Obesity carries a serious risk of complications for the cardiovascular system. People suffering from heart and circulatory system diseases - hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart defects or heart failure - should especially take care of a proper diet. Slimming, i.e. weight reduction, in their case must be consulted with a doctor.
Overweight – a problem for the whole society
In overweight and obese people, cardiac arrhythmias develop more often than in people with normal weight, and circulatory failure develops twice as often. Hypertension, atherosclerosis, elevated cholesterol levels, coronary heart disease, and heart attacks are often the consequences of untreated obesity. People with cardiovascular diseases must ensure that their body weight is correct. People who are overweight and obese, even with blood pressure in a healthy range, develop adverse changes in the heart, such as left ventricular hypertrophy.
Principles of slimming people suffering from heart disease
A weight loss program for people who are overweight or obese who suffer from cardiovascular diseases should be established by a doctor. However, there are general rules that apply to all patients.
Reduce your daily caloric intake by 500 kcal. This can be achieved by limiting fat, sugar and sweets. For women on a so-called diet reduction, i.e. slimming, the daily caloric requirement is estimated at approx. 1200 kcal, and for men at 1500.
Eat regularly and slowly. Avoid snacking between meals.
Your diet should consist primarily of vegetables, legumes, and whole grains because they contain fibre and significantly increases satiety.
Choose products containing unsaturated fats (rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil). This type of fat helps to lower blood pressure, but due to its high calorific value, it is recommended in small amounts.
Limit the consumption of foods that contain a large amount of table salt (also avoid crisps, peanuts, etc.).
Prepare meals by steaming, boiling and stewing without adding fat or baked in foil. Frying and baking with a lot of fat adversely affect the work of the heart and promotes the development of atherosclerosis.
Reduce the consumption of fats and animal products red meat, sausages, offal, pates, poultry, fatty milk, butter and cheeses containing saturated fatty acids that promote weight gain and increase the level of bad cholesterol.
Replace meat meals with fatty sea fishes - they contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which help in lowering cholesterol.
Physical activity while losing weight
The intensity of physical activity in the case of overweight, obese people and, additionally, with cardiovascular problems should be determined by a doctor. Simple aerobic exercise of moderate intensity (walking, Nordic walking, outdoor housework, cycling) is recommended. They oxygenate the body and help in burning fat. Effects are achieved by regularly exercising for 20 to 60 minutes at least three times a week.
Drug treatment can also help you lose weight
Pharmacological treatment may be an element supporting the treatment of overweight and obesity. In people with cardiovascular diseases, it must be consulted with a doctor and adjusted to the patient’s needs, if non-pharmacological treatment attempts have failed previously. The main drugs in the treatment of obesity are drugs that suppress appetite and drugs that reduce absorption in the gut. However, the decision to undertake such pharmacological treatment and the type of drugs should always be up to the doctor.