Keep Your Heart Healthy With a Plant-Based Holiday

Spread the love

heart healthy vegan paellaIt’s a dangerous time of year for heart health: holiday heart attack season. More people die from heart disease between December 25 and January 7 than any other time of the year. Loading up on eggnog, cheese plates, ham, roast beef and turkey may play a role.

Swedish researchers found that heart attack risk increased by 37% on Christmas Eve and 15% on Christmas Day, compared to the 2 weeks before and after Christmas, possibly due in part to overeating. (The average person eats more than 7,000 calories on Christmas day, which is between two and four times what the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend.) People with type 2 diabetes and heart disease were at greater risk.

Other research shows that the risk of a heart attack quadruples within hours after eating a large, fatty meal, in part because it increases blood pressure, which may rupture cholesterol plaques causing a clot that can block a blood vessel and trigger a heart attack.

Foods consumed at Christmas that are rich in butter, cream and other animal products also raise cholesterol levels, according to a study published in the journal Atherosclerosis. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen conducted an observational study of 25,764 individuals from the Copenhagen General Population Study and found that cholesterol levels were 20% higher immediately following Christmas, compared to summer. Nine out of 10 people participating in the study had elevated cholesterol after Christmas. The authors warn that people with high cholesterol should be alert to their cholesterol levels during the Christmas holidays.

Instead of putting your heart health at risk this holiday season, try this healthy 12 Days of Plant-Based Holidays menu. A vegan diet works even better than the American Heart Association-recommended diet for heart disease prevention, according to a study published by the American Heart Association.

Photo from here, with thanks.

Our Bloggers

  • Paula Gallagher
    Paula Gallagher
    Paula is a highly qualified and experienced nutrition counselor on the staff at Village Green.
    read more..
  • Margo Gladding
    Margo Gladding
    Margo's impressive knowledge base is the result of a unique blend of educational and professional experience.
    read more..
  • Dr. Neal Barnard
    Dr. Neal Barnard
    Dr. Barnard leads programs advocating for preventive medicine, good nutrition, and higher ethical standards in research.
    read more..
  • Joseph Pizzorno
    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno
    Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, ND is a pioneer of integrative medicine and a leading authority on science-based natural medicine.
    read more..
  • Debi Silber
    Debi Silber
    Debi is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition, a personal trainer, and whole health coach.
    read more..
  • Teri Cochrane
    Teri Cochrane
    Teri is a is a Certified Coach Practitioner with extensive certifications and experience in holistic medicinal practices.
    read more..
  • Dr. Rav Ivker
    Dr. Rav Ivker
    Dr. Rav Ivker is a holistic family physician, health educator, and best-selling author.
    read more..
  • Susan Levin
    Susan Levin
    Susan writes about the connection between plant-based diets and a reduced risk of chronic diseases.
    read more..
  • Rob Brown
    Dr. Rob Brown
    Dr. Brown's blended perspective of healthcare includes a deeply rooted passion for wellness and spiritual exploration.
    read more..
February 2023