Top 10 healthy heart tips

Tips

A healthy lifestyle will make your heart healthier.  Here are 10 things you can do to look after your heart.

Give up smoking - If you're a smoker, quit.  It's the single best thing you can do for your heart health

Get active - Getting and staying active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease.  It can be a great mood booster and stress buster. Do 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week (30 minutes of activity on five days a week)

Manage your weight - Being overweight can increase your risk of heart disease.  Stick to a healthy, balanced diet low in fat and sugar, with plenty of fruit and vegetables

Eat more fibre - Eat plenty of fibre to help lower your risk of heart disease - aim for at least 30g a day. Eat fibre from various sources, such as wholemeal bread, bran, potatoes with their skins on, oats and wholegrain cereals

Cut down on saturated fat - Eating too many foods that are high in saturated fat can raise the level of cholesterol in your blood.  This increases your risk of heart disease.  Choose leaner cuts of meat and lower-fat dairy products like 1% fat milk

Get your 5 a day - Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables. They're a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals

Cut down on salt - To maintain healthy blood pressure, avoid using salt at the table and try adding less to your cooking. Watch out for high salt levels in ready-made foods.  Check the food labels - a food is high in salt if it has more than 1.5g salt (or 0.6g sodium) per 100g.  Adults should eat less than 6g of salt a day in total - that's about one teaspoon

Eat fish - Eat fish at least twice a week, including a portion of oily fish.  Fish such as mackerel, sardines, fresh tuna and salmon are a source of omega-3 fats, which help protect against heart disease. Pregnant or breastfeeding women shouldn't have more than two portions of oily fish a week

Drink less alcohol - Don't forget alcohol contains calories.  Regularly drinking more than the NHS recommends can have a noticeable impact on your waistline

Read the food label - When shopping, it's a good idea to look at the label on food and drink packaging to see how many calories and how much fat, salt and sugar the product contains.  Understanding what is in food and how it fits in with the rest of your diet will help you make healthier choices


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