Cardiovascular disease includes a series of ailments that affect the heart and blood vessels. These pathologies include, for example, atherosclerosis, acute infarction of myocardium, angina pectoris, stroke, aneurysms, or high blood pressure.
Its frequency and severity have become to cardiovascular disease the leading cause of mortality in industrialized countries in a few years. Growth in its diagnosis and development has been rapid because of the great influence that has his habits such as diet, physical exercise, or tobacco. Therefore, these are the three pillars that make up the prevention of this disease. In this article we will focus on the importance of caring for the diet to keep a healthy heart. Especially in what refers to the proper choice of foods that have the ability to prevent, halt and reverse some symptoms, or conversely, to reject those whose components can be harmful for these processes.
Of course, we must not forget that it is vital to practice physical activity, in order to maintain a proper state of health and weight within healthy limits; or of tobacco, as a serious risk factor in the onset and development of disease of the heart that we must avoid.
Power to prevent diseases related to cardiovascular diseases
There are several processes, within the power, that influence decisively the cardiac pathology. Among the most important and that we must control to keep our heart healthy are:
It is the increase of total cholesterol in the blood (over 200 mg/dl). Special care must be with the increase of so-called LDL-cholesterol (cholesterol bad, especially dangerous when it exceeds the 130 – 160 mg/dl), which is deposited on the walls of the vessels favoring the formation of atherosclerotic plaque, with consequent damage to the wall and the reduction of the space that has the blood to pass. Meanwhile, HDL cholesterol (the good) is part of those blood storage to be eliminated, so if is worth it high (more than .ai have elevated values should be our corazras sections and sections where we focus on explaining what lead to dee as 35 mg/dl in men and 40 mg/dl in women).
We must bear in mind that cholesterol is necessary for life and most of our cholesterol is manufactured by the body itself. The effect of dietary cholesterol on blood cholesterol is low, and products with saturated fat (mainly animal) products with cholesterol are more harmful. In this way, the egg that a few years ago was prohibited in all cholesterol diets, now we recommend its consumption in one or two units a week. Components greater influence when it comes to increasing the plasma cholesterol good are unsaturated fats: monounsaturated (oil olive, avocado, high oleic sunflower oil…) and polyunsaturated fats (especially with omega 3 fatty acids: oily fish, nuts, seed oils, etc). This good cholesterol is also increased through the practice of physical exercise.
Increased blood triglycerides (fats). These lipids serve as raw material for the formation of these deposits in the blood vessels.
If we have a few high values you should eliminate alcohol and sugars which are transformed into triglycerides in excess. The maintenance of a healthy weight also helps control this parameter.
High blood pressure
Strength gains you need heart to push the blood through the blood vessels. If it is above 140/90 mmHg, care.
Maintaining an appropriate weight, be properly hydrated, restrict exciting components of the diet (caffeine, theine) and reducing salt intake are the keys to keep it at Bay. The rapid pace of our regular sessions with a level of demand high and stress nor conducive to a proper control of hypertension.
Increased body fat above normal. But, in addition, the location of this fat is important. If the fat is located in the area of hips and buttocks (gynoid obesity or pear-shaped) is an accumulation that is not so much related to cardiovascular disease. Conversely, if the fat is deposited mainly in thorax and abdomen (obesity Android or Apple-shaped) involvement in diseases of the heart is much greater.
Among other measures, you have to reduce your caloric intake, eat in a more balanced way and try to increase caloric expenditure, mainly through less sedentary life habits and physical exercise.
Poor control of blood glucose or blood sugar will deteriorate the integrity of capillaries. With a blood glucose in fasting 120 mg/dl it is necessary to monitor developments.
Control your symptoms and food if you suffer from it to avoid problems associated with the heart. Therefore prevents rapid absorption carbohydrates (sugars, cakes…); go for the Mediterranean diet, avoiding alcohol and balances your caloric intake.
When there are three or more of the above factors associated, produced what is known as metabolic syndrome. To control this dangerous cocktail, you have to be very aware of these food guidelines.
Certain fats are harmful to the health of your heart.
One of the keys in the treatment of people who have suffered heart disease is that you learn to take better care of their eating habits. In order to prevent relapse and recover as soon as possible, we must avoid certain components of foods that are harmful to our heart.
Nutritional components harmful to the heart:
Fat saturated (below 7% of total calories in the diet)
They are mainly those linked to meat food and dairy integers. They also are very used coconut and Palm oils to industrial level and camouflaged low in term of ‘oil or vegetable fat’.
- Avoid foods or prebuilt or pre-cooked, dishes for cooking or defrosting and ready. Choose less processed food.
