’s sleep. 

Remember, your heart is your most loyal companion. Treat it with care, and it will continue to beat to the rhythm of your life for years to come. Cheers to your happy and healthy heart!

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Lipid Profile Testing: A Simple Way to Assess Your Cholesterol Levels

Taking care of your heart is vital for your overall well-being, and one essential tool in doing this is by getting a lipid profile test. In this blog, we will explore the fundamentals of lipid profile testing, its significance in assessing heart health, and the reasons behind fasting before the test. By understanding the basics of this test, you can take proactive steps towards managing your cardiovascular risk and making informed decisions about your heart health. 

So without further ado, let’s delve into the world of lipid profile testing and unlock the key insights it provides.

So, what is a Lipid Profile Test?

A lipid profile test, which is also known as a lipid profile test or cholesterol test, is a blood test that measures various abnormalities in lipids and can determine the risk of cardiovascular diseases. To understand this further, the test provides valuable information about your cholesterol levels, including total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol), HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol), and triglycerides, and has an impact on human health including heart health. 

The lipid profile test offers valuable insights into your cardiovascular health. High levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, along with low levels of HDL cholesterol, can indicate an increased risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions. By assessing these lipid levels, healthcare professionals can make informed decisions about treatment and lifestyle modifications to manage your cardiovascular risk.

The Five Tests in a lipid profile:

A standard lipid profile test includes five key measurements:

  1. Total cholesterol: It indicates the overall level of cholesterol in your blood.
  2. LDL cholesterol: Low density lipoprotein is a type of lipid that can have a negative impact on health. It can build up in the arteries, leading to plaque formation and increasing the risk of heart disease. Try to avoid unhealthy fats, such as processed foods, takeaway food, ghee and lard to maintain your LDL cholesterol levels.
  3. HDL cholesterol: High density lipoprotein is a type of cholesterol that is good for health. Adequate levels of HDL cholesterol are beneficial as it helps remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries. Food such as red meat, processed meats and full-fat dairy is advised to be avoided to maintain HDL cholesterol levels. 
  4. Triglycerides: Elevated levels of triglycerides are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
  5. Total cholesterol to HDL ratio: Aiming for a ratio of 5:1 is good, and 3.5:1 is even better. When the number is lower, it means your cholesterol levels are healthier. (source)

What’s the Normal Range of Lipid Profile Test?

The optimal lipid profile results can vary based on factors such as age, gender, and overall health. However, in general, the following ranges are considered desirable:

Total cholesterol: Less than 200 mg/dL

LDL cholesterol: Less than 100 mg/dL

HDL cholesterol: For men it’s 40 mg/dL or higher, and for women 50 mg/dL or higher

Triglycerides: Less than 150 mg/dL

Non-HDL cholesterol: It is calculated by deducting the HDL cholesterol from total cholesterol. The primary goal is to maintain the mark below 130 mg/dL.

Who Should Get a Lipid Profile Test?

Lipid profile testing is recommended for individuals with certain risk factors, including:

  • Individuals with a family history of cardiovascular disease may benefit from the awareness of a lipid profile test.
  • Those who have existing cardiovascular conditions, such as heart disease, should regularly undergo a lipid profile test.
  • Individuals who have risk factors of cardiovascular diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or obesity are often advised to take a lipid profile test.
  • People above a certain age, as recommended by their healthcare provider, may need to undergo a lipid profile test.

Who Performs a Lipid Profile Blood Test?

Lipid profile tests are typically conducted in medical laboratories or diagnostic centres. Skilled healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, or phlebotomists, collect a blood sample from your vein using a needle. Then they send the sample to a laboratory for analysis.

Lipid Profile Test Procedure:

The lipid profile test is a simple blood test that requires a blood sample. During the test, a healthcare professional will clean the area, usually the arm, with an antiseptic. They will then insert a small needle into a vein to collect a blood sample. 

Does One Need to Fast for a lipid profile Test?

To obtain accurate results, it is often recommended to fast for 9-12 hours before a lipid profile test. Fasting helps eliminate the influence of recent meals on lipid levels, providing a clearer picture of your baseline cholesterol levels.

What is the Cost of a Lipid Profile Test?

The cost of a lipid profile test will differ depending on several factors like your healthcare provider, geographical location, and insurance coverage. It is advisable to check with your healthcare provider or diagnostic centre to obtain accurate pricing information.

When Can I Expect My Lipid Profile Results?

The turnaround time for lipid profile test results can vary, but it is typically within a few days. Your healthcare provider will inform you when and how to access your test results. Once you receive the results, do remember to discuss them with your doctor to gain a comprehensive understanding of your cardiovascular risk and determine any necessary actions or treatments.

A lipid profile test is a valuable tool for assessing your cardiovascular risk and monitoring your cholesterol levels. By understanding the significance of this test and the various components measured, you can take proactive steps towards a heart-healthy lifestyle. Regular lipid profile testing, in conjunction with lifestyle modifications including dietary balance and physical activity with medical guidance, can help you maintain optimal heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to your well-being, so prioritise your heart health and discuss lipid profile testing with your healthcare provider. 

Maintaining a heart-healthy diet is of utmost importance, consider including Saffola Total in your diet as it has been scientifically tested to help manage cholesterol.

