Many people do not realize that alcohol is a form of drug. Alcohol abuse is one of the major culprits for damaged lives, broken families and has led to many automobile fatalities. Heavy alcohol drinking is also one of the main factors contributing to the rapidly growing rate of domestic violence. Apart from all of these, alcohol and heart attack are also linked in more ways than one. However, it is important to understand the difference between healthy drinking from heavy alcoholic drinking.
Drinking alcoholic beverages does not mean that you are an alcoholic. Alcoholism is regarded as a psychosocial disease that is very complex. People who drink alcohol in high amounts have a greater risk of heart diseases. Drinking alcohol increases such dangers as alcoholism. High levels of drinking alcoholic beverages impair people’s judgment, and it also affects the way people think, the way they feel, and their manner of communicating with other people. On the other hand, studies show that moderate drinking and lower levels of alcohol intake is actually good for the heart for many people and may also offer some degree of prevention and protection against other medical ailments.
Overview of Alcohol and Heart Attacks
Throughout history, alcohol has been used not only as a beverage but also for its medicinal properties. Studies have shown that alcohol, when consumed moderately, can decrease the risks of heart attacks. Research also shows evidence that moderate alcohol consumption can reduce the risks of people suffering from coronary artery diseases and coronary heart diseases. The link between moderately drinking alcohol and heart attack and its benefits to the overall health of a person has continued to grow from these in-depth research and studies.
Heart Attacks and Moderate Alcohol Drinking
Research on the subject of moderate drinking is still ongoing. However, there has been a lot of in-depth research done on this subject that points to the fact that moderate drinking and lower level of alcoholic beverage intake offers benefits to people, such as protecting their heart against coronary heart diseases and other ailments. Moderate drinking among women and lightweight people is highly recommended to drink no more than a glass of wine or a drink per day, while moderate drinking in men is defined as not exceeding two drinks per day. A drink may be equal to twelve ounces of beer, 1.5 ounces of liquor made up of 80-proof, or five ounces of wine.
Moderate Drinkers: People who Live Longer than Heavy Drinkers or Abstainers
Several mechanisms are believed to be responsible for the benefits that moderate alcohol drinking offers. Light to moderate alcohol consumption is associated with the reduction of blood pressure while increasing the levels of good and healthy cholesterol, also known as HDL. Other benefits of drinking wine or other alcoholic beverages at moderate levels also help reduce the risks of blood clotting since alcohol possesses anti-coagulant properties. Since alcohol can prevent blood clotting, which may affect the arteries or the blood vessels of a person, it helps reduce the risks of people having or suffering from heart attacks.
Moderate drinkers are known to have better overall health than those who are heavy drinkers and even those who are abstainers. Aside from moderate drinkers suffering fewer strokes and heart attacks, the likelihood of these people suffering from other medical diseases such as enlarged prostate, several types of cancers, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and arthritis are relatively smaller than those who are heavy drinkers and abstainers.
Studies Revealing Moderate intake of Alcohol to be Healthy
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism discovered that people who drink moderately, those who drink about one to two drinks per day, have lower risks due to alcohol-related problems. Moderate consumption was also found out to reduce the risks of mortality in a significant manner. In addition, the risk of suffering from high blood pressure and other coronary heart diseases was also found to be 21 percent to 28 percent lower in people who were moderate drinkers compared to those who were abstainers and heavy drinkers.
The general health of moderate drinkers is in better shape than those who abstain from alcoholic beverages and those who overindulge in drinking. Surveys also show that people who have a daily moderate intake of alcoholic beverages experience less hospitalization than those who do not drink at all and those who have daily alcoholic binges. All these studies show proof that moderate drinking and heart attack can result in a healthy lifestyle. However, it is important to understand that not all people can tolerate moderate drinking.
American Heart Association on Alcohol and Heart Attack
The Nutrition Committee department of the American Heart Association released reports stating that “The lowest mortality rate occurs in people who consume one or two alcoholic drinks per day.” The rumors about the connection between alcohol and heart attack have been discussed in many studies, in-depth research, and surveys. While drinking alcohol may result in lower risks of different heart diseases such as coronary heart ailments and high blood pressure, it is still essential for people to know the difference between moderate drinking and heavy drinking to avoid any health problems.
Cholesterol – Heart Attack Diet
A heart attack diet plays a major role in the control of heart attacks. This is because unsaturated fats do not increase the level of cholesterol but also lessen it.
The development of atherosclerosis which leads to heart attack depends on the level of cholesterol in the blood.
The level of cholesterol depends upon the intake of cholesterol and fats in the diet.
Heart attacks can be prevented by preventing the development of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries.
Unsaturated fats not only do not increase the level of cholesterol but also decrease it.
Supplementation with essential fatty acids containing fish oil keeps the blood flowing by making it ”less sticky” and because they are “good fats,” they assist with reducing cholesterol.
When LDL cholesterol is high, you have to restrict saturated fats, partially hydrogenated fats and calories, and you may need to consult the doctor for medication.
Saturated fats tend to increase the deposition of cholesterol. Such fats are coconut oil, vegetable oil, ghee, butter, cream, cheese, beef, hogs, shrimp, crab, lobster, mutton, chicken, pork, bacon, shrimp, frankfurters and hamburgers.
Although the liver produces more cholesterol than eaten in food, dietary cholesterol is deposited more in the arteries than the endogenous cholesterol.
Omega 3 fatty acids found in foods like olive oil and fish foods are helpful to protect the endothelium by increasing the levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol and lowering the bad LDL cholesterol.
Consuming fiber-containing foods like grains, fruits & vegetables lowers blood pressure and LDL cholesterol and raises HDL levels, helping to protect endothelial cells.
It has been found that the kind and amount of fat in the diet influence the rate at which the body produces cholesterol, the rate at which the cholesterol is deposited and the incidence of heart attacks.
Vitamins in heart attack diet
When Lp(a) is more than 40, you should take the vitamin niacin after every meal until your Lp(a) reduces below 40.
Diet will not reduce the Lp (a).
B-complex vitamins (B-1, B-2, Niacin, Folate, B-6, B-12 and Pantothenic Acid) are important for promoting cardiovascular health by reducing dangerous Homocysteine levels.
Vitamin E, vitamin C decreases the oxidation in the blood vessels and stimulates an increased nitric oxide synthesis. Therefore, taking an increased level of vitamin C helps reduce the formation of arterial plaques and the production of higher nitric oxide levels.
Even though vitamin C is available from food, supplements are advised to get the optimum daily requirement.
Vitamin E decreases the formation of the toxic free radicals on the endothelial lining and helps produce higher nitric oxide levels.
The recommended dose of vitamin E is 400 international units (IU) daily.
Inadequate intake of vitamins B12, pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and folic acid cause a rise of homocysteine levels in the blood, which in turn causes damage to the endothelium of blood vessels and plaque formation. Therefore, you must keep the homocysteine level below 100. If it increases, you should consult your doctor to take the above-said vitamins to control it. These vitamins are available in the market with the names Foltex or Fol-B.
Excess Vitamin D (more than 400 international units) in the diet should be avoided because it increases calcium levels.
Heart health supplements that include essential fatty acids, plant-derived colloidal minerals, and antioxidants – particularly Vitamins A, C, E, and the mineral Selenium – may help reduce the incidence of a heart attack.
Nitric Oxide in heart attack diet
Nitric Oxide is a gas that has been produced naturally in the body.
Nitric oxide is produced by the vascular endothelial cells helps keep the blood vessels dilated, thereby reducing the chances of plaques, clots formation, and constriction of blood vessels.
Saturated fat, found in animal foods like red meat, poultry, butter, chicken, beef, mutton and whole milk, causes arterial plaque formation and impairs nitric oxide production.
A sedentary lifestyle and excessive saturated fat intake gradually reduce the production of nitric oxide production.
