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15 Ways to Prevent Diet-Induced Cardiovascular Disease

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  1. High blood pressure and cardiovascular disease go hand in hand. Having high blood pressure is often the root cause of a whole series of diseases of your vascular system. So it is very important as a precaution to make sure that your blood pressure is correct so that you don't have multiple problems with your heart and blood vessels later in life.

  1. Once you have reached the point where you have been living with high blood pressure for too long, you are often stuck with drugs to lower your blood pressure for the rest of your life. You also run a great risk of a kind of snowball effect called the metabolic syndrome, in which case you have multiple disorders of your cardiovascular system that reinforce each other.

  2. Once you have reached the point where you have been living with high blood pressure for too long, you are often stuck with drugs to lower your blood pressure for the rest of your life. You also run a great risk of a kind of snowball effect called the metabolic syndrome, in which case you have several disorders of your cardiovascular system that reinforce each other.

Cardiovascular disease a Western condition

  1. High blood pressure is mainly caused by your diet and lifestyle. You may also be less lucky and have a hereditary predisposition to high blood pressure, but that does not mean that you cannot do anything about it. On the contrary, if you know that high blood pressure is a condition that is common in your family, then that is an extra reason to pay close attention to what you eat and how you live, see it as an extra challenge and live extra healthy. Just because you have a hereditary burden with a high risk of high blood pressure does not mean that you will actually get it.

  2. High blood pressure is mainly caused by your diet and lifestyle. You may also be less fortunate and have a hereditary predisposition to high blood pressure, but that does not mean that you cannot do anything about it. On the contrary, if you know that high blood pressure is a condition that is common in your family, then that is an extra reason to pay close attention to what you eat and how you live, see it as an extra challenge and live extra healthy. Just because you have a hereditary burden with a high risk of high blood pressure does not mean that you will actually get it.

  1. You can largely control conditions such as high blood pressure yourself. Why? Just think: high blood pressure and subsequent cardiovascular diseases are typical Western disorders, or better said, prosperity disorders. This means that people in other parts of the world where there is not a supermarket on every street corner are much less affected by these conditions.

  2. You can largely control conditions such as high blood pressure yourself. Why? Just think: high blood pressure and the subsequent cardiovascular diseases are typical Western disorders, or better said, prosperity disorders. This means that people in other parts of the world where there is not a supermarket on every street corner are much less affected by these conditions.

  1. Since we all have the same technical specifications, it is therefore not a matter of technology. Okay, not all people are exact copies of each other. You have people of all colors and sizes, but the basic technique under the hood is always the same no matter where you are born in the world.

  1. And that is why you can conclude that lifestyle plays a very important role in the issue of cardiovascular disease. As you may know, there are certain places in the world where people have very little problems with lifestyle diseases, for example the island of Okinawa. Closer see also differences, people who follow a Mediterranean diet suffer less from cardiovascular disease than people who mainly live on the beer bratwurst diet.

  1. You understand which way I want to go. Wealth diseases are diseases that we mainly cause ourselves because we have different priorities in our contemporary society. We often have little time in the Netherlands, and due to technological developments we also do less and less old-fashioned hard work. More and more people spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk.

  2. You understand which way I want to go. Lifestyle diseases are disorders that we mainly cause ourselves because we have different priorities in our contemporary society. We often have little time in the Netherlands, because of technological developments we also do less and less old-fashioned hard work. More and more people spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk.

  1. Of course that has its advantages, you do not have to worry that you will not get that old because the heavy physical work, as was the case in the past, determined how old you became. In the past, after thirty years of hard work, a person was worn out.

  2. Of course that has its advantages, you do not have to worry that you will not get that old because the heavy physical work, as was the case in the past, determined how old you became. In the past a person was worn out after thirty years of hard work.

  1. But the disadvantage of such a modern society is that we collectively rush to the supermarket at a quarter past five to quickly buy our evening meal. Due to time pressure, the focus when shopping is not on what is really healthy for you. Above all, it must be easy to prepare. The food industry cleverly responds to our rush and offers us all kinds of food that you only have to warm up and your meal is ready.

  2. But the disadvantage of such a modern society is that we collectively rush to the supermarket at a quarter past five to quickly buy our evening meal. Due to time constraints, the focus when shopping is not on what is really healthy for you. Above all, it must be easy to prepare. The food industry cleverly responds to our rush and offers us all kinds of food that you just have to warm up and your meal is ready.

