Five toast toppers that can help protect your heart from damage
This Morning: Dr Chris discusses rise in heart disease deaths
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Heart disease causes unnecessary strain on the life-supporting organ, tiring the muscle out. The condition can also lead to restricted blood flow into the heart, leading to chest pain and breathlessness. One predictor of heart disease is high cholesterol, which can be caused by eating too much saturated fat. Heart UK, the cholesterol charity, pointed out that one popular spread is high in saturated fat – butter.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) acknowledged that there are much healthier alternatives to consider if you want to enjoy a slice of toast.
For instance, one heart-healthy topping you could enjoy is sliced or mashed avocado.
“This quick snack is rich in unsaturated, rather than saturated, fats,” the BHF said.
What’s the difference between unsaturated and saturated fats?
Medical News Today cited research that suggests saturated fats may increase low-density lipoprotein (i.e. bad cholesterol).
Having too much LDL cholesterol can increase a person’s risk of heart disease.
Unsaturated fats, however, contain “heart-healthful properties” by reducing levels of inflammation, increasing “good” cholesterol and building stronger cell membranes in the body.
Dietary sources of unsaturated fats include:
- Peanut butter
If you’d like to try something different than avocado, the BHF recommended mashed or sliced banana.
Another option is to spread low-fat Greek yoghurt and berries on your slice of toast.
Also rich in unsaturated fats is peanut butter, which can also pair well with fruits.
However, do make sure whatever peanut butter you take off the supermarket shelf has no added salt, sugar, or palm oil.
Another choice is chia and home-made berry jam, which you can make by blending your favourite berries and cherries, and sprinkling on chia seeds.
Five heart-healthy toppings:
- Low-fat Greek yoghurt and berries
- Peanut butter
- Chia and berry jam.
Prevent heart disease
The NHS provided expert commentary on how best to protect your beating heart.
When it comes to the diet, as well as avoiding saturated fats (replacing them for unsaturated fats), you will also need to limit salt consumption.
More than 6g of salt daily will raise your blood pressure, putting too much pressure on your heart.
Working out can help condition your heart muscle so that it can become stronger.
“Regular exercise will make your heart and blood circulatory system more efficient,” said the NHS.
This will also help to lower cholesterol levels and help reduce your blood pressure in the long term.
In addition, it will also help you to maintain a healthy weight, or work towards it, which can provide numerous health benefits.
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