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Exploring the 7 Essential Nutrients that Help with Heart Health

Our heart is one of the most vital organs in the body, and it needs essential nutrients to function to maintain its optimal potential. These nutrients are vital compounds and are to be obtained through our food.  They play a crucial role in supporting various bodily functions, including key roles for the heart. 

In this blog, we will delve into what essential nutrients are, why they are necessary for your body and some of the essential nutrients that are beneficial for your heart health. Read on to be informed!

What do you mean by essential nutrients?

So, essential nutrients are substances that our body needs but cannot produce on its own, that is it is received from the diet including natural foods or supplements. Our body requires a wide range of essential nutrients, which include vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fats, and water, to function correctly. It is advisable to consult with your healthcare professional or a nutritionist to understand the importance of these essential nutrients and the individual recommended amounts.

Why are essential nutrients important for your heart health?

Maintaining a healthy heart is essential for your overall well-being, and consuming nutrients adequately is critical to achieving this. Essential nutrients provide the necessary building blocks to maintain a strong and efficient cardiovascular system. They help regulate blood pressure, support circulation, help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress—all of which contribute to better heart health.

Diet and nutrition play a significant role in maintaining heart health. A balanced diet comprises nutrients and food as a whole and does not rely on a single nutrient group. For example, fibre, micronutrients, and omega-3 fatty acids are some essential nutrients that can help nourish your heart and aid good health. (source)

List of 7 essential nutrients that support heart health:

Here’s a list of essential nutrients to guide you through your heart health journey:

  1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: A type of polyunsaturated fat, omega-3 is found in fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Some plant-based sources of omega-3 are walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, soybean, kidney beans and spinach. Omega 3 plays a role in the heart, blood vessels, and immune system. It is known as being a brain food which can help reduce inflammation, lower triglyceride levels and help maintain healthy heart rhythms.
  2. Fibre: Found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, fibre is an essential nutrient for heart health. It not only helps lower cholesterol levels but also regulates blood sugar control, which can be better for heart health. Moreover, incorporating fibre-rich foods into your diet supports healthy digestion and helps manage weight ICMR-NIN recommends the consumption of 30g/day of fibre for overall health. (source)
  3. Potassium: Bananas, oranges, tomatoes, leafy greens and coconut water are excellent sources of potassium. This mineral plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, supporting heart muscle contraction, and balancing electrolyte levels. Including potassium-rich foods in your diet can contribute to a healthier heart.
  4. Calcium: Calcium is not only important for strong bones and teeth but also plays a role in maintaining a regular heartbeat and healthy blood vessels. Dairy products including milk, cheese, yoghurt, curd, and paneer are good sources of calcium. Ragi is a non-dairy source of calcium. Ensuring an adequate intake of calcium contributes to a well-rounded diet. (source)
  5. Magnesium: Found in leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, magnesium is vital for maintaining heart rhythm, regulating blood pressure, and supporting overall heart health. Including magnesium-rich foods in your diet can help with proper muscle and nerve function. (source)
  6. Iron: It is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in maintaining heart health. One of its key functions is to support the production of red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body. Sufficient oxygen supply is essential for the heart’s functioning. Iron can be found in animal products such as lean meats and poultry. The plant-based sources like beans, lentils, fortified cereals, and spinach, can also contribute to your iron intake
  7. Zinc: An essential nutrient, it supports heart health through various mechanisms. Zinc is crucial for immune system function, and a healthy immune system indirectly contributes to overall cardiovascular well-being. To include zinc in your diet, you can consume seafood, particularly shellfish, poultry, lean meats, and dairy products. For those following a plant-based diet, legumes like chickpeas, beans, soybeans and lentils, as well as nuts and whole grains, can be a valuable addition to your zinc consumption.

Consuming these essential nutrients into your diet is crucial for overall health and supporting heart health. 

It is important to note that maintaining a balanced diet is essential. Additionally, it is advisable to limit the intake of processed and high-fat foods, as well as saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium, as they can increase the risk of heart disease.

Nourish Your Heart for a Healthier Future

In conclusion, by prioritising diet and nutrition, you can nourish your heart and promote long-term cardiovascular health. A balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods is key to ensuring you provide your heart with the support it needs. If you are looking for a good balance of MUFA and PUFA in your cooking oil, look no further, Saffola Gold is packed with natural antioxidants and can be a good choice for cooking as well as vinaigrettes and tadkas. Including a variety of antioxidant-rich foods in your diet can provide heart-protective benefits.

Remember, a healthy heart is the foundation of a vibrant life, so make conscious choices to fuel your body with these essential nutrients. Your heart will thank you for it, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of improved overall well-being and vitality.

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Everything You Need To Know About Refined Oil

Cooking oils are an essential ingredient in all kitchens worldwide. From frying to sautéing and adding that delicious tadka to the dal, to making vinaigrettes for salad dressings, oil is a must-have to enhance our food-eating experience. Now that we have a million options of oils to choose from when we head to the supermarket; it can get quite overwhelming to read the packaging, research, and then choose your cooking oil. So, you’ll most likely just pick the brand you’re familiar with and move on. 

However, knowing the nutritional content in your oil can make all the difference between a heart-healthy meal and a high-cholesterol meal. If you use refined oil for cooking at home or are planning on switching from unrefined oil to refined ones, understanding if refined edible oil is good for you is a smart decision.  So, without much ado, let’s delve into the journey of discovering what refined oil is and the health benefits you can achieve by using it.

