#14: Do You Protect Your Heart As Much As You Love It?

#14: Do You Protect Your Heart As Much As You Love It?



In today’s episode, Maria discusses five types of foods that harm the heart. This vital organ takes lots of beating. We ought to show it that we love it.

One way we often demonstrate self-compassion and self-love is by protecting it/she/he against harmful activities. That’s the way we protect our loved ones, isn’t?

The same applies to taking care of ourselves, including the heart. One way you can protect and show you love your heart is by reducing the consumption of foods and beverages that harm the heart and ultimately, yourself.

Keep reading to learn about the five types of foods you want to avoid and increase the health of your heart.

P.S. Check out the full transcript below for various sources/citations that support today’s content


Balanced Salad for Blood Sugar Control - Maria Horstmann - Be Fab - Be You

I am starting the show by giving a shout to a client of mine. He doesn’t need to be named; he is a listener. The image you see for today’s podcast on my YouTube channel or my website has a beautiful salad. That’s what my client had for dinner recently.

He enjoys salads and got excited with the super salad I described in episode 12 on Blood Sugar and Heart Health. His salad is loaded with powerful nutrients: arugula, watercress, red leaf lettuce, red and green peppers, tomatoes, sprouts, onions topped with hemp seeds, avocado, and grilled chicken.

Let me just add that he has made significant improvements in his energy level, blood sugar, and sleep quality in just two weeks.

He’s taking charge and I am so proud of him. Keep it up, my friend!

And by the way, if you would like assistance getting your health and fitness under control and take it to the next level, go to BeFabBeYou.com and book a call. I’d love to work with you. Be ready to rock and roll!

Now that I’ve recognized him, let me continue to recognize Heart Health Month.

Let’s talk about this beautiful organ that not only we love but also symbolizes loves. That’s the heart. With love comes compassion and protection. We do just that, don’t we? You protect the loved ones—children, parents, animals, friends.

Isn’t it intriguing that we often protect others before we protect ourselves, including our hearts?

We are so busy with an endless list of stuff to do, professionally and personally. We are conditioned and even praised to push through. It’s a sign of strength. As we keep pushing through, the body starts to suffer.

It tells us loud and clear through indigestion, weight gain, headaches, skin issues, fatigue, cramps, irritability, depression, sleep issues, mood swings, and the list goes on. But you know what, we keep pushing through and stress keeps building up. This stress impacts our decision-making abilities and it’s easier to start, or fall back into, unhealthy habits.

And then, eventually, we hit a wall.

The wall comes in different forms, mental and physical fatigue that paralyzes a person. Muscle and organ fatigue and damage, and of course, illnesses. Inflammatory and chronic diseases are often the first ones to knock on the door, including heart disease.

Have you hit a wall yet? Just in the last five years, I hit the wall twice. It’s NOT fun!!!! And although they are not fun, they contributed to my growth and helped me be a better coach as well. There is always a silver lining and I prefer looking at challenges like that, there is always a lesson.

I’d love for you to make the most out of these messages. The insights and practical nuggets are vehicles to optimize your health and body so live a vibrant and fulfilling life for as long as you shall live.

That said, let’s PROTECT the heart, shall we?

What are five things that damage the heart?

  1. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Excess sugar, which is easy to get since sugar is added to most packaged foods and meals, the extra insulin in our bloodstream can affect the arteries. The artery walls get inflamed, thick, and stiff. This adds a great deal of stress to the heart and over time, it can lead to cardiovascular disease. One of the first signs of problