Heart attacks happen when the blood flow to the heart is restricted or blocked in some manner. Because of lack of blood, the heart muscles slowly die and the heart is unable to function properly leading to a heart attack.
The primary reason for blockages in blood flow is the buildup of fat and cholesterol in the arteries. When these break loose, they lodge themselves in the arteries, impeding the flow of blood. Apart from obesity, smoking, having a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes, high blood pressure and what you eat can also contribute to this buildup. Here, we list 9 foods that contribute to bad heart health.
1) Ice Cream
Ice creams are full of saturated fats as they are made from full fat milk. In addition to being a dairy product, it has loads of natural and artificial sugar, canned fruits, nuts, caramel, whipped cream, and other treats that make it heart attack friendly.
Pizza is also full of unhealthy foods – the refined flour base, processed meat or vegetable toppings, sugar and salt loaded sauces and saturated fat cheese – all these lead to higher levels of cholesterol and fat.
3) Kid’s Meal Boxes
Kids’ meals have a higher quantity of sugar, salt and fat compared to adult meals. Consuming these means eating much more refined flour, sugar and salt than what is required.
4) Pre-Packed or Pre-Made Meal Packs
Premade meals are highly processed, have trans-fat, flavor enhancers in the form of salt and sugar, and are laden with preservatives. The low calorie, low msg and low salt versions actually have a smaller serving rather than having any of the harmful products in lower quantities. Further, manufacturers are allowed not to mention trans–fat if they are less than 1 gram, but any amount of trans-fats accumulate and can cause irreversible harm.
5) Sugary Drinks
Sugar is the leading culprit for diabetes and obesity. All sugary drinks, that are ah…so gratifying! are actually like having sugar mixed in water. And what is worse is that this sugar is not even natural. These unnecessary calories do not satiate your hunger. In fact they make you want to eat more. Further, artificial sweeteners have often been associated with cancer.
6) Canned Vegetables
Salt is added to canned vegetables to enhance their taste. Unfortunately, salt is known to thicken the walls of the blood vessels, which makes them lose their flexibility. It is also responsible for causing water retention and high blood pressure.
7) Restaurant Appetizers
Majority of the appetizers are packed with sodium, fat and refined flour. These have a full meal’s worth of calories. Eating these frequently leads to obesity which is one of the main reasons for a heart attack.
8) Processed Food, including Processed Meat
Processing or refining food means removing nutrients and adding hydrogenated oil, sugar, salt and preservatives. All these are again very bad for health as they increase cholesterol and lead to diabetes and obesity. In fact, consuming a serving of processed meat on a daily basis can increase the risk of developing a chronic heart ailment by 42 percent.
9) Fast Food
Fast foods hit all the right spots in the brain making them highly “addictive”. Rich in salt, sugars, preservatives and refined flour, studies have linked these with high blood pressure, cholesterol and lifestyle diseases like diabetes, obesity and heart diseases.
Heart attacks can be prevented. Take care to eat healthy, exercise, and quit smoking and you are on your way to gifting your body a stress-free and fit existence.