As you may have heard, Sopranos actor James Gandolfini died of a massive heart attack last June. Although it was never acknowledged that the actor had heart disease, the portly 51-year-old seemed the absolute personification of it, with his large belly, cigar-smoking habit, and rumored history of being hot-tempered when under stress.
But what probably tipped his heart over the edge that fateful night was the dinner he indulged in just hours before suffering a sudden cardiac arrest. It consisted of double orders of fried king prawns and foie gras, washed down with pina coladas and beer, according to news reports.
Can a single meal really kill you? Yes, it can. Studies have found that eating just one meal
high in saturated fat can be the tipping point that becomes potentially fatal, especially if you already have coronary artery disease. A single high-fat meal can cause the heart’s arteries to instantly constrict. In fact, research published just last March pegged this narrowing at an average of 24 percent, which can be a difference of life and death when it comes to someone with arteries that are already narrowed.
Here is a list of foods that can contribute to or aggravate inflammatory states within the body, which can breed coronary events like heart attack:
• Prepackaged foods that contain artificial flavors, chemicals and preservatives
• Deep-fried foods
• Sugary desserts and candy
• Processed meats, like hot dogs, bacon, and pepperoni
• Meats high in saturated fat
• Refined grains
• Excessive alcohol
Another inflammatory risk factor is belly fat. Scientists used to think that belly fat was an inert substance, like any other fat. But in recent years, we’ve learned that it doesn’t behave in the same way as excess fat does on your arms, legs, or even hips and buttocks.
In fact, belly fat just doesn’t sit there, making your belt too tight. It actually interacts with
biological processes in the body in a way that causes inflammation.
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