Heart disease is responsible for more deaths in men and women, than all of the cancers combined. Not only can cardiovascular disease eventually result in a heart attack or stroke, it can also affect your quality of life. Each year more men and women are diagnosed with heart disease, and many researchers are blaming this increase on processed foods. What you eat not only affects your weight, but it also affects your cardiovascular health. With more adults consuming higher quantities of processed foods, health care officials are worried that the number of patients diagnosed with heart disease will continue to rise.
How Processed Foods can Affect your Heart Health
- High in Saturated Fat
While omega 3 fatty acids might be good for your heart health, the trans-fat found in most processed foods can dramatically increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Saturated or trans-fat can cause your cholesterol levels to rise, along with your weight. When you have high levels of bad cholesterol, you are also at risk of developing high blood pressure. When this is combined with the increase in weight, your chances of being diagnosed with heart disease can increase by as much as 80 percent. Some foods particularly high in saturated fat include anything fried, along with some diary based dressings and prepackaged meals.
- High in Sugar
Eating processed foods high in sugar or sweetened with a chemical product can not only increase your risk of developing heart disease, it can also cause other health complications. Eating foods high in sugar can increase your risk of developing adult diabetes, which can lead to problems with your heart health. High blood pressure and poor circulation can also be a result of eating sugary processed foods, along with a significant increase in your weight. Substituting fresh fruits and vegetables for cookies and other sweets can dramatically lower your risk of developing heart disease, along with helping you to maintain a healthy weight.
- High in Salt
According to the American Heart Association there are several reasons to limit the amount of salt in your diet that include preventing cardiovascular disease. Most processed foods are high in salt, which is added as a flavoring and preservative. While a small amount of salt in your diet is essential for good overall health, too much can result in a heart attack or stroke. Reducing the amount of salt in your diet is one of the best things you can do for the health of your heart, reduce salt intake also helps to cure blotchy skin. When you limit your salt intake you risk of developing high blood pressure dramatically decreases, along with your chances of being diagnosed with heart disease. Reducing the amount of salt in your diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight, and also help with water retention which is a common problem in some women.
Processed Foods and Heart Disease are Related
Processed foods are easy and convenient to eat on the go, but these foods can also be increasing your risk of developing heart disease. The health of your heart is directly related to what you eat, which is why eating process foods can contribute to your chances of being diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol and blood pressure can be directly linked to the ingredients found in processed foods, and can also affect your heart. Your weight can also increase which puts more strain on the heart muscle, and when you are full on non-nutritious processed foods you also have less energy to exercise. Any of these problems can result in heart disease, and when these health problems are combined your risk of a stroke or heart attack dramatically increase.
It is easy to improve your heart health simply be eating less processed foods. Substituting cookies and other sweets for fresh fruits and vegetables can start decreasing your risk of being diagnosed with a heart problem. When you are eating healthier you also feel better and have more energy to get out and do the things that you love. As a word of caution some heart attack symptoms in women may not always be immediately noticed, and if you are worried about your diet it is always best to speak with your health care professional.
Kelly Everson is MA in English Literature and an American Author. Her work comprises of articles appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen health care websites covering beauty, rosacea, weight loss, diet and overall men’s & women’s health. When she’s not educating strangers with her writing, she’s most likely researching about new discoveries in health, fitness and beauty industry. You can see more of her work at ConsumerHealthDigest.com. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter