6 Surprising Things Linked to Heart Failure
Research finds certain foods and beverages, as well as environmental chemicals and lifestyle practices, can impact the heart much more than we think, leading to heart failure or heart attacks.
Many of these factors are surprising because they are not things you would normally associate with cardiovascular health. When the heart beats abnormally, the quality of life suffers, and when it stops beating, life ends. Therefore, avoiding the things below that harm this organ can increase your likelihood of enjoying better health and longevity.
1. Antibacterial Soaps
Perhaps most surprising of all was a study that found triclosan, a common component of many antibacterial soaps and personal care products, can dramatically impair muscle function, including the heart. This dangerous chemical is a potent heart depressant, potentially contributing to heart disease and heart failure. It is present in many toothpastes, mouthwashes and deodorants along with household linens and kitchen utensils. When shopping, avoid buying a product that has triclosan or its trade name, Microban, listed on the label.
2. Poor Sleep
Research shows sleeping less than seven hours per night is directly associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Another study finds those who sleep less than six hours per night have a significantly higher risk of heart attack and congestive heart failure. Interestingly, those who slept more than eight hours per night had a higher risk of chest pain and disease of blood vessels supplying the heart. Therefore, the optimal amount of sleep appears to be between seven and eight hours per night.
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3. Red Meat
Is a bologna sandwich one of the mainstays of your diet? A large study from Sweden found that men who eat a lot of sausage and cold cuts increase their risk of ending up in a hospital with heart failure, Processed meat is high in nitrates, phosphate additives and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, all of which have adverse health effects. Moreover, earlier research shows eating red meat is linked to a higher likelihood of heart attacks.
4. Prolonged Sitting
A study found men with low levels of physical activity had double the likelihood of heart failure compared to those with higher levels. It also discovered that men who sat at least five hours per day had a 34 percent greater risk of heart failure than those who sat less than two hours per day. Living a non-sedentary lifestyle, which involves regular exercise in addition to avoiding prolonged sitting, is important for keeping the heart pumping.
Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston discovered that eating too much sugar for many years markedly raises the risk of death from heart failure. A metabolite of sugar exerts stress on the heart, an effect that causes the organ to pump poorly. You can protect yourself by eliminating sugar and processed carbohydrates from your diet.
6. Diet Soda
Sadly, many people still view these drinks as healthier options to sugary beverages, but research shows this belief is a myth. A study found that postmenopausal women who drank two or more diet sodas per day had a 30 percent greater likelihood of a heart attack and a 50 percent greater likelihood of death from cardiovascular disease compared to women who seldom or never drank the sodas.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.