What is Refined Oil?

Refined vegetable oil is what you obtain after refining and removing the harmful impurities in crude oil and achieving purified oil. 

The ingredients of the refined oil may vary according to the oil you pick. In Saffola, the main components are rice bran oil and safflower oil for Saffola Total, and rice bran and sunflower seed oil in Saffola Gold.

Refined oil has many advantages over non-refined oils as it is more sanitary and more suitable for your daily edible uses. The oil is non-deteriorate, easy to store and produces less lamp black when cooking as well.

What are the ingredients in refined cooking oil?

The primary ingredient in refined oil is crude oil, which is extracted from various plant sources, such as soybeans, olives, sunflowers, rice bran, peanuts, and rapeseed. Crude oil is a mixture of triglycerides, which are made up of three fatty acids on a glycerol backbone. The specific ingredients used for refining edible oil differ based on the type of oil that is being refined. However, the most popularly used ingredients are caustic acid, citric acid, phosphoric acid and activated carbon. They are used as they help remove impurities from the oil and neutralise any acids present in the oil.

Is refined oil actually good for health?

There is quite a bit of a conundrum regarding the health benefits of refined oils. It is often criticised for the low levels of nutrients it retains after going through the refinement process. Although, over the years due to technological advancement the refining process has seen a notable evolution. Refined oils have a higher smoke point compared to other oils, making them ideal for frying food. The benefit of a higher smoke point is that while cooking at high temperatures the oil does not break down and release harmful toxins. As opposed to, unrefined oils which have a low smoke point and are not the best for frying food. 

Benefits of Refined Oil 

Let’s take a look at the health benefits of refined cooking oil in more detail: 

1. Nutritional Benefits of Oryzanol

It is important to keep your cholesterol levels under control as they can cause several heart problems. Oryzanol not only helps you maintain your cholesterol, but it also helps prevent obesity and is proven to be anti-diabetic. 

2. Benefits of Vitamins

Using refined cooking oil containing vitamins can aid you against night blindness, and help you build stronger bones. 

3. Presence of Antioxidants

The primary role of antioxidants is to protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. These free radicals can cause cholesterol oxidation. Refined oils do retain some natural anti-oxidants which help improve immunity & heart health. Saffola Total provides care for your health by attempting to maintain your cholesterol levels through nutritious cooking.

4. Eliminates Aflatoxin

Aflatoxins are a family of toxins created by particular fungi found on agricultural crops. These toxins result in nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, convulsions, and other signs of acute liver injury. Longer exposure to these toxins can lead to more severe health complications.

The process of refining oils gets rid of aflatoxin, eliminating the risk of you or your family coming into contact with it. 

5. Promotes Heart Health

Good fats are essential and help in keeping your heart healthy. MUFAs and PUFAs are fatty acids that are a type of healthy fats. They help control your cholesterol levels by increasing HDL Cholesterol and decreasing LDL cholesterol. 

Essentially, both fatty acids aid in promoting your heart’s health and reduce the risk of heart problems in the long run. The best way to achieve the benefits of MUFAs and PUFAs is by consuming a blended oil that combines the two. 

Saffola Gold is characterised by a dual seed technology that helps you achieve a good balance of the two healthy fatty acids to obtain better nutrition through fats.

To sum it up, refined edible oil is a staple ingredient in every kitchen, and the refining process is critical in making the oil safe and suitable for consumption. The process involves removing impurities and unwanted components from crude oil to produce a pure, stable and consumable product. If you are looking for a refined edible oil to keep your cholesterol levels in check, try Saffola Total. With significant improvements in refining methods and strict regulations in place, a safe and healthy choice for monitored thoughtful consumption.

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Choosing a Healthy Cooking Oil for Deep Frying!

Deep frying is a cooking technique that has been enjoyed by food lovers around the world for centuries. From crispy fried chicken to golden french fries, deep-fried foods are a delicious treat that many of us just can’t resist. However, it’s no secret that deep-fried foods are often associated with unhealthy fats and high-calorie content and must be consumed with precaution. 

 

In this blog, we will explore the world of healthy cooking oils and help you understand how to choose the better oil for deep frying that will not only satisfy your taste buds but also promote your overall health and well-being. So, let’s dive in!

 

Which kind of cooking oil is better for deep frying?



Firstly, it is important to choose an oil with a high smoke point, which is the temperature at which the oil starts to smoke and break down. When oil is heated beyond its smoke point, it can create harmful free radicals and toxic compounds, which can be detrimental to health. Hence, oils with a high smoke point are ideal for deep frying as they can withstand high temperatures without breaking down. 

 

The better oils for deep frying are those low in saturated and trans fats. Saturated and trans fats are unhealthy fats that can raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. In contrast, oils with a balance of unsaturated fats like MUFA and PUFA are healthier and can help lower cholesterol levels.

 

Four Cooking Oils Good For Deep Frying

  • Rice Bran Oil 

Rice bran oil has a high smoke point, which makes it ideal for deep frying. Rice bran oil contains antioxidants like tocopherols and tocotrienols, which can help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of heart disease. You can opt for Saffola Gold which is a blend of rice bran oil and sunflower oil and can be heated to higher temperatures without burning or smoking, which results in less oil absorption and a crispier texture. Rice bran oil and sunflower oil have neutral flavours, which means they won’t impart any unwanted taste to the fried food. This makes Saffola Gold a great choice for deep frying a wide range of dishes, including those that require delicate flavours. 

  • Sunflower Oil 

 

Sunflower oil has a high smoke point and is also rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (MUFAs and PUFAs), and low in saturated fats. This makes it a healthier choice for deep frying compared to oils that are high in saturated fats, which can contribute to high cholesterol levels and an increased risk of heart disease. 

 

  • Olive Oil

 

One of the healthy oils for deep frying is olive oil. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and has a high smoke point of around 375°F (190°C). It is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, etc. . (source)

 

  • Canola Oil

 

Another good option for deep frying is canola oil, which is low in saturated and trans fats and has a high smoke point of around 400°F (204°C). It is also rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are healthier fats, hence making this an ideal oil for deep frying.

 

The Importance of lower oil absorption in Cooking Oils for Deep Frying 

 

Saffola Gold is a heart-healthy cooking oil that comes with LoSorb technology, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of deep-fried foods without having to worry too much about compromising on your health. With Saffola Gold’s Losorb technology, your food absorbs up to 33%* lesser oil, making it a healthier choice for your heart and overall well-being. So, if you’re looking for a healthier way to enjoy your favourite deep-fried dishes, consider using Saffola Gold!

 

Losorb technology helps reduce the amount of oil that food absorbs during the frying process. This is especially important because fried foods are often high in calories and unhealthy fats, which can contribute to health problems like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Losorb technology results in healthier, less greasy food that tastes just as delicious as traditionally deep-fried dishes. 

 

You can learn more about choosing healthy cooking oils here.

 

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Heart Health for Her: The Importance of Caring for Your Heart Health as a Woman

Cardiovascular diseases affect countless lives globally and is a significant concern that emphasises the importance of prioritising heart health. Regrettably, there persists a common misconception that heart disease primarily affects men, leading to a concerning trend in women disregarding symptoms and neglecting their heart health.

According to statistics from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, cardiovascular disease is the primary reason for more female deaths than all types of cancers combined. Despite these alarming figures, only 44% of women are aware that heart disease poses a major risk to their health. In this article, we shall focus on the importance of women’s heart health and the necessary steps that should be taken for the prevention of heart diseases in women.

What are the common symptoms of heart problems in females?

  1. Chest pain: Pain or discomfort in the chest is the most common symptom of heart disease in both men and women. However, women are also likely to experience pain or discomfort in their upper back, neck, jaw, throat, or stomach.
  2. Shortness of breath: Women with heart disease may experience shortness of breath during routine activities or even at rest.
  3. Fatigue: Constant tiredness and extreme fatigue for no apparent reason, is a symptom associated with heart disease in women.
  4. Sweating: Most women with heart ailments tend to experience excessive sweating without any physical exertion.
  5. Nausea or vomiting: Sudden nausea or vomiting with no specific cause is seen as another symptom of heart disease in women.
  6. High blood pressure: Having high blood pressure raises the likelihood of developing heart disease, stroke, and premature mortality. (source)

Why is it important for women to look after their heart health?

Despite heart disease being one of the leading health concerns for women, it often goes unnoticed and underestimated. While breast cancer receives significant attention, it may come as a surprise that heart disease is actually seven times deadlier. Here’s why it is important for women to take good care of their heart:

1. Empower yourself with knowledge: 

Prioritise your heart health as a woman by understanding the unique risks and symptoms associated with heart disease. Keep your blood pressure in check, as uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to kidney failure, heart disease, stroke and even dementia. It’s important to monitor and keep it in check. Do keep in mind to schedule regular check-ups to monitor your heart health and undergo necessary screenings. 

2. Nurture your overall well-being: 

A healthy heart is the foundation for overall well-being. When you prioritise your heart health, you enhance your vitality, energy levels, and overall quality of life. It enables you to engage fully in daily activities, pursue your passions, and enjoy your life to its fullest potential. Heart disease becomes more prevalent with age, particularly after menopause in women. Post menopause women produce less oestrogen, once it loses the protective function of oestrogen, the susceptibility of health conditions increases. Recognising these risks can help women take proactive measures to protect their heart health.(source)

3. Preventive measures for a long and active life: 

By adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, can help you reduce the risk of developing heart disease and the complications associated with it. Familiarise yourself with your family history of health conditions including age of diagnosis and regularly go for health check-ups. Regular physical exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, managing stress, and reducing consumption of alcohol and tobacco products are suggested steps towards long-term heart health. You can try opting for a healthy diet by including foods, such as whole grains, fruits high in fibre, fatty fish and nuts in your diet. (source) 

4. Impact on other aspects of health: 

Women undergo many life phases like menarche, pregnancy, lactation, and menopause, which can give rise to many bodily changes. Pregnant women with elevated blood pressure face a twofold increased risk of developing heart disease in the future compared to pregnant women. Women should thus be mindful of their overall health. Heart diseases can often be prevented by making certain lifestyle changes.

5. Be an inspiration for future generations: 

By taking care of your heart, you set a positive example for your family, friends, and future generations. Inspire others to prioritise their cardiovascular health by demonstrating the importance of making conscious choices and adopting healthy habits.

What measures can women take to reduce the risks of getting heart disease?

