You can’t ever go to a relative’s house without hearing about ailment after ailment that they are suffering from. And one of the most common problems people suffer from is heart problems.
Asians have a tendency to like eating fried food and spicy food, and many believe that this is the cause of the rising number of heart ailments within Asians. It is extremely important to raise awareness about heart conditions and to ensure that one knows one’s family history properly. On today’s show I was joined by Dr Sandy Gupta, a Consultant Cardiologist at Whipps Cross and St Barts Hospital in London since 1999.
Dr Gupta said that it was vital to maintain a healthy diet and ensure that we all had 30 minutes of exercise. This does not simply mean going to the gym but even housework is constituted as good exercise! That basically means that when you are told by your mother to hoover the house, it’s actually somehow healthy!
Dr Gupta also stated that heart conditions could easily be passed down in the family and if one had a family history of the condition then one must be extra vigilant and make sure that one’s heart is regularly monitored by one’s GP. If any condition is caught early there is a full chance of leading a normal and healthy life with the help of medication.
Dr Gupta also spoke about the importance of controlling our salt intake as eating too much salt can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure. Having high blood pressure increases the risk of developing coronary heart disease. Hence, everyone should aim for a well-balanced diet and one must always avoid fad crash diets as they do not provide the balance of nutrients that the body needs.
Try to eat:
• Plenty of fruit and vegetables
• Plenty of starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. Choose wholegrain varieties wherever possible
• Milk and dairy products
• Meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
• A small amount of foods and drinks high in fats and/or sugar.
If you were eating ready meals or dinner out with friends and family you should choose options that are lower in fat, salt and sugar whenever you can.
We had a variety of callers asking about their personal surgery, treatments and cases. Dr Gupta was kind enough to help them with their questions and queries, however, each case is different and more and more people from the South Asian community are being diagnosed with heart disease so it is important to go for regular check-ups and keep an eye on one’s blood pressure and cholesterol.