Dr. Keshavamurthy CB

Consultant - Cardiology - Interventional

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Dr. Keshavamurthy CB

Consultant - Cardiology - Interventional

Manipal Hospitals, Mysuru

5 Common Habits That Affect Your Heart Health

Posted On: Aug 03, 2023

blogs read 5 Min Read

5 Common Habits That Affect Your Heart Health

The heart works incessantly right from birth. It beats continuously to supply blood to all other organs in the body to keep them functioning. It is crucial to take utmost care of the heart as the health of every other organ depends on heart health. Discussed here are five common habits that are extremely detrimental to heart health. 

Smoking is Considered to be the most harmful Heart Health

Smoking is undoubtedly the number one bad habit for your heart by the top interventional cardiologist in Mysore. It is the commonest established cause of heart attack, particularly in young individuals. Tobacco consumption in all forms (cigarettes or other products) is extremely harmful. In recent times, although awareness about the ill effects of smoking and other tobacco product consumption has been increasing globally, in third-world countries, especially in India, the number of new smokers, especially teenage smokers, is rising. The toxic substances in tobacco affect the heart and every other organ in the human body. With more and more people taking up smoking and tobacco consumption in any form as a habit, heart disease will continue to increase. 

Smoking cessation improves heart health and reduces the risk of heart attack within about two years of stopping smoking. Therefore, smoking is one habit that needs to be stopped completely. 

Sedentary lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle is the second most common habit leading to heart disease and adversely affects heart health. Sitting in a place for more than six to eight hours a day is equivalent to smoking as a risk factor for heart disease. In addition to the increased risk of heart attacks, a sedentary lifestyle leads to many other problems. It leads to obesity, high blood pressure, a higher incidence of diabetes, an increase in blood cholesterol levels, and many other problems. Therefore, it is important to avoid a sedentary lifestyle at all costs and be as active as possible during the day.


Chronic stress (constant exposure to stress), thinking about the burdens of daily life, both personal and professional, and constant worries about the future also make up for another important cause of heart attacks in the population. Stress is an important cause of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart attacks in our country. Stress is directly related to increased blood pressure and increases the risk of vascular diseases like heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease. So it is important to manage stress through various available stress management methods, including meditation, mindfulness, prioritising things in life, and practising a healthy lifestyle. Also, read the blog on Stress and Heart Attack, especially in young people to know about the severity.

Dietary Habits

Dietary habits are another important cause of adverse heart health. With the changes in our dietary habits over the past two decades, we have seen that consumption of pure sugars has increased by almost 400% and consumption of saturated fats by 200%. Consumption of fast foods and foods containing high amounts of saturated fat and sugars are increasingly becoming common. So when this becomes a habit, it leads to increased incidence of blood fats and diabetes, high blood pressure, and also heart disease. Therefore, it is vital to practice good dietary habits early in life. Eating higher quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables, several servings during the day, avoiding fast foods and processed foods, avoiding saturated fats, and avoiding pure sugars will benefit health in several ways, such as maintaining ideal body weight, maintaining normal levels of blood pressure and avoiding or delaying the onset of diabetes in the younger population.

Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption is another habit that adversely affects heart health. Consumption of alcohol and related substances in any amount is detrimental to the heart and various organs in the human body. Although it is promoted on social media that moderate alcohol consumption is good for heart health especially. It improves the lipids and so on. People do not stop at moderate consumption. For many, it becomes an adverse habit leading to habituation and addiction. Thereby, when excess amounts of alcohol are consumed, it leads to a lot of adverse effects on heart function as well as heart rhythm. One of the major adverse effects of excessive alcohol consumption is alcohol-related cardiomyopathy, a serious condition. It could be fatal. Alcohol consumption may also lead to arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and increased blood pressure. 

Take home

By quitting smoking, being physically active, managing stress, eating a healthy and nutritious diet, and avoiding alcohol, it is possible to reduce the risk of developing cardiac conditions and improve existing cardiac conditions. Attempts to eliminate or minimise these habits are akin to investing in overall well-being and longevity. Consult the specialist at the best heart hospital in Mysore for detailed information and guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions on Heart Health

1. How does smoking affect heart health?

Smoking is detrimental to heart health as nicotine in the smoke interferes with the oxygen supply to the heart, damages the cells that line the major arteries in the heart and other blood vessels, causes irregular heartbeats and rhythm, and increases the risk of high blood pressure. 

2. What dietary changes can help me reduce the risk of developing heart disease?

Eating a heart-healthy diet can help you reduce the risk of heart disease. A few tips for a heart-healthy diet are:

  • Including more vegetables, fresh fruits, legumes, and whole grains

  • Avoiding foods rich in trans fats and saturated fats

  • Consuming lean proteins such as soy, fish, and chicken

  • Replacing simple and processed carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates

  • Limiting salt intake.

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