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Please be careful with your heart (or tips to achieve better heart health) |

Health And Family

Please be careful with your heart (or tips to achieve better heart health)

Dolly Dy-Zulueta -
Please be careful with your heart (or tips to achieve better heart health)
Dr. Dex Macalintal
Photo release

MANILA, Philippines — Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the Philippines.

In 2022 alone, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that more than 9,000 Filipinos succumbed to ischaemic heart diseases and over 4,000 died due to cerebrovascular diseases.

The numbers are alarming—and so, apart from being the Love Month, February has been designated as Philippine Heart Month to promote cardiovascular health and wellness.

As part of its continuing mission to help Filipinos live well and eat well, Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation (APC) has teamed up with lifestyle doctor Dex Macalintal to promote healthy heart education by providing easy and simple ways to keep the heart in tip top shape all the time.

“Filipinos should practive heart above all,” said Dr. Macalintal, a registered nutritionist dietitian for 10 years and a licensed physician for four years.

He added: “When our heart malfunction, our actions will be limited and so will our productivity. Our heart helps us orchestrate how blood flows in the body, which in turn helps our other organs function properly.”

Here are Dr. Macalintal's heart health tips:

No smoking, please.

Do not smoke, never smoke, or, if you do, quit smoking now. Studies have shown that certain chemicals found in cigarettes tend to put the heart at risk of heart disease. Blockage from a clot can lead to a heart attack and, in worst case scenario, even sudden death.

Exercise regularly and maintain your weight at a healthy level. 

Having at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise daily helps you achieve your ideal body weight to minimize the risk of hypertension and stroke.

Keep a balanced diet. 

Go for a diet rich in vegetables, less fat, and less sodium because it has been found to reduce blood pressure and blood cholesterol. Both are known to put hearts at risk of diseases.

“Kaya naman having a balanced diet is very essential in taking care of our health. Mainam na malaman kung gaano karami lamang ang pwedeng kainin so that our weight will be in the ideal range, putting us at the safe zone from lifestyle related diseases,” Dr. Dex shared.

“Our continuous exposure to processed foods that are very rich in sodium and salt can put one at risk of these lifestyle-related diseases. Reducing salt and sodium intake just by half can be very helpful in the long run.”

RELATED: What is heart disease? Lisa Marie Presley, her family's history of heart conditions

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