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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 18-23

Cardiovascular health in women: The role of diet

1 Managing Director, Nutriwel Health India Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, India
2 Head-Medical Services, Nutriwel Health India Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, India
3 Ayurveda Specialist, Nutriwel Health India Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, India
4 Nutritionist, Nutriwel Health India Pvt Ltd, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Shikha Sharma
Nutriwel Health India Pvt. Ltd., 232 B, Okhla Phase 3, Modi Mill Complex, New Delhi - 110 020
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2250-3528.196651

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The prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) has been increasing over the years and is one of the leading causes of deaths in the Indian population. While women may have a lower risk of CVD, as compared to men, during the early phases of life, it has been determined that in the later stages of life, more number of women suffer from CVD as compared to men. Moreover, women might also experience disproportionately high mortality due to CVD. Obesity is among one of the most important reasons underlying greater burden of CVD in women. The problem of obesity is continuously growing even in developing countries like India and is more common in females and urban populations. Females are particularly prone to weight gain because of certain bodily changes which they have to go through during their life span. Obesity is associated with several risk factors such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, which increase the risk of CVD. Additionally, obesity also leads to various other health problems such as uterine cancer, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, and breast cancer. Accordingly, prevention and management of obesity is an important health goal and diet plays an integral role in this. Diets rich in foods with high glycemic index (GI), high sodium content and low fruit and vegetable intake have been correlated with greater risk of CVD. Therefore, foods with low GI should be incorporated in the diets. In general, diets rich in dietary fiber have been associated with lower plasma cholesterol levels. Adequate intake of dietary fiber, phytochemicals, and antioxidants such as polyphenols, isothiocyanates, carotenoids, flavonoids, ascorbic acid and folates in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables offer cardioprotective benefits.

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