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What is a Healthy Diet?
A healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease. If you already have coronary heart disease, eating a well balanced diet can also help protect your heart from further problems.
Eating healthily can help protect your heart in the following ways:

help maintain a healthy weight
help lower your blood cholesterol level
help keep your blood pressure down
help prevent atheroma (fatty material) from building up inside your arteries
help prevent blood clots forming.

Eating a well balanced diet can help you improve your general health and can help protect against other conditions such as some cancers and diabetes. 

A healthy diet contains plenty of fruit and vegetables and starchy foods such as wholegrain bread, pasta and rice; and is low in fat (especially saturated fat), salt and sugar. 

Fruit and vegetables
There is good evidence that eating a diet that is rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables can help to lower the risk of coronary heart disease. Aim to eat at least 5 portions each day. They can be fresh, frozen, dried or tinned.

Too much fat in your diet particularly saturated fat, can increase your blood cholesterol levels which can increase your risk of developing coronary heart disease.   To help reduce your cholesterol level you should cut down on the total amount of fat you eat and replace saturated fats with monounsaturates and polyunsaturates and cut down on foods containing trans fats. 

Oily fish
Eating oily fish regularly can help to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and may help improve the chances of survival after a heart attack.  Aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week one of which should be oily.

Reducing the amount of salt you eat will help keep your blood pressure down and may reduce your risk of coronary heart disease.

What to look for when you go shopping
If you have coronary heart disease, watching what you eat is very important.
When you look at a food label, you should look at:

  • the total amount of fat in foods
  • how much of the total fat is saturated fat
  • and how much salt it contains.

Even if you don’t have coronary heart disease, eating foods which are low in fat, saturated fat and salt can help reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease in the future.

The daily guideline amounts for the most important nutrients listed on food labels are:
                                           Men                                         Women
Fat (total)                           95g                                          70g
of which saturates          30g                                           20g
Salt                                       7g                                             5g
Sugar                                 70g                                           50g
Fibre                                  20g                                           16g

In general,men need about 2,500 kcals (calories) each day and women need about 2,000 kcals. However, what you need will be different from someone else. For example, someone who is very active will need more calories than someone who is not. Someone who is trying to lose weight probably needs only 1,500k calories or 1,800k calories a day. This is the same for the other nutrients listed in the table.

      Doctor Tips
Angina is an uncomfortable feeling or pain in the chest.
It usually feels like a heaviness or tightness.
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