Some seemingly innocuous health habits can pose a threat to your heart. Here the experts explain how you can use this knowledge to protect your most vital organ.
You know smoking and too much saturated fat and salt are bad for your heart, but here we reveal nine surprising ways you could be raising your risk of heart disease. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.
Eating A Vegan Diet
A diet containing no animal fat sounds like it should be super healthy, but research from China’s Zhejiang University has shown it might actually raise heart disease risk. The reason is vegan diets often lack the heart-protecting nutrients omega-3 and B12 found in oily fish and red meat. So what if you’re vegan or simply don’t eat a lot of oily fish or red meat?
“Some vegan foods like soy milks and meat analogues are fortified with B12,” says Brisbane dietitian Amanda Benham, “but I recommend all vegetarians and vegans play it safe by taking HCG drops or a B12 supplement of either 100mcg in a daily multivitamin or at least 10mcg as part of a daily B supplement. With omega-3, one option is to eat ground flaxseeds or a little flaxseed oil each day. Vegan-friendly omega-3 supplements from algae are also available.”
Smoking, not exercising, eating junk food; we all know that some things are health hazards. But with scientists making new discoveries daily, it’s hard to know for sure if our everyday habits are really that bad. Here, the experts help us sort the minor misdemeanours from the major mistakes.
You forget to floss: Real health hazard
Not flossing teeth regularly will probably lead to gum disease, tooth decay and bad breath, says Dr Peter Alldritt, from the Australian Dental Association.
“We know only 30 per cent of people floss daily and some stop flossing because it causes bleeding,” he says.
“If you don’t floss for a week your gums will bleed because you will have started to develop gingivitis (inflamed gums).” To see what’s lurking between your unflossed teeth, Dr Alldritt suggests using a piece of dental floss, having a look at what you pull out and then sniffing it.
You have lunch at your desk: Not a deadly sin but…
Want to turn back the clock and boost your health at the same time? Look and feel more youthful by making these simple lifestyle tweaks.
Eat More Garlic
Not only is it heart healthy and immunity-boosting, but garlic can help fight UV damage. South Korean researchers have found that ingredients in the tiny bulb reduce damage to skin caused by UV rays by switching off the activity of collagen-destroying proteins normally triggered by UVB exposure. Garlic is not the only anti-ageing superfood, though. Researchers at Monash University found that people eating diets high in vegetables, fish, olive oil and legumes also looked younger than their years. It sounds a lot like eating the Mediterranean way is the key to younger skin and a healthier body.