THE IMPACT OF THE WINTER DIET ON CORONARY PATIENTS?

Centar za nutricionizam i dijetetiku inga markovic

The cause of all heart diseases is atherosclerosis, usually, while the spectrum of factors that affect the occurrence of these diseases can be extremely wide. Endogenous factors that contribute to the occurrence of heart diseases are our age, sex, and genetics, which means that we can’t control them. Exogenous factors that contribute to the risk of suffering from heart diseases are high blood pressure, high cholesterol (cholesterol, LDL, triglycerides), obesity, physical inactivity, the consumption of cigarettes and alcohol, and diabetes. The food we eat plays an important role in the prevention of exogenous risks and treating already existing issues when it comes to heart diseases.

Considering that our diet during winter months is highly caloric, greasy, and salty, the risk for coronary patients is twice as high. Winter food is, among other things, low in protective micronutrients because we don’t eat as many fresh vegetables, or at all even. If we add physical inactivity to this equation, the risk is even higher.

High blood pressure or hypertension is one of the most important factors when it comes to the occurrence and progression of heart diseases. It is usually conditioned with bad dietary habits, including the excessive consumption of sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol, obesity, physical inactivity, and a lot of stress. Winter food consists of winter salads in some parts of the world, which are pickled bell peppers, pickles, and pickled cabbage. To preserve them, people hold them in salt and sugar. If we add processed meat that also has a lot of salt, we can conclude that food like this is one of the reasons for high blood pressure, even when we are talking about people that are already being treated for hypertension.

Holiday food is rich in sweets, cookies, and other confectionery products, as well, which leads to the increased daily caloric intake, which is a lot higher during winter days than our actual daily energy needs, so the excessive intake, as well as the wrong or bad type of food, leads to piling up fat and gaining weight.

During winter days, the intake of fat is also higher, especially saturated fats from heat-treated cookies made with butter or margarine. Decreasing the intake of fat and fatty food is crucial for the prevention of heart diseases and blood vessel diseases.

Studies have shown that eating a lot of plant-based ingredients, exercising, and following some programs for relaxation can lead to the successful treatment of heart diseases.

Complex carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables and whole-grain rice are the essentials for coronary patients, while plant pigments called flavonoids that are present in such food offer healthy protection for heart diseases. Drinking nine glasses of water is a norm, especially when it comes to people that suffer from hypertension and those that are diagnosed with angina pectoris.

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