Prevention is better than cure when it comes to heart health


- Credit: Archant

Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen to anyone, at any time – without warning

In fact approximately 30,000 people every year in the UK suffer a cardiac arrest and, with quick action by those around with access to life-saving equipment, more people are surviving to tell the tale.

The Sussex Heart Charity (SHC) saves lives in Sussex: defibrillators in ambulances and wards, patient monitoring equipment and a cardiac rehabilitation service, community basic life support training and a specialist heart failure rehabilitation team. The charity has purchased innovative hi-tech equipment which cannot be supported or for which funds cannot be made available by the NHS; the majority of this is channelled through the regional centre, which is very local to all in Hanover - the County Hospital.

So what’s the key to a healthy heart? Well, it’s no real secret - a healthy lifestyle; yes that does mean exercise and eating well. However, it needn’t be that you’re running at dawn and eating nothing but lettuce leaves!

You know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk and it’s difficult to stop eating what you like – moderate the intake of those unhealthy foods and just add a little more fruit or vegetables/salad. Once you know the foods that really are good for you and the foods that really aren’t, it may not seem so difficult to make that change. All that is needed is a little knowledge and the will to change for the better. The amount of food you eat is as important as what you actually consume. Eating too much and too fast is very common, eating far more calories than you may need. A quick way to reduce portion size is to use a smaller bowl or plate; eat as much as you like of vegetables, fruit and foods packed with naturally occurring vitamins and minerals – eat less processed foods/fast foods, which often contain high levels of saturated fat, processed oils, salt and sugar. You don’t have to stop eating the foods you love but know are bad for you - to be healthy, just don’t make these your only food source or call for a takeout every night.

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