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Did you know that cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world, followed by diabetes? According to the published INEGI 2015, more than 128 thousand people died due to heart problems. Poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle and stress are the main cardiovascular risk factors.

Therefore, I contacted the nutritionist Sandra Arroyo, to tell me a little more about those foods and habits that directly affect the heart.

What foods should I restrict to reduce cardiovascular risk?

As I said, a bad diet can cause obesity, raise cholesterol and cause hypertension, which represents a great cardiovascular risk. And, although it seems simple, these conditions that hurt the heart so much can be prevented or reduced if we take care of what we eat.

“Eating well is always important, not only for the health of the heart but also to maintain the good health of the whole body. Many times we do not even know the foods that damage the heart, so we have a diet that, perhaps, we do not even know that causes us harms, “says Sandra.

Some of the foods you should avoid or at least lower consumption to reduce cardiovascular risk are:

  • Red meat, mainly processed and greasy
  • Bacon
  • Sausage
  • Viscera like liver and often
  • Whole dairy
  • High salt intake
  • Mature cheese in excess
  • Salad dressings
  • Fried, battered or breaded foods
  • Palm oil, coconut oil, among others.

Fats and cardiovascular risk

Cardiovascular risk

As soon as I heard the word fats, I had to ask which ones are good, which ones are bad and why they are so harmful. Sandra assures me that it is a frequent doubt and explains that “Bad fats for health are saturated fats, found mainly in whole milk, fatty meat, mature cheeses, fried products, sausages, coconut and palm oils”. That is, they are generally found in products of animal origin and in some vegetables.

On the other hand, he also explained to me that there are other types of fats that are even more harmful. They are called Trans fats. These are produced through the industrial hydrogenation of vegetable oils and we can find it, mainly in those daily snacks such as cream filling in cookies, potato chips or margarine used in bakery products.

The trans fats, according to the effect because they, already absorbed and in the bloodstream, “are incorporated into the cell membrane where they replace the phospholipids, which are usually the fats that make up the cell membranes and these lose or decrease their flexibility and fluidity, so other molecules, such as cholesterol, cannot attach to the membrane and are free, increased blood cholesterol levels.

Now, what are good fats? Sandra tells me that “good fats for the body are the unsaturated fats that are found in a greater percentage in foods such as olive oil, olives, avocado and nuts, for example.” These are the ones that do not represent a cardiovascular risk.

Fried foods and cardiovascular risk

We know that the gorditas, the golden tacos or whatever is fried are the weakness of many people and I could not help asking if they really represent a considerable cardiovascular risk. The answer was just what we all thought. “Yes, because fatty acids are oxidized when subjected to high temperatures.”

According to Sandra, this happens because “during the frying process the temperature can exceed 180 ° C, which seriously deteriorates the chemical composition of the oil if it is very unsaturated. Oxidation products are formed that are potentially toxic when their consumption is eventual and very harmful to health when they are ingested chronically. “

It is better to reduce cardiovascular risk

That’s right, reducing the risk of heart disease, most of the time, is in our hands. So the main recommendation is to take a little more time to prepare your food and not end up eating garnachas in the street (yes, although you fancy, they are a luxury that is not recommended for every day).

Maybe you wonder: if they are not tacos, cakes, gorditas or breaded milanesas, what else can I eat? Go with a nutritionist to help you put together a practical and healthy diet that fits your rhythm of life.

And remember, it is not necessary to feel bad or suffer from any illness to go with the nutritionist, because prevention is easier than fighting.

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