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Heart disease affects people of all ages, but is most often caused by atherosclerosis. The term atherosclerosis is used to describe a condition in which lipids are deposited in the intima of blood vessels. The important contributory causes for the development of atherosclerosis are
1. High calorie intake
2. High saturated fat and cholesterol intake.
3. Increased level of cholesterol in blood.
4. Sedentary life.
5. Stress and strain.
The objective are maximum rest for the heart and maintenance of good nutrition.
Principles of Diet
Energy : The calorie intake should be just adequate to meet the requirements. For obese patients, it may be necessary to reduce calorie intake.
Fats should be restricted to not more than 20% of the total calories consumed. The diet should consists of polyunsaturated fatty acids, (eg) sunflower oil.
The diet should contain adequate amount of proteins and vitamins. Fishes are a good source of n-3 fatty acids. Consumption of 100 - 200g of fish 2-3 times a week helps to prevent heart disease. Three or four smaller meals are suggested instead of two big meals.
Regular exercise and relaxed mental attitude help to reduce blood pressure. Smoking and drinking of alcohol should be stopped.
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