Every year, 29th September marks World Heart Day, when the World Heart Federation (WHF) rallies people and governments around the world to encourage heart-healthy living. Heart disease is the world’s number one, non-contagious killer and, as the WHF has noted, in these times of COVID-19, “taking care of our hearts right now is more important than ever.”
Firstly, let’s get our terms right. When we talk about heart disease, we’re actually talking about “cardiovascular disease” (CVD), which can include heart attacks, strokes and other blood vessel diseases. Unfortunately, CVD and COVID-19 have something in common - diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity all increase your risk for both significantly. As the World Heart Day site proclaims: “People with Type-2 diabetes might also have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or are overweight. All of these increase the chances of getting heart disease”.
Of course, the best solution to these common illnesses is a change in lifestyle. Yes, that means moving more and, for most people, losing some weight. Along with quitting smoking, WHF believes that by making these lifestyle changes, “at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided.”
Exercise is fairly straightforward, meaning some kind of activity that keeps the heartrate elevated for at least 30 minutes, at least five times per week. Ideally, gradually increase the intensity and duration and add in some resistance training for your major muscle groups – sorted! We’ve got a few blogs to inspire you, why not check them out:
Nutrition is a bit more complex, as there is controversy over which is the best diet. In fact, most experts are now coming to the conclusion that there is no single “best diet”. Multiple studies show that people respond differently to different diets. We all have different genetics, lifestyles, preferences and personality types. This is why our trained The 1:1 Diet Consultants are so good at being personal weight-loss coaches. They sit down with each client, individually, and develop a bespoke Plan for them.
The one thing that has been consistently shown to reduce these risk factors for CVD is significant weight loss. For instance, five studies now show that our meal replacement products and Plan (which typically result in about two stone weight loss) can have a positive impact on diabetes, and data from even more studies show rapid improvements in blood pressure.
So, the major risk factor diseases for CVD are all improved but is there any direct evidence of CVD risk going down using our programme? Actually, yes. Besides reductions in blood fats that gum up your arteries, like cholesterol and triglycerides, the results of a four-year study showed a reduction in a measure called “QRisk2 Healthy Heart Age”. This is a calculation, based upon the CVD rates of 10 million UK patients, which predicts a person’s heart age. People who have average risk will have a heart age which is the same as their chronological age and if you have a higher heart age, that means you are at higher CVD risk. Well, at the start of the four-year trial, these subjects had a six-year higher heart age but by the end of the study, it was only one year older. Essentially, this means they are likely to go five years longer without having a heart attack, stroke or other CVD event!
To read more about these heart health study results, see: https://tdmr-europe.com/2018/09/06/news-osteoarthritis-patients-lives-could-be-transformed-by-turning-treatment-on-its-head/ and for more tips on heart health, see our The best fruits for weight loss and Top Tips for Full Body Health. Also, you can also use our handy BMI Calculator to see how much you may need to lose.
Visit our Steps page to find out more about weight loss with The 1:1 Diet. Or, better yet, speak to a Consultant today!