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Diet tips for a healthy heart

Last updated on: October 08, 2014 18:37 IST

In an online chat with Get Ahead readers on October 8, celebrity nutritionist Niti Desai answered queries on heart-healthy diets.

Here is the unedited chat transcript

Mihika Shetty: What are the best ways to lead a heart healthy lifestyle?

Niti Desai: Stop smoking , maintain ideal weight, have a low fat diet, include lots of fruits and vegetables , use a blended oil. moderate your salt alcohol intake and be physically active

Sholom Kemkar: I have heard about cholesterol being good. What kind of oil do I need to use for this?

Niti Desai: To maintain your cholesterol levels - it is very important that you use right king of oil - use an oil which gives you the right ratio of all different kinds of fatty acids - so a blended cooking oil may be a good idea

Payal Panday: How do I manage weight with everyday diet?

Niti Desai: Take in fewer calories then you burn - have small and frequent meals, drink plenty of water, avoid excessive intake of calorie dense foods such as fried foods and sweets

Vipin Nair: Dear Madam I am a 41 year old guy with reasonably good health . I am a strict vegetarian . Kindly let me know the vegetables which has to be included in my daily diet schedule. I go for walking everyday for half an hour in the mornings . My Father is a heart patient and has done stenting 2 years back. Kindly advise.

Niti Desai: Include a variety of vegetables - darker and deeper the colour - the better –

So have your yellow and red colored vegetables - not only your greens . Continue with your healthy lifestyle


Niti Desai: There is no magic pill or quick fix mr chhabra - just start walking and more importantly look at your dietary habits - altering those will give you results too

Naresh Desai: when i run, i start breathing fast.. and sometime it does not stops... let me know how to increase my stamina?

Niti Desai: You have not mentioned your age but a visit to your family physician or cardiologist is warranted.


Niti Desai: Surely - especially egg whites and paneer made from skimmed milk - is no problem.

Vijay Pandey: I have Cholesterol level above 220 which resulted into high BP. Please suggest how to control Cholesterol and whether its lower level will automatically reduce high BP

Niti Desai: High cholesterol levels and high blood pressure means you must be overweight / obese too. Lose weight, reduce or eliminate the intake of fried foods and sweets / Mithais - use a heart friendly blended oil - which has an ideal PUFA to MUFA ratio and take up cardiovascular activity - regular exercise - it will bring down your cholesterol levels and high blood pressure

Vijay Pandey: Thank You Dr.Desai. But, I am neither overweight or obese. I am 5feet10inch and body weight is 70Kg. However I was taking fried food as well Sweets. Now I have controlled to some extent. Please suggest how I have to exercise daily or a brisk walk of 5 KM every day is sufficient.

Yardstick Tech. Pvt. Ltd.: I have undergone angioplasty last december till date following the diet suggested by doctors post angioplasty reports are normal how long i have to follow the strict diet and suggest some diet tips.

Niti Desai: A heart healthy diet is a diet for the lifetime - if you are not continuously losing weight and not feeling weak or tired - you must continue - you can of course cheat once in a while.

manoj: 10 foods that can weaken our heart muscles

Niti Desai: All foods and Argue portions that make you overweight or obese - put a lot of stress on the heart - besides fatty fried foods - lot of use of butter , ghee, use of single cooking oil - smoking and lack of physical activity - weaken your heart muscles

manisha satpute: What exercise would you recommend to keep our heart in shipshape?

Niti Desai: Depends on your age Manisha - but in general cardiovascular exercise - from simple walking, swimming , playing a sport, jogging or doing a n aerobic class to a cardio workout in the gym - all work

Rajan sha: How to keep BP, hypertension, obesity and diabetes and cholesterol under check?

Niti Desai: Being ideal weight, stop smoking, be physically active, diet rich in complex carbohydrates, low fat and moderate protein

Satish Pulli: what kind of foods worsen our hearts?

Niti Desai: Foods with a very high fat and refined carbohydrate content - such as fried foods, bakery products such as khari or butter biscuits, sweets, chocolates, Mithais and ice cream

Amol Dhurve: What early signs that should warn us about our diet to keep our heart healthy?

Niti Desai: Being overweight or obese, sedentary lifestyle - excessive intake of fatty and sugary foods - stree and erratic eating habits should be a warning sign for a lifestyle change

raghunathan: after 58 wt is the best diet everyday to keep u healthy.SR

Niti Desai: A diet which helps you maintain your ideal weight and is rich in coloured fruits and vegetables - keep you intake of fat, sugar and salt low

ashish gupta: im 28 IT professional working in shifts. Got my lipid profile tested and my cholestrol, LDL and TGL are quite high ( high risk zone ). Have started with simple running n walking n free hand exercises every day for 30 mins and heart healthy diet. Anything else you would like to suggest to improve the levels ?

Niti Desai: Include w-3 fatty acids in your diet - if you are non vegetarian have oily fish - for vegetarians flaxseeds, walnuts and a blended oil soybean oil.