1. Eat a healthy diet: 

Women can maintain their heart health by following a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Try to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein and healthy fats in your diet. Leafy vegetables such as spinach are packed with vitamins A, C and K which help reduce inflammation. Fruits such as guava, aid digestion and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Beans, a great source of plant protein, has several anti-inflammatory benefits and improves overall health. Oatmeal is a good source of vitamins and fibre being good for health. The oil you use to cook your food also plays a crucial role in promoting better heart health and overall well-being. When consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, these healthy fats which have the right balance of MUFA and PUFA, can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and Total/HDL ratio. This, in turn, can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular conditions.  You can include oils such as Saffola Gold in your diet, to keep your heart healthy.

2. Exercise regularly: 

Including physical activity in your daily life can lower the risk of heart disease by improving heart health, lowering blood pressure, and maintaining a healthy weight. Alternating between cardio, resistance exercise, yoga, and walking 3-4 times a week which can help you achieve a physically active goal. You can consider resistance exercise, also known as strength training, which involves making your muscles work harder through activities such as lifting weights or using resistance equipment. It improves muscle strength, making everyday tasks and aerobic exercises easier. Aim for two to three sessions per week with adequate rest in between sets. As we age, resistance training becomes especially important for maintaining muscle strength. A simple walk for 20 minutes has also shown to be beneficial for heart health. 

3. Manage stress effectively: 

As modern women, we often find ourselves wearing multiple hats, from excelling in our careers to caring for our families and maintaining a harmonious household. Balancing these responsibilities can be challenging and sometimes overwhelming, leading to increased stress levels. Chronic stress can increase the risk of heart disease by elevating blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Women should incorporate stress-reducing practices like meditation, yoga, regular physical workouts and breathing exercises to mitigate the impact of stress on heart health.

4. Get enough sleep: 

Lack of proper sleep can increase the risk of heart disease by raising blood pressure levels and affecting metabolism. Try to prioritise getting sufficient sleep of seven to nine hours every night to reduce the risk of weight gain and high blood pressure.

To conclude, it is vital that women take good care of their heart health, and not fall for myths that claim heart disease to be a man’s issue. It is a significant concern, and it is necessary to take preventative measures and live a mindful life. Precautionary measures, such as maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption, can go a long way in keeping your heart healthy.

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What Happens When you Reuse Cooking Oil?

If there’s one place in Indian households where the reusing practice happens without fail, it’s the kitchen! We do everything we can to minimize wastage and costs in the kitchen. So, reusing cooking oil is like a natural instinct for us. 

Oil is an expensive commodity and therefore it isn’t practical to throw it away after a single use. For this reason, most restaurants, office canteens, and street food vendors also reuse cooking oil.

However, after a point, reusing cooking oil can be hazardous to health. It is important for us to understand the potential health risks of this common practice to be able to lead a consciously healthy lifestyle:

Health Hazards of Reusing Cooking Oil

Reusing cooking oil can pose several health hazards. Here are some of them:

 

  • Decreased Nutritional Value: Reusing cooking oil can degrade the beneficial components of the oil which further reduces the nutritional quality of the food.
  • Reduced Flavour: Reusing cooking oil can also reduce the flavour of the food, making it less palatable and pungent.
  • Increased Risk of Health Problems: Reusing cooking oil can lead to generation of harmful compounds which can be deleterious to health. Regular usage of such oils can pose serious health issues like cardiovascular diseases or even cancer.

It is recommended to use fresh cooking oil for each cooking session to avoid these health hazards.

Reused Cooking Oil is Dangerous: Why & How to Avoid it

The most common issue that arises with reusing cooking oil is that the oil gets deteriorated,  turns rancid or spoiled. Such oils have a foul smell, flavour and may also contain certain harmful by-products. 

Reusing cooking oil can affect the smoke point of oils, as well as lead to the production of harmful by-products. Hence, to avoid health problems, it is essential to be aware of the smoke points of different oils. The smoke point is the temperature at which an oil begins to emit smoke, indicating that it is no longer suitable for cooking. When deep-frying, it is recommended to use oils with high smoke points, such as, rice bran oil, safflower, corn, and groundnut oils. However, it is also important to avoid overheating any oil, as this can lead to a reduced smoke point. By using fresh oil for cooking and avoiding overheating, you can help ensure that the food you eat is both safe and healthy.  

When To Stop Using A Cooking Oil (source)

If you’re wondering how you will know when it’s time to discard the oil, you can look for signs of foul odour or taste. Moreover, if the oil has turned dark and thick, it is visible that the oil has deteriorated and is low in nutritional value and it is time to discard it.

If you’re looking for a cooking oil that has a high smoke point, you can opt for Saffola Gold.  With a high smoke point, Saffola Gold can be used for deep frying items. However, reheating or reusing cooking oil is not advised as it can impact your health.

Things to be Mindful of While Re-using Your Cooking Oil  

So, here are a few points to remember when storing or reusing oil:  ways you can extend the lifespan of your oil: 

  • Heat the oil only for as long as required. Fry the items as quickly as possible and avoid letting the oil heat on a low flame while carrying on with other activities.
  • Avoid storing frying oil in iron or copper utensils as they quicken the deterioration process. 
  • Ensure to strain the oil of any food particles before storing it. 
  • Store oil in an airtight, preferably amber-coloured, inert container in a cool, dry place since oil is sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen.

