Risk Factors for Heart Disease in Postmenopausal Women & Ways to Reduce it
While having fat is essential in the body, excess fat gets stored in various areas which can be dangerous. Fat which is present around the waist can also be dangerous, but the fat deposited near heart is very dangerous as it can increase the risk of heart attacks. It is believed that fat near heart is a risk factor for heart disease in postmenopausal women.
When there is fat around the heart the arteries often get narrowed. This can affect the flow of blood through these arteries. This results in blockage of arteries and affects the blood flowing to the organs including heart and brain. The risk factor is particularly high in postmenopausal women, during this phase, due to hormonal changes, particularly lowered estrogen.
Risk Factors for Heart Disease in Postmenopausal Women
According to studies, it has been shown that people who have fat accumulated near the heart and under the breastbone are possible victims of heart attacks and other heart related diseases. On the contrary, people who have fat deposited in other areas of the body apart from the heart may not be affected by heart related issues. Fat near heart is a hazard for almost everyone; particularly postmenopausal women.
Apart from fat being energy storage, it also produces hormones and proteins which can affect the health and metabolism. Fat present around the heart region or pericardial fat have higher segregation proteins which cause inflammation, than the fat which is stored under the skin portion. These inflammatory proteins are known as cytokines. According to scientists, when there is continuous exposure of the inflammatory proteins which is produced by the fat around the heart region, it can lead to arthrosclerosis. Arthrosclerosis, which causes narrowing of arteries, is a major contributor to heart diseases.
It is important to understand why fat near heart is a risk factor for heart disease in postmenopausal women. Estrogen is female sex hormone responsible for developing and regulating female reproductive system and other sexual characteristics. Estrogen is normally believed to offer some protection against heart diseases during the reproductive age in women.
However, the amount of estrogen reduces in postmenopausal women and the deposition of cardinal fat is increased. Paracardial fat gets deposited around the heart in the form of pockets. Paracardial fats contain more amount of calcification and affects women after their menopausal. Post-menopausal women are at a higher risk as the calcification on the coronary artery increases. This, ultimately increases their risk of heart diseases, which is predominantly caused due to fat deposition around the heart. Thus, it is clear how fat neat heart is a hazard for postmenopausal women.
However, researchers also believe that women can reduce the paracardial fat in the body either by following a strict diet or through regular exercise.
Ways to Reduce Risk of Heart Disease in PostMenopausal Women
The fat in your body increases cholesterol and also increases the risk of heart diseases and heart attacks. Excess fat also increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and high blood cholesterol.
Know How A Postmenopausal Women Can Reduce Fat Near Heart and Reduce the Risk of Heart Diseases:
- Consume fruits and vegetables which have high water content in your daily diets. Fruits and vegetables help in burning unwanted fat from the body.
- Avoid eating chicken with skin, as they contain more fat. Fish is best for heart and can be consumed every day. Make it a point to cook with less oil and other fatty contents.
- Egg yolk contains more minerals and vitamins but it also contains fat and cholesterol. Avoid eating the yolk, rather consume two egg whites.
- Always grill, boil or bake your meat rather than frying them in the oil. Oil contains more saturated fat and can increase the fat around the heart as well as in the body.
- Choose healthy oils like olive oil, mustard oil, canola oil or coconut oil. Use fat free milk and milk products.
- Shop smart; read labels for nutrition value and avoid those containing fats. Avoid packaged foods, ready-to eat meals and processed meats, etc.
- If you cannot avoid eating in restaurants, make sure you choose healthy food. Go for soups and salads, without dressings, sauces and cream. Ask for the sauces to be served separated and not mixed with the salads so that you can pick the one which contains less fat and cholesterol.
It is also important to follow a regular healthy diet with balanced meals to avoid having fat hear the heart. Eat healthy food which is high in vitamins, proteins and mineral.
This can really protect postmenopausal women from heart problems and help them live a long and healthy life.
Quit smoking, if you do and stay away from alcohol. Do not stress yourself too much as this may affect your brain and heart. Learn ways to manage your stress and stay away from it. Indulge in music, yoga, meditation and other relaxation therapies, as they can help to reduce stress in postmenopausal women. Exercising is the best way to reduce excess fat in the body. Spending one hour for exercises every day can help your heart stay stronger and healthy. Practicing these simple lifestyle changes can bring a great difference and help to prevent fat hear heart in postmenopausal women.
Junk food is a main reason for cholesterol and fat to segregate in your body and near the heart. There are hormonal changes which takes place in postmenopausal women. So take necessary measures to prevent fat deposition near the heart and prevent heart risk in postmenopausal women. Monitor your health regularly and seek medical advice, when necessary.