Atherosclerosis, a somewhat difficult to pronounce term, is a deadly disease that’s killing more Americans than any other disease. This silent killer is not easy to detect and causes the hardening of the arteries. Plaque buildup and blood clots can cause blocked arteries and if not treated early, can be fatal.
How Arteries Get Clogged
Your circulatory system is made up of an intricate system where oxygenated blood moves through your bloodstream to the rest of the body. The circle is never ending, and it keeps our bodies functioning properly. However, sometimes, a small build-up may develop inside one of your vessels, interrupting the normal flow of blood. These blockages are called plaques and are caused when cholesterol sticks to the walls of the arteries.
In the worst case scenario, a cholesterol plaque may burst to trigger your immune system to release white blood cells to fight back. If blood clots form over the ruptured cholesterol plaque, it may cause a stroke or a heart attack.
Plaque removal is almost impossible unless using an invasive treatment. However, you can inherit healthy lifestyle habits that will stop the development of plaque. This includes eating foods that contain less cholesterol and exercising more often.
What foods you should avoid?
Canned foods, such as vegetables and soups, may be convenient but a health risk. They contain way too much salt, which raises your blood pressure. As a result, the amount of oxygen flowing to your heart becomes low, and this may cause a heart attack. In addition, canned foods are loaded with preservatives to increase their shelf life and enhance their tastes. Notably, MSG or monosodium glutamate is an additive that’s been linked to heart palpitations.
Eating red meat or lean meat was once thought to be good for health since it’s low in fat and cholesterol. But now scientists have discovered that it may still be the cause of heart disease. One study published in Nature Medicine documented that 1-carnitine, a nutrient found in red meat and dairy products has the ability to alter the metabolism of cholesterol, and worse, slow down the removal of cholesterol that forms on the walls of arteries. This, the tests showed, increased the risk of heart disease for people who consumed red meat regularly.
Diet soda’s selling point is that it’s zero-calorie and fat-free. However, just like any other processed food item, diet sodas contain chemicals that may interfere with the gastrointestinal bacteria, leading to obesity and excessive weight gain, which is also a risk factor for heart disease.
Margarine, Butter, and Coffee Creamers
Margarine and butter contain trans fats and saturated fats that may increase your risk of heart disease. It’s advisable to limit their usage or opt for spreadable margarine that doesn’t contain partially hydrogenated oils. Better still, stick to olive oil to avoid clogging your arteries. Coffee creamers, on the other hand, contain the harmful partially hydrogenated oils, which is a common source of trans fats. Trans fats should be avoided like the plague since they increase cholesterol level. It’s preferable to drink your coffee lack, stick to milk, or add plant-based milk, like almond milk instead.
Most commercially baked goods are full of sugars and saturated fats like palm oil or trans fats, such as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. These two ingredients are your body’s worst enemies that are likely to interfere with your health. Additionally, pies and other baked items can stress your heart if eaten excessively and may even lead to heart failure.
Ice cream lovers here’s some bad news. Just a half cup of vanilla ice cream packs over 4 grams of saturated fats, which surpasses what your daily intake. Not forgetting the high quantity of sugars that are loaded. However, you can still enjoy your ice cream but limit it to once or twice per month.
Any type of deep-fried foods ranging from fried chicken, snacks, and French fries increase your risk of heart disease. The process of deep frying foods creates trans fats, increasing cholesterol level, which is not good for your heart health.
Cereals, Candies, and Sweetened Juices
A high percentage of Americans love breakfast cereals, sweet beverages and juices, and candies. Most of these items are loaded with sugar and refined carbohydrates and will cause a spike in your blood sugar, leading to unhealthy cravings later on in the day. The added sugars in sweetened juice and candies ultimately contribute to obesity, inflammation, diabetes, high cholesterol, all which are highly likely to cause heart disease. Instead of indulging in sugars, it’s advisable to switch to whole fruits like avocados and healthy protein like eggs for your breakfast. Likewise, opt for smoothies instead of sweetened juices. As for the candies, snack on a healthy carrot or pear instead.
A clogged artery is difficult to detect and we can accelerate its development if we eat fast foods, refined grains like bread and cereals, saturated fats, sugary foods and drinks, and too many eggs. The good news is that it’s not too late to improve your health and stop the formation of clogged arteries. Change your lifestyle today and eat healthy meals with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Your body will thank you.
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