7 of the Best Heart-Healthy Foods That Also Prevent Cancer

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Fried Food Linked to Diabetes and Heart Disease—With an Asterisk
Heart Disease in Women. Too much cholesterol in your body is a risk factor for heart disease. This restores blood flow through the artery. Try to limit alcohol intake. People who are depressed are two to three times more likely to develop CHD than people who are not. To reduce your risk of CHD and heart attack, try to control each risk factor you have by adopting the following heart-healthy lifestyles:. Estrogen provides women with some protection against CHD before menopause.

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'Carbohydrates are killing us'

High-GI foods raise blood sugar more rapidly than low-GI foods do. In one study, older adults who reported consuming the highest amount of high-GI foods were 2. In a controlled study, young, healthy men that were fed 50 grams of refined carbohydrate in the form of white bread responded with higher blood sugar levels and an increase in the inflammatory marker Nf-kB Moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to provide some health benefits.

In one study, the inflammatory marker CRP increased in people who consumed alcohol. The more alcohol they consumed, the more their CRP increased People who drink heavily often develop problems with bacteria moving out of the colon and into the body. This condition, often called "leaky gut," can drive widespread inflammation that leads to organ damage 40 , To avoid alcohol-related health problems, intake should be limited to two standard drinks a day for men and one standard drink a day for women.

Here is an image showing what is considered a "standard drink" for several types of alcoholic beverages:. Consuming processed meat is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, stomach cancer and colon cancer 42 , 43 , AGEs are formed by cooking meats and some other foods at high temperatures.

They are known to cause inflammatory changes that can lead to disease 45 , Of all the diseases linked to processed meat consumption, colon cancer's association is the strongest. Although many factors contribute to colon cancer development, one mechanism is believed to be an inflammatory response to processed meat by colon cells To stay as healthy as possible, keep inflammation down by minimizing your consumption of foods that trigger it.

Cheating within a diet plan involves giving yourself planned permission to temporarily break strict diet rules. This article discusses cheat days and…. Staying in the metabolic state of ketosis on a low-carb keto diet requires reducing sugar consumption. Here are the 6 best sweeteners for a keto diet -.

Not all carbs are equal, and some of the world's healthiest foods contain carbs. Here is a list of 12 high-carb foods that are actually super healthy. This is a detailed article about hemp seeds and their health benefits. Here are 6 ways that consuming hemp seeds can improve your health. Carbonated sparkling water is water that has been infused with carbon dioxide gas. Is it bad for you, or good? This article looks at the evidence. Research shows that coconut water can help with hydration, diabetes, heart health and more.

Here are 8 science-based benefits. The almond is a popular tree nut that is loaded with important nutrients. This is a detailed article about almonds and their health benefits. This is an article about honey and its health benefits. It lists 10 ways that honey can improve your health, all of which are backed by science.

What makes a carb good and what makes it bad? Turns out carbs alone can't be faulted for any weight issues - it's the combination of how and what you…. Approximately 1 in 6 U. But women also tend to describe a sharp, burning chest pain.

Women are more likely to have pain in the neck, jaw, throat, abdomen, or back. In men, angina tends to worsen with physical activity and go away with rest. Women are more likely than men to have angina while they're resting or sleeping. Mental stress also is more likely to trigger angina pain in women than in men. The severity of angina varies. The pain may get worse or occur more often as the buildup of plaque continues to narrow the coronary heart arteries.

The most common heart attack symptom in men and women is chest pain or discomfort. However, only half of women who have heart attacks have chest pain. Women are more likely than men to report back or neck pain, indigestion, heartburn, nausea feeling sick to the stomach , vomiting, extreme fatigue tiredness , or problems breathing. Heart attacks also can cause upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach.

Other heart attack symptoms are light-headedness and dizziness, which occur more often in women than men. Men are more likely than women to break out in a cold sweat and to report pain in the left arm during a heart attack. Heart failure is a condition in which your heart can't pump enough blood to meet your body's needs.

Heart failure doesn't mean that your heart has stopped or is about to stop working. It means that your heart can't cope with the demands of everyday activities. Heart failure causes shortness of breath and fatigue that tends to increase with physical exertion.

Heart failure also can cause swelling in the feet, ankles, legs, abdomen, and veins in the neck. An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat. During an arrhythmia, the heart can beat too fast, too slow, or with an irregular rhythm. Some people describe arrhythmias as fluttering or thumping feelings or skipped beats in their chests. Some arrhythmias can cause your heart to suddenly stop beating. SCA causes loss of consciousness and death if it's not treated right away.

