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Heart Health for the over 50’s

CVD – Cardiovascular Disease, is one of Malta’s most common causes of death and disability. The disease causes several conditions which include stroke and coronary heart disease. CVD refers to any disease that is caused by fatty deposits that can block arteries, cause blood clots, slow the flow of blood, and cause heart attacks and strokes.

Prevention and a healthy lifestyle are the best defence against CVD. Even if you already have a CVD diagnosis, a healthy diet and increasing your daily activity can help tremendously.

Here are a few tips to prevent CVD and the conditions leading to it.

Hold yourself responsible for your health

Make your health a priority. Monitor your lifestyle, and your existing conditions and make timely necessary changes before it’s too late. Stay on top of things and be in the know. Diabetes, ageing, and certain medications for other conditions can all increase your risk of CVD, heart disease, and stroke. Make sure to ask your doctor about it.

Say no to smoking, even if it’s second hand

It is common knowledge that smoking contributes to several diseases, including CVD and cancer. According to research, non-smokers are still at risk of heart disease as a result of second-hand smoke. In addition, nicotine increases blood pressure by causing the heart to work harder. So if you smoke, quit! For the greatest chance of success, speak to your doctor about how to proceed.

You are what you eat

Healthy eating and healthy living are inseparable. Excessive calorie intake that causes abdominal obesity is one of the top risk factors for heart disease and stroke. The reason for this is that abdominal fat accumulates in areas not anatomically meant to store fat. As a result, oxygen is restricted to certain organs, and this causes them to work harder. This type of fat deposit is called low-density lipids (LDLs), which can cause arteries to clog and become less flexible. The trick is to stick to what you need. Eat when hungry, and stop eating when full.

Fat - the good, the bad and the ugly

Although we’re often told that fat is bad for us, the truth is that your body still needs fat to function well. However there are different types of fat, and your body does not need all of them. It is important that you avoid saturated and trans fats because these are deadly fats that your body absolutely does not need. The type of fat that your body needs can be found in other food such as nuts, oily fish, and seeds. These provide crucial fats, such as Omega 3, and high-density lipids (HDLs), also known as the “good” cholesterol.

Sugar - it's not all sweet

Sugar can trigger a chain reaction that exponentially raises your risk of cardiovascular disease. Diabetes, obesity and ageing all increase one’s risk of cardiovascular disease. Certain types of diabetes, as well as obesity, can be caused by excessive sugar consumption. The amount of sugar per 100 grammes in a portion of food can be a good indicator of whether you’re on a high-sugar diet. Always stick to the low side and try not to exceed more than 22.5g of sugar per 100g.

Limit your tots

You might have read or heard that a daily glass of red wine can benefit heart health because of its antioxidants and HDLs. This data however is non-conclusive, and it is best to limit your alcohol consumption to the bare minimum without spoiling all your fun.

CVD can creep up on you silently. The trick is to keep your health in check with regular screenings. At Clinipath Medical Laboratories, we recommend annual medical and blood screening to ensure that you can maintain your quality of life.

If you would like information contact us today on +356 21221355, +356 9985 2404 or send an email on

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