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.


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