When it comes to finally discarding the oil, avoid draining it down the sink as oil severely pollutes water. An effective method to dispose of cooking oil is to solidify it. The oil will take approximately 24 hours to freeze, making it easy to discard in the trash bin.

Despite being a common practice in most households and kitchens, people are unaware of the health risks they are exposed to as a result of reusing cooking oil. We hope this article provided you with the information you were looking for and will help you lead a healthier lifestyle!

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Maximise Your Heart Health With These Mufa And Pufa Rich Foods

Are you looking for delicious ways to boost your heart health? Incorporating foods rich in monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids can help improve overall health including heart health.

In this blog, we’ll introduce nutritious foods and oils that are loaded with these healthy fatty acids, and show you how to easily incorporate them into your daily diet. From creamy avocados, and crunchy nuts to healthy non-tropical oils, you’ll find plenty of inspiration to help you maximise your heart health with these MUFA and PUFA-rich foods. So, let’s dive in and get started!

What are MUFA and PUFA?

Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are types of unsaturated fatty acids that are beneficial for several functions and especially heart health. MUFAs and PUFAs help lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL- C) in the blood, reduce inflammation, and improve blood vessel function. Including foods and oils in your diet which are rich in MUFAs and PUFAs benefits you by helping lower the risk of heart disease and help maintain cardiovascular health. According to ICMR/NIN, 2020, replacing saturated fatty acids with polyunsaturated fatty acids followed by monounsaturated fatty acids is beneficial for heart health.

Maintaining a healthy heart is essential for leading a long and active life. While balanced diets and adequate exercise are crucial factors in heart health, the type of fats we consume can also play a significant role. Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are known for their heart-healthy benefits, and incorporating foods and oils rich in these fats into your diet can help manage and improve heart health.

5 MUFA and PUFA-Rich Foods:

Here are 5 MUFA and PUFA-rich foods that you can include in your diet to maximise your heart health:

  • Nuts

Plain nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, are rich in MUFAs and PUFAs, making them heart-healthy snack options. Nuts are also rich in fibre, which on regular consumption, helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Walnuts are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and help reduce inflammation and improve heart health. Almonds are rich in healthy unsaturated fatty acids and exhibit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, hence benefitting the heart and overall health. Pistachios contain protein and antioxidants such as Vitamin E, regulating cholesterol levels. Raisins offer fibre and iron, supporting digestion and oxygen circulation in the blood. You can enjoy them as plain snacks, in salads, smoothies, or baked goods for added nutrition. 

However, keep in mind that nuts are also high in calories, so be mindful of portion sizes. Consuming merely a handful of nuts early in the morning is beneficial. Soaked raisins and almonds help destroy compounds that lower the absorption of nutrients.   30 grams of nuts a day is good enough to ensure adequate protein. (ICMR NIN, 2020 (source)

  • Seeds

Seeds, such as flaxseeds, and chia seeds are rich in omega 3 PUFAs, making them a great addition to your diet to support heart health. They are also rich in fibre and antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and protect your cells from damage. Seeds such as chia and flaxseed are not only rich in essential nutrients but also contain natural antioxidants. These antioxidants, including polyphenols and lignans, contribute to their heart-healthy properties.  (source)

  • Soybeans

Soybeans are a rich source of MUFAs and PUFAs, making them heart-healthy food. Soybeans are a particularly good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids, such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) have been associated with reducing the risk of heart disease, improving brain function, and supporting overall well-being. 

Write about the Benefit of omega 3. 

Soybeans, whether in their whole form, as soya nuggets, tofu, or soy milk are also rich in protein, fibre, and antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and protect your cells from damage. Soybeans are a plant source of protein, being naturally free of cholesterol. Tofu is naturally low in saturated fat which makes it an amazing ingredient to include in your diet to lower any risk of heart disease. This nutrient-rich food is a good source of fibre too and helps you keep your diet in check and gives you a healthy gut. Add soybeans to your salads, stir-fries, or soups to maximise your heart health.

 

4. Fatty fish

Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel, are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of PUFA. Omega-3s are known to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and decrease the risk of heart disease. Aim to eat fatty fish at least twice a week to maximise your heart health.

5. Avocado

Avocado is a rich source of MUFAs, making it a great addition to your diet to support heart health. It is also rich in fibre, potassium, and antioxidants, which help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and protect your cells from damage. Add avocado to your salads, sandwiches, or smoothies to maximise your heart health.

Unlock the Heart-Healthy Power of MUFA and PUFA with These 5 Oils

 

  • Peanut oil:

 Indulge in the goodness of peanut oil, abundant in heart-friendly MUFAs. With a high smoke point, it’s perfect for frying, and its vitamin E content adds an extra layer of heart protection. (source)

 

  • Flaxseed oil: 

Packed with PUFA and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), flaxseed oil works wonders in reducing cholesterol levels. Give your heart a boost with this essential fatty acid powerhouse.

 

  • Sesame seed oil: 

Elevate your dishes with sesame seed oil, rich in both MUFA and PUFA. Its delightful nutty flavour makes it a perfect addition to salads and stir-fries while nourishing your heart.

 

  • Soybean oil: 

Opt for soybean oil, low in saturated fat and is high in PUFAs, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Enjoy the benefits of this versatile oil while cooking, knowing you’re making a smart choice for your heart.

