The next time you’re at your local hospital for a checkup, you may consider talking to your physician about your dietary habits. Dietary choices play a significant role in preventive healthcare. Although certain risk factors of various medical conditions are uncontrollable—such as your age or gender—many risk factors are indeed manageable with lifestyle choices. For example, following a healthy diet may reduce the possibility that you’ll require stroke care or hospitalization in a heart hospital .
Heart disease is a serious condition that claims countless lives each year. You can protect your heart health by increasing your consumption of produce. Vegetables and fruits are rich in fiber, which may help control your cholesterol levels. Choose whole grains, rather than refined grain products. By limiting your consumption of saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol, you can reduce your risk of atherosclerosis, or the buildup of plaque in your arteries. For example, choose low-fat sources of protein, such as poultry, fish, nuts, beans, and low-fat dairy. Heart doctors also recommend limiting your consumption of sodium, which is often found in processed foods such as canned soups, canned vegetables, and condiments.
Many of the healthy dietary choices that can prevent heart disease can also reduce your risk of stroke. For example, increasing your intake of fruits and veggies can reduce your risk. To prevent stroke, it’s particularly important to control blood pressure by limiting sodium consumption, and to manage cholesterol levels by limiting saturated fat and cholesterol.
Research is ongoing regarding the link between diet and the development of dementia later in life. However, dementia researchers recommend following a heart-healthy diet that includes omega-3 fatty acids from sources such as cold-water fish and flaxseed. Limiting advanced glycation end products (AGEs)—which are found in high-fat foods cooked at high temperatures—may also help.
Families in the San Jose community are invited to learn more about improving their wellness with the resources available at Regional Medical Center of San Jose . We offer extensive specialty services, including stroke care, breast care, and heart care. If you have any questions or wish to schedule an appointment, call (408) 259-4000 today.