The most common signs and symptoms of broken heart syndrome are chest pain and shortness of breath. In this disorder, these symptoms tend to occur suddenly in people who have no history of heart disease.

Cardiogenic shock is a condition in which a suddenly weakened heart isn't able to pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. Some of the signs and symptoms of broken heart syndrome differ from those of heart attack. For example, in people who have broken heart syndrome:. No single test can diagnose CHD.

If your doctor thinks you have CHD, he or she may recommend one or more of the following tests. The test shows how fast the heart is beating and its rhythm steady or irregular. An EKG also records the strength and timing of electrical signals as they pass through the heart.

If you can't exercise, you may be given medicines to increase your heart rate. When your heart is working hard and beating fast, it needs more blood and oxygen. Plaque-narrowed coronary heart arteries can't supply enough oxygen-rich blood to meet your heart's needs.

If you can't exercise for as long as what is considered normal for someone your age, your heart may not be getting enough oxygen-rich blood. As part of some stress tests, pictures are taken of your heart while you exercise and while you rest. These imaging stress tests can show how well blood is flowing in your heart and how well your heart pumps blood when it beats. Echocardiography echo uses sound waves to create a moving picture of your heart.

The test provides information about the size and shape of your heart and how well your heart chambers and valves are working. Echo also can show areas of poor blood flow to the heart, areas of heart muscle that aren't contracting normally, and previous injury to the heart muscle caused by poor blood flow. Blood tests check the levels of certain fats, cholesterol, sugar, and proteins in your blood.

Abnormal levels may be a sign that you're at risk for CHD. During a heart attack, heart muscle cells die and release proteins into the bloodstream. Blood tests can measure the amount of these proteins in the bloodstream. High levels of these proteins are a sign of a recent heart attack.

This test uses dye and special x rays to look inside your coronary arteries. A thin, flexible tube called a catheter is put into a blood vessel in your arm, groin upper thigh , or neck. The tube is threaded into your coronary arteries, and the dye is released into your bloodstream. Special x rays are taken while the dye is flowing through your coronary arteries. The dye lets your doctor study the flow of blood through your heart and blood vessels.

Coronary angiography detects blockages in the large coronary arteries. This is because coronary MVD doesn't cause blockages in the large coronary arteries.

Even if the results of your coronary angiography are normal, you may still have chest pain or other CHD symptoms. If so, talk with your doctor about whether you might have coronary MVD.

Your doctor may ask you to fill out a questionnaire called the Duke Activity Status Index. This questionnaire measures how easily you can do routine tasks. It gives your doctor information about how well blood is flowing through your coronary arteries. Cardiac MRI uses radio waves, magnets, and a computer to create pictures of your heart as it beats. The test produces both still and moving pictures of your heart and major blood vessels.

Other tests done during cardiac catheterization can check blood flow in the heart's small arteries and the thickness of the artery walls. If your doctor thinks you have broken heart syndrome, he or she may recommend coronary angiography.

Making lifestyle changes can help prevent or treat CHD. These changes may be the only treatment that some people need. If you smoke or use tobacco, try to quit. If you find it hard to quit smoking on your own, consider joining a support group. Many hospitals, workplaces, and community groups offer classes to help people quit smoking.

A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. These foods can be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. A good rule is to try to fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruits. A healthy diet also includes whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, and protein foods, such as lean meats, poultry without skin, seafood, processed soy products, nuts, seeds, beans, and peas. Choose and prepare foods with little sodium salt. Too much salt can raise your risk for high blood pressure.

Try to avoid foods and drinks that are high in added sugars. For example, drink water instead of sugary drinks, like soda. Also, try to limit the amount of solid fats and refined grains that you eat. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Research suggests that regularly drinking small to moderate amounts of alcohol may lower the risk of CHD. Women should have no more than one alcoholic drink a day.

One drink is a glass of wine, beer, or a small amount of hard liquor. If you don't drink, this isn't a recommendation to start using alcohol. Also, you shouldn't drink if you're pregnant, if you're planning to become pregnant, or if you have another health condition that could make alcohol use harmful. Too much alcohol can cause you to gain weight and raise your blood pressure and triglyceride level. In women, even one drink a day may raise the risk of certain types of cancer.

Department of Agriculture's ChooseMyPlate. Both resources provide general information about healthy eating. Physical activity also can lower your risk for diabetes and raise your HDL cholesterol level. HDL cholesterol helps remove cholesterol from your arteries. Talk with your doctor before you start a new exercise plan.

Ask him or her how much and what kinds of physical activity are safe for you. People gain health benefits from as little as 60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week. Walking is an excellent heart healthy exercise. The more active you are, the more you will benefit. For more information about physical activity, go to the U.

