We all know the benefits of weight loss. However, did you know just how much of a role our weight plays in regards to heart health? The first step to taking your heart health seriously is to start taking your overall well being seriously. In this article, we will go over some of the heart benefits of weight loss, what causes heart problems, and the best drinks for heart attack patients.
What Are The Heart Benefits of Weight Loss
Being overweight or obese can be very damaging for the body. There’s a reason why heart disease is the number one killer in America and obesity is the leading cause of heart disease. By losing weight, you are taking a lot of strain off of your heart, making its job easier and reducing your risk of developing heart disease as you get older.
One of the main heart benefits of weight loss is that the blood vessels in your heart will have a reduced workload because there’s less fat around the vessels. This significantly lowers the chances that coronary arteries will become clogged. These clogs can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or other medical ailments which can be fatal.
Does Obesity Cause Heart Disease?
Obesity and heart disease have been linked ever since the infancy of heart disease research. More body fat can cause atrial enlargement, ventricular enlargement, and atherosclerosis. On top of that, obesity can lead to heart disease in roundabout ways by negatively impacting other parts of our body.
For example, obesity can lead to sleep apnea, thromboembolic disease, and the onset or worsening of metabolic diseases. It can also lead to diabetes, which research has found can be a precursor for heart disease. This is why placing an emphasis on weight control and heart health is incredibly important, especially as we get older.
Can Losing Weight Improve Heart Failure?
As we have already mentioned, weight gain can place a strain on your heart, decreasing the heart’s pumping ability. In fact, even a weight gain as small as 5% can lead to a thickening and enlargement of the left ventricle, which is an indicator of future heart failure. While this can be fatal and very dangerous, it’s not irreversible.
Those who lose weight have a higher chance of decreasing the thickness of their heart muscle. It’s important to note that losing weight quickly, burning out, and regaining the lost weight can wipe out any progress. If you are serious about your heart health, your longevity, and your wellbeing, you should have long-term weight loss goals.
What Happens to Your Heart When You Lose Weight?
When it comes to weight loss and heart benefits, even marginal losses can greatly improve your heart health. Because of this, you shouldn’t be discouraged if you step on the scale and don’t see the results that you are looking for. Studies have found that losing even 10% of your body weight can greatly improve heart health.
In order to maximize results, it’s important to have a long-term plan. Choose goals that are realistic and attainable considering your work schedule, travel schedule, body type, and body weight. Losing 20 pounds may be easier for one person than another person depending on genetics, metabolic rate, and body type.
What is the Best Diet For Heart Patients?
The morbid reality of suffering a heart attack is that a second heart attack becomes increasingly more possible. This is why it’s important to focus on your diet, ensuring you're putting the right foods in your body. Here are some of the most recommended diets after suffering a heart attack:
- The Mediterranean Diet - This is a diet that places an emphasis on healthy fats, legumes, fish, beans, and grains
- DASH - Otherwise known as the Dietary approaches to stopping hypertension. This diet focuses on plant-based foods along with lean meats
- Plant-based eating - This diet involved eating a plant-based diet with little to no meat
- Clean eating - This isn’t a specific diet but “clean” eating is a term used to discuss eating habits
Just as important as the foods you do eat are the foods you don’t eat. After a heart attack, it’s important to avoid foods such as fast food, fried food, boxed food, candy, chips, and processed frozen meals. That’s not to say you can never enjoy these meals, but try to enjoy them in moderation and infrequently.
Can Losing Weight Help Clogged Arteries?
Your arteries help ensure that oxygen can move freely throughout the body, helping fuel your body’s functions. Small blockages can build up in these arteries - often referred to as plaques. When your immune system notices this, it will send white blood cells to attack the plaque. This causes a chain of reactions that ultimately leads to inflammation.
While there is no specific food that can help unclog arteries right away, experts agree that the best way to unclog your arteries is to eat less cholesterol-rich foods. Focus on promoting better heart health by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Supplements Can Help
A healthy lifestyle extends beyond your diet. Pairing your healthy lifestyle with exercise and a regular supplement regimen can help enhance the positive effects of dieting and fasting. While fasting your body enters a process known as autophagy, a cellular renewal process that cleans out damaged or dead cellular material, improving your cells’ overall function and health and helps prevent age-associated cardiovascular diseases. Spermidine, a naturally occurring polyamine, aids in inducing autophagy. While you can reap the benefits of spermidine through a spermidine-rich diet, it can be difficult to meet the recommended daily dose of spermidine through diet alone. This is because spermidine content varies widely between foods. Spermidine supplements can help ensure you meet your daily intake of spermidine.