By Kac Young PhD, ND. DCH
Doctor Lippman was called to the ER on Thanksgiving Day a few years ago. A 52 year old high school football coach was in the throes of a heart attack. After stabilizing him and prepping him for angioplasty and stents, his wife described what he had eaten that day. “She went on to describe a meal that could have fed his entire starting offensive backfield,” according to Dr. Lippman
Just last summer James Gandolfini, while visiting Rome with his son, ordered two rounds of pina coladas with two additional shots of rum on the side, along with fried prawns, chilli mayonnaise and foie gras, followed by another two beers, a staff member reported the night he died. We lost this great actor too soon.
So why is a heavy meal connected to a heart attack? There are many reasons:
• A typical Thanksgiving meal consist of approximately 4,000 calories. The blood required for digestion is diverted from other organs leaving them deprived during the 6 hour digestive process.
• Insulin is increased by the excessive carbohydrates in the meal which prevents normal relaxation of the coronary arteries.
• Triglycerides become elevated from the fats and carbs which can inflame the interior walls of the coronary arteries.
• C-reactive protein also increases as does blood pressure from the fats, carbs and sodium in the meal.
• Increased levels of gastric acid can lead to digestive complications.
• High sodium content in the meal can trigger acute heart failure in someone with a history of that condition.
All of the above can exert extra pressure on the cardio vascular system resulting in a heart attack. Based on that information, you may want to revamp your eating choices for this coming Thanksgiving feast. Try these suggestions t help you stay out of the ER on the holiday:
1) Have a healthy snack before you arrive. Don’t arrived famished.
2) Skip the finger food on the appetizer trays. Stick with veggies, but pass on the dips.
3) Eat salad first.
4) Use your salad plate as your dinner plate to control portions.
5) Taste everything you want to, but stick with just a bite which should satisfy your cravings.
6) Resist seconds, even though they are tempting.
7) Curb your alcohol content. Drink a glass of water between each drink and limit yourself to two drinks for the entire dinner.
8) Eat slowly and participate in conversations. Be interested in the people you are with.
9) Skip desert. If you must, then have just a bite and opt for fruit.
You’ll be happier the next day when you don’t feel hung over, bloated and gassy. Thanksgiving is more about being grateful for the bounty we have and not trying to consume all of it in one seating.
Stay Healthy and live another year to enjoy your holidays.
– Kac Young, a former television director and producer, has earned a Ph.D. in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author of 10 books. Heart Easy is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. Traditional recipes are turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make. The health results are outstanding.