Senior nutrition is important for all adults later in life, but new research has shown that the impact on the heart from certain dietary choices can be significant. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the Mediterranean diet can lower the risk of heart disease among adults. The recent study revealed that among a group of nearly 800 Midwest firefighters, many health benefits were gained by following the Mediterranean diet. Firefighters were used in the study because they are known to have a high risk of cardiovascular disease and obesity, according to HSPH.
The Mediterranean diet
The basics of the Mediterranean diet lie in its origins. The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating nutrient-dense foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been well-known to be heart-healthy. Other basics of the diet include eating lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. The diet also instructs followers to use olive oil instead of butter, as the nutrients in it can improve heart health.
Red meat consumption is reduced on the diet, replaced by fish and poultry at least twice a week. The Harvard Medical School recently found that there is a link between eating red meat and developing heart disease as a result of clogged arteries. For seniors, the Mediterranean diet is thought to be particularly beneficial for heart health as well as restoring memory.
Dangers of heart disease
Heart disease affects millions of Americans every year and can lead to more serious health risks if left untreated. Heart disease happens when there is a buildup of plaque in the arteries that can cause blockages and clots, which can lead to heart attack. For millions of Americans, coronary heart disease is a dangerous condition that needs to be dealt with through diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes.
There are a number of uncontrollable factors that can increase the chances of developing heart disease, including age, gender and genetics. However, there are also several ways to reduce the risk by leading a healthier life. Senior fitness is a major part the risk of heart disease. Physical exercise, along with nutrition, can make a huge difference in staying healthy and keeping the heart functioning to its best ability. In fact, inactivity is a leading cause of heart disease, as it can also lead to obesity. Moderate to vigorous exercise will help keep the blood vessels and heart healthier. According to the American Heart Association, more heart benefits can be gained by higher-intensity workouts.
Additionally, not smoking can lead to greater senior wellness and make it less likely that heart disease will develop. Smokers are at least twice as likely to have heart disease than nonsmokers. Smoking can also greatly increase the risk of having a heart attack. High blood pressure and cholesterol also play a role in heart health and increase the risk of heart attack and chronic heart disease several times over. Fortunately, many of these risk factors can be controlled by lifestyle choices and staying active.
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