It has been established by various studies that people with type 1 diabetes are far more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those without it. If you happen to have signs of hypertension, high blood pressure, unhealthy levels of cholesterol and dyslipidemia, the risk tends to elevate further. The study which was recently published in the Journal of Pediatric Diabetes highlights strategies to help young people manage high cholesterol and blood pressure.
For the study, Joslin Diabetes Center researchers interviewed teens and parents. Through the study they have identified strategies to help teens with these conditions manage them better.
Asked about the risks of high blood pressure, for instance, teens might say that it could give you a headache, rather than realizing it might lead to a heart attack many years from now. Teens also often hoped that the condition might be "fixed" rather than needing to be continually managed.
"There's immediacy in how teens view things. So we try to reach them where they're at, and think about what will motivate them. For example, a lot of heart-healthy behaviors may improve how they look and feel. Some teens may be motivated by the prospect of losing weight, or having more energy, or potentially having clearer skin," said study author Michelle Katz, who is also an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School
Katz further added, "Teens also look for detailed personalized guidance. They want to know, 'What is my personal risk? What are my risk factors and what can I do about them? What are the foods that I can eat, what's a good menu for me, and what are good activities for me?"
Exercise is just as crucial for heart health for teens as it is for adults. "What makes this easier is being on a sports team, having some sort of regularly scheduled exercise, or having a friend to go to the gym with," said Katz.
"You always encourage teens to do the types of activity they like. Sometimes you have to get down into the details with them to coax them along: Do you enjoy playing basketball, do you have another friend who enjoys playing basketball, do you have a playground in your neighborhood or can you go to the local?" added Katz.
Scientists conducted semi-structured interviews with 22 teens who had type 1 diabetes (45% with dyslipidemia) and 25 parents (40% who had teens with dyslipidemia). The study highlighted issues that were viewed quite differently by teens and their parents.
Interestingly, teen and parent perceptions varied on many accords, for example, about when to start heart protective medicines if and when they were recommended by a physician.
Some parents were worried about side effects. Some parents were worried that these medications are lifelong therapies and they are for conditions associated with older people. Teens, in contrast, were more likely to see the medicines as simply one more addition to their daily regimen of medications.
Teens also were more likely than parents to suggest that their own homes weren't the healthiest environments for food. As parents typically buy the groceries and do the cooking, making better choices calls for a team effort, Katz noted.
Here are five foods you must include in your daily diet to boost heart health:
1. Oats: Oats are known to contain a type of fiber that helps bind bile acids and expel them from the body. These bile acids are made from cholesterol. A diet that includes oats is effective in lowering the cholesterol levels in our body.Oats are full of fibre and protein that induce satiety and promote weight loss.
2. Nuts: Nuts have high amounts of unsaturated fats that are good for your heart as they help in reducing the inflammation of the arteries. Ditch your saturated fats for these healthy fats.
3. Legumes: Legumes are great for the heart and have antioxidants, proteins and fiber. Fibre takes the longest to digest. By delaying the digestion, it keeps you full for long, thus preventing you to binge on fattening foods.
4. Berries: Berries are full of heart-healthy phytonutrients and lots of soluble fiber. Make a quick smoothie or sprinkle them over your breakfast cereal.
5. Flaxseeds: Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and phytoestogens and all of these help in boosting heart health. It is best to soak or grind flaxseeds before consuming them to derive maximum health benefits.
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(With inputs ANI)