Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer
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Experts at the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada have highlighted five snack combinations to help protect you against heart disease and stroke. Heart disease is one of the biggest killers in the UK, ending the lives of 160,000 people each year. To help avoid becoming part of such a shocking statistic, healthy snacks to incorporate into your diet include “lower-fat, lower-sodium cheese and whole grain crackers”.
The charity also recommends celery and peanut butter as a healthy snack option.
Other combinations include:
- Pita with hummus
- Vegetables and a lower-fat dip
- Nuts with fresh fruit.
“Combining foods this way will boost your energy and leave you feeling satisfied longer,” the charity noted.
These snacks provide nutrients that protect you against disease, improve energy levels, and keep your metabolism going.
As such, you are less likely to snack on unhealthy treats and you are more inclined to maintain a healthy weight.
The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada added: “Just remember to keep portion sizes small. Snacks are supposed to tide you over, not replace a meal.”
The NHS explained that heart disease develops when the arteries supplying blood to the heart become clogged by a fatty build-up of fatty substances.
Such a process is known as atherosclerosis, which can interrupt blood flow to the heart.
Heart disease can reveal itself if you feel chest pain, experience shortness of breath, and pain radiates throughout the body.
Other possible indications of heart disease include feeling faint and nauseous.
One of the key ways to prevent atherosclerosis and heart disease is to eat a “healthy, balanced diet” that includes healthy snacks.
Other preventative measures include: being physically active; being a non-smoker; and controlling blood cholesterol and sugar levels.
A stroke occurs when the blood flow to the brain is blocked, causing brain cells to be starved of oxygen and nutrients, leading to cell death.
The life-threatening condition may lead to the following symptoms:
- Face – the face may have dropped on one side, the person may not be able to smile, or their mouth or eye may have dropped.
- Arms – the person with suspected stroke may not be able to lift both arms and keep them there because of weakness or numbness in one arm.
- Speech – their speech may be slurred or garbled, or the person may not be able to talk at all despite appearing to be awake; they may also have problems understanding what you’re saying to them.
Any of these warning signs require a prompt call to the emergency services on 999.
One of the best preventative tools against a stroke is to eat a healthy diet, which also includes healthy snack.
Moreover, it is helpful to take regular exercise, not to drink more than the weekly limits of 14 units of alcohol, and to be a non-smoker.
If you have any other conditions that increase your risk of stroke, such as high blood pressure, you must try to manage it effectively.
This might include taking prescribed medication, such as statins, for the rest of your life.
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