Lifestyle changes in cardio-vascular diseases

By: Pallavi Vathiar. Practicing Clinical Nutritionist, Mumbai.


Lifestyle and dietary modifications are the cornerstone in CVD prevention. Given below are different lifestyle and dietary approaches which are recommended to manage the major modifiable CVD risk factors and hence CVR risk:

  • Saturated fat should be replaced with MUFA or PUFA to reduce LDL-cholesterol.
  • Foods with added plant sterols/stanols are effective in reducing LDL-cholesterol when consumed in recommended amounts (1.5-3 g/day)
  • Consume 25-45 g of dietary fiber per day of which 5-15 g of soluble fibers from foods rich in these fibers for a cholesterol-lowering effect
  • Salt intake should be reduced below 5 g/day by avoiding table salt and limiting salt in cooking and by choosing foods low in added salt.
  • The intake of beverages and foods with added sugars, particularly soft drinks, should be limited, particularly for patients with hypertriglyceridemia. Sugar intake should not exceed 10% of total energy.
  • Physical activity should be encouraged, aiming at regular physical exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • A BMI of < 25 kg/m2 is associated with favorable effects on BP and dyslipidemia
  • For those who drink alcoholic beverages, moderation should be advised (no more than 1drink/day for women and 1-2 drinks/day for men) and patients with hypertriglyceridemia should abstain.
  • Use and exposure to tobacco and even passive smoking has to be avoided.

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