|Myths & misconceptions||Facts|
|Exercise is dangerous for people with heart disease and diabetes.||Physical activity helps strengthen the heart muscles, improves blood flow to the brain and internal organs, and improves overall health and well-being.
People with heart disease or any other chronic disease should ask their doctor what kind of exercise would be right for them and how much they should do.
|If I have heart disease, I should eat as little fat as possible.||
A heart-healthy diet is low in ‘bad fats’ but includes moderate amounts of ‘good fats’. It is true that the ‘bad fats’ – saturated and trans fats – are harmful to your heart and arteries. Examples of food high in saturated fat are red meat, butter, cheese and animal-based foods. Trans fats are commonly found in deep-fried foods or those made with partly hydrogenated oils, e.g. margarine and shortening.
Unsaturated fats are often called ‘good fats’. Examples of food high in unsaturated fat are low-fat dairy products, fatty fish, nuts and olive oil.
Follow the recommended portions from each shelf of the Food Pyramid , and replace bad fats with good. If you eat meat, make sure the cuts are lean, and remove the skin from your poultry.
|Only older people get diabetes||Children and young people do get diabetes. To prevent it, parents should try to encourage their children to have good habits. That means fewer video games and TV programmes, more physical activity, less junk food, and following the recommendations of the Food Pyramid.|
|Not using table salt is the only way to control high blood pressure.||Checking nutrition labels on food items for sodium is extremely important. A lot of salt that people consume is hidden in processed food like canned foods and prepared mixes. When buying canned food look for the word ‘sodium’ and the symbol “Na” on nutrition labels. These show the amount of salt in the food item.|
|I have taken my blood pressure and it was normal, which means I am free of disease and I can stop taking medication.||High blood pressure can be a lifelong disease, which means taking medication every day for the rest of your life.
Keep track of your blood pressure by checking regularly and taking several readings at a time.
|I have smoked for years; and it would be useless to stop now – the risk of getting chronic diseases due to smoking will stay the same.||The benefits start the minute you stop smoking, no matter how old you are, how long you have smoked or how many cigarettes you smoke per day.
Get help and stop smoking today to see the benefits.