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More people have a heart attack during fall and winter months, and Thanksgiving marks the start of this risky season. Are you looking forward to that Thanksgiving feast? Read on to find out how you can prevent a heart attack first.
Are You More Likely To Have A Heart Attack On Thanksgiving?
Have you heard that your Thanksgiving meal can induce a heart attack? There is no doubt that you want to find out if that is a mere rumor, or a scientific fact. The truth is a little less straight forward than you may have hoped for. In short, though, some people may indeed be at a higher risk of both having a heart attack and dying of one on Thanksgiving day.
Research suggests that your risk of having a heart attack peaks in the first two hours after a heavy meal, and especially a high-fat, high-cholesterol meal. Hormones released as the digestive system starts working can make your blood pressure shoot up and can cause cholesterol plaques on your arterial walls to rupture. Food high in saturated fats may also negatively impact the function of the lining of the arteries. Those people who already have heart disease face the highest risk of having a heart attack after an unusually large meal.
The risk of dying from a heart attack also goes up during the fall and winter, starting with — you guessed it — Thanksgiving! Scientists have ruled colder temperatures out as a cause of this danger, and have instead pinpointed precisely the holidays as the reason more people have heart attacks and die from them. It is not quite clear if stress or diet are to blame for this alarming rise. Both stress and terribly unhealthy can be avoided, and you can definitely take concrete steps to bring your risk of a heart attack down.
Walk Before Your Thanksgiving Meal
Processing huge unhealthy meals is pretty hard on the digestive system, and triglycerides (a type of fat) are particularly problematic because they are really good at penetrating arterial walls. The body uses triglycerides for energy, so you do need some. You get too many triglycerides in bloodstream if you eat more calories than you can burn, have uncontrolled diabetes, or are already obese.
Your triglyceride levels peak within half an hour of eating a big meal like the one you are likely to enjoy on Thanksgiving day, but research suggests that you can prevent this sudden spike by working out for 30 minutes 12 hours (!!!) before your huge meal. A brisk walk will do the trick, but other forms of cardio exercise like swimming or jogging are good choices as well.