Weight loss tips for maintaining a healthy heart
There are many options for keeping your heart healthy. If weight loss surgery is needed, private health insurance may be able to cut costs.
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Your heart is literally your lifeblood, beating on average about 100,000 times a day, pumping about 6.8 liters of blood per minute through your body’s 60,000-mile blood vessel system to ensure your body has it all. oxygen and nutrients it needs to thrive, while removing carbon dioxide and other wastes from the body.
So you want to make sure that this continues to run like clockwork, because without a healthy heart you can be faced with life-threatening illnesses. From heart disease to atrial fibrillation, from angina to cardiac arrest, there is a long list of frightening conditions that can impact the heart.
But the good news is that many of them can be avoided, mitigated, and even reversed with a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
As a nation, we are growing. According to the Heart Foundation, two-thirds of Australian adults are now considered overweight or obese, which puts us in the danger zone for the risk of serious chronic disease. With the average Australian man now 11.2 kg above a healthy weight and the average woman 7.1 kg above a healthy weight, as a nation we have a much higher risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke.
Heart Foundation Senior Food and Nutrition Advisor Jemma O’Hanlon said maintaining a healthy weight is of critical importance to heart health.
âWe all come in different shapes and sizes, and while our weight doesn’t define us, it’s really important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of heart disease,â she said.
âThis includes a multitude of factors such as what we eat, our activity level, the way we deal with stress, avoiding smoking, reducing alcohol and getting enough sleep. “
Food for thought
For some people, maintaining a healthy weight is easier said than done. With so much conflicting information and endless weight loss programs and philosophies, it can be extremely difficult to know how to go about it.
âDiets that sound too good to be true often are, and you’ll have much more long-term success by gradually implementing healthy habits and with the support of an expert such as a certified dietitian,â said Mrs. O’Hanlon. .
Ms. O’Hanlon said poor food choices over time can increase our risk for heart disease.
âHighly processed junk foods like cakes, cookies, pies and pastries often contain high amounts of saturated and trans fats, which can raise our LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol and put us at risk for heart attack or disease. ‘stroke,’ she said.
“Healthy fats, or what’s called monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, help lower our LDL cholesterol, so we need to eat more of these foods.”
What are the three worst foods for your heart?
We asked Ms. O’Hanlon what are the three food groups to avoid in order to maintain a healthy heart. Here are his responses:
- Burgers and fries meal offers – Highly processed ‘junk’ foods such as large fatty burgers with a side of fries are often loaded with saturated fat and salt, so these types of foods, if eaten regularly over time, can be harmful to the heart. Whenever possible, I recommend cooking at home so you know exactly what’s going on with your meals.
- Processed meats – Current guidelines recommend avoiding processed meats, including sausages, bacon, ham and salami, due to the increased risk of colorectal cancer. And they are also not good for the heart due to the high levels of saturated fat and salt. If you’re enjoying a barbecue this summer, stock up on salads, grilled corn, and if you eat meat, choose lean cuts.
- Alcohol – The Heart Foundation’s latest advice on alcohol is that the evidence is not strong enough to recommend an amount of alcohol that is safe for cardiovascular health. We also often consume alcohol with sweet mixes, which provide “empty calories”, encourage weight gain and offer little nutritional value. Keep a glass of sparkling water nearby during social events to stay hydrated.
What are the top three foods to eat more for heart health?
We asked Ms. O’Hanlon which three foods are best to eat to help maintain a healthy heart. Here are his top picks:
- Lawyers are readily available now and at bargain prices, and they’re packed with heart-healthy nutrients including monounsaturated fat, fiber, potassium, folate, vitamins C, E, and antioxidants.
- Oats are whole grains and contain beta-glucan which helps lower cholesterol and dietary fiber which keeps us full longer. Oats are so versatile and can be made into an easy Bircher muesli, hot oats, or used in a healthy baking like apple and blueberry crumble.
- Yogurt is rich in calcium, protein and provides good bacteria for the gut. For a heart-healthy snack, choose plain yogurt and add fresh berries as a garnish, along with a pinch of nuts and seeds for extra crunch. Or try topping your pavlova with yogurt instead of cream for your Christmas dessert.
Is Weight Loss Surgery an Option for Heart Health?
Some people may need more immediate action in the form of weight loss surgery to relieve their heart and help with very serious health problems. Surgery can allow them to lessen immediate risks and achieve a healthier point, as well as diet and exercise much faster, so they can focus on long-term changes. diet and lifestyle for better heart health.
However, Ms O’Hanlon said the Heart Foundation recommends a lifestyle approach wherever possible, which includes following a heart-healthy diet, being active and increasing the number of heartburns. not that you do every day.
âWeight loss surgery is a very personal decision and there are many factors to consider and we recommend that you seek your doctor’s advice as the first port of call,â she said.
The three most common types of weight loss surgeries in Australia are gastric bypass, gastric sleeve, and adjustable gastric band. All of them work to physically decrease the size of your stomach and ultimately reduce your calorie intake.
Which surgery you choose will depend on several factors including your age, medical condition, medical condition, and how much weight you need to lose.
What you can expect to pay for weight loss surgery
Weight loss surgery can be an expensive option. Depending on the type of surgery, you can expect to pay between $ 2,800 and $ 18,000, but there are ways to keep the costs down.
Medicare may cover some of the costs associated with some weight loss surgeries if you are clinically severely obese with a BMI of 40 or greater – or with a BMI of 35 or greater with other major medical conditions, such as heart disease. But this coverage will not be 100% and is not guaranteed either, and depends on your personal situation and the clinical judgment of the surgeon.
Does Medicare Cover Bariatric Surgery?
Private health insurance policies that specifically cover weight loss surgery can also significantly reduce these costs, but you will have to pay for a higher level of coverage, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses and wait for the allotted time after signing up. to be able to make a complaint.
âWeight loss surgeries, including sleeve gastrectomy, gastric band surgery and gastric bypass surgery, are typically included in Gold hospital coverage,â says Milosh Milisavljevic, Group Executive Customer Portfolios at Medibank Australia .
âWe recommend that customers call us first to confirm what they’re covered for, and then speak to their specialist to find out if they charge any additional fees. “
The amount you can expect to pay for weight loss surgery with contributions from your health fund and / or Medicare will depend entirely on your personal situation, your private health insurance policy, the rates of your specialists and the type of surgery performed.
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