Even though mortality rates have decreased by 50% since the 1970s, cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is a build-up of fatty deposits inside the arteries that can lead to a heart attack or stroke, is still the number one killer in the Western world.
While it’s now well established that eating a healthy diet, losing weight, exercising, and quitting smoking can all help reduce the risks associated with CVD, ongoing research is continually shedding light on it. Here are just a few of the latest discoveries:
Big belly: Even if your overall body weight is normal, carrying excess fat in your belly raises your risk for developing heart disease. This kind of fat is called visceral adipose tissue (VAT), which surrounds your organs and releases inflammatory substances that harm blood vessels. The good news is 150 minutes per week (about 21 minutes a day) of moderate activity, like brisk walking, swimming or jogging, can shrink VAT.
Eat your veggies: You’ve heard it since you were a kid and it’s true. Eating just one cup of leafy greens a day appear to lower your risk of heart disease. Recent research indicates that people who eat the most nitrate-rich vegetables – like spinach and lettuce – have a 12% to 26% lower risk of CVD. It’s believed that the nitrates found in food covert into nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels.
Potato salad over fries: Potatoes are high in regular starch, which are broken down quickly into sugar, wreaking havoc on your body’s ability to properly make insulin. However, some of the starch in potatoes left in the fridge for a couple of days, in the form of potato salad, transforms into so-called resistant starch and encourages growth of gut bacteria that makes your body more sensitive to insulin. Adding vinegar or lemon juice to your salad can also slow the conversion of starch into sugar.
Sleep apnea: If you’ve woken up in the middle of the night feeling like you were snoring, choking or unable to breathe, or if you wake up in the morning with a headache, obstructive sleep apnea could be to blame. Apnea can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke and may also be connected to depression. If you think you may have sleep apnea, speak to your doctor about treatments.
Have you been diagnosed with CVD? Have you taken steps to address it? We’d love to hear your strategies. Please share your experiences with the Shop Talk blog community.
Did you know: Heart disease in pairs
Recent research out of China suggests people whose spouse has heart disease are more than twice as likely to also have heart disease, compared to those whose spouses don’t have it. CVD appears to be at least partly environmental, so this research isn’t surprising, but it indicates that it’s something to watch out for, especially if you or your partner has been diagnosed. (Source)
3 thoughts on “The latest news on heart health”
We are more aware now with visit to the doctor, tv commercial, eating more healthy, getting to motivate more our mind into getting more exercise or activities but they’re still other side of living that is obesity taking over that relevant to take out eating, process food, video game addict, couch potato/internet addiction etc. Taking care of your health is equal of what you put ion your mouth and physical activities .. heart attach are cause of a fatigue body, non healthy, that cause a flare up heart that cannot do it’s job properly of pumps the blood right to its arteries.. there’s blockage that occurs and the oxygen and blood stream do not work properly..
I am 80 years old,and see my doctor ,when needed ,but not often ,since Covid ,all services are mostly cancelled ,or others;As a widower living alone,I can do all chores,and cooking,I learned from my mom and late little wife;I have some issues,like hip replacement ,but in good condition,Colonoscopy,once ,need another one ,but have to wait ..large prostate ,but still active;I eat well ,away from processed meat ,and foods ,I know ,cause I worked in Food as Store Manager; Young generation should go back to old traditions ,like fresh vegetables little rolling carts,fresh bread,pastries ,all moving in differents areas,so not to create some unpleasant gathering like we see at Tim Hortons;I say to all seniors who are able to walk even though with difficulty,do not sit,and be helped by motors,get a walker,cause once you sit and it does the work for you ,you will never get up ,and fade away;as a kid I heard on radio one man who said “Through all what man has done good or bad ,Life is always worth living for.
I have CDV heart disease been 11 years since my last heart attack ,they say I have 100% blocked in main big arteries i Have been eating well & keeping away from fat and other bad foods only problem cannot get out to do any walking cause of leg problem ,got to have need surgery later on but through this corv19 it’s kind of hard of getting around so mostly hubby driving,the doctors say am lucky woman to live so long as I did & the blocked are inside side of main big arterie they said if were on outside they will be able to do surgery.so eating healthy is my last request I think I done so good so far 11 years fighting this heart problems I also have diebetes to now since last year, heart problems run in my family my mother & father passed away from it also have a brother with two glass arteries,and two other brothers with same thing .