Excessive consumption of foods and beverages containing a lot of sodium, caffeine, alcohol, … can aggravate arrhythmias.
Adjusting what you eat and drink may not be enough to completely prevent arrhythmia, but it can help reduce your risk. Following a heart-healthy diet can also prevent high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even diabetes, according to Mercy.
According to Dr. Eric Williams, a PhD-trained cardiologist at Mercy Clinic Heart and Vascular Hospital, your heart normally beats between 60 and 100 times a minute. Eating certain foods or drinking certain beverages can raise your heart rate above 100, creating the sensation that your heart is beating, arrhythmia, or skipping a beat.
If it happens occasionally, it’s probably nothing to worry about. However, if you have a history of heart problems or have been diagnosed with atrial fibrillation or arrhythmia, you should take it seriously. An episode of an irregular heartbeat can lead to complications such as blood clots or stroke.
Here are foods and drinks that can worsen your arrhythmia:
Caffeine and energy drinks
A cup or two of coffee a day is probably fine. There are even studies that show there are health benefits of caffeine. However, don’t overdo it, too much caffeine can raise your blood pressure and heart rate.
Consuming too much coffee can increase heart rate, increase blood pressure, arrhythmia.
Besides, many energy drinks contain caffeine and other caffeine-like substances, such as taurine, which also gives you a feeling of discomfort. Although caffeine content varies widely, some energy drinks contain as much caffeine as a few cups of coffee.
Other sources of caffeine such as tea and chocolate tend to contain less caffeine than coffee, but can be added sugar to also contribute to arrhythmias. That is especially true if they are consumed in large quantities.
Although drinking alcohol in moderation, no more than one drink for women and two for men per day is considered healthy. However, you may still experience heart palpitations when consumed below that level.
And for those who suffer from arrhythmias and feel nervous, alcohol is one of the most common triggers.
Heavy drinking can damage heart cells and cause a higher heart rate. Therefore, you should limit or avoid alcohol.
Eating too much sodium can raise blood pressure, cause structural changes in blood vessels, and make you more susceptible to heart arrhythmias. Foods such as cold cuts, soups, and pizza are high in sodium.
Sugary foods and drinks
When it comes to arrhythmias, sugar can be a culprit. Although there is no exact threshold when consuming sugar can cause arrhythmia. However, the Dietary Guidelines (Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025) recommend that no more than 10% of your daily calories come from added sugars.
That equates to 12 teaspoons (50 grams) or 200 calories from added sugar, or roughly the equivalent of a piece of chocolate cake. A regular can of soft drinks has about 126 calories from added sugar.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) or 150 calories of added sugar for men and 6 teaspoons (25 grams) or 100 calories for women. daily. The AHA notes that Americans consume an average of 77 grams of added sugar per day.
Consuming a lot of sugar can cause the body to release the hormone epinephrine, or adrenaline, which increases heart rate, according to US News Health.
Best Diet If You are Over 60
Several health problems plague people aged 60 and over, which can be partly attributed to their diet.
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCOA) reports that overall, chronic diseases are the leading killer of older adults. The list includes everything from heart disease to cancer, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, or diabetes.
However, the statistics specifically note that the leading cause of death for people over 65 is heart disease.
More than 66% of men over the age of 65 have high blood pressure, and it also affects 74% of women over the age of 65. The second leading cause of death in the elderly is cancer, which affects 22% of those 65 and older.
Your daily diet will also greatly affect your body.
While it is difficult to build a diet entirely around preventing disease, there are certainly some tips and tricks that one can integrate into one’s diet.
The nutrients you need
There are several nutrients that older adults must focus on to maintain health and longevity.
The first is fiber – although it’s great for all ages, fiber is known to reduce heart disease and type 2 diabetes in people 60 and older.
Calcium is also extremely important for preventing osteoporosis, as experts say a lack of calcium can lead to osteoporosis, brittle bones, and serious falls or fractures.
Vitamin A is also extremely important for bone health in the elderly.
A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vitamin A can reduce the risk of fractures in overweight subjects.
Another important feature of any well-rounded diet is that you’ll need to focus on the iron content of foods.
Data from St. Luke mentions that if you’re taking medication like Zyloprim to treat gout, avoid eating too much iron, as it can overload your liver. ACE inhibitors, Boniva, and levothyroxine are all medications that can be affected by eating too much iron.
What is the best diet?
As for the best diet for people over 60, that’s hard to say.
There are cholesterol-specific complex diets like the TLC diet or supposed “cure all” diets like the Mediterranean diet.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics emphasizes the importance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and all sorts of other “superfoods” such as berries, blueberries, salmon, spinach, tea, etc…
But in the end, the most perfect diet is to combine many diets into one diet and take into account your blood, medications, and body condition.
The basis of the standard of eating is that you will eliminate processed carbohydrates, processed sugar, and processed meat from your diet. If it’s been through the machine many times and you don’t know what’s in it, you shouldn’t eat it. Instead, it is best to choose fresh foods.
If you’re looking to lose weight, a variation of the Mediterranean diet can be a good choice, as long as you replace the rice with squash and the pasta with lentil pasta.
If heart health is your biggest goal, avoid eating too much meat, even if it’s lean, and avoid eggs, as they’re high in cholesterol.
And if you’re concerned about hypertension, don’t add salt to your food. There are many other delicious spices available to replace it.
In the end, only you can fully understand your body’s needs to create a truly perfect diet. Pay attention to what you put in your body and limit unhealthy foods to have the best health at this new stage of life, according to The Ladders.