Tight family bonds help reduce stress levels and are good for a healthy heart, a famous physician said Monday. Dr. Mehmet Oz, a Turkish-American cardiac surgeon and talk show host, told Anadolu Agency what to do to have a healthy heart and avoid related health troubles. Oz said keeping in touch with people, especially family members, could protect people against threatening stress levels. "When the stress level is high, its effects on the heart are immense. In fact, coronary failure might emerge if too much sadness is the case," he said.
"Strong family ties are of huge importance. Not only it provides defense against stress, but it also gives us a purpose in life. If we have a purpose, then our heartbeats will also have a purpose," he said.
Oz listed diabetes, high levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure as main factors of health diseases.
"We gain weight when we consume sugar. Weight gaining does many harms, but its true effect is on the liver," he said, adding sugar collected in the liver would transform into fat over time and threaten one's health condition in the long run.
Oz said our diet also played a significant role in heart health.
"Mediterranean cuisine is incredibly healthy. Why? That's because it has fresh vegetables and fruits. Olive oil, which emerged from Turkey, has high quality," he added.
Oz said the new generation food was frightening in his eyes because it included more salt or sugar to increase consumption.
"Well, you might find these [food] delicious, however, they are not healthy," he said.
What to eat
Oz pointed out that whole wheat bread, fruits, vegetables, nuts and olive oil were all good for a healthy heart.
He suggested people should refrain from consuming processed food, too much meat, especially fried dishes; sugary beverages and soft drinks.
"You don't even get the taste of your soft drink when there is sugar in it. It also has a huge effect on the liver," he said.
According to Oz, exercise is also another important method to combat coronary troubles.
"Walking is the most important sport in the world for you don't hurt yourself. You can do it every day, whether you are old or young," he said.
"In addition, weight-lifting for 30 minutes per week would be nice, even our own body weight is enough," he added.