Experts will tell you that healthy living is more of a necessity rather than a choice. Amidst our busy lives we conveniently ignore our health which has made chronic ailments like diabetes, obesity and heart disease common lifestyle problems.A latest study published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology shows how small changes in our lifestyle can bring about big results. According to this new study, healthy lifestyle choices may help men cut down the risk of suffering from a heart attack by up to 80 percent."It is not surprising that healthy lifestyle choices would lead to a reduction in heart attacks. What is surprising is how drastically the risk dropped due to these factors," says lead author of the study, Agneta Akesson, associate professor at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. The study was conducted on 20,721 healthy Swedish men aged 45-79 years of age who were examined during a period of 11 years.It was found that men with the lowest risk were non-smokers, who walked or cycled for at least 40 minutes every day, exercised at least one hour per week, had a waist circumference of below 95 centimeters, and consumed moderate amounts of alcohol. They also followed a healthy diet with a regular consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, reduced-fat dairy products, whole grains and fish. (More: A Daily Glass of Milk Can Save Your Heart)There was a clear reduction in the risk of heart attack for every healthy lifestyle factor that the participants practiced. For instance, following a low-risk diet along with moderate alcohol consumption led to an estimated 35 percent lower risk of heart attack compared to the high-risk group, those who practiced none of the low-risk factors.Moreover, men who followed the low-risk diet, cut back on alcohol consumption, were physically active and gave up smoking had 86 percent lower risk.Professor Akesson further recommends, 'It is important to note that these lifestyle behaviours are modifiable, and changing from high-risk to low-risk behaviours can have great impact on cardiovascular health. However, the best thing one can do is to adopt healthy lifestyle choices early in life.'The study concludes that simple habits like maintaining a healthy weight and diet, exercising regularly, not smoking and moderating alcohol intake, can drastically reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
With inputs from IANS
With inputs from IANS
For the latest food news, health tips and recipes, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and YouTube.