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The Effects of Fast Food on the Heart

We live busy lives, so it can be easy to skip a home cooked meal for fast food. It is nearly impossible to drive anywhere without passing a quick turn for a fast meal. However, giving into the convenience also comes with losing control over the healthfulness of what you consume. Eating a fast food meal isn’t the end of the world, but moderation is the key. Over consumption of unhealthy fast food has negative effects on your overall health and increases your risk of developing heart conditions later on.

Effects of Fast Food

First things first, unhealthy food increases your risk of premature heart disease. You should be making an active effort to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, not only for your heart health, but for your overall well-being. Research has found links of an increased rate of heart attacks in geographical areas that have more fast food restaurants. Fast food can also increase your risk of diabetes, blood clots, and stroke.

The next question on your mind may be “Well…why?”. Keep reading. Fast food is full of saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Add a large soda to your order and that brings an unnecessary amount of added sugar. Is convenience worth the artery clogging calories? Consuming unhealthy foods at fast food joints can increase your chance of obesity and, in turn, increase your risk of diseases associated with excess weight, such as heart disease and diabetes. High sodium intake can even increase your blood pressure and dehydrate you.  High fat and saturated fat intake increases your bad cholesterol and risk of heart attack and stroke.

Decreasing Your Risk

Now that you know, quit worrying: you are in control. Even if you have to swing through a drive though to pick up a quick bite, you have options. There are always healthier options. Salads, grilled chicken, skipping the milkshake – all ways you can drop some of the extra calories and unhealthy additives. Be aware of what you put in your body and make healthy choices as often as possible. Remember that small changes do add up over time. Try to make the time in your schedule for healthy meals at home and avoid frequent visits to your local drive through.

The Bottom Line

It can be hard to avoid fast food completely, but you have the choice on what you order and your overall diet. If you want to discuss your diet and eating habits and the effect it has on your heart health, give us a call. The Heart House is dedicated to patient-focused care in order to maximize your heart health and decrease your chances of developing heart-related conditions.

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