Heart damage has been linked to excessive consumption of ultra-processed food. Every 5 per cent increase in calories from these kinds of foods can have a negative impact on your cardiovascular health, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
TheAmerican Heart Associations' Life's Simple 7 reveals those who consumed70 per cent of their calories from ultra-processed food were likely to have an "ideal" cardiovascular health compared to those who get 40 per cent of their calories from ultra-processed foods.
Ultra-processed foods are commonly made with fats, starches, hydrogenated fats, added sugar and modified starch. They also tend to contain artificial flavours, colours or emulsifiers. Snacks that are salty, processed meats, chicken nuggets, cakes, and cookies are examples of ultra-processed foods.
"Healthy diets play an important role in maintaining a healthy heart and blood vessels," Zefeng Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., an epidemiologist at the CDC, told a news portal.
Adding, "Eating ultra-processed foods often displaces healthier foods that are rich in nutrients, like fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, which are strongly linked to good heart health. In addition, ultra-processed foods are often high in salt, added sugars, saturated fat and other substances associated with increasing the risk of heart disease."
Here are ways to make sure your cardiovascular health is in good condition:
* Maintain healthy blood pressure levels
* Maintain healthy cholesterol levels
* Maintain healthy blood glucose levels
* Avoid tobacco
* Consume a diet packed with nutrition,
* Maintain healthy body weight
* Exercise regularly
"This study underscores the importance of building a healthier diet by eliminating foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages, cookies, cakes and other processed foods," Donna Arnett, Ph.D., past-president of the American Heart Association and dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, told a news portal.
Adding, "There are things you can do every day to improve your health just a little bit. For example, instead of grabbing that loaf of white bread, grab a loaf of bread that's whole grain or wheat bread. Try replacing a hamburger with fish once or twice a week. Making small changes can add up to better heart health."
The study's findings will be presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2019 in Philadelphia.
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