Heart Disease

10 Indian Habits That Raise Heart Disease Risk


Heart disease is a prevailing health concern in India, affecting a significant portion of the population. While genetic factors and medical history play a role, certain lifestyle habits commonly observed in Indian households can contribute to the development of heart disease. In this blog, we will explore 10 prevalent Indian habits that can increase the risk of heart disease, provide practical prevention strategies, and emphasize the importance of informed choices to promote heart health. By raising awareness and adopting healthier habits, we can effectively reduce the risk of heart disease and pave the way for a healthier future.

Sedentary Lifestyle: The Heart Disease and Stroke Connection

Prolonged Sitting
The sedentary nature of modern India life, with extended periods spent sitting, zoom calls and the effects of work from home have been associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Engaging in regular physical activity, such as brisk walking, jogging, or participating in sports, is essential for maintaining optimal cardiovascular health.

Dietary Patterns: Heart Failure Risk Factors

Excessive Salt Intake: The consumption of excessive amounts of salt, commonly found in pickles, packaged snacks, and processed foods, has been linked to high blood pressure, a significant risk factor for heart disease. Reducing salt intake and choosing healthier alternatives can significantly lower the risk.

Trans Fats and Fried Foods: Traditional Indian cuisine often involves deep frying (pakoras and Chole Bhature) and the use of unhealthy fats like ghee or Vanaspati (paranthas). These fats can elevate cholesterol levels, contribute to the formation of arterial plaques, and increase the risk of heart disease. Opting for healthier cooking oils and methods like baking, grilling, or steaming is essential.

Excessive Sugar Consumption: We Indians love indulging in sweet treats and sugary beverages like Misti Doi, Gulab jamun and everyone’s favorite Kaju ki Barfi but these can often lead to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and ultimately heart disease. Moderation and opting for healthier alternatives, such as fresh fruits and unsweetened beverages, can significantly reduce the risk.

Tobacco & Alcohol: Heart Disease Risk Factors

Smoking and Chewing Tobacco: The use of tobacco in any form like gutka, khaini significantly increases the risk of heart disease. The harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke damage blood vessels, elevate blood pressure, and promote the formation of blood clots. Quitting tobacco is the most effective step towards improving heart health.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption: While moderate alcohol consumption may have some cardiovascular benefits, excessive drinking can lead to high blood pressure, irregular heart rhythms, and heart muscle damage. Limiting alcohol consumption or abstaining entirely promotes heart health.

Stress & Mental Well-being: Impact on Heart Disease and Stroke

Work-related Stress: The demanding work culture in the corporate sector often results in chronic stress, which can have adverse effects on heart health. Quitting jobs won’t be a sustainable solution which is why it becomes crucial to adopt stress-management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, or engaging in hobbies, for maintaining a healthy heart.

Sleep Deprivation: A Heart Disease Risk

Inadequate Sleep: Modern lifestyles prioritize work and entertainment over sufficient sleep, leading to sleep deprivation. Inadequate sleep contributes to obesity, high blood pressure, and other risk factors for heart disease. Prioritizing quality sleep by adhering to a regular sleep schedule and creating a conducive sleep environment is vital for heart health.

Skipping Check-ups: Heart Disease and Stroke Risks

Ignoring Routine Check-ups: Many Indians overlook regular health check-ups, missing opportunities to identify and manage risk factors for heart disease. Regular visits to healthcare professionals for comprehensive check-ups, including blood pressure monitoring, cholesterol level testing, and diabetes screening, can help detect early signs of heart disease and enable timely intervention.

Inactivity: A Heart Risk Factor

Insufficient Exercise: Physical inactivity is a significant risk factor for heart disease. The sedentary lifestyle prevalent in this modern age, coupled with long working hours, contributes to a lack of physical activity. Engaging in regular exercise, such as cardio workouts, strength training, or sports, can help maintain a healthy heart and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Preventive Ways to Reduce Heart Disease

To prevent heart disease and stroke and promote heart health among Indians, it is crucial to adopt the following strategies:
Embrace a Balanced Diet: Prioritize a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins (vegan protein), and healthy fats while minimizing salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Incorporating traditional Indian spices and herbs can enhance both flavor and health benefits.
Engage in Regular Physical Activity: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, such as brisk walking, cycling, or dancing. Include strength training exercises to improve overall fitness and heart health.
Quit Tobacco: Seek professional help and support to quit smoking or chewing tobacco. Creating a smoke-free environment protects yourself and others from second hand smoke.
Limit Alcohol Consumption: Practice moderation when consuming alcohol, adhering to the recommended limits. If you have a history of alcohol abuse, it is advisable to abstain from alcohol entirely.
Manage Stress: Employ stress-management techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or engaging in hobbies that promote relaxation and mental well-being.
Prioritize Quality Sleep: Establish a consistent sleep schedule and create a sleep-friendly environment by ensuring a comfortable bed, eliminating distractions, and practicing relaxation techniques before bedtime.
Attend Regular Health Check-ups: Schedule routine visits to healthcare professionals for comprehensive check-ups, including blood pressure monitoring, cholesterol level testing, and diabetes screening. Discuss any concerns or symptoms with your healthcare provider.


By recognizing and addressing the common habits prevalent in Indian households that contribute to heart disease and stroke, we can take significant steps towards preventing this widespread health issue. Making informed choices, such as adopting a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, quitting tobacco, managing stress, prioritizing quality sleep, attending regular health check-ups, and reducing alcohol consumption, are key to ways to reduce heart disease. Through the implementation of these preventive strategies and the promotion of awareness within our families and communities, we can empower individuals to make positive lifestyle changes that reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Let us embrace a heart-healthy lifestyle and work together to build a healthier future for all.