Cardiovascular Diseases

Preventing Cardiovascular Disease

According to statistics, cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one leading cause of death in both men and women. Unfortunately men seem to succumb earlier than women, with the average age of death being 65. This is partly because men do not take as good care of their health as women do, but in fact, even in their teens, men have more cholesterol in their arteries than girls. This is because women naturally have higher levels of good cholesterol.

Heart disease is also called atherosclerosis and is caused by the build-up of plaque in the veins until they are too blocked for the blood to flow freely. This will cause a stroke or a heart attack. It is not only the blockage that causes the problem though. Often, the plaque becomes unstable and a blood clot forms over it in an attempt to keep it in place. This increases the blockage, but if it breaks free it will also cause a big problem with stroke or heart attack being the usual result.

Why belly fat – or lack of – is important

Cardiovascular disease is also caused by having too much belly fat. The problem is not so much with the fat that is just under the skin, but the fact that it means there is also too much fat around the important internal organs such as the liver and kidney. If you have lots of belly fat you are much more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease than someone who has little. If your waist measures more than 102 centimetres (40 inches) then you have too much belly fat and are more likely to have atherosclerosis.

How to fight it

So what can you do about the problem of too much belly fat and heart disease? Since they go hand in hand, it is important to reduce your weight. You have to make sure that you burn more energy than you consume. This is not as hard as you may think. Simply walking for ten minutes a day will make a big difference – so long as you don’t walk to the nearest shop and snack on something fattening.

Small changes are easy

Getting that weight down can be as simple as making some small changes in your diet. Choose to eat fruit instead of biscuits and cake. If you have desert, have less, or eliminate it for two or three nights – or days – per week. Eat plenty of vegetables – other than potato – so that you feel fuller for longer. Drink water rather than drinks high in sugar. Use skim milk instead of full cream milk.

Those small changes can make a big difference to your weight. Once you become slimmer, you will have lots more energy and will feel more like taking up some form of sport or exercise. However, even if you don’t feel like it at first, going for a walk will do you a great deal of good and help to burn calories.