5 Indian diet habits that are killing your heart

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.

Do you use only one brand of cooking oil?
Do you have a habit of eating
Do you have a habit of eating desserts or sweets after meals every day?
Is spicy, non-vegetarian food your favourite?
Do you eat samosas or medu-wada for your breakfast?
If yes, then you are causing a lot of harm to your heart.

Here we reveals five common Indian diet habits that are actually KILLING your heart.

Using the same type of cooking oil: Most Indians use oil in excess, be it deep frying or sautéing, which ultimately increases the fat intake and thus, the risk of heart disease. To prevent this, make sure you do not include more than three- four teaspoons of oil in your diet per day. Also, make it a habit to change your oil frequently. You should change your cooking oil every two- three months, to get teh various nutrients available in differnt oils, thereby helping your heart to stay healthy. So if you have been using sunflower oil, then change it to rice bran oil the next to and then to olive oil the next time.

Eating sweets after meals:  Not many people know that eating sweets after meals can increase your blood glucose level, which can put you at risk of diabetes. And this can up your risk of heart disease, as sweets are rich in fats and sugar, both of which are known risk factors for heart problems. Although eating a piece of chocolate (bitter chocolate or dark chocolate) is known to be heart healthy as it is rich in antioxidants, but only when taken in moderation. Overindulgence is a strict no-no.

Loading foods with spices: While eating chillies can aid in weight loss, eating spicy food and foods loaded with red chillies is not a good idea. Although chillies are known to reduce resting heart rate and also keep your blood pressure in control, eating in excess can cause stomach woes and also increase the pressure on the heart. Hence, limit the intake of chillies or chilli powder to not more than 1 – 2 teaspoons per day. However, spices like cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper are known to be healthy for the heart due to the presence of antioxidants and polyphenols. Here is a list of heart-friendly Indian spices you must include in your diet.

Having oily foods for breakfast: If your morning routine involves eating ghee-laden paratha or deep fried samosas or medu wada, then it’s time to change it. Eating oily foods the first thing in the morning not only hinders digestion but also increases your intake of calories as it doesn’t make your stomach full, thereby leading to bingeing or eating more. As breakfast is the first meal of the day, make sure you eat more proteins, fewer carbohydrates and minimal fats in the breakfast to make the most out of it. Also, never skip breakfast, here’s why!

Eating non-vegetarian food regularly: According to Dr Nilesh Gautam, if one has to choose between a vegetarian and non-vegetarian diet, it is better to choose the former one as it has more nutrients and is low in saturated or unhealthy fats. Non-vegetarian foods like red meat is a strict no-no for people at risk of heart diseases. However, white meat like chicken and fish can be eaten occasionally as they contain omega-3 fats and rich in proteins, which exerts heart protective action. Also, avoid seafood like prawns, shellfish, lobster and crab. However, maintaining a correct balance between vegetarian and non-vegetarian food is a good idea as vegetarians are at a high risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, which is not the case with non-vegetarians.

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