 

5. Safflower oil: 

It comes in two forms, one high in Oleic Acid and the other high in Linoleic acid. The Oleic Acid variety is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids, making it ideal for deep frying. On the other hand, the Linoleic variety is more suitable for dressings. Research suggests that consuming eight grams of Safflower Oil daily can have positive effects on health. 

 

  1. Rice Bran oil

It is an excellent source of poly- and mono-unsaturated fats, also known as the “good fats”. It has a good balance of MUFA & PUFA with natural antioxidants including oryzanol, tocopherol and tocotrienol that helps improve immunity. Rice bran oil can be used as a cooking oil for deep-frying or stir-frying.

 

Saffola Gold – For a Good Balance of MUFA and PUFA  

Saffola Gold is a remarkable choice to achieve a balanced intake of MUFAs and PUFAs. This unique blend of sunflower and rice bran oil combines the goodness of both oils, ensuring a favourable balance of fatty acids for optimal heart health. Thanks to Saffola Gold‘s dual-seed technology, you can enjoy the benefits of MUFA and PUFA in one oil, promoting better nutrition through healthy fats. Make Saffola Gold a part of your balanced diet to support your heart and overall well-being.

 

The Takeaway

While these MUFA and PUFA-rich foods can provide health benefits, they should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. The Dietary Guidelines for Indians, NIN-ICMR recommends SFA must not be more than 10% of total calories/day, PUFA must be 8-10% of total calories/day and MUFA can be consumed by difference usually 10%/calories/day. 

A diet rich in healthy fats, along with whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins, can help promote overall health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Would like to learn more about MUFA and PUFA? Read on to What is MUFA and PUFA? Meaning, difference and importance.

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What Foods Can Help Lower The Risk of Heart Disease?

In a fast-paced world like our own, it comes as no surprise that most people sometimes forget about their health amidst all their other tasks. Unhealthy processed foods high in fat, sugar, and sodium are more commonly chosen over fruits, vegetables and whole grains. However, it is important to make a note of the various foods that can help you maintain your heart health and live a healthy and happy life. 

 

Let us take a look at the various fruits, vegetables and whole grains that act as foods that are better for your heart health and are good for you and your body, helping you from the risk of diseases in the long run.

 

Which foods help lower the risk of heart disease?

 

The food you consume does so much more than just keep your stomach happy—it plays key roles in providing nutrients that your body requires for body functions and may also offer you various health benefits. 

Let’s look at some heart-friendly food options below: 

 

  • Berries

can be your heart’s best friend because they contain a number of antioxidants like anthocyanin and resveratrol that protect your heart against inflammation. According to a study,  blueberries contain anthocyanins that help in reducing biomarkers against non-communicable diseases by having a positive impact on plasma lipid levels and modulation of glucose metabolism. Consuming about 1/3rd cup of blueberries has shown beneficial effects.  Consumption of berries can also help you maintain systolic and diastolic blood pressure. (Source)

 

  • Walnuts

are a good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid that has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. Including walnuts in your diet can help lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, and improve overall heart health.  (source)

 

  • Salmon

is a fatty fish that is a good source of omega-3. This healthy fat has various antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can work wonders for your heart and is one among many foods that can help lower the risk of heart disease. Toss it in a pan with a few veggies and add some Saffola Gold to cook it for the perfect heart-healthy meal.

 

  • Tofu –

is a nutritious plant-based protein that can make a great addition to your meals, especially if you’re looking to support heart health. Made from soybeans, tofu is rich in protein, fibre, and minerals that can help protect your heart from disease. Diets high in plant-based proteins like tofu can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. (source)

 

  • Garlic

can also work wonders for your heart. It helps in reducing blood pressure and has a compound named allicin that is known to have therapeutic effects. 

 

Food Habits That Help Reduce the Risk of Heart Ailments

 

Maintaining good health is all about adopting the right food habits. Here are a few food habits that can take care of your heart. 

 

  • Never skip the first meal of the day aka breakfast.  A filling breakfast like oats topped with fruits and peanut butter, omelettes and chapati or dosa is a good way to start the day. A nutritious breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Combine unsweetened Greek yoghurt with a sprinkle of chia seeds, a handful of mixed berries, and a drizzle of honey for a nutritious and satisfying morning meal packed with protein, fibre, and antioxidants.

 

  • Add more nuts to your diet because they are a good source of healthy fats and fibre hence, may be beneficial for the heart. However, consume them in moderation because they are high in calories.  

 

  • Try various salt alternatives: High salt intake increases blood pressure and can increase the risk of heart disease. Use less salt in foods in cooking and preferably no salt at the table, control the consumption of processed foods high in salt, choose low-sodium salt alternatives and season your food with herbs, citrus and spices instead. 

 

  • Hydrate regularly with water. Water helps regulate blood pressure and prevent dehydration, which can stress your heart. Aim to drink at least 8 glasses (2L) of water a day and limit your intake of sugary drinks.

What is the best natural food remedy for your heart?

There isn’t just one thing that can take care of your heart, but rather a mix of multiple things that will help you with good health. Ginger is known for promoting heart health as it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can help in preventing blood clots and improve blood circulation. Controlled (2 cups per day) consumption of green tea also has a number of benefits for your heart, right from weight loss to healthy blood vessels. Chia, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds are good for heart health as they are all rich in heart-healthy nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and minerals.  Just as you’ve been told since childhood, leafy vegetables have a number of minerals and fibres that can protect you from the risk of several diseases. 

