Cherry Spencer's Posts (3)

The fatty part of our daily diet is the most concentrated form of calories and energy available to us.

This in a way is a good thing, for people doing heavy physical work and for athletes. For it stands to reason that more concentrated energy-food will provide the necessary calories with less bulk. The reverse is true for people with sedentary occupations: a lot of fatty food will make people overweight who do not use up all the energy it gives them.

Overweight has been proved to be harmful in many ways. First and foremost it places excessive strain on the heart which has to pump blood to a larger body. Also, fatty deposits inside the blood vessels have been found to form, thus contributing to cardiac disease.

To prevent this it is not necessary to unbalance healthy people's diets. They can still drink milk and eat dairy products in normal amounts. But every body should guard against becoming overweight.

If that threatens it is a good idea to cut down on all fats as a first step to reducing. Then one should not use cooking fats any more, but find other palatable ways of preparing food such as grilling and barbecuing or cooking in tin foil.

Cream and rich sauces and mayonnaises should be avoided, the visible fat be cut off all meat and the leaner varieties of meat should be eaten.

A popular misconception is that margarine can be used with impunity. While some margarines are made entirely from vegetable fats they still provide like all the fats, 9 calories per gram. The misunderstanding stems from a scientific finding, that the unsaturated vegetable fats are less harmful to the heart than the more saturated animal ones.

But, in the manufacturing process margarine is turned into just as saturated fat as butter even if it is entirely of vegetable origin. However, margarine is cheaper than butter, often just as acceptable and it is now being fortified, with the vitamins butter naturally provides.

So, for economy reasons margarine is a good buy. But it isn't a medicine against cardiac disease and there is no need to become exasperated if a certain type of margarine cannot be readily obtained.

Some people have also become confused about the reasons for fat reduction in their diets. 

If a doctor has prescribed a low fat diet in a case of gall bladder disease or hepatitis all fats are to be avoided and the substitution of oil or margarine is useless.

But where a doctor advises his patient to modify the type of fat he uses for the sake of his heart, certain vegetable oils can be of advantage. The difference between the fats is a biochemical one.

It is enough to know that there are some unsaturated oils to be had, which are sunflower seed oil, maize oil and peanut oil in that order.

Source: Good Oils and Fats

Reduced salt helps in hypertension

EVEN a modest reduction of salt in the diet appears to help high blood pressure patients lessen their dependence on antihypertensive drugs which often have bad side effects.

While salt reduction historically has been a tool to combat high blood pressure, the therapy "has become a matter of complacency" in recent years because of the availability of drugs, researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine said.

To test whether lower sodium levels in the diet would help people on drugs, the researchers studied 114 patients over a 30-week period who were able to reduce sodium blood levels by 25 percent to 35 percent with the help of a nutritionist.

For a third of the patients, the sodium reduction was sufficient to allow them to cut the dosage of the drugs they were taking, most often diuretics.

Diuretics, commonly used to treat hypertension by increasing urinary output, had become "a matter of increasing concern and scrutiny", the researchers said in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The drugs cause dizziness, nausea and lethargy and may contribute to buildup of fatty deposits on artery walls, which leads to heart disease.

The present observations suggest that a combination of dietary sodium, ion restriction and antihypertensive drug therapy may permit blood pressure control with fewer medications and fewer side effects than would be needed without such restriction.

Source: Salt and Cardiac Health

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Necessary safeguards to keep your heart healthy

A heart attack is due to part of the heart not receiving sufficient blood.

The heart is made almost entirely of muscle, but it cannot obtain the necessary oxygen and other vital elements from the blood within it, because the chambers of the heart are lined with an impervious membrane, and there are no fine blood vessels leading into the heart muscle from the chambers.

All the blood to keep the heart alive and well, passes through three small arteries that circle around the heart, and send small vessels into the muscle. If one of these arteries is blocked, one part of the heart muscle cannot obtain sufficient blood, and dies. This is a heart attack, or myocardial infarction.

If you put a tight rubber band around your finger, you cut off the finger's blood supply. It rapidly becomes painful, and would eventually wither and die. The same thing happens in the heart, but more rapidly, because the heart must keep working hard with every beat, while your finger is at rest.

The arteries of the heart can be blocked by fatty deposits that build up in the arteries because the patient is overweight, or has high cholesterol levels; by clots or fat globules breaking off from damaged blood vessels elsewhere in the body and blocking an artery; or by damage to the artery from many years of high blood pressure.

When the heart attack occurs, the patient feels a severe crushing pain in the chest, and shortness of breath. Most seek medical aid rapidly because of the severity of the symptoms, and this is vital, because doctors can give medications by injection that stabilize the heart, and prevent it from stopping completely.

Once you are under the care of a doctor, your chances of survival are good, because of the many medications and treatments available to stop abnormal heartbeats, which are the normal cause of death in a heart attack.

If you feel that you, or someone with you, is having a heart attack, call an ambulance and your general practitioner.

Once in hospital, you will be kept in a coronary care ward under the constant eye of specially trained nurses and doctors, who can deal with any further deterioration in your heart instantly. ambulance and your general practitioner.

After a few days, you will be allowed to rest in a normal ward, while the heart heals. Then after 10 to 14 days, you can go home for a further six or more weeks rest.

The secret of recovery lies in gradually increasing levels of exercise over many weeks, to slowly strengthen the heart. Manual workers can often return to their jobs after a couple of months, and provided they look after their general health, most heart attack victims will lead a normal and full life.

Many patients are now given drugs to prevent further heart attacks, and these may be continued for a few years, or for life. It is also necessary to have regular check-ups by your general practitioner, to ensure that you, and your heart, remain in peak condition.

The main things that YOU can do to prevent a heart attack are to keep your weight within reasonable limits, have your blood pressure checked and treated if necessary, avoid excess cholesterol in your diet, exercise regularly, and stop smoking.

Smokers are at a far higher risk than others in the community, because nicotine can cause spasm of the arteries in the heart.

Learn to prevent heart disease with a cardiac diet: cardiac diet for heart patients

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