An estimate 1.5 million people suffer from Heart attacks each year. Some recover, many of them die. The only way to ensure that you will survive a hearth attack is to never have one in the first place. One way of doing that is by limiting the three foods that can cause the most damage to your heart. These three foods are; Salt, sugar, and saturated fat.
Let’s look at why these three foods are so damaging, and how limiting them in your diet can result in a healthier heart.
Salt, brings out the flavor in food and the body needs a small amount of salt in order to maintain proper blood pressure, however most people’s diet far exceeds the one teaspoon of salt that is recommended for optimum health. When you consume sodium it makes it’s way to your kidneys and eventually passes through your system with your urine. When sodium levels are too high, your kidneys can’t process it all and the sodium begins to build up in your blood.
The excess sodium in your blood attracts and holds water which adds volume to your blood which results in high blood pressure. Your heart then has to pump harder and faster in order to move the blood and oxygen through the body. The added strain on your heart can result in a heart attack or the build up of excess fluid can lead to congestive heart failure.
The problem is that there is sodium in almost all processed foods from lunch meat to baked goods, making it somewhat difficult to know just how much sodium you are consuming. In order to reduce the amount of sodium in your daily diet you need to cut back on processed foods as much as possible. In addition, read labels to ensure that your overall sodium consumption is under 2000mg a day.
Instead of adding salt to the foods you cook, try using other seasonings that will help bring out the flavor of food without adding unwanted sodium. You can also leave sodium out of most baked goods recipes as often some of the ingredients already contain sodium on their own.
Sugar like sodium is in an abundance of processed foods, including meats, gravies, sauces, condiments, and even canned soups. Consuming too much sugar can result in additional weight, which can lead to obesity and obesity related problems such as diabetes, and heart disease. Excess sugar especially high Fructose corn syrup, which is an ingredient in many processed foods, can lead to high triglycerides levels which may result in coronary heart disease.
It is recommended that only 100 calories a day that women consume be sugar with 150 sugar calories for men, yet studies show that the average person consumes more than ½ a pound of sugar a day. Cutting back on sugar can help to decrease your risk of heart disease and keep your heart healthy.
While there is an ongoing debate about whether or not saturated fats are really as bad for your health as some people claim, there is little doubt that too much saturated fat in your diet is bad for you. This is because our own bodies produce saturated fats from the excess energy that we store, so adding too much additional fat to your diet simply makes burning the excess fat we already have just that much more difficult.
Saturated fats have been linked to high triglyceride levels in the blood which can result in plague build up along the artery walls narrowing and potentially blocking the arteries. When blood can’t flow to and from the heart properly, then a heart attack often results.
Limiting the amounts of saturated fats in your diet is much easier than trying to limit either sugar or salt. Simply by avoiding deep fried foods, trimming the excess fat from pork or beef and choosing lean meats such as skinless chicken and turkey breasts, wild game, and fish you can significantly reduce the amounts of saturated fat in your diet. When using oil in cooking choose olive oil or grapeseed oil.
By limiting the amounts of these foods in daily diet, you can improve your heart’s health and reduce your risk of suffering a heart attack.