- Reduce the amount of protein rations and opt for lean meats (chicken, Turkey, rabbit, horse, lean pork and beef parts). Remove the visible fat from meat before cooking and the chicken skin. Serve them with a vegetable garnish.
- Take the milk low fat: milk and derivatives.
- Avoid cheeses, cream, butter, spreadable creams.
Trans fats (below 2% of all calories)
In nature they are in low number, but its level increases by many manufactured foods which are widely used (popcorn, potato chips, pastries, dairy integers…).
- Avoid consumption of cakes and pastries, especially the industrial, and food with chocolate topping.
- Watch labels to quickly identify these fats through the designation of modified or partially hydrolyzed fats.
The known as bad cholesterol is preferably linked to saturated animal fats (meats, pates, very fatty meats, butter…).
- If we have too much bad cholesterol will have to reduce the amount of dietary saturated fat: meats, dairy and prepared foods.
- Functional foods, which contain plant sterols and stanols may be of help to reduce cholesterol levels. They are substances with similar chemical structure to the molecule of cholesterol that compete with it for absorption. Currently, its cash consumption focuses on foods fortified with these substances.
It contributes to excess calories, fat conversion and a worse glycemic control.
- Reduce the consumption of white sugar and sweet foods, sweets and snacks, since they provide a lot of energy and tend to be empty calories, i.e., do not contain other nutrients. Beware of chocolate, jams, preserves, sweets, desserts, etc.
Salt (about 2000 mg sodium per day)
Relating to fluid retention that can lead to high blood pressure. It is not uncommon to find salt consumption figures in habitual diets exceeding 10 grams per day.
- Eliminate or significantly reduce the consumption of salt, both cooking and seasoning, as in salted by processing foods: smoked, pickled, seasoned…, ham, ham, olives, snack products, wines, meats, food East, prebuilt dishes.
Nervous system: caffeine, theine. Related to the increase in blood pressure.
- Control the intake of coffee, tea or chocolate, which are some of the foods rich in these substances.
A diet that does not conform to the done expenditure gives rise to a body storage of fat, a danger to the heart.
- Promote the consumption of plant foods that contain no saturated fat or cholesterol and have higher water content.
- Take moderate amounts of food, to prevent overweight and obesity, and fractioned in several intakes for better control of appetite and the levels.
Controversial heart components
- Alcohol: the intake of one of two glasses of wine at meals can improve figures of good cholesterol, and contain few antioxidants. However, above this figure, the alcohol has clearly adverse effects, since it promotes the production of bad cholesterol, among other problems, so it should never recommend the consumption of alcohol, even if it is red wine, abstemias people. In addition, in the event that there is a hypertriglyceridemia, alcohol consumption is completely contraindicated.
- Total cholesterol: do not exceed the 200 mg of cholesterol per day in the consumption of foods of animal origin.
- Total fat: do not exceed 30% of total calories for the day. It allows up to 35% if most of the fat comes from the Virgin olive oil.
Natural components beneficial to the heart.
At the same time we must avoid nutritional constituents before commented, also must reward in our daily diet those that are beneficial for cardiovascular health. These are the most important, food where we get them and more appropriate consumption patterns for this purpose:
Monounsaturated fats (around 20% of all the calories that are taken daily)
They are the best fats to defend the health of the heart. Not only reduce total cholesterol, but that they do so based on reducing the bad and raise the good. We can say that they improve blood lipid profile. We not only found it in oil, but also in the nuts, peanuts or avocado.
- Using as a basis Virgin olive oil for cooking and seasoning in moderate amount.
- From time to time take avocado salads or fittings.
Polyunsaturated fats (about 10% of daily calorie total)
Within these, the group called omega-3 is famous for his relationship with good cholesterol.
- An idea for these needs is to incorporate our diet moderate consumption of nuts, added to desserts. Take two or three nuts a day is one of the recommended good habits to care for the heart. Healthy nuts are raw, not roasted and unsalted and, of course, in small quantities (never more than one handful).
- Fish Blue, traditionally less appreciated than whites, it is that they possess a type of fat that improves good cholesterol values. So take two or three times a week salmon, sardines, trout, anchovy or mackerel is associated with good cardiovascular health.
Dietary fiber (the recommendation is 20-30 g/day)
This component of the food is not absorbed collaborates in the feeling of satiety and delay in the absorption of fats and sugars, improve control of diabetes. Moreover, it encourages the care of our intestinal flora.
- You are in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. In addition, these foods barely contain fats, and have a very tight amount of kilocalories, so do not get fat.
