Cardiovascular diseases are complications that affect the heart and blood vessels. They include congenital heart disease, heart valve disease, coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, stroke etc, most of which are caused by a blockage or semi-blockage of the blood vessels, and/or inflammation and other damage from free radicals.
In our fast food, fast moving world, drinks are increasingly taking more blame for cardiovascular diseases, including the following three:
Soda contains High Fructose Corn Syrup to make it sweet. The problem with this is that fructose can only be metabolized by the liver, but if you take more than what the liver can handle at a time, the rest will be converted to fat for storage. This fat can be stored in cells, but it sometimes leaks into blood vessels where it can accumulate to block or clog them, leading to high blood pressure, stroke, or many other cardiovascular diseases. Even the fat still in cells can grow so large that it narrows blood vessels, leading to coronary artery disease among others.
Many things that we eat today contain or have fructose added to them, from most types of bread, to honey, drinks, right down to some vegetables.
Alcohol drunk at moderate levels is good for the heart, but when drunk at excessive levels (which is what is mostly done), it can cause several heart and other cardiovascular diseases, because it increases the levels of fat stored in the body which can narrow blood vessels leading to coronary artery disease and others, or can clog or block blood vessels leading to stroke, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and so on.
Alcohol is also known to reduce the metabolism rate of the body, which can weaken heart muscles and cause poor blood circulation.
3. Sweet yogurt
Pure yogurt is healthy and nutritious for the body, with a lot of minerals to help build and repair body parts. But yogurt that is artificially sweetened can be potentially disastrous for your heart and blood vessels, as the unhealthy High Fructose Corn Syrup is usually the substance added to sweeten it.
image courtesy of: time.com, ifood.tv.