How does diet and exercise affect your heart health?

Consultant cardiologist Dr. Navtej S Chahal explains how diet and exercise affect your heart health.

Diet and exercise both strongly affect your heart health.

In terms of diet, there is a strong association between having a poor diet and having increased risk of heart disease or stroke. In particular, the foods to avoid are ones that have a high saturated fat content, which usually means that they have a high cholesterol content. For example, foods such as red meat are very high in both saturated fat and cholesterol. Other foods to avoid are those high in unrefined sugar content such as fizzy drinks or even fruit juices.

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In terms of exercise, there are clear guidelines on how much exercise we should now do to reduce our risk of having heart disease. You should undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. That refers to brisk walking. We would recommend that you should do at least 30 minutes of brisk walking five times a week, which is associated with a 20 to 30% reduction in future heart disease.

I strongly urge you to take our heart disease online self-test to assess your risk of developing heart disease in the future. It will take you less than five minutes and will give you a good idea if you are at increased risk and whether or not you need to see a specialist.

About the cardiologists

The Many Beats team consists of not one, but four highly experienced consultant cardiologists

Dr Navtej Chahal

Consultant Cardiologist

PhD FESC FACC

Navtej is a Consultant Cardiologist at Many Beats. He also consults at the London Northwest NHS Trust and the Royal Brompton Hospital, London having qualified from Guy’s and St Thomas’ Medical School in 2001. He is an Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at Imperial College London

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Dr Navin Chandra

Consultant Cardiologist

MD, MRCP, MBBS, BSc

Navin is a Consultant Cardiologist at Many Beats. He is also a Consultant Cardiologist at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and an Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. He qualified from Guy’s, King’s & St. Thomas’s in 2004...

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Dr Ahmed Elghamaz

Consultant Cardiologist

FRCP, MB BCh

Ahmed is a Consultant Cardiologist at Many Beats. He also consults at Northwick Park Hospital and London North West Healthcare University Hospitals NHS Trust and is an Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust. He completed his junior…

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Dr Joban Sehmi

Consultant Cardiologist

BSc, MBBS, MRCP, PhD

Joban is a Consultant Cardiologist at Many Beats. His NHS practice is at West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS trust. He sees patients privately at Spire in Bushey and Bishops Wood Hospital in Northwood. He trained in medicine at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ medical school and qualified in 2003 with numerous academic awards…

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