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While the causes and symptoms of heart problems can be complex, the breakdown of what to avoid, good nutrition and the tests to take is fairly straightforward. This National Heart Awareness Month, Patrick summarises a complete guide to a healthy heart so that you don’t need to feel bogged down and confused anymore.


  1. Cholesterol screening test – A five-minute finger prick test or a blood test (also known as a lipogram) that can be done at any pharmacy, doctor’s rooms or screening clinic.
  2. Blood fats (triglycerides) test – also part of the blood test.
  3. Blood pressure test – offered by your doctor, any pharmacy and clinic but you can also buy your own monitor to check it yourself at home.
  4. Blood homocysteine test – available at a number of laboratories including Lancet and Ampath.
  5. Insulin (lipoprotein) test – also part of the blood test.


  • Saturated fat (yes, cut down on dairy, fried foods and processed foods)
  • Sugar
  • Stimulants like coffee, tea and energy drinks
  • Salt
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking


  • Ensure you get plenty of Vitamins C and E (antioxidants) and Vitamin B.
  • Eat fresh fruit and vegetables every day (particularly your greens).
  • Up your mineral intake of Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium.
  • Eat plenty of fish and seeds for optimum Omega 3 intake.
  • Eat less fatty meat and more fish and vegetable proteins.
  • Enjoy at least half a clove of garlic a day.

It is important to note that while you should get most of your nutritional requirements from a healthy diet, it is worth supplementing with a multivitamin to make doubly sure you aren’t missing out on any essentials. Patrick Holford’s 100% Health Pack consists of one month’s supply of strips containing an Advanced Optimum Nutrition capsule, Immune C tablet, AGE Antioxidant capsule, Essential Omegas’ capsule that make it so simple to ensure a healthier, happier you!