On September 29, World Heart Day was celebrated. The objective is to alert and make the population aware of the importance of maintaining healthy habits and preserving heart health. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO), which motivated the creation of the date.
“The main cause of cardiovascular diseases is systemic inflammation, so it is necessary to assess health as a whole. Factors that influence: obesity, stress, mainly type 2 diabetes, hypertension, smoking, physical inactivity, family history, abdominal circumference, age and lipid profile For good cardiovascular health, it is important to decrease the inflammatory process and maintain good cholesterol levels and, for this, a fundamental healthy diet “, points out Monique Gerbauld Ferraz, nutritionist at the Acolh Nutrio space, coordinated by nutritionist Ana Carolina Netto.
According to Monique, cholesterol has long been taxed as a villain, but it is essential for our health, including heart protection. As a result, many people associate fat with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, but studies show that what most negatively impacts the excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates, such as white flour and sugar.
“Refined carbohydrate causes hyperinsulinemia, high production of insulin, an anabolic hormone, which unbalances the inflammatory process. Other extremely harmful foods are vegetable oils, such as Sunflower, Soy and Corn. They go through many chemical processes, making them pre-inflammatory, due to the change in the proportion of mega-3 and mega-6, says the professional.
Ultra-processed products tend to have both foods, both refined carbohydrates and vegetable oils, so we should avoid them as much as possible.
“Always prioritize natural foods, such as fruits, tubers, vegetables, legumes and proteins. For those who want good cardiovascular health, preference should be given to foods that are sources of good fats (natural foods), rich in mega-3 and saturated fat, which assists in the regulation of cholesterol levels, and foods that help in controlling inflammation “, he said.
Know some of these foods:
Avocado: rich in mega-3, it helps in the regulation of cholesterol levels, increasing HDL. Good option for breakfast with a little lemon and salt or can be put in the salad.
Seeds and oilseeds such as linseed, nuts, chia and almonds: source of alpha-linolenic acid, a fatty acid of the mega-3 type, associated with better circulation and anti-inflammatory effects. Try to include in at least two meals, for example: add linseed and sizzle on top of a fruit in the afternoon snack and put some nuts in the salad at night.
This: source of cholesterol and many vitamins and minerals such as zinc, folic acid, calcium, vitamin A and E are important in our immune system and in inflammation. The last option is scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Cocoa: It is rich in polyphenols that help to reduce inflammation and improve cholesterol levels. Consume in moderation chocolate with a content equal to or greater than 70% cocoa.
Crcuma: curcumin present is one of the best natural anti-inflammatories. It can be used to season vegetables and another good option to add to the egg.
Sardine and salmon: fish that have good amounts of mega-3 and zinc, important in the control of cholesterol and in the inflammatory process. Try to consume cold water fish at least twice a week.
Fruits with a higher concentration of vitamin C, such as: acerola, cashew, guava and strawberry. Vitamin C is important for artery health, through the production of collagen.
Red cabbage and grape: they have resveratrol, another important polyphenol in the fight against inflammation and also promotes improvement in blood flow, as it relaxes the muscles of the blood vessels.
Olive oil: rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, increase HDL levels, in addition to being rich in polyphenols that have the antioxidant, help in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Use 1 tablespoon to season the salad or under the vegetables.