It is one of the diseases we can most easily prevent with a healthy lifestyle, but it can also be caused just as easily with an unhealthy diet: atherosclerosis – also popularly known as hardening of the arteries. However, no calcium accumulates in the vessel walls, but LDL cholesterol, which gradually narrows the blood vessels. For decades, our body and heart’s supply lines have been squeezed, which ultimately leads to a lack of supply. If the coronary arteries close, the heart muscle dies due to a lack of nutrients and oxygen. Result: heart attack. Here’s a look at what foods have been slowly clogging your arteries over the years.
Hardening of the arteries: 10 foods obstruct blood flow
Several thousand liters of blood flow through our vessels every day to supply our organs and muscles. With a healthy lifestyle we can keep them supple – an unhealthy lifestyle makes them congested and tighter. Consumed in excess, these foods contribute to the constriction of blood vessels:
While fresh, high-quality meat is safe enough in moderation, it shouldn’t be on the menu of the day due to the saturated animal fat. Heavily processed sausages should also be consumed as little as possible, as they not only contain tons of salt and preservatives, but also particularly high amounts of saturated fat. This leads to an increase in the level of LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol that is deposited in the walls of blood vessels. That’s why they warn German Society for the Prevention and Rehabilitation of Cardiovascular Diseases (DGPR) against excessive consumption of sausages, red meats and dairy products rich in fat. It would be ideal Meat twice a week maximum to eat and avoid sausages altogether.
2. White flour
Have you ever heard the term “empty calories”? These are foods that are low in nutrients such as minerals and vitamins, but high in calories. White flour is the epitome of empty calories, as much of the micronutrients and fiber are removed from the grain during production to make it easier to process. However, all calories are retained and the glycemic load increases. This is problematic because white flour products have a negative effect on blood sugar levels simulate. While whole grain products cause it to rise more slowly and steadily, it skyrockets with white bread and pasta. Excess blood sugar promotes the formation of inflammation. These in turn can damage the walls of the vessels and make them more prone to breaking. Therefore, untreated or poorly controlled diabetes also increases the risk of arteriosclerosis.
Foods rich in sugar have a similar negative effect on blood vessels as those made with refined white flour. In addition, sweets, cakes and the like increase the risk of being overweight, a key factor in the development of atherosclerosis. Excess sugar is converted into fat in the liver and carried through the bloodstream surrounded by LDL cholesterol. The result: an increased risk of hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, obesity and type 2 diabetes – all causes that contribute to atherosclerosis. With a balanced diet, in which sweets a pleasant exception and they’re not common, you can effectively counteract all of these risk factors and keep blood vessels healthy.
4. Ready meals
After a long and stressful day at work, it is extremely convenient to bake a frozen pizza, heat up a ready-made lasagna or simply add water to the ramen. However, you should outdo yourself as often as possible and invest the 15 minutes instead to make a large salad or colorful vegetable pan. Because in most cases, industrially processed foods contain pretty much everything that is bad for blood vessels: for reasons of cost and for easier handling, ready meals usually contain White flour instead of wholemeal flour, refined sunflower oil instead of extra virgin olive oil and a good portion on top sugar and salt for the taste. Even frozen pizza & Co. often contains harmful substances trans fats. All of these components are pro-inflammatory, and salt increases blood volume, which in turn increases blood pressure in many people. That’s why it’s worth spending 15 to 30 minutes cooking a fresh and colorful dish yourself, even if it may take a lot of willpower to get over it at first.
Dr Schubert-Olesen: An unhealthy diet causes these diseases
we have doctor Oliver Schubert-Olesen, Internal medicine and diabetology specialist, interviewed on the topic “nutrition as medicine”. The doctor runs the Hamburg City Diabetes Center and asked us questions like “What diseases are caused by an unhealthy diet?” or “Can foods replace some medicines?” replied. You can find his answers in the following video of our Instagram channel.