  1. And that's where it goes wrong. First of all, our diet is a major cause of high blood pressure.

High blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and nutrition

  1. Most of the products you find in the supermarket are processed. In the Netherlands, processed usually means that these products are full of sugars, salt, saturated fats and trans fats. And as icing on the cake, there are a lot of artificial fragrances, colors and flavors incorporated in it so that we also like that unnatural food too.

  1. Several studies have been done (1), (2) confirming that all these ingredients: sugars, saturated fats and trans fats are extremely bad for your cardiovascular system.

  1. Let's take a closer look at the effects of these ingredients:

  1. Studies have shown that high intakes of foods full of simple carbohydrates in the form of sugars, artificial sugars or grains that have been stripped of their fiber-rich coat have major effects on your body.

  1. Because these foods have an enormous caloric value and almost no nutrients such as vitamins, minerals or dietary fiber, your blood sugar level rises enormously after you have consumed such a product. Your body suddenly gets access to a huge load of fuel. What does the body do? It stores a large part of this fuel in the form of fat.

  1. So you will soon have to deal with overweight.

  1. As you know, obesity is one of the reasons your blood pressure rises. But being overweight isn't the only problem. The high sugar intake triggers a whole mechanism that makes one attack after another on your health.

  1. Another effect of that high sugar intake is that your blood sugar level rises. Those enormous spikes in your blood sugar cause you to produce much more insulin than originally intended. From an evolutionary point of view, the body was not made to have so much fuel in the form of simple carbohydrates.

  1. Â You overload the mechanism for sugar absorption and processing.

  1. The result is that insulin resistance develops. The cells respond less well to insulin and therefore the glucose remains in your bloodstream. This puts you at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but also cardiovascular disease. And by this I don't mean that you have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease in general, I mean that by consistently having too much sugar or artificial sugars in your diet you can really get all kinds of cardiovascular disease!

  1. Because in the Western world we really have a lot of simple carbohydrates in the diet, cardiovascular diseases are becoming a veritable epidemic in us. A study done in 2007 (1) shows that almost one in three Americans has high blood pressure. This high blood pressure is directly related to what people eat.

  1. Especially fructose appears to have a major negative effect on your blood vessels.

  1. And let's say fructose is precisely the form of sugar that the food industry uses en masse in products to make the product taste better. Sugar is even added to products that normally do not have to contain sugar to make it taste even better. Consider, for example, crackers. The food industry usually adds glucose syrup or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) to the products. This is the substance that makes your soft drink so nice and sweet. And raise your blood pressure.

  1. As you can see, the high intake of sugar is the basis of many health problems. Now you will wonder why sugar is suddenly so unhealthy. In itself nothing has changed with the sugar, it is just that in the supermarket the shelves are full of products that contain sugar. Most of the time you don't even realize that you are consuming a sugar bomb.

  1. I bought it regularly myself. For example, I thought it was healthier not to eat mayonnaise, it is full of saturated fats and fats make you fat. So I replaced mayonnaise and switched to ketchup.

  1. You would think that ketchup is more or less tomato paste. How unhealthy can tomato paste be?

  1. Well, if you knew the ketchup is one quarter sugar. And that is exactly the big problem: everything contains sugar. You unintentionally and unconsciously consume way too much sugar. Especially when you consider that in the past our ancestors only had access to honey as a source of sugar.

  1. Honey was relatively rare and it was difficult to obtain sugar, today it is difficult to avoid it.

  1. As long as it stayed with one of the aforementioned conditions, the damage was manageable. But unfortunately for our health, the high sugar intake has an accumulating effect. You don't just suffer from high blood pressure or obesity or diabetes. You get overweight and high blood pressure and diabetes. In the medical world this is called the metabolic syndrome, a nice word for the accumulation of health complaints. This metabolic syndrome accelerates and worsens the diseases of your cardiovascular system, high blood pressure and stiffening of the artery walls. Diabetes causes your blood sugar to be too high and thus causes damage to the blood vessels. Everything reinforces each other.

  1. A consequence of all those disorders added up is that at some point your organs can no longer handle the pressure. The first organ to collapse under the sugar pressure is the kidneys. Between 1980 and 2002, the number of people with chronic kidney disease in the United States quadrupled. The cause of this is high blood pressure and diabetes. The link between obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and kidney failure is the amount of uric acid in the blood. The research has clearly established that fructose in particular causes the uric acid level to rise very much. This increased uric acid level was found in all people with one or more conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney failure.

