Monday, November 28

The best way to protect your heart health: eliminate ultra-processed foods

There are no doubts: a diet rich in ultra-processed foods almost always leads to disaster. Currently, one of the most important measures to prevent chronic diseases, enjoy a healthy weight and live longer, is nutrition. That is why the quality of food is a determining aspect in our state of health and especially when it comes to heart health. Recently, a 10-year study published in the European Heart Journal found very relevant findings between continued consumption of processed foods and cardiovascular health. Specifically, the researchers found that people with cardiovascular disease who have had a heart attack or stroke, who repeatedly consume ultra-processed foods: are 66% more likely to have a second, and fatal, heart attack or stroke and 40% more likely to die from any cause.

According to the researchers who participated in the study, eating healthy part-time and consuming ultra-processed foods: it does not lessen the dangers of these deadly products. The main reason is because they are foods that stand out for their high content in: hydrolyzed proteins, maltodextrins, hydrogenated fats and additives such as colorants, preservatives, sodium, saturated fats, anti-caking agents, flavor enhancers and sweeteners, they are only some of the items listed on ingredient labels. And the reality is that they can be terrible for your overall and heart health. Therefore one of the most important measures is always check the ingredient labels of theoretically “healthy” foods, as is the case with misleading products like breakfast cereals, granola bars, certain cookies, and fruit yogurts.

According to the experts who participated in the study, a good recommendation when shopping is lkeep a list of harmful ingredients and take on the task of checking that the products we choose do not contain them. This is an important measure even in people who have not had a regrettable history of heart attack or stroke.

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The truth is that many bad things happen derived from a high consumption of processed foods, Among the main ones related to heart health is its worrying sodium content. It is well known that foods rich in sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, as well as those rich in saturated fat that can increase cholesterol levels, which can increase your chances of heart attacks and strokes.

Another important finding that emerged in a complementary way in the study is the direct relationship between vitamin D consumption and heart health. The one-of-a-kind, long-term study found that people with vitamin D deficiency were more likely to have high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease (risk factors for heart attack and stroke). Meanwhile, people with the lowest levels of vitamin D had twice the risk of heart disease than people with healthy levels.

The truth is that vitamin D plays a crucial role in our health. Therefore, according to the study, increasing the consumption of vitamin D to the normal range provides great long-term benefits. In fact, the researchers found that maintaining a level above 35 ng / ml of vitamin D, increases the chances of having a heart, brain, bones, muscles, an immune system function and a glucose metabolism: much healthier and more stable.

There is information in which it has been verified that 24% of people in the United States have very low levels of vitamin D; for more context: they are usually below 13 ng / ml. Meanwhile, another 50% have levels below 35 ng / ml. What doctors and researchers strongly recommend is to take on the task of taking a blood test to identify if you have a deficiency, and if so, know the level of it. In addition, sun exposure is recommended (it is the main source of vitamin D), the consumption of supplements and of course increasing the intake of foods rich in vitamin D: fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, trout, mackerel and herring , beef liver, egg yolk, cheese and dairy. It is also normal to find it in some fortified foods, such as cereals.

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According to the study authors, in case of having blood tests with low vitamin D levels, it is recommended to consume a daily supplement as prescribed by your doctor. One of the schemes most recommended by the author of the study and that he follows personally is cEat salmon daily and take 2000 IU of D3 a day to keep levels stable. In addition, it is a wonderful measure to strengthen the immune system and reduce the risk of chronic diseases of any kind. So now you know, the star combination to really protect the health of the heart and reduce the risk of cardiovascular accidents is: avoid ultra-processed foods at all costs, especially those rich in sodium and saturated fats and ensure adequate consumption of vitamin D It is also very important engage in physical activity, ensure a good rest, manage stress, and measure alcohol consumption.

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