- 30 November 2018
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Is Obesity Weighing Heavy On Your Heart?
Unless you have been living under the rock, you must know that if you have high bp or cholesterol problem, you are at a higher risk of heart diseases. You may also be aware that high salt intake causes your blood pressure levels to rise and fatty food gives you cholesterol.
But did you know that all these diseases can be traced back to obesity and poor dietary choices?
Well, that’s true. But before we go into the details of it, let’s find out what obesity is.
What Is Obesity?
You are not obese just because you do not fit in an M-sized garment. You are not obese just because you cannot fit in your earlier clothes. You are not obese just because you cannot attain the fitness goal you have set for yourself.
Obesity is not subjunctive. Obesity has a medical definition. There are ways through which you can measure obesity in absolute terms. The most commonly used measurement of obesity is the BMI test.
Body Mass Index is a ratio of your height and weight. You can measure your height in kg and divide it by the square of your height in meters. So, say a person weighs 60 kgs and is 165 cm tall, his BMI will be 60/1.652, i.e. 22. A BMI that ranges from 18.5 to 24.9 represents a fit personality. If your BMI is more than that you are overweight or obese.
How Does Obesity Affect Your Heart?
Firstly, what causes obesity? Storage of excess fat in your body. ALong with storing fat in various parts of your body, when you are obese, you are also collecting more cholesterol. And where do you store these cholesterols? In blood arteries and veins.
Arteries and veins carry blood to the blood and away from it. If cholesterol deposits on the wall of an artery, blood will not reach the heart properly. Initially, you will experience high blood pressure when blood tries to squeeze through the narrowing artery. Over time, due to an insufficient supply of blood and high blood pressure, the heart muscles will have to work harder to meet the blood requirement of the body. This will gradually thicken the heart muscles and make it fatigue. Your heart is now weak and cannot function properly.
On an alternative scenario, if cholesterol blocks the entire artery, blood circulation through that artery will stop entirely. This will devoid a portion of the heart of blood. In such a case, you get a heart attack.
If you have multiple episodes of heart attacks, you run a much higher risk of getting a cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest occurs when your heart stops working altogether. However, cardiac arrest can happen suddenly also if many arteries or a big, important artery gets blocked and stays this way untreated, your heart may stop working.
When you eat that extra serve of fries, you do not think much about it. But now that you know how each piece of fry is piling up on your artery to block blood supply to the heart, you might want to reconsider your diet.
How To Keep Your Heart Healthy :
Diet and exercise are the mantras to good health – even for a healthy heart.
Running, brisk walking, jogging are the best forms of exercise for your heart. Additionally, you can also do strength exercises where you practise carrying your own body weight. But while exercising, always remember that you should never rush things – you should always ease your way with gradual progress. Sudden exercises can become an adversary to your body.
First of all, avoid smoking, alcohol consumption and drug abuse. Next, cut out the salt, sweet, and all forms of fast food. Eat more whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. Seafood contains Omega 3 fatty acid which is a very healthy nutrient for the heart. You can have almonds and walnuts. But be careful with cashew nuts. Watch your intake of coffee but you can treat yourself to small bites of dark chocolates daily to strengthen your heart.
Unlike a skin injury, you cannot always see if you are hurting your heart. But only by keeping a check on your weight, you can reduce the risk of heart disease to a great extent. Eat healthy, stay fit and keep your heart young!
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr. AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man