Daily intake of adequate fiber content food and water helps to produce optimum nitric oxide production.
Daily exercise for 20 minutes a day for three days a week stimulates endothelial cells to produce nitric oxide continuously.
L- ARGININE is an amino acid found in foods like meats, grains & fish that helps produce nitric oxide.
Since L- Arginine is not adequately available in our daily diet, supplementary intake of this amino acid is recommended.
Nitric Oxide helps to expand blood vessels:
Nitric oxide protects the blood vessels’ smooth muscle tissue from harmful constriction, leading to plaque formation.
This allows the flexibility of blood vessels to circulate with minimum pressure.
Milk in heart attack diet
Butter-milk, which is made of curd, is very good for the coronaries.
Skimmed milk is best as it has lesser content of milk.
Skimmed milk and cornflakes
Tea or Coffee with skimmed milk
Skimmed milk curd
Cheese prepared from skimmed milk
Pudding made with skimmed milk.
You can meet your needs for vitamin B12 with seafood and skim milk dairy products or with B 12 pills.
Vegetables in heart attack diet plan
Boiled vegetable or boiled beans or lentil- 4oz
Vegetable or green peas, boiled with a slight addition of groundnut oil
Diet for High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure measures the amount of blood your heart pumps and the blood flow in your arteries. If your heart is forced to pump more blood because you have narrow arteries, you will undoubtedly have high blood pressure. The condition, also called hypertension, affects sixty-five million American adults, nearly one in three, and if left untreated, can have serious consequences on health. Though you can live with high blood pressure for many years without experiencing a single symptom, it will always catch up with you, and the result is often a heart attack, a stroke or severe damage to the kidneys.
Fortunately for the millions of Americans who have hypertension, the condition can be kept in check with a combination of lifestyle and dietary changes and medications in some more extreme cases. In this section, we will be discussing the role diet plays on high blood pressure and how people with high blood pressure can control their condition by keeping an eye on what they put on their plates.
High Blood Pressure Diet
If you live with hypertension, there are several foods and beverages you will want to cut down on and others that you must remove from your diet altogether. Below we will discuss some of the most common offenders.
Though we’ve long been told that small amounts of alcohol can actually help reduce heart disease and may even reduce the risk of hypertension, this is not true for people who already have high blood pressure. Studies have shown that for these people, alcohol only serves to raise their blood pressure and increase damage to blood vessels. Therefore, people with hypertension should do their best not to drink alcohol.
While eating too much salt can increase blood pressure in some, salt consumption has virtually no effect on others. The difficulty is that doctors have no idea which patients can get away with eating salt and which cannot until it is too late. That is why it is good for all people who suffer from hypertension to cut the sodium out of their diet. Besides, there are always salt substitutes.
Though it is impossible to cut all fats out of your diet, those who suffer from high blood pressure need to cut down on saturated fats, especially trans-fats. These fats can damage both your heart and blood vessels. And because your system is already under stress due to your high blood pressure, the extra strain could be deadly.
The Dash Diet
Doctors specifically designed the Dash Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) to help people control their high blood pressure. It suggests cutting out the salt and recommends three minerals-calcium, magnesium, and potassium, which they believe can help lower blood pressure. The diet also stresses the importance of whole grains, fruits and fresh vegetables, and meats and dairy products that are low in fat. Early studies show that the DASH diet effectively lowers blood pressure in people with hypertension, sometimes in as little as two weeks.
The Link between Smoking and Heart Attacks
Smoking and heart attack have been linked since the first-ever Surgeon’sSurgeon’s General report has come out in the year of 1964. Smoking is one of the main risk factors that lead to heart attacks and strokes. The narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) is accelerated by smoking, resulting in a heart attack. Smoking has also been found out to increase the risks of blood clots, which can also block the arteries, leading to aggravated medical conditions such as heart attacks. In-depth research on the low nicotine and low tar cigarettes showed that these cigarettes have little to no effect on reducing the many different risks for coronary artery diseases such as heart conditions.
