The information contained in this website is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and TICR recommends consultation with your doctor or other health care professional if you have worries about your cardiovascular health.

Preventing cardiovascular disease and lifestyle

Life is to be enjoyed! Our habits and traditions form part of the everyday fabric of life but most Scots need to make some lifestyle habits to decrease the risk of occurrence and recurrence of vascular diseases.

Top ten steps:

  1. Choose to be tobacco free.
  2. Take action to be a healthy weight. Know your weight, discover if you are out with the healthy weight category and take action to avoid weight gain and starting a weight loss journey
  3. Eat lots of veggies, pulses (e.g. peas, beans, lentils) and fruit. Try to have veggies or fruit at each meal. Make a goal of 5 veggies and fruit a day.
  4. Chose wholegrains- wholemeal bread, wholegrain cereal (e.g. porridge, muesli), brown rice, brown pasta
  5. Oil rich fish (e.g. salmon, sardines, and mackerel) should be a regular part of the diet (taken at least once per week).
  6. Watch out for saturated fats found in butter, cheese, full fat dairy desserts, cakes, chocolate, savoury snacks. Choose low fat milk, yoghurts and dairy products (and check labels for sugar!)
  7. Limit intakes of sugary drinks (e.g. cola, squashes and juices) fast foods and processed meats (e.g. sausages, bacon, pies). If eaten at all , try to limit to less than once per week
  8. Watch your portion weights especially pasta, chips and cheese. Consider the size of your dinner plate…
  9. Limit alcohol consumption. No one will ever prescribe alcohol for reduction of heart disease. Around one drink per day (e.g. 7 drinks per week) is lowest risk for both heart disease and cancers. High alcohol intakes are associated with increased risk of hypertension and stroke.
  10. Keep active in everyday life – aim for at least 150 mins of moderate or 75 minutes vigorous activity per week. We recommend a short walk every day – equivalent of two short dog walks, and make it brisk! The more active you are the better – keep on moving and stretching at all opportunities

For more detailed information see British Heart Foundation

Author: Professor Annie Anderson