- Take a day five pieces of fruit and vegetables. If one of the rations of vegetable is in the form of salad, perfect. And fruit, better whole and unpeeled, so dietary fiber is intact.
- Vegetables can be cooked as a first course in traditional way or as a main course, due to its protein content, accompanied by a salad or cooked vegetables.
- We can get the whole grains in the form of bread, pasta, rice, desserts, fittings, etc.
Such as vitamin E, beta-carotene or vitamin A and vitamin C prevent damage to blood vessels.
- Extra virgin olive oil is particularly rich in vitamin E. Also the sunflower oil and some nuts as walnuts and hazelnuts.
- Carrot, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, peas, melon… are some of the foods with high content of carotenoids.
- Vitamin C is present in almost all plant foods. They include citrus fruits, colored fruits, vegetables and green vegetables, orange or red. It is a vitamin that is easily inactivated with the heat, so, if the food is consumed raw, contains lots of vitamin.
Sterols and plant stanols (up to 2 g/day)
It is called cholesterol vegetable. Present in dried fruits, vegetables and legumes.
- With a traditional diet is hard to get the values that have the maximum desired effect, by how these can be implemented with fortified foods.
Couple heart healthy
As we have seen, there are several components which we must choose or avoid to take care of our heart health. To complete the top of the heart-healthy diet, we suggest eight foods most beneficial for your heart, for the shopping don’t forget to include them in your basket:
- Extra virgin olive oil. By its content of monounsaturated fats helps lower bad cholesterol and raise good, and its contribution of vitamin E, antioxidant, prevents damage to blood vessels.
- Avocado. This creamy fruit with high content in fat monounsaturated is the most recommended to keep cholesterol in check.
- Salmon. Representative of blue fish. By its fatty acid DHA, polyunsaturated type, improves good cholesterol values.
- Nuts. With high fat content of omega 3 type, will help to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease. In addition it has plant sterols.
- Brown rice. By its amount of dietary fiber which slows down the absorption of fats and sugars and bran phytochemical components, it favours the reduction of blood pressure.
- Carrot. With a high content of provitamin A and vitamin C, antioxidant components. In addition, you can take raw, so it keeps its nutritional properties.
- Lentils. Of vegetable origin and with a very high protein content, they are not associated with animal fats. It also contains fiber and phytosterols.
- Functional foods rich in plant sterols. Rich in vegetable cholesterol that competes with the negative animal cholesterol.
Food featured and inappropriate for cardiac patients
This is a summary of the food recommended and not recommended in cardiovascular Pathology:
|Grupo de alimento||Recomendado||No recomendado|
|Leche y lácteos||Low-fat||Whole and sweet
Cream, milk cream
|Cereales||Integral||Industrial bakery and pastry|
|Hortalizas y verduras||All|
Nuts in moderate amount
Fruit in syrup
|Carnes||Lean: chicken, Turkey, pork loin and Tenderloin of pork, veal, rabbit
Low ham salt
|FAT: lamb, duck, chicken
|Pescados||White and blue||Canned salted or smoked|
|Huevos||In moderate amount|
|Grasas||Virgin olive oil.
|Bacon, butter, margarine
Coconut and palm oil
|Varios||Water, tea, broth degreased
Red wine, one or two glasses at meals
Salt, broth cubes
|Formas de cocinado||Iron, steam, oven, foil, wok, boiled||Battered, breaded, stew, stew|
We propose an example of menu for patients at risk of heart disease or who have already suffered a previous episode, with which we want to show that they have no why be monotonous and boring food. Give color, flavor (with other flavorings that are not salt) and take care of the presentation of the dishes is important to increase and encourage adherence to the dietary treatment by heart patients.
Remember that in the preparation of these menus you should moderate the amount of Virgin olive oil that you use and avoid salt in cooking and seasoning.
Example of menu for heart patients
Typical example of menu for patients with risk heart, composed of five meals and a Council before bedtime:
- Coffee decaf with skim milk and heated sweetener.
- Whole wheat low salt with tomato and olive oil.
- Bread Baguetina low-salt Turkey luncheon meat.
- Rooibos with sweetener heated infusion.
- Salad of oak with cherry tomatoes, grapes and nonfat cheese.
- Lentils with rice, carrot, onion and green pepper.
- Strawberries with fresh orange juice.
- Slice of wholemeal bread low in salt.
- Yogurt skimming with 2 nuts.
- Cream of Zucchini and potato.
- Salmon grilled with lemon.
- Slice of wholemeal bread low in salt.
Before going to sleep:
- Glass of milk with heated sweetener.