Home / Science / Health /  World Heart Day 2022: Weight loss and its effect on your heart

If you're overweight, your heart has to work extra. You need to keep your weight normal so that the heart can function smoothly. But even losing weight too fast can be harmful for your health. Even small amounts of weight loss seem to improve metabolic function. Thus, it is important is to understand the relationship between health and the correct body weight.

Obesity is a major concern nowadays. It increases the risk of heart disease, sudden cardiac death, atrial fibrillation, heart failure, other arrhythmias, diabetes, and hypertension.

Dr Brian Pinto, Consultant, Interventional Cardiologist, P. D. Hinduja Hospital & Medical Research Centre, Khar said any lifestyle programme that decreases obesity, particularly if it reduces weight by more than 10% of the initial body weight, reduces cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, sudden cardiac death, and atrial fibrillation considerably. 

He suggested that every obese individual should strive for a 10% reduction in body weight.

How to strive for 10% reduction in body weight

According to Dr Brian Pinto, this can be done by two methods, one is the reduction of caloric intake and the second is an increase in physical activity. Physical activity should include a session of at least 30 minutes, which can extend up to 45 minutes to one hour, and it should be at least five times a week. It could be an aerobic activity like walking, swimming, etc. and should not be stopped over long periods of time. 

There are other activities like weight training and resistance exercises, but, unfortunately, they have not shown as much of a good effect. Also, further reduction in body weight should be a slow process and should not be very fast, he said.

Weight loss has very positive outcome in reducing heart diseases

Dr. Gajinder Kumar Goyal, Director Cardiology, Marengo QRG Hospital, Faridabad said that weight loss reduces high blood pressure . Almost 5 to 10 mmHg blood pressure can be reduced with weight loss more than 5 kg.

Weight loss helps in controlling our sugar levels especially in overweight or obese diabetics patients. Because risk of heart attack is almost 4 times more in diabetes as compared to general population so weigh loss reduces iheart attack significantly in diabetes.

Weight loss also helps in keeping our bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol and Triglycerides) in range and also increases our good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol).

High cholesterol is major risk factor for heart attack so keeping cholesterol within range weight loss can reduce heart attack.

Weight reduction also helps in treating obstructive sleep apnea that also is important risk factor for high blood pressure and heart diseases.

He added that weight loss should be gradual because vigorous weight loss by excessive exercise or by crash diets can be detrimental for our heart and even it can be fatal. So we should seek doctors advice for weight loss with either exercises or dieting.

Maintain a health body weight

It is also important to note that maintaining a healthy body weight is the best option. There is, however, something known as the obesity paradox. Persons who are mildly overweight, defined as having a BMI between 25 and 30, and those who have type one obesity are occasionally at a lower risk of cardiovascular events than non-obese people. This is known as the obesity paradox, and the exact cause is unknown.

Another key point to remember is that doing a yo-yo in bodyweight that is constantly increasing and decreasing one's body weight, is worse than keeping a stable body weight. Therefore people who are obese should be encouraged to lose more than 10% of their body weight and to maintain it over long periods of time.

Daily requirement of protein

Proteins are the building blocks of all the tissues of the heart, as well as for the rest of the body. According to Dr Chandrashekhar Kulkarni, Consultant, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at Global Hospital, Mumbai Parel, the daily requirement of protein required for a human body is approximately one gram per kilogram of human body weight.

So for a normal-age, patient who's approximately 70 kilos of weight, he will require at least 60 to 70 grams of protein per day.

Metabolic Syndrome 

Most Indian diets, apart from people who are heavy consumers of non-vegetarian, are generally poor in the amount of protein, and at the same time they're very rich in saturated fats as well as in the high amount of sugar. This creates a unique syndrome in Indians or patients from Southeast Asia, which is called Metabolic Syndrome, said Dr Chandrashekhar

 Four components of a Metabolic Syndrome?

1) Central obesity

2) Hyperglycemia or diabetes

3) Hypertension

4) Increased cholesterol and triglycerides

According to Dr Chandrashekhar, the start of the fatty streak usually happens at around 19 to 20 years of age, and hence, it is very essential that young patients as well as children, have to be sort of in control of number of calories as well as the amount of intake of pure sugar and high-fat diets. 

Meanwhile, India reported 63 percent of total deaths due to non-communicable diseases, and 27 percent were attributed to cardiovascular disease (CVD) in 2016, according to the WHO. Of those, heart attack and stroke are two of the most common causes of death in our country. 

There is no shortcut to a healthy heart. Medication and routine check-ups are essential for maintaining good heart health and living a healthy life for years to come.

Why walnuts may be the top nut for a healthy heart

According to research,  a handful of California walnuts as part of a healthy, nutritious diet and couple it with physical activity. This may help lower your risk of heart disease and hence, deserves a spot on your plate.

The polyunsaturated fats, aka good fats, and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) in these wonder nuts may improve cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure, which are two major contributors to heart disease risk. In addition, these nutrient powerhouses are known to help reduce inflammation and improve blood vessel function.

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sangeeta Ojha

Sangeeta is a Chief Content Producer at Livemint. Writes on personal finance, banking and real estate. She has over 12 years of experience as a journalist with television and digital media
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