Summarizing the effects of sugar on cardiovascular disease:

  1. In fact, by lowering the uric acid levels in people who had high blood pressure (3), an improvement in blood pressure was seen within weeks. If you add a few data together, you can only come to one conclusion: Since sugars are being added to processed food on an increasing scale, such as with the introduction of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the number of people has to contend with has increased enormously with health complaints related to the intake of fructose. This can be checked because the fructose intake can be measured on the basis of the uric acid level in people who suffer from these health complaints.

  1. So step 1 in the prevention of high blood pressure is to drastically limit the intake of fructose. Those large amounts of fructose are only found in processed foods. If you take fruit, for example, a natural product that also contains fructose, then it contains at most 5 grams per 100 grams of fructose. To come back to the ketchup for a moment, it already contains 25 grams of sugar. Then you can check how much sugar there is in products that you know are high in sugar. For example, chocolate spread or other sweet products can contain up to 60% sugar.

  1. If you consider that the WHO (World Health Organization) has set the recommended daily allowance for sugar for adults at six teaspoons of sugar per day, which is about 25 grams. Just check for yourself how much sugar you consume when you know that 1 can of cola already contains 35 grams of sugar!

  1. The best way is to reduce the processed food and the soft drink intake considerably. And with that you immediately kill two birds with one stone! Because those processed foods are also responsible for the majority of your saturated fat intake. And like too much sugar, saturated fats are also responsible for a large part of the cardiovascular disease epidemic that ravages Western society.

What do saturated fats do to your body?

  1. As you may know, saturated fats are not good for your cholesterol levels. Your cholesterol is determined by two types of fats, the saturated fat and the unsaturated fat. Unfortunately, in today's diet the ratio between saturated and unsaturated fats has become completely skewed. A healthy ratio between the intake of saturated and unsaturated fats is at least one part saturated to six parts unsaturated. Part of your diet consists of fats, the more that part of your diet consists of unsaturated fats, the better. Our current diet consists of a relatively large amount of saturated fats, which means that the average Dutch person consumes about a ratio of one to three.

  1. Awareness of saturated fats has increased considerably in recent years. Especially because many people have to contend with high cholesterol levels. That is why you also see a trend in the supermarket regarding low-fat food. But if you compare the labels of, for example, normal yogurt with those of low-fat yogurt, you find out that the saturated fats have been removed, but that more sugar has been replaced.

  1. So basically there is no way to avoid these ingredients and still eat processed foods. But before you get the idea that you can only eat water and cucumbers, let's first look at the effects of large amounts of saturated fats on your body.

The effects of saturated fats on your blood pressure

  1. 6. High Cholesterol

  1. The research I used in this article (4) shows that when it comes to fats, you have to keep a number of things in mind. The amount of fats you consume affects your cholesterol. So if you reduce your total amount of fats that you eat, your body does not have to process all those fats. So reducing your fat intake and replacing this fat intake with carbohydrates has a positive effect on your total cholesterol.

  1. However, if you reduce your fat intake and exchange fats for sugars, the lowering of your cholesterol will have no effect on the overall risk of cardiovascular disease. On the one hand you lower the risk because your cholesterol levels are better, but on the other hand you increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity because of the negative effect that sugar has on your health.

  1. Therefore, the best way to improve your cholesterol is to reduce your total fat intake and replace it with complex carbohydrates found in fruits and vegetables, these are the well-known dietary fibers. These do improve your cholesterol levels significantly. Another tactic that works well is mainly to improve the ratio between saturated and unsaturated fats. This is a more attainable goal because you don't have to look for a healthy fat substitute. This is already available in the form of unsaturated fat. These unsaturated fats are mainly found in fish, nuts and vegetable oil. So both reducing the total intake and changing the ratio both have a beneficial effect on your cholesterol.

  1. 7. Overweight

  1. Just like sugars, saturated fats contain an enormous amount of energy compared to the nutrients in them. You get a lot of calories and few vitamins, minerals or fiber. You will see the saturated fats that you take in if you take too much of it when you stand in front of the mirror. The excess energy is automatically stored by the body if you do not burn it. I don't think I need to add that those rolls of fat you have are the result of too much sugar or too much saturated fat.

  1. 8. Build-up of plaques

  1. Saturated fats have the nasty property that they tend to settle in your veins, this process occurs because white blood cells enter the innermost layer of the vein wall. These white blood cells absorb the saturated fats from your blood. Not bad in itself, were it not that when the white blood cells die, those fats are released again and can settle in any place in your bloodstream. These fat deposits in your veins impede circulation. For example, important parts of your body can receive too little blood and die, for example a heart attack.

