Health

Heart disease and Weight loss

Healthcare professionals have stated that losing five to 10 percent of one’s body weight can reduce the risk of developing heart and blood vessel diseases such as a heart attack or a stroke.

A study published by the The New England Journal of Medicine, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, found that reducing calories despite the type of diet that is followed can reduce the risk of heart-related diseases. Therefore, the type of diet one chooses to follow doesn’t seem to matter as much as what experts thought it did and one doesn’t have to worry about balancing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins but rather appropriately restricting one’s calorie intake.

The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests performing two and a half hours of physical activity every week in order to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Experts suggest that individuals who are at risk of developing heart disease should reduce their food intake by 500 calories and start by performing 90 minutes of physical exercise a week and then work it up to the AHA’s recommendation.

What Happens to the Cardiovascular System When One Loses Weight

A 10 percent reduction in weight loss can have the following benefits on the body:

  • The amount of fat and plaque formation on the inside of the blood vessels is decreased. The result is that the workload on the blood vessels is reduced because the resistance inside these vessels decreases. This effect also reduces the pressure the heart has to pump against and, therefore, the affected patient’s blood pressure decreases. This can also result in decreased use of blood pressure lowering medications used by the patient. The increased diameter of the blood vessels also reduces the risk of arterial blockage and compromised blood flow to the tissues which decreases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
  • Weight loss results in a decreased level of triglycerides, the fats circulating in the bloodstream as a result of the food one consumes. When triglycerides are decreased then this results in a reduction of LDL (low-density lipoproteins/bad fats) and an increase in HDL (high-density lipoproteins/good fats).
  • Increased body weight and high blood pressure can result in the blood flow through the body slowing down which increases the risk of developing blood clots. Therefore, a reduction in weight which causes a decreased blood pressure helps to improve one’s cardiovascular circulation and reduces the risk of developing the mentioned pathology.
  • Increased abdominal fat distribution which is also referred to as a ‘beer belly’ or ‘muffin top’, can indicate the presence of increased fat around the heart. This fat distribution increases the risk of heart disease more than in those with evenly distributed fat tissue.
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