A good diet helps prevent heart failure

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There are many reasons for eat well everyday. But if the importance of maintaining a balanced diet has not yet been clear, each day groups of researchers focus their work on demonstrating the benefits of good nutrition.

For example the work that has been published in European Journal of Heart Failure where it has been shown that a balanced diet helps prevent long-term heart failure and others heart problems. A new reason to start monitoring what we put on the table and help the health of the smallest of the house is not altered in the long term.


Diet and heart failure

This study reviewed the cases of 37,000 citizens of Sweden in which they analyzed their consumption of fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, fiber, milk and derivatives, fish, red meat, olive oil, etc. It also deepened the use of products harmful to health such as tobacco or alcohol. These members were divided into four groups based on their diet to check in which cases there was more possibility of suffering a heart failure.

The results of this study showed that in those cases where the diet was more balanced and there was a large presence of varied foods with a low amount of saturated fats, the risk of suffering from heart failure was a 31% lower. On the contrary, the more unhealthy was the menu that was present in the tables of these people, the more the possibilities increased.


In addition, this study also revealed that in those cases where the diet was closer to the Mediterranean diet, the risk of heart failure decreased 15% more. That is, almost 50% less suffering Heart problems thanks to the presence of these foods in the diet.

Great risk in the future

The Spanish Heart Foundation, FEC, and the Spanish Society of Cardiology, SEC, have commented on this study. Both entities have expressed the need to follow a good diet to prevent the risk of heart failure in the long term. According to both organizations in this country, 6.8% of the population over 45 suffer heart failure. The incidence of this problem grows with age reaching to affect between a 15- 20% of those over 85 years old.

Cardiologists warn that the best way to prevent these problems is good nutrition from the younger ages so that in this way in the future the probability of suffering from heart problems will be reduced to very low levels. Making children understand the need for a good diet and lead by example will help to prevent heart failure in the future.


Diet recommendation

To help in the prevention of heart failure, the Spanish Heart Foundation recommends a diet marked by following guidelines:

- Salt reduction. Salt is necessary in the body in small quantities but in excess it can produce fluid retention and increase the volume of circulating blood. This causes an increase in blood pressure and over time this can cause a narrowing of the arteries and cause the heart to overload work more than necessary. It is advisable to maintain a salt intake below 3 g per day.

- Reduction of fat. The presence of saturated fat and cholesterol accumulated in the blood vessels obstructs the passage of blood and prevents its proper circulation. That is why we have to avoid those foods that contain abundant saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol, such as whole milk products or fatty meats. Another way to reduce the fat intake is to choose cooking methods that use little or no fat, such as the oven, griddle, grill, microwave, roast or steaming.

- Keep active. The best diet is always the one that includes exercise. Staying active helps strengthen the heart and helps the heart pump blood without any problems to the rest of the body. Good nutrition and physical activity can never be missed at home.

Damián Montero

Video: Healthy Living with Heart Failure: Your Nutrition matters - Quiz


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