  1. 9. insulin resistance

  1. You wouldn't really expect it from fats, but saturated fats also have an influence on the degree to which your cells are sensitive to insulin. Research (5) has shown that cell function is disrupted by too much saturated fats and, just like with too much sugar, the cells are less able to respond to insulin. So also a lot of saturated fats can lead to diabetes.

A summary of the effects of saturated fats:

  1. The amount of fats you eat is indeed an important factor in terms of your cholesterol, your weight and the risk of cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, the unsaturated fat is a good remedy for saturated fat. Unsaturated fat prevents the build-up of plaques in the veins and if you mainly change your fat intake from saturated to unsaturated, you neutralize the effects of the saturated fat.

  1. Our body is also designed to process both saturated and unsaturated fat, just in the right proportions and amounts.

  1. These large amounts are mainly found in processed foods, cheese and full-fat yogurt are good examples, but all biscuits and processed meats are completely full of saturated fat. So also to reduce saturated fats in your diet, the biggest step you can make is to stop eating processed foods.

  1. You actually kill three birds with one stone if you stop eating processed foods. Because culprit number three, trans fats are only found in large amounts in food that has been processed. Unsaturated fats lower your unhealthy cholesterol and increase your healthy cholesterol. Saturated fats are necessary in small amounts for healthy cell function, but the trans fats do the exact opposite.

Trans fats

  1. Trans fats are artificially preserved saturated fats. These fats are originally oil, such as palm oil. By hydrogenating this palm oil, this oil turns into fat, which means it has a much longer shelf life and is easier to transport and process.

  1. Small disadvantage of this process is that when converting unsaturated fats to saturated fats, a new form of fats is released, the trans fats.

  1. These trans fats cannot be broken down by the human body, so it behaves more like a poison than a nutrient. Unfortunately, the trend in the Netherlands is that more trans fats are added to food. In 2015, the Netherlands' most famous peanut butter contains fully hydrogenated palm oil, or trans fats. And it really isn't just the peanut butter, the other day I thought I'd buy some lean beef slices for bread, guess what? It has 1 gram of litter over it, the name of which escaped me. In any case, the beautiful euphemism I can't remember turned out to be a trans fat. So even in lean beef the food industry in the Netherlands still manages to add a percentage of trans fat.

  1. The bitter thing about this story is that in Denmark, for example, trans fats have been banned from food because it is so unhealthy. The Netherlands is always very progressive in many areas, only when it comes to banning trans fats we are lagging behind. The RDA for trans fats is 0, with an upper limit of 2 to 3 grams per day. You will be in trouble if you are not careful. The terms to keep an eye out for on the labels are:

The effects of trans fats on your blood pressure

  1. 10. cholesterol

  1. Unsaturated fats lower your unhealthy cholesterol and increase your healthy cholesterol. Trans fats do the exact opposite (6), they lower your good cholesterol and increase your bad cholesterol. So even compared to saturated fats, trans fats are twice as bad. In a natural unprocessed diet you do not get that much saturated fat. You will find these fats in nature a little bit of red meat. But in processed foods, sometimes as much as 10% of the total weight of the product is saturated fat.

  1. This fat does exactly everything you don't want to your body. When you consider that in America, which is not really known as a country where they are very strict about what can and cannot be in food additives, they even go so far as to classify trans fats as `` not safe. for human consumption… then you can check that trans fats are really unhealthy.

  1. 11. Overweight

  1. You also get all the negative effects of saturated fats with the consumption of trans fats, only then twice as fast and twice as bad. The calories from trans fats are almost immediately converted into fat, just like those from saturated fats. Your body cannot do much else with it because it does not contain healthy useful nutrients.

  1. 12. Heart and vascular disease

  1. In addition to an increase in your bad cholesterol and a decrease in your good cholesterol, trans fats also ensure that the artery walls become less flexible and the risk of blockage of the coronary arteries due to trans fats is very high. Shortly after, your entire cardiovascular system becomes stiff and congested.

  1. 13. Inflammation

  1. But a very unpleasant aspect of trans fats is that it provokes an inflammatory response, this inflammation can take place anywhere, in your brain, your organs, your muscles or your blood vessels, literally anywhere. These inflammations, in turn, cause your artery walls to be affected. Wounds form in your veins from the inflammation, scar tissue develops and the artery walls become weaker. This carries an additional risk of thrombosis or rupture of blood vessels. These trans fats also increase the chance of getting a stroke.

  1. If you get an inflammation of your organs, you run the risk that important processes will be disrupted. For example, inflammation of the pancreas can directly lead to diabetes. Other organs at increased risk are your gallbladder and your kidneys.