Overweight and obesity are risk factors for CHD. If you're overweight or obese, try to lose weight. Cut back your calorie intake and do more physical activity. Eat smaller portions and choose lower calorie foods. Your health care provider may refer you to a dietitian to help you manage your weight. BMI measures your weight in relation to your height and gives an estimate of your total body fat.

To measure your waist, stand and place a tape measure around your middle, just above your hipbones. Measure your waist just after you breathe out. Make sure the tape is snug but doesn't squeeze the flesh. Research shows that getting upset or angry can trigger a heart attack. Also, some of the ways people cope with stress—such as drinking, smoking, or overeating—aren't heart healthy. Learning how to manage stress , relax, and cope with problems can improve your emotional and physical health.

Having supportive people in your life with whom you can share your feelings or concerns can help relieve stress. Physical activity, yoga, and relaxation therapy also can help relieve stress. You may want to consider taking part in a stress management program.

Depression can double or triple your risk for CHD. Depression also makes it hard to maintain a heart healthy lifestyle. Talk with your doctor if you have symptoms of depression, such as feeling hopeless or not taking interest in daily activities. He or she may recommend counseling or prescribe medicines to help you manage the condition. Women who have broken heart syndrome also may need medicines. Doctors may prescribe medicines to relieve fluid buildup, treat blood pressure problems, prevent blood clots, and manage stress hormones.

Most people who have broken heart syndrome make a full recovery within weeks. If you have side effects or other problems related to your medicines, tell your doctor. He or she may be able to provide other options. However, these studies tested MHT on women who had been postmenopausal for at least several years. During that time, they could have already developed CHD.

Ask your doctor about other ways to prevent or treat CHD, including lifestyle changes and medicines. You may need a procedure or surgery to treat CHD. Both angioplasty and CABG are used as treatments. You and your doctor can discuss which treatment is right for you. Percutaneous coronary intervention PCI , commonly known as angioplasty AN-jee-oh-plas-tee , is a nonsurgical procedure that opens blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. A thin, flexible tube with a balloon or other device on the end is threaded through a blood vessel to the narrowed or blocked coronary artery.

Once in place, the balloon is inflated to compress the plaque against the wall of the artery. This restores blood flow through the artery. PCI can improve blood flow to your heart and relieve chest pain. A small mesh tube called a stent usually is placed in the artery to help keep it open after the procedure.

CABG is a type of surgery. During CABG, a surgeon removes arteries or veins from other areas in your body and uses them to bypass that is, go around narrowed or blocked coronary arteries. CABG can improve blood flow to your heart, relieve chest pain, and possibly prevent a heart attack.

Almost everyone who has CHD can benefit from cardiac rehab. Cardiac rehab is a medically supervised program that can improve the health and well-being of people who have heart problems. The cardiac rehab team may include doctors, nurses, exercise specialists, physical and occupational therapists, dietitians or nutritionists, and psychologists or other mental health specialists. For more information, go to the Health Topics Cardiac Rehabilitation article.

Lifestyle changes and ongoing care can help you manage the disease. Having CHD raises your risk for a heart attack. Thus, knowing the warning signs of a heart attack is important. If you think you're having a heart attack, call 9—1—1 right away. For more detailed information about heart attack warning signs, go to the section on warning signs below.

Adopting a heart healthy lifestyle can help you control CHD risk factors. However, making lifestyle changes can be a challenge. Try to take things one step at a time. Learn about the benefits of lifestyle changes, and make a plan with specific, realistic goals.

Reward yourself for your progress. The good news is that many lifestyle changes help control several CHD risk factors at the same time. For example, physical activity lowers your blood pressure and LDL cholesterol level, helps control diabetes and prediabetes, reduces stress, and helps control your weight.

For more information about adopting a heart healthy lifestyle, go to the section of this article titled "How Is Heart Disease Treated? Your CHD risk factors can change over time, so having ongoing care is important. Your doctor will track your blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels with routine tests.

These tests will show whether your doctor needs to adjust your treatment. Between visits, call your doctor if you have any new symptoms or if your symptoms worsen.

You may feel depressed or anxious if you've been diagnosed with CHD. You may worry about heart problems or making lifestyle changes.

Your doctor may recommend medicine, professional counseling, or relaxation therapy if you have depression or anxiety. Depression and anxiety also can make it harder for you to make lifestyle changes.

If you have CHD, learn the warning signs of a heart attack. Heart attack signs and symptoms include:. If you think you're having a heart attack, call 9—1—1 at once.

