They say we are the food that we eat. It’s kind of true if you think about it: the kind of food you eat eventually determines your health, especially your heart health. It’s no surprise that consuming a lot of fatty, junk food leads to obesity. Atherosclerosis follows, which is the root cause of many cardiac arrests!
A poor diet and obesity are some of the leading risk factors for cardiac arrests and other heart diseases.
So, what is bad diet and what is good diet? Keep reading to find out!
A poor diet like burgers and fatty food can significantly increase your risk of a heart attack. The culprit in poor diets that causes heart diseases is the saturated and trans-fat. Both of these are very bad for you and are commonly found in junk food like burgers, French fries, nuggets, and other fried items.
Dr. Regina Druz, chief of Cardiology at St. John Episcopal Hospital in NYC says, “saturated fats from animals, especially when combined with carbohydrates, appear to have a deleterious effect on heart health.”
These fatty substances increase your blood cholesterol level. The cholesterol, in turn, deposits in your arteries. It forms a plaque in the arteries that provide blood to your heart so that your heart can function properly.
The plaque grows bigger and bigger as you eat more and more junk and more cholesterol gets deposited. Eventually, it gets so big that it blocks the artery, disrupting blood and oxygen supply to your heart. This results in a cardiac arrest because your heart isn’t getting the oxygen it needs to pump blood and perform its functions!
Nicole Weinberg, MD, a cardiologist and director of the Pacific Heart Institute’s Women’s Heart Center, further says about fried chicken, “It is bad for your heart, bad for your waistline, and brings oxidants into your system.”
Trans fats and saturated fats are particularly high in solid, hydrogenated fats like margarine. That’s right, the margarine that is often used in cakes and bakeries is very bad for your health!
Other sources of trans fats include butter, dairy products and even red meat!
Foods that Protect Your Heart
Fruits and vegetables are great for your heart health. Many fruits contain antioxidants which protect the heart. Vitamin-E containing foods are also great for your heart and play a protective role against heart diseases!
“Eat tons of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes,” says Dr. Nicole Harkin, board-certified cardiologist. “These foods are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and phytonutrients. This type of diet has been shown to lower risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and cholesterol.”
We’ve discussed how saturated and trans fats are bad for you. Now, let’s discuss the “good fats.”
Fats like those found in olive oil and nuts are great for your health because they reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood. This is why the regular intake of olive oil is great for your heart health.
“Decreasing saturated fat in your diet thus can lower your risk of heart attacks and strokes,” says Dr. Frank Sacks, professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Fish oils are great for your heart health. They contain omega-3 fatty acids which reduce blood cholesterol levels, thus lowering your risk of a cardiac arrest.
Vegetable oils are also good for your health, but in controlled proportions. Canola oil and olive oil are examples of vegetable oils. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood. Moreover, other vegetable oils like corn oil and sunflower oil contain omega-6 fatty acids, which are also good in low proportions.
So, what are you waiting for? Switch over to a clean, healthy diet to protect your heart from heart disease and a possible cardiac arrest and enjoy a long and healthy life!