Choose a Mediterranean type diet for your heart health!

Dietitian Fatma Altıntaş Kaplan stated that many things have changed in human life due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and that a new term called ‘Covibesity’ has emerged, which expresses the increasing obesity situation in this period. Explaining that the term ‘Covibesity’ in the World Health Organization literature is defined as a new pandemic, Kaplan stated that especially decreasing physical activity and changing dietary habits cause an increase in obesity rates. Fatma Altıntaş Kaplan, explaining that there are many risk factors in the formation of cardiovascular diseases and obesity is the foremost among them, explained that heart diseases, which caused the death of 17.5 million people in 2012, are estimated to cause the death of 22.2 million people in 2033.

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Noting that nutrition and physical activity are very important, Kaplan warned that factors such as obesity, increased blood pressure and diabetes affect heart health. “There are factors we can and cannot change while maintaining heart health. While we cannot change factors such as age, gender and heredity, on the other hand, overweight, inadequate and unbalanced diet, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high blood fat, smoking and tobacco use are the factors that we can change. In the nutrition section, we recommend the Mediterranean diet, which is the most ideal type of nutrition accepted in the world. Include a Mediterranean diet to protect both our hearts and against obesity. said.


Stating that healthy fats should be consumed as much as possible, Kaplan said that it is important to prefer unsaturated vegetable oils such as olive oil, hazelnut oil, flaxseed and avocado. Fatma Altıntaş Kaplan stated that 4-5 servings of vegetables and fruits should be included in the diet. “Daily fiber intake is very important in maintaining heart health. We are talking about a daily intake of 25-30 grams of dietary fiber. For this, let’s include whole grain foods in our lives. Let’s try to include dried legumes 2 times a week” he said.

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Kaplan also stated that fish consumption, which has an important place in heart health, should be paid attention to. “We recommend consuming fish twice a week. Fish oil supplements can be used in people who cannot consume fish regularly. Because EPA and DHA have the feature of raising HDL cholesterol, that is, good cholesterol. We know that trans fats also raise LDL, that is, bad cholesterol. Trans fats, which can cause serious problems for heart health, should be avoided. Diabetes is another disease that lays the groundwork for cardiovascular diseases. Especially for a 10-year-old diabetic, the risk of developing heart disease is between 15-20 percent. People with high blood pressure are twice as likely to have a heart attack than those with healthy blood pressure. Every 1 millimeter drop in blood pressure reduces the risk of having a heart attack by 2-3%. said.


Emphasizing that physical activities are a protective and modifiable factor against cardiovascular diseases, Kaplan said, “The American Heart Foundation recommends moderate-intensity walking for a minimum of 30 minutes at least 4 days a week. We recommend making this a sustainable activity. Get moving, the best physical activity is the activity done. Although there are differences between people, regular walks should be included in our lives for a minimum of 30 minutes and this can be increased. To protect both obesity and heart health, eat the Mediterranean type and include walking in your life. he said.


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