It has been found that men with balding problems may be at higher risk of coronary heart disease. However, men who bald from the front appear to carry no significant added risk for the clogged artery disease that can cause heart attacks. Only men who lose hair at the crown face a higher cardiovascular risk.
Studies by researchers at the University of Tokyo showed that men who had lost most of their hair were more than a third likely to develop coronary artery disease than those with hair. The more severe the baldness, the higher the risk, but only if the balding was at the crown or vertex.
Therefore, cardiovascular risk factors should be reviewed carefully in men with vertex baldness, especially younger men. They should be encouraged to review their diet and lifestyle to improve their cardiovascular risk profile.
About 30 to 40 percent of adult men suffer from male pattern baldness. Up to 80 percent of men suffer from male pattern baldness by the age of 80.
However, it is also noted that male pattern baldness is linked to insulin resistance, diabetes, chronic inflammation and sensitivity to testosterone. All these factors may also lead to cardiovascular disease. Therefore, whether one is balding or not, adopting and maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle is still paramount to keeping cardiovascular risk low.
Although you might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it’s often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine-tune your diet, here are eight heart-healthy diet tips. Once you know what food for heart health to eat, and which foods to limit, you’ll be on your way toward a heart-healthy diet.
Here are 8 easy tips on how to improve heart health
1. Control Your Portion Size
Eat more of low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, and reducing your intake of fast and processed foods will keep your weight in control. Keep track of the number of servings you eat per day. At the same time, do not overload your plate. An appropriate portion size would comprise 1/2 cup of pasta, two to three ounces of meat, fish or chicken (about the size and thickness of a deck of cards). Be sure to add in fresh fruit and vegetables. Be sure to limit carbohydrate-rich fruit and vegetables such as bananas, potatoes and sweet potatoes though.
2. Eat Plenty Of Fresh Fruit And Vegetables
Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. The fiber fills you up, and help you eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods.
Featuring vegetables and fruits in your diet can be easy. Keep vegetables washed and cut in your refrigerator for quick snacks. Keep fruit in a bowl in your kitchen so that you’ll remember to eat it. Choose recipes that have vegetables or fruits as the main ingredient, such as vegetable stir-fry or fresh fruit mixed into salads. Be sure to avoid canned fruit packed in heavy syrup, vegetables with creamy sauces, as well as frozen fruit with sugar added.
3. Replace Refined Grain Products With Whole Grains
Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products. Or be adventuresome and try a new whole grain, such as whole-grain couscous, quinoa or barley.
Another easy way to add whole grains to your diet is ground flaxseed. Flaxseeds are small brown seeds that are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower your total blood cholesterol. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, applesauce or hot cereal. Avoid white, refined flour, as well as granola bars and biscuits which tend to contain a lot of sugar.
4. Reduce Your Intake Of Unhealthy Fats And Cholesterol
Limiting how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to reduce your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease. A high blood cholesterol level can lead to a buildup of plaques in your arteries, called atherosclerosis, which can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Assuming you follow a 2000-calorie-a-day diet, your intake of saturated fat should be less than 14g. Your intake of trans fat should be less than 2g, and less than 300 mg cholesterol per day.
Reduce your intake of solid fats such as butter, margarine and shortening. Use canola, olive or sunflower oil in your cooking instead. Trim the fat off your meat or choosing lean meats with less than 10 percent fat.
You can also use low-fat substitutions when possible for a heart-healthy diet. For example, top your baked potato with salsa or low-fat yogurt rather than butter, or use low-sugar fruit spread on your toast instead of margarine.
You may also want to check the food labels of some cookies, crackers and chips. Many of these snacks — even those labeled “reduced fat” — may be made with oils containing trans fats. One clue that a food has some trans fat in it is the phrase “partially hydrogenated” in the ingredient list.
When you do use fats, choose monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats, found in nuts and seeds, also are good choices for a heart-healthy diet. When used in place of saturated fat, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats may help lower your total blood cholesterol. But moderation is essential. All types of fat are high in calories.
5. Choose Low-Fat Protein Sources
Lean meat, poultry and fish, low-fat dairy products, and egg whites or egg substitutes are some of your best sources of protein. But be careful to choose lower fat options, such as skim milk rather than whole milk and skinless chicken breasts rather than fried chicken patties.
Fish is another good alternative to high-fat meats. Certain types of fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood fats called triglycerides. You’ll find the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Other sources are flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans and canola oil.
Legumes — beans, peas and lentils — also are good sources of protein and contain less fat and no cholesterol, making them good substitutes for meat. Substituting plant protein for animal protein — for example, a soy or bean burger for a hamburger — will reduce your fat and cholesterol intake.
6. Reduce The Sodium In Your Food
Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy diet. It is recommended that healthy adults have less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day (about a teaspoon). People aged 51 or older, or those who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease should keep their daily intake of sodium to less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day. The fastest way of reducing your salt intake is to refrain from canned or processed foods such as canned soup and frozen dinners. Preparing fresh foods and using reduced-sodium versions of condiments will further reduce your intake of salt.
7. Plan Ahead And Create Daily Menus
Create daily menus using the six strategies listed above. When selecting foods for each meal and snack, emphasize vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Choose lean protein sources and limit high-fat and salty foods. Watch your portion sizes and add variety to your menu choices. If you have had grilled salmon one evening, you can try a black-bean burger the next night. This helps ensure that you’ll get all of the nutrients your body needs. Variety also makes your meals and snacks more interesting.
8. Give Yourself A Treat Now And Then
Allow yourself an indulgence every now and then. A candy bar or handful of potato chips won’t derail your heart-healthy diet. However, be sure to space out these treats. Do not give yourself an excuse to overindulge.
By incorporating these eight tips into your life, you will improve your chances of having a healthy heart. Who knows, you may very well likely to have a healthier head of hair as well.