affects 4.2 million Australians and increases risk of high blood pressure, high
cholesterol, stroke and heart attack. Diet and lifestyle modifications can help
to reduce risk, improving health and well-being.
Risk Factors for CVD
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Overweight or obese
- Low fruit and vegetable intake
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Physical inactivity
- Increased alcohol consumption
Ten ways to reduce your risk of heart disease
- Increase your fruit and vegetable consumption- a minimum of 5 servings of brightly coloured vegetables and 2 servings of seasonal fruit per day. Enjoy with every meal.
- Blueberries - they contain constituents known as anthocyanins that act as antioxidants to keep blood vessels healthy – 3 or more servings per week. Delicious in a fruit salad or smoothie.
- Include extra virgin olive oil due to it being a rich in monounsaturated fats shown to have protective effects against heart disease. Enjoy as part of a salad dressing with fresh herbs and lemon.
- Include raw, unsalted mixed nuts as they are high in monounsaturated fats lowering risk of heart disease – 5 or more 50g servings per week with best options being almonds and walnuts. Great as a part of a trail mix or thrown in a salad.
- Oats – contain beta-glucan fibres that have been shown to reduce cholesterol when consumed for 2 + weeks. Enjoy with blueberries for breakfast or use them in a smoothie or bircher muesli.
- Oily fish – rich in Omega-3 fats lowering risk of heart disease. Aim for 3 servings per week. Try sardines, salmon and trout.
- Beetroot a rich source of nitrates which have been shown to reduce high blood pressure. Enjoy as a juice with carrots and ginger.
- Dark chocolate – rich in antioxidants beneficial for vascular function. Make sure it’s at least 70% dark chocolate. Enjoy as a snack or add cacao to a hot chocolate or smoothie.
- Exercise – include 30 minutes of physical activity on a daily basis such as walking, cycling, and swimming – preferably in the sunshine!
- Stress – reduce stress by listening to meditation apps such as Headspace, going for nature walks or take up an enjoyable hobby.