Avoid these foods to maintain a healthy heart-By Dr Harold Gunatillake
Keep your ticker healthy and strong
Your heart is a finely tuned machine. To keep it ticking in top form you need to give it heart healthy fuel by choosing healthy diet.
There are bad foods you should limit and consume sparingly- for diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, among others.
Today, we are discussing foods that you should consume sparingly to keep your ticker healthily and wellbeing.
A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease.
Out of the three major macro nutrients, Carbs, sugars, fats, and proteins-they all could give heart problems, including salt, among others. They can influence blood pressure, triglycerides, cholesterol levels and inflammation, all of which are risk factors for heart disease.
Proteins being building blocks were thought and considered innocent on the heart, but latest findings at the University of Eastern Finland found men who consumed a high protein diet increased their risk of developing heart failure by 33 percent. This
finding comes as diets that tend to be higher in protein, like Atkins or keto, so popular currently.
Despite those higher protein intakes being associated with increased risk of heart disease, protein from eggs and fish was not associated with increased risk, at all.
When you are on a high protein diet, the excess proteins are converted in the liver to glucose and stored as glycogen.
What protein containing foods are bad for your heart?
Eating high levels of red meat can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Replace meat with fish, eggs, and plant-based foods.
We must eat protein foods moderately, as they are essential for building muscles and vital for brain and heart health. Proteins provides the amino acids that make up our neurotransmitters, which carry signals from the brain cells to brain cell.
On the same token a low protein diet hinders the development of increasing the force of the heart muscles in situations of extremely high-pressure load and may lead to heart failure.
Healthiest animal protein sources are white-meat poultry, such as chicken or turkey breasts, fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, lake trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, and tuna.
Pork tenderloin, and lean or extra-lean cuts of beef such as sirloin or round cuts, greater than 93% lean ground beef.
Overtime, eating of high amounts of salt, sugar, saturated fat and refined carbs will increase the risk of heart disease. Please keep these foods out of regular rotation.
You still can have them provided you eat heart-healthy fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean protein as mentioned earlier and low-fat dairy.
Bacon and fast food are bad news for heart-health, because of the high calories from the saturated fat that can raise your LDL cholesterol. Bacon is full of salt, has added preservatives and processed.
All processed meats such as hot dogs, sausages, salami, must be avoided as much as possible. They have high amounts of salt and high in saturated fat.
Avoid sodas and energy drinks that has added sugars. They tend to gain more weight and results in obesity and diabetes type 2. Stick to Sodas that states no sugar added.
Another series of foods that have added sugar which harms your heart are baked goods, such as cookies, cakes, and muffins. Make them rare treats and not regulars. They are linked to higher triglycerides levels in your blood and can lead to heart disease.
Is white rice the staple food of Sri Lankans, white bread, noodles, and Pasta good for your heart?
These foods lack fiber, minerals and vitamins, as refined grains are quickly converted to sugar, which the body stores as fat, linked to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
It is advisable to eat foods made of whole grain like brown rice, oats, and whole wheat. When you shop around always buy 100% whole grain products.
Are Pizzas food for your heart-health?
Pizzas are good if they are made the right way, but most take away pizzas and frozen pies have staggering amounts of salt, saturated fat and calories, all of which can raise your risk of a heart attack.
Eat them occasionally is advised.
Beware of canned soup, they have lot of sodium which can cause high blood pressure.
Eating ice cream regularly can hurt your heart, because of the high sugar, high saturated fat and high calories.
Eat potato chips from fish and chips outlets sparingly. They contribute to weight gain and load with saturated fat and covered in salt.
Now we have discussed the bad foods for the heart-health.
Let us now discuss the foods to eat that will maximise your heart health.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables are high in vitamin K
and nitrates, which can help reduce blood pressure and improve arterial function. Studies show that a higher intake of leafy greens is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
– Studies show that eating whole grains is
associated with lower cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, as well as a lower risk of heart disease.
Berries are rich in antioxidants. Studies show
that eating them can reduce multiple risk factors for heart disease.
Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats and
potassium. They may help lower your cholesterol, blood pressure and risk of metabolic syndrome.
Fatty Fish and Fish oil
Fatty fish and fish oil are both high in omega-3 fatty acids and may help reduce heart disease risk factors, including blood pressure, triglycerides, and cholesterol.
Beans are high in resistant starch and have been shown to reduce levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, lower blood pressure and decrease inflammation.
Other heart-healthy foods are Green Tea, Garlic, Varieties of seeds including dhal, almonds, dark chocolate, and tomatoes.
Let us talk about coconut oil used daily in Asian cuisines. Cardiologist Dr Stephen Kopecky of Mayo clinic, says coconut oil is not good for your heart because of its high saturated fat content that can raise bad cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease.
Is this true? After all Sri Lankans add coconut milk to almost all curries, and oil is used for frying.
According to the World Health Organization data indicates Turkmenistan had the highest heart disease death rate, with 712 deaths per 100,000 people followed by Kazakhstan, with 635 deaths per 100,000.
Turkmenistan eat Turkish foods with plenty of kebabs, and meat dishes. They do not use coconut in any of their recipes, uses more olive oil in the cooking process.
People in Kazakhstan the staple foods are boiled mutton, round, flat crusty bread called nan. They too do not use coconut in their recipes but uses olive oil.
In 2020, death rate for World was 7.6 per, 1000 people, and Sri Lanka death rate for the 2020 was 6.9 per 1,000 people.
So, make up your own opinion about coconut and heart-health.
I have briefed you the good and the bad foods for your heart-health. What you put on your plate can influence every aspect of heart health, and including heart healthy foods can minimize your risk of heart disease
Hope this video talk was useful. Goodbye for now and stay safe.
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