Many studies have been done to prove the link between smoking and heart attack, and these studies show evidence that smoking is one of the major causes of different medical conditions such as coronary heart diseases and coronary artery diseases that ultimately lead to heart attacks. Aside from cigar, pipe and cigarette smoking, other factors that increase the risks of developing different coronary heart diseases include high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, physical inactivity and high blood cholesterol.
Statistics Link Smoking and Heart Attack
According to the statistics that link smoking and heart attack, cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking are the most preventable of all the premature death causes in the United States. From more than the 2.4 million accounted deaths in the United States annually, 440, 00 0 these deaths account for cigarette smokers. In addition, those who smoke have an increased risk of developing medical conditions such as peripheral artery disease, coronary heart disease, coronary artery disease, peripheral artery disease, peripheral vascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Aside from lung problems, fatty buildups, and blood clotting in the arteries that can result from cigarette, cigar and pipe smoking, these can also result in different types of cancer.
When a person smokes, he is not only increasing his risks of suffering from different medical conditions; he is also affecting the people around him, especially children and nonsmokers. Secondhand smoke, which is also called environmental tobacco smoke or passive smoke, affects the people who are usually around smokers. Environmental tobacco smoke is one of the major causes of chronic respiratory diseases, heart conditions, and cancer. An estimated 35,000 people who are nonsmokers die from the different diseases that are caused by secondhand smoke.
How Smoking can cause Heart Attacks
Most of the medical cases surrounding heart diseases are caused by a condition called atherosclerosis. This condition occurs when the arteries become clogged and hardened. The narrowed or clogged arteries prevent the heart from getting the right amount of oxygen it needs to function normally and properly, which often results in chest pains (angina). In addition, since smoking increases the risk of blood clotting, this often causes the blood flow to the heart and the arteries to be cut off, resulting in heart attacks.
When a person smokes, he or she is increasing the speed of the atherosclerosis process. The cells that line up the heart and the blood vessels are damaged and destroyed by the nicotine contained within the cigarette, the pipe content or the cigar. Because of the tendency of the blood to clot when the body takes in nicotine, the risk of a person suffering from a heart attack is greatly increased.
How Smoking Increases the Risk of Coronary Heart Diseases
Cigarette smoking does the damage by itself. It leads to the increased risk of developing different heart and arterial conditions. When smoking is combined with other detrimental factors, it will further increase the risk of getting these illnesses. For example, smoking and heart attack are linked since smoking decreases an individual’s tolerance to physical exercises and activities, increasing blood clotting and blood pressure. Smoking cigars, pipes and cigarettes also increase the risks of coronary heart ailments recur after bypass surgeries.
Young men and women under fifty years of age increase their risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and arterial diseases. Studies show that younger people have a greater risk of experiencing heart attacks than smokers who are over fifty years of age. Women who smoke and take oral contraceptives also have an increased risk of developing coronary heart diseases and heart attacks than those who are nonsmokers who take oral contraceptives.
Smoking decreases the good cholesterol in the body, also known as HDL. People who have a history of heart diseases in their family have much more risk of developing heart diseases that may result in heart attacks when combined with smoking. The nicotine present in cigarettes, cigars and pipes decreases the oxygen that flows to the heart. As a result, it increases the heartbeat rate that results in high blood pressure. The nicotine in these products also increases the blood’s tendency to clot, and it damages the cells that align the coronary arteries and the other essential blood vessels in the body.
How Quitting can be good for heart health
Due to the many in-depth research regarding the link between smoking and heart attack, medical professionals have come up with why quitting smoking is very helpful. Not only does it prolong an individual’s life, but it also reduces the risks of different diseases such as coronary heart diseases, coronary arterial diseases, heart attacks, several types of cancers such as lung and throat cancer, high blood pressure, emphysema, gum diseases and other ailments.
Disclaimer: This Website is for information purposes only. You should consult your physician for correct diagnosis and treatment