Recently we had been seeing young people in India dying of cardiovascular diseases. The reasons for such young people dying are, generally speaking, stress and a bad lifestyle. According to statistics, the annual deaths caused due to heart problems or cardiovascular diseases in India there is a massive rise from 2.26 million in 1990 to 4.77 million in 2020. Now that is scary. As we all know that diet plays a key role in maintaining overall wellbeing and health, today we are going to talk about how to fix a heart-healthy diet plan in India. A heart-healthy diet is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, and fats also. For making life easy for heart patients, a strict diet is required. Here we have an easy way to understand how to prepare a heart-healthy diet plan on your own following simple tips.
Tips to prepare a heart-healthy diet plan in India
- Add extra fiber to your daily diet. The best way to do it is by adding more whole grains, pulses, fruits, and vegetables.
- Make fresh salads a must before every meal. Including raw vegetables as salad is a good idea to increase nutrients as well as fiber. Adding sprouts and seeds to salads can be great for heart health.
- Control salt intake. For those who have heart disease, the daily salt intake should not be more than half a teaspoon which is approximately 2gm.
- Change cooking oils regularly. It is a good idea to use different oil every month instead of using one type of cooking oil regularly. It is always better to go for the cooking oils that contain high amounts of essential fatty acids like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFA-PUFA) . Oils from groundnut, sunflower, mustard, sesame, and rice bran are all great for the heart. Not only that it is of utmost importance to keep an eye on the quantity of cooking oil being used. Nothing more than 15 ml per day, which comes to about three teaspoons of oil daily should be used.
- Eat small meals instead of two big meals. It is a better idea to eat five or six small meals per day than two meals. Dinner must be light and easy to digest.
- Snack light and include nuts. Including foods like boiled or puffed grains, sprouts, raw vegetables are good snacking options. Fruits can be eaten as the first meal or a mid-morning snack.
Heart-healthy diet plan
Let us see how can we prepare an easy meal plan using the above-mentioned tips. Take a look at this sample diet chart for a person who has a heart problem. To make this diet plan successful, you need to be active moderately.
Meal 1- (empty stomach): 6 almonds and 4 halves walnuts (preferably soaked overnight) with a glass of warm water. Chew them well.
Meal 2- A bowl of homemade Pohe, Upma, oats, Dosa, 2 idlis, lightly oiled parantha, or Thepla. Eggs too can be had with or without yolk.
Meal 3- Any seasonal fruit of your choice though it would be better to have citrus fruits.
Meal 4- This is during lunch and should begin with a big plate of salad. This meal must include 2 Rotis or 1 medium bowl of boiled rice with a cup of vegetable curry, curd, and 1 medium bowl of dal.
For non-vegetarians, it can include chicken or fish curry in place of dal.
Meal 5- A cup of green tea/coffee with a handful of homemade chiwda or khakra.
Meal 6- A cup of clear homemade soup.
Meal 7- Have a bowl of vegetable curry, a plate of salad, and a bowl of dal or curd with 2 small multigrain Rotis or a bowl of Dalia with veggies.
If you feel really hungry at night having a cup of warm milk with turmeric is okay.
In our food, there are some nutrients like monosaturated fatty acids, Omega 3 , Vitamin B complex, and soluble fiber that help our heart by lowering bad cholesterol. Bad cholesterol or LDL causes blockages in heart arteries and increases blood pressure while forcing our heart to work harder.
Interestingly, most of these key nutrients can be obtained from a normal Indian diet. Just a little tweak in the form of more nuts, leaner meats instead of the red ones, and whole grains can easily improve our heart health .
If you wish to improve your heart health then following the given heart-healthy diet plan in India can help your heart. This diet plan can be one of the ways of effectively dealing with the risks of heart disease. Basic lifestyle changes like regular exercise can greatly improve cardiovascular health.