Why Is Eating So Bad For The Heart?
A tasty and rich dinner is a pleasant opportunity to interrupt the daily routine. It does not represent, in itself, a health problem in healthy people, although it is always good not to go to bed 3 hours after having dinner and not. I was drinking too much wine or other alcohol. However, a large meal increases the work of our cardiovascular system and can therefore cause difficulties, especially in those who already have heart problems. A meal made up of many courses, with generous portions, acts as a physical effort.
Suffice it to say that even a modest meal (about 239 kcal) causes an increase of about 1 liter per minute in cardiac output (i.e., the volume of blood pumped in a minute by the heart), and even more substantial meals can go beyond 2.5 liters per minute. Minute. This increase in cardiac work persists for at least 3 hours after the end of the meal. In addition, a generous dinner increases the volume of the stomach, which can cause an increase in the heart rate, thus a further increase in the work of the heart. Added to this is a reduction in the blood supply (and therefore energy) to the core when it works harder because, after a large meal, the body directs most of the blood to the digestive system. In people who already have a problem with the coronaries (the vessels that carry blood to the heart), any reduction of blood to nature, especially when stressed, can cause pain in the chest that doctors call angina.
What To Eat For Dinner
It is not just the quantity that counts, but also the quality of what we eat and the time we have dinner. Meals rich in fat and carbohydrates cause an increase in norepinephrine, a hormone capable of generating a rapid increase in heart rate and blood pressure, resulting in increased heart fatigue. On the other hand, foods rich in proteins cause a more delayed, less pronounced, but more prolonged response of our cardiovascular system after a meal. Therefore, especially if you already have heart problems, you prefer meals that are less rich in carbohydrates and fats at dinner.
- Do not eat everything offered: appetizer, first course, second course, side dish, dessert, wine, and coffee.
- Avoid elaborate first courses (e.g., lasagna, amatriciana, carbonara, etc.) and prefer pasta and rice with simple condiments, such as tomatoes, seasonal vegetables, and a spoonful of grated Grana Padano PDO. In addition to being very tasty, easily digestible, and lactose-free, this cheese provides proteins of high biological value, a lot of calcium – it is the cheese that provides the most significant quantity of those commonly consumed – and antioxidants such as vitamin A, zinc, and selenium.
- For the second course, steamed or grilled fish or grilled meat is ideal, trying to avoid the fattest cuts (e.g., braised meats or very elaborate and long-cooked meat-based preparations, such as roasts and porchetta are not recommended., As well as fried and boiled meats). The second can be accompanied by vegetables at will, raw or cooked.
- Avoid sweets that are very high in sugar, fat, and alcohol after dinner.
Watch Your Watch
Quantity and quality of food are fundamental, but not only that, the time you eat and the time you go to sleep are also very important.
- Starting a large meal late in the evening, e.g., at 22:00 and ending at 00:00, the risk of heart problems increases even more, as it forces our body to work during the hours it should rest.
- Eating habitually late in the evening also interferes with our circadian rhythms, that is, the clock inside our brain that regulates the activities of our body in line with the day-night cycle. All our systems, including the cardiovascular, metabolic, and digestive systems, have an internal clock that is influenced and influences, in turn, the central clock of our brain. Our bodies are not designed to receive food in the late evening. Therefore, a late dinner interferes with the internal clocks of our systems and misaligns them with the central one, also creating a metabolic dysfunction that damages the heart in the long run.
Preliminary results of a study conducted on 112 women with an average age of 33 have shown that those who eat a more extensive dinner in the evening are more at risk of cardiovascular problems. In particular, each 1% increase in evening caloric intake, both after 18:00 and after 20:00, is associated with an increase in blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight—all known risk factors for heart problems. Another study involving 93 obese or overweight women showed that those who eat a more hearty breakfast and a lighter dinner have a more significant reduction in weight, abdominal circumference, and better glycemic control than women who consume a heavier dinner and a light breakfast. Additionally, triglyceride levels decreased by 33% in the first group, while they increased by 14% in the second group.
Ten Tips To Avoid Binging At Dinner
Choosing healthy and balanced food is the first step in avoiding heart problems.
- Eat throughout the day to avoid getting hungry for dinner.
- Distribute the calories of the main meals: 25% for breakfast, 10% for the morning snack, 35% for lunch, 10% for a snack, and 20% for dinner. Here you will find a free and balanced diet with personalized menus for your daily calories, even in a vegetarian version.
- Increment in how much water you drink over the day.
- Check the portions you prepare: do you need all that food?
- Use small plates: the eye wants its part too. Using small plates, the meal will seem more abundant.
- Chew slowly: When you bring the food into your mouth, put the cutlery down and count for at least 15-20 seconds while you chew the portion.
- Don’t dine in front of the TV: TV is distracting, and you can continue to eat food for hours.
- Remember to always get up with a little hunger: the moment you feel that that last bite could fill you is the moment you should stop.
- Do not drink digestives or spirits after dinner: alcohol is not digestive and is terrible for the heart.
- Do not go to bed before having dinner; remember that fats are digested on average in about 3 hours.