Nutrition Research Paper
Professor Peggy Jones
My families’ greatest health concern has always been something dealing with heart disease and some with diabetes. Heart Disease has taken some of my families lives and almost took my papaws. Due to it being hereditary, it is a definite concern to my own personal health as I start to become older. My papaw, who I love so dearly, was in the army for thirteen years and was a very healthy and successful man. Then one day he had a heart attack, something he never thought would have happened to him. Heart disease has been a part of my family for a very long time and people die every day from an ongoing heart attack. Hopefully these things will not affect me the way it had affected my papaw.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the United States for men and women. Coronary heart disease is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. CHD is also called coronary artery disease. When cholesterol builds in the blood stream the person suffering may begin to get tired easier or have difficulties breathing. The result of this is a heart attack, which occurs when blood flow to a part of your heart is blocked for a long enough time that part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies. The medical term for this is myocardial infarction.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 735,000 Americans have a heart attack each year. Warning signs and symptoms include chest pain or discomfort and shortness of breath. Examples of coronary heart disease include angina and heart attack. Coronary heart disease accounted for 23.5 percent of all deaths in the U.S. in 2008. CHD is believed to start with injury or damage to the inner layer of a coronary artery.
This damage causes fatty plaque deposits to build up at the site of the injury. These deposits consist of cholesterol and other cellular waste products. The accumulation is called atherosclerosis. If pieces break off or rupture, platelets will clump in the area, attempting to repair the blood vessel. This clump can block the artery, reducing or blocking blood flow, and leading to a heart attack.
There are many different signs to having coronary heart disease and these may include: Chest pain (angina)- this pain may radiate or move to the arm, neck, or back, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, and irregular heartbeat. Not many people with coronary heart disease have chest pains as in a symptom. Some may have signs and symptoms of indigestion, or exercise intolerance where they cannot perform activities that they normally once could. Coronary heart disease is initially diagnosed by patient history and physical examination. These examinations are EKG blood tests, and tests to image the arteries and heart muscle confirm the diagnosis.
There are risk factors that increase the chance to develop plague within the coronary arteries and cause them to narrow. People that are in risk of coronary heart disease are: smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, family history of heart problems, and obesity. Since cardiovascular disease, peripheral artery disease, and stroke share the same risk factors, a patient who is diagnosed with one of the three has increased risk of having or developing the others.
Treatment for coronary heart disease really depends upon its severity. Many times, lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, stopping smoking and controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes may limit the artery narrowing. In some cases, some people need surgery or other procedures might need to be done.
The effects of diet, exercise, aging and hormones on risk of heart diseases is another interesting area of research. Effects of depression, stress and other mental ailments on heart disease is an area of research. Some researchers are exploring the use of newer imaging and diagnostic techniques in detection of heart diseases.
There are many ways you can help with the risk of your eating habits effecting any kind of heart disease. Control your portion size, overloading your plate, taking seconds and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to eating more calories than you should. Portions served in restaurants are often more than anyone needs. This helps a lot especially when you eat slower instead of faster, this can help with bloating also. Eat more vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables and fruits are also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. They contain substances that may help you cut back on higher calorie foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods. Select whole grains is another big one that we need to look at. Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products. Or be adventuresome and try a new whole grain, such as whole-grain faro, quinoa or barley.
Studies have concluded that eating nutritionally poor foods, frequent dieting, very-low-calorie diets, fad diets and skipping meals, create metabolic disturbances. In these cases, the body holds on to its fat stores and burns lean muscle tissue to help fuel its metabolic needs. Because muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue, the reduction in lean muscle mass further reduces metabolic rate. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle and eat the same number of calories as someone with a more muscular body, you will continually gain weight and increase your body’s fat stores.
Not all fat is bad, it is important to consider the difference between essential and none essential fats. Essential fat provides fuel and aids body functions; it is found in organs, such as the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys and in the central nervous system. Women have a higher fat to muscle ratio than men do, because fat is an essential part of the reproductive process. Stored fat is located in adipose tissue – tissue containing fat cells. It provides insulation and protection for the body. Stored subcutaneous fat is found beneath the skin; stored abdominal fat is found beneath the skin, around the waist and surrounding internal organs.
It is viscera fat in fact that is the primary cause of heart disease. Visceral fat is also called abdominal fat or central fat. High body fat around the abdomen and waist carries a greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease, and diabetes than lower body fat does according to Harvard Health Publications. In obese people, secretions from abdominal fat cells can lead to plaque buildup in arteries and heart disease.