A summary of the effects of trans fats:

  1. The effects of trans fats on your blood pressure and cardiovascular system are disastrous, especially when you consider that 2 grams a day is the real limit of what is considered safe. These are such small amounts that you can almost compare it to poison or hard drugs. Trans fats aren't just bad because they cause cardiovascular disease. A second big problem with trans fats is that you can get inflammation. This is because the body literally cannot do anything with it. These inflammations can cause various mental illnesses because the inflammation can also take place in the brain. Diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and autism have already been linked to the consumption of trans fats. Also, the consumption of trans fats does not have a good influence on the development of the fetus. So if you are pregnant you should completely ignore these trans fats.

Additional factors that negatively impact your cardiovascular health.

  1. You can actually fill in this list yourself, but because I still want to give the smoking reader the chance in April to make his 2015 good intentions come true with these facts.

  1. Smoking increases your blood pressure and decreases the absorption capacity of the blood, the absorption of oxygen in the blood is obstructed. For example, your hands and feet get less oxygen than they actually need.

  1. Apart from that, smoking can cause all kinds of nasty cancers and die prematurely. The sooner you stop smoking, the sooner your body revives and you will no longer run those increased risks.

  1. So as long as you're not sick yet, it's not too late to stop!

  1. 15. Sitting for a long time

  1. The main problem with long sitting work is that it obstructs your blood circulation. In addition to the restricted blood circulation, you have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It has not yet been proven that you become overweight from sitting for a long time.

What do you have to do to significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

  1. Sufficient exercise is the first step you should take, especially to work while sitting down and to counteract the excess of calories. Every calorie you burn during exercise cannot be stored in fat. And enough exercise in any case has a positive effect on your entire health. Your fitness improves, your lung capacity increases, you reduce your insulin resistance and your fat / muscle ratio improves. You can also lose a large part of the excess kilos through sports. All in all, physical activity is an essential part of a healthy and happy life.

  1. In addition, it is simply much better for your body if you ban those processed foods from your diet. You should also ignore that quick bite. This puts a line through most of your intake of the very substances that cause cardiovascular disease: sugars, saturated fats, trans fats. You have to fill this gap in your diet by eating more of all those healthy products that belong in a varied diet: vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, chicken and fish.

  1. You can also supplement your energy needs with complex carbohydrates and proteins. These two nutrients in particular provide you with more than enough energy without your body having to produce large amounts of insulin. These dietary changes will allow you to keep eating normally while ensuring that those high amounts of sugars, saturated and trans fats no longer harm your body.

  1. The secret lies in eating unprocessed food and as little as possible processed food, of course in combination with the mental aspect!

  1. [!/ Vc_column_text] [!vc_toggle title = "Research Resources:" open = "false"] (1) Johnson RJ, Segal MS, Sautin Y, Nakagawa T, Feig DI, Kang DH, Gersch MS, Benner S, Sánchez-Lozada LG. Potential role of sugar (fructose) in the epidemic of hypertension, obesity and the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease. Link:

  1. (2) DiNicolantonio J, Lucan S. The wrong white crystals: not salt but sugar as aetiological in hypertension and cardiometabolic disease. BMJ. 2014. Link:

  1. (3) Butler R, Morris AD, Belch JJ, Hill A, Struthers AD. Allopurinol normalizes endothelial dysfunction in type 2 diabetics with mild hypertension. Hypertension 2000; 35: 746 â € “51. 95,

  1. Doehner W, Schoene N, Rauchhaus M, et al. Effects of xanthine oxidase inhibition with allopurinol on endothelial function and peripheral blood flow in hyperuricemic patients with chronic heart failure: results from 2 placebo-controlled studies. Circulation 2002; 105: 2619 â € “24. 96,

  1. Mercuro G, Vitale C, Cerquetani E, et al. Effect of hyperuricemia upon endothelial function in patients at increased cardiovascular risk. Am J Cardiol 2004; 94: 932â € “5.

  1. (4) Lars Berglund, Elizabeth H Oliver, Nelson Fontanez, Steve Holleran, Karen Matthews, Paul S Roheim, Henry N Ginsberg, Rajasekhar Ramakrishnan, and Michael Lefevre for the DELTA Investigators HDL subpopulation patterns in response to reductions in dietary total and saturated fat intakes in healthy subjects. Link:

  1. (5) Inhibition of Ceramide Synthesis Ameliorates Glucocorticoid-, Saturated-Fat-, and Obesity-Induced Insulin Resistance

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