Skip to main content

Indian cuisine is said to be at the top of the list among countries when it comes to the most appetizing flavors in food, consisting of myriad varieties of spices, a whole range of sweets or fatty foods that compromise sometimes nutrients in the dietary intake of individuals. The preponderance of all sorts of global and Indian food outlets has led to a dramatic change in the food consumption habits of Indians. The propensity to consume unhealthy spicy or fatty foods makes people vulnerable to various diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity which can lead to heart failure. Indigenous food and nutrition habits offer a lot of hope for people to fight against the growing threat of heart failure. Available data indicates an increase in death rate from heart failure to over twenty percent, if left untreated and estimates suggest that at least 1% of Indians suffer from heart failure. It is more worrying in India, as patients are ten years younger than the global average and present to hospitals for treatment of heart failure.

Doctors have repeatedly emphasized the role of educating ordinary people about the genesis of heart failure and the role of lifestyle management in successfully coping with cardiovascular disease.

In a bid to raise awareness about heart failure and its management, The Times of India has launched Beat Heart Failure in partnership with Novartis. The campaign aims to educate ordinary citizens on the building blocks of simple strategies including medication, lifestyle management and advice to fight this sort of pandemic, as cardiologists call it.

Heart failure is the progressive weakening of the heart muscle resulting in an insufficient supply of blood and nutrients to the organs of the body, thus impairing their functions. It presents with a variety of symptoms such as gradually increasing difficulty in breathing and fatigue in performing routine activities that were not experienced before, chest pain, swelling of the legs and neck. abdomen, numbness in the face, hands, or severe headache with no known cause. . The patient may also complain of difficulty sleeping while lying down, or while sleeping, the patient suddenly wakes up out of breath.

The incidence and prevalence of several risk factors, including coronary artery disease, associated comorbidities, behavioral or lifestyle-related and hereditary causes, play an important role in the development and progression of the disease. Depending on the stage of heart disease, treatment is available. Doctors suggest guideline-directed medical therapy in the early stages of the disease. The drugs currently available to manage heart failure are wonder drugs because they have shown tremendous results in managing heart failure. Patients should stick to their medications as directed by their doctor. Self-prescription or peer-prescription is an invitation to reversal of learning, an invitation to re-hospitalization and to adverse consequences in general.

Many metabolic disorders such as hypertension set the stage for a heart attack. Dietitians recommend a Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) that includes foods high in vegetables, nuts, and whole grains and a very low number of sweets, fats, and red meat. It helps regulate the metabolic rate of the body and reduce blood pressure. Foods rich in fiber help improve digestion and thus increase blood circulation in the body.

To have a balanced diet, patients can plan a healthy living plate that can look like a rainbow meal. Half the plate filled with colorful and varied vegetables and fruits. A quarter of the plate containing whole grains like whole wheat, barley, berries, quinoa, oats, brown rice. And a quarter of the plate with proteins like yogurt, green cabbage, beans, peas, nuts, salads. Vegetable oils such as sunflower, coconut, and olive oil are high in heart-healthy fats, but their use should be moderate. Avoid sugary drinks and limit milk and dairy products to one to two servings a day.

Almonds are also considered heart-healthy foods containing unsaturated fatty acids. Oats, nuts, legumes, flax seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which nourish the heart and keep it healthy. Watermelons, tomatoes, berries, cantaloupe, strawberries, pomegranate, cauliflower, broccoli, oranges, lemon are packed with antioxidants and help keep your heart healthy. Spinach helps supply oxygen to the heart muscle and keep it strong.

An alternative can be a light breakfast, eating light baked puffed rice and “channa” (chickpea) during the day as a snack and having a light dinner. Always stay active with exercises as directed.

People generally tend to buy packaged food products labeled “fat free”, but as a precaution, the fats in these products are replaced with unhealthy sugars that can cause diabetes and possibly heart attack. Heart failure warriors tell us to always look at food labels on the market for ingredients. Fluid intake should be limited as directed by the doctor to avoid fluid retention. Quitting smoking and alcohol is also important to prevent heart damage.

Remember that heart failure is not about stopping. It’s about starting life in a new way. To learn more about managing heart failure, visit

The purpose of this article is not to promote medical procedures or medications and/or to recommend a certain doctor. For any specific health concerns, please consult your licensed physician. The visitor should exercise caution and rational thought when reading and implementing the above content. The above content does not claim to cure, prevent or diagnose any disease or health condition. BCCL, its affiliates and its group publications disclaim all responsibility for the accuracy or consequences arising from compliance with the above content.

Disclaimer: This article was produced on behalf of the Beat Heart Failure by Mediawire team.