How to Decrease Heart Damage and Increase Your Metabolism with Food Matching
By: Rob Leighton, The Kardea Gourmet
Have you ever heard of the term “postprandial”? Simply it refers to changes that occur within your body after you’ve eaten a meal.
And one of the meals that often can derail your best efforts when dieting is dinner.
The meal you’ve waited for at the end of a long work day can be the meal that sharply elevates your blood sugars, increases blood lipids, inflammation, oxidative stress and raises your blood pressure.
It’s a meal that’s a cardiometabolic nightmare and increase stress on your heart and arteries.
Even if you’ve carefully eaten healthy through most of the day – such as eating a high-fiber and protein breakfast, a high phytonutrient salad for lunch and a few nuts and cut vegetables as snacks. Most feel they’ve earned the right to splurge at dinner by enjoying a meal that you know could cause you to eat too many bad fats, bad carbs, too few healthful nutrients and too many calories.
Doctors Identify Postprandial Burn Crucial to Weight Maintenance
Scientists and doctors use the term postprandial burn to define the excited post (or after) meal period.
This “fire” may only last for four to six hours. In the context of a healthy meal, your body uses the postprandial burn to maintain heart, lungs, digestive system, and other vital functions.
In modern America, however, we use unhealthy ingredients and make less than healthy recipes. We then pair these unhealthy recipes to create even unhealthier meals.
And combined with super sized servings, the postprandial fire now burns out of control. And you’ve unknowingly put your metabolic system into a state of overload, creating an inflammatory attack within your arteries.
In this “burning hot” environment, fat get produced and deposited, cholesterol does its greatest damage, cell-damaging oxidative stress increases, blood sugars swing and blood pressure builds.Now repeat this process a few times a week, 52 weeks a year, extending over decades and you can see how the postprandial burn if not controlled can damage your heart, arteries, and overall cardiovascular health.
The cumulative damage can be significant, accelerating arterial aging, leading to heart attacks, strokes and loss of mental abilities — even resulting in dementia.
Here is a bigger tragedy. Most Americans find themselves with an overly excited postprandial metabolism not only after one meal — but also throughout the day. With breakfast, they kick off the burn. With snacks, the embers burn hotter. With lunch, another snack, dinner and evening grazing, the fire really burns out of control.
The “Post-Meal” (Postprandial Period) Under Study
According to Dr. James O’Keefe of the Mid America Heart Institute, the “highly processed, calorie-dense, nutrient-depleted diet favored in the current American culture” frequently leads to exaggerated postprandial spikes in blood glucose and lipids.
Dr. O’Keefe further writes that the eating patterns, “such as the traditional Mediterranean or Okinawan diets reduce the postprandial inflammation and thus cardiovascular risk. Improvements in diet exert profound and immediate favorable changes in these postprandial disturbances.”
Postprandial inflammation is an independent factor used to evaluate food quality in addition to the well-known parameters of nutritional value, caloric content and amount of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins.
You need to eat in ways that will help control the postprandial burn in your arteries.
Matching Foods to Control the Burn
Eating is one of life’s simple pleasures, and it’s fundamentally coded within your DNA to seek out these basic pleasures. Maybe, some people with a great deal of personal discipline can fight off the pleasure instinct, but most of us have difficulty doing that.
But there’s good news!
You can find a healthy middle ground. Foods can be delicious and healthy at the same time. It’s all about smart eating.
Some of the ways you can easily eat smarter to decrease postprandial burn are: Create a balance in your food ingredients to help supports your bodies natural ability to control the post-meal burn rather than igniting a wild blaze.
• Eating fiber can slow the uptake of sugar, reducing the glycemic impact of any meal.
• Plant sterols and the soluble fibers from oats, barleys, beans, konjac (glucomannan) and fruit block the absorption of cholesterol found in foods as well as the reabsorption of cholesterol produced in the body.
• Consuming Omega-3s from fish and seafood can help keep triglycerides from rising and offset the inflammation caused by other types of fats and oils.
• Spices also can help reduce the inflammatory impact of meat consumption, and the impact of consuming oxidized cooked foods. Similarly, food-based antioxidants help neutralize the oxidative stress that caused by metabolic activity following a meal.
About the Author: Rob Leighton is a health activist, motivational speaker, serial author and successful entrepreneur. He co-authored The Kardea Gourmet: Smart & Delicious Eating for a Healthy Heart with Dr. Richard Collins, MD, also known as The Cooking Cardiologist. Rob has published numerous other articles and books, including Mediterranean Spice Blends: The Forgotten Ingredients of a Heart Healthy Diet.
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