Are eggs part of a heart-healthy diet?

Eggs are a versatile and nutritious food that can offer many benefits when consumed in moderation. With a high protein content and a good quality of protein, they can provide a balanced breakfast option that supports overall heart health. Therefore,  if you’re looking to support your heart health, incorporating eggs or egg whites into your diet in moderation can be a great option.

 

4 Ayurvedic foods that can help lower the risk of heart disease:

  • Ashwagandha: 

This adaptogenic herb helps reduce stress and anxiety, which may help with better heart health. Ashwagandha has been shown to support heart health by lowering cortisol levels and improving overall cardiovascular function. (source)

 

  • Arjuna:

Arjuna is a powerful Ayurvedic herb known for its cardiovascular benefits. It helps strengthen the heart muscles, improve circulation, and maintain healthy blood pressure levels. (source)

 

  • Ghee: 

Clarified butter, or ghee, is a staple in Ayurvedic cooking. It is believed to improve digestion and nutrient absorption, which indirectly benefits the heart. Make sure to consume in moderation. (source)

 

  • Triphala: 

Triphala, a combination of three fruits – Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki – is revered in Ayurveda for its cleansing and rejuvenating properties. It aids in digestion, detoxification, and maintaining overall cardiovascular wellness. (source)

Conclusion

There isn’t one food or lifestyle habit that opens the door to a healthy heart. Your heart health depends on numerous factors—the quality and quantity of food you consume, the habits associated with your eating and mindful exercise. All three act in tandem while determining your heart health. Daily fruit servings can undoubtedly have a number of benefits for your heart. 

 

Consume healthy oils like Saffola Gold to get a good balance of MUFA and PUFA in your daily nutrition. Saffola Total has been clinically shown to reduce cholesterol levels and keep your heart safe and sound. Last but not least, consume everything in moderation and your heart will thank you for the care years later.

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5 Simple Cooking Techniques to Keep Your Heart Healthy and Happy

It’s no secret that the food we eat plays a vital role in our overall health and well-being. When it comes to our hearts, we need to be extra cautious about our lifestyle choices. However, that doesn’t mean we have to compromise on the taste of the food we eat or spend hours meal prepping in the kitchen. In fact, with just a few simple techniques, you can whip up delicious and nutritious meals that are good for your heart and your taste buds. 

 

In this blog, we’ll discuss five simple cooking techniques that will keep your heart healthy and happy. So whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, let’s get cooking!

 

5 heart-healthy cooking techniques

  1. Sauté/Stir-frying

For quick and tasty meals stir frying or sautéing vegetables is a quick and productive option. Throw your veggies in a frying pan or wok on medium heat, you can use a splash of Saffola Total, which contains oryzanol and other natural antioxidants that are proven to help manage blood cholesterol levels. Including green leafy vegetables in our diet is important, they contain fat-soluble vitamins. Try cooking them with a drizzle of oil to improve the absorption of these fat-soluble vitamins. 

  1. Steaming

It is a healthy cooking technique that involves cooking food over boiling water. Steaming is particularly suitable for vegetables, seafood, and poultry, and is one of the healthiest cooking techniques as it preserves the food’s nutrients and flavour. Steaming vegetables helps retain the Vitamin C and minerals that may be lost through other cooking methods such as boiling or frying.

  1. Baking

Contrary to popular belief, baking is considerably more versatile than just bread and cakes. Baking is a healthy cooking choice since the amount of fat involved is kept under control. It is a dry cooking method that uses a high temperature and helps in cooking the food uniformly. Baking is a time-saving alternative way of cooking as it enables you to prepare several dishes in one go.

Healthy Cooking Tips For Healthy Lifestyle

  1. Grilling

Cooking meals on a grill includes using an open flame or an oven. It is an excellent approach if you want to use less oil and fat while still maintaining the food’s flavour while cooking. According to research, lean meats and vegetables lower the risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses if cooked on the grill. It is necessary to take appropriate safety measures when grilling-For instance, watch the temperature when grilling food to prevent the dish from charring.

 

  1. Microwaving

There is much more to microwaving than just heating food. It is one of the go-to methods if you want to preserve the Vitamin C in your food. However, this only works if you don’t microwave your food for longer than 30 to 60 seconds at a time or heat it in a plastic container. Most of the nutrients are kept because microwave heating takes place over a shorter period of time. It’s risky to heat food in plastic containers because chemicals and other unidentified contaminants could leech onto the food.

 

Cooking techniques have a significant impact on the nutritional content of our food. While each cooking method has its benefits and limitations, here are some tips for healthy cooking that are worth remembering for optimal heart health.

 

Things to keep in mind while cooking

 

  • Most of the time, we unknowingly tend to overcook our food. The cooking time should be kept to a minimum, as overcooking the food can destroy its nutrients and alter the colour and texture of the food. 
  • Pressure cooking and microwaving are methods that you can opt for if you are looking to reduce your cooking time.
  • Using minimal water while cooking can prevent the loss of water-soluble nutrients from your food. 

The Takeaway 

Eating healthy to keep your heart fit does not have to be bland and boring. By incorporating colourful fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and lean protein, along with healthy fats and oils, you can create a fulfilling and flavourful heart-healthy diet that’s also Instagram-worthy. So, get creative in the kitchen and prepare delicious meals using these simple cooking techniques to start your heart-healthy lifestyle journey.