Early treatment can prevent or limit damage to your heart muscle. If you think you're having a heart attack, do not drive to the hospital or let someone else drive you. Call an ambulance so that medical personnel can begin life-saving treatment on the way to the emergency room. Let the people you see regularly know you're at risk for a heart attack. They can seek emergency care if you suddenly faint, collapse, or have other severe symptoms.

The risk is low for a repeat episode of this disorder. Talk with your doctor about how often you should schedule followup visits. Learn more about participating in a clinical trial. View all trials from ClinicalTrials. Visit Children and Clinical Studies to hear experts, parents, and children talk about their experiences with clinical research.

Heart Disease in Women. Coronary Heart Disease CHD is a disease in which plaque plak builds up on the inner walls of your coronary arteries. Arrhythmia Broken heart syndrome, which also is called stress-induced cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy Coronary heart disease , which also is called coronary artery disease Coronary microvascular disease , which also is called cardiac syndrome X or nonobstructive coronary heart disease Heart failure Sudden cardiac arrest.

Even women who smoke fewer than two cigarettes a day are at increased risk for CHD. High Blood Pressure Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of the arteries as the heart pumps blood. Diabetes and Prediabetes Diabetes is a disease in which the body's blood sugar level is too high.

Overweight and Obesity The terms "overweight" and "obesity" refer to body weight that's greater than what is considered healthy for a certain height. A diagnosis of metabolic syndrome is made if you have at least three of the following risk factors: Having extra fat in the waist area is a greater risk factor for CHD than having extra fat in other parts of the body, such as on the hips.

A higher than normal triglyceride level or you're on medicine to treat high triglycerides. Higher than normal blood pressure or you're on medicine to treat high blood pressure. Higher than normal fasting blood sugar or you're on medicine to treat diabetes Metabolic syndrome is more common in African American women and Mexican American women than in men of the same racial groups.

Birth Control Pills Women who smoke and take birth control pills are at very high risk for CHD, especially if they're older than Lack of Physical Activity Inactive people are nearly twice as likely to develop CHD as those who are physically active.

Too much alcohol also can cause you to gain weight, and it will raise your blood pressure. Anemia Anemia uh-NEE-me-eh is a condition in which your blood has a lower than normal number of red blood cells. Women are more likely to develop sleep apnea after menopause. Low bone density and low intake of folate and vitamin B6 also may raise a woman's risk for CHD.

Signs, Symptoms, and Complications. Other women who have CHD will have signs and symptoms of the disease. Heart Disease Signs and Symptoms. A stress test can show possible signs and symptoms of CHD, such as: Abnormal changes in your heart rate or blood pressure Shortness of breath or chest pain Abnormal changes in your heart rhythm or your heart's electrical activity If you can't exercise for as long as what is considered normal for someone your age, your heart may not be getting enough oxygen-rich blood.

Echocardiography Echocardiography echo uses sound waves to create a moving picture of your heart. Blood Tests Blood tests check the levels of certain fats, cholesterol, sugar, and proteins in your blood. Tests Used To Diagnose Broken Heart Syndrome If your doctor thinks you have broken heart syndrome, he or she may recommend coronary angiography.

The goals of treatment are to: Reduce risk factors in an effort to slow, stop, or reverse the buildup of plaque. Lower the risk of blood clots forming. Widen or bypass plaque-clogged coronary heart arteries.

Quit Smoking If you smoke or use tobacco, try to quit. Stress and Depression Research shows that getting upset or angry can trigger a heart attack.

Medicines You may need medicines to treat CHD if lifestyle changes aren't enough. Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Percutaneous coronary intervention PCI , commonly known as angioplasty AN-jee-oh-plas-tee , is a nonsurgical procedure that opens blocked or narrowed coronary arteries. Cardiac rehab has two parts: This part of rehab helps you learn how to exercise safely, strengthen your muscles, and improve your stamina. Your exercise plan will be based on your personal abilities, needs, and interests.

Education, counseling, and training. This part of rehab helps you understand your heart condition and find ways to lower your risk for future heart problems. The rehab team will help you learn how to cope with the stress of adjusting to a new lifestyle and with your fears about the future. Heart attack signs and symptoms include: Chest pain or discomfort. This involves uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center or left side of the chest that can be mild or strong.

This pain or discomfort often lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back. Upper body discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or upper part of the stomach. Shortness of breath, which may occur with or before chest discomfort. Nausea feeling sick to your stomach , vomiting, light-headedness or fainting, or breaking out in a cold sweat.

Sleep problems, fatigue tiredness , and lack of energy.

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