However, there is a bright side to this because abdominal fat is easier to reduce with diet and exercise than lower-body fat, which is more tenacious. To reduce fat, eat a nutritious diet composed of non-processed foods, such as fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat meats, fish and dairy products. Eliminate Trans-fats and replace or reduce consumption of saturated fats in favor of unsaturated fats. Keep daily calorie intake at 1,200 or above. Consult a physician or dietitian to determine your exact daily calorie needs. Ask your doctor to recommend a physical activity regimen best suited to your health needs.
You always need to know what kind of food you are putting in your body before you even decide to put it in your mouth. Certain foods are cancer friendly such as sugar, white flour, processed foods, etc., this promotes chronic inflammation and auto immune disease.
Being physically active is something important you need to look into especially being healthy. Go walk for thirty minutes day or even just go to the gym and play a pick-up game a basketball. Anything is affective than nothing at all. When inactive, chronic inflammation begins to occur in your body. This can harm the normal functions of many organs and facilitate the development of certain types of lesions and tumors. Without physical activity, you can never expect to be healthy.
Avoid smoking is another thing you need to make sure you avoid. Smoking cigarettes with lower levels of tar or nicotine does not reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. Exposure to secondhand smoke causes heart disease in nonsmokers. More than 33,000 nonsmokers die every year in the United States from coronary heart disease caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. Almost 20% of all deaths from heart disease in the U.S. are directly related to cigarette smoking. That's because smoking is a major cause of coronary heart disease. A person's risk of heart disease and heart attack greatly increases with the number of cigarettes he or she smokes. People who smoke have a two to four time’s higher chance of having heart disease. And smokers continue to increase their risk of heart attack the longer they smoke. Women who smoke and also take birth control pill several times increase their risk of heart attack and stroke. Cigarette smoke not only affects smokers. When you smoke, the people around you are also at risk for developing health problems, especially children. Environmental tobacco smoke (also called passive smoke or secondhand smoke) affects people who are frequently around smokers. Secondhand smoke can cause chronic respiratory conditions, cancer, and heart disease. It is estimated that nearly 70,000 nonsmokers die from heart disease each year as a result of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.
In my family, my father smokes but has never had a heart disease from it, but my papaw, which was the one that had the heart attack, never smoked but worked in the coal mines where he developed black lung and harsh chemicals entered his body. The stress on his heart from all the hard work he had done when he was younger is what caused the heart attack and that’s where he had to undergo open heart surgery.
You always need to avoid harmful or personal chemicals. Most person care products contain potentially harmful ingredients which may penetrate the skin, under the blood stream and build up in different tissues. Commonly household products, such as cleaners, paints, air fresheners, and other chemicals might contain toxic substances that can harm extremal tissues or the respiratory system if inhaled.
Ultimately it is all up to you the individual. One thing as individual can do to prevent coronary heart disease is live a healthy lifestyle. A good healthy lifestyle is one where you make conscious decisions throughout the day that benefit your emotional and physical well-being. When you talk about a lifestyle, you are talking about a way of living and not just doing periodic activities such as a particular exercise or eating one healthy meal a day. A true healthy lifestyle requires making good choices in all the areas of your life. Because as Americans, we fail to realize that the things we enjoy the most are the things that put us at most risk. For example, smoking is one of the top causes to coronary heart disease. People who smoke have a significantly increased risk of heart disease as I stated earlier. Exposing others to your secondhand smoke also increases their risk of coronary artery disease. Being overweight or obese typically worsens other risk factors. Lastly, physical inactivity & high stress levels. Lack of exercise also is associated with coronary artery disease and some of its risk factors, as well. Unrelieved stress in your life may damage your arteries as well as worsen other risk factors for coronary artery disease. These are all things that we can control.
In conclusion, I have talked about numerous ways that you can help avoid coronary heart disease. These things are: exercising, not smoking, eating a healthy diet that can also help control your blood pressure. My papaw went through this heart disease cycle some of us might go through one day, and one thing I can remember is that he always was so strong through the process and never gave up even when times were tough. He served thirteen years in the army and also took part in working in the coal mines. Putting stress or any stress on your heart is never good, just as the same fact of not eating healthy takes the same factor. So always stay healthy, exercise, and be happy.
Work Cited Page
1. “8 Diet Tips to Prevent Heart Disease.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 13 Feb. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/in-depth/heart-healthy-diet/art-20047702.
2. Wedro, Benjamin. “5 Types of Heart Disease Symptoms, Risk Factors, Causes & Stats.” MedicineNet, www.medicinenet.com/heart_disease_coronary_artery_disease/article.htm.
3. Nordqvist, Christian. “Coronary Heart Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 19 Jan. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/184130.php.