(NaturalNews) Going through a heart attack can be a harrowing experience. With symptoms ranging from heart palpitations, cold sweats, fatigue, and anxiety a heart attack is downright frightening with 40% of sufferers not surviving the episode. Survivors must make long term lifestyle changes immediately or risk another cardiac event. In a culture of fast living and fast food long term changes can be difficult to obtain.
A heart attack, or myocardial infarction, occurs when blood flow to certain areas of the heart is interrupted causing a shortage of oxygen in the heart tissue. Stress, sedentary habits, and diets high in unhealthy fats are prominent factors. A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Missouri, Kansas City shed light on an interesting but unfortunate phenomenon. They found that of the 884 patients that frequently ate fast food before their heart attack, 503 of them continued to do so despite their recent attacks. Is this a matter of mere unhealthy convenience or something more?
It is no secret that fast food is a hodge-podge of chemically laced and genetically modified ingredients. The importance of the chemical aspect of the food is how it interacts with the brain, potentially leading to addictions or cravings. At the top of the list of addictive substances is MSG and any of its derivatives. MSG acts on different areas of the brain including the hypothalamus, which controls appetite and satiety. When damaged or otherwise diminished, the hypothalamus is unable to properly control not only our appetites, but also how much we eat. Also, consuming saturated fat and sugar in high amounts are thought to hijack natural brain processes causing the overproduction of opioids. Opioids are produced naturally by the brain, but overproduction can give way to self intoxication leading to addictions much like you would see in heroin addicts (not nearly as strong but powerful none the less).
For those poor souls who find it difficult to stay away from fast food let’s order up a few suggestions. First, it is imperative to increase the consumption of good fats, also known as essential fatty acids (EFA’s). Doing so in combination with reducing or eliminating saturated and trans fats will provide proper nutrition, satiety and relief for the hypothalamus allowing time for the gland to restore itself. Besides nourishment and boosting brain health EFA’s also bind toxins helping to rid the body of inflammatory substances. Also, one should avoid MSG and any of its variants (i.e. autolyzed yeast extract). MSG is a documented neurotoxin that has the ability to overwhelm areas of the brain that control appetite such as the hypothalamus as mentioned earlier. Finally, decreasing sugar intake will go a long way in fighting cravings for foods that aren’t healthy to consume. When blood sugar is kept at a steady level, as opposed to spiking and crashing, most cravings stop or become controllable.
A healthy heart starts with great nutrition. Without doubt anything resembling nutrition will not be found in a bag of fast food. Fast food is not only cheap and plentiful, but it is also engineered to make you want it and generally against your own best interest. Be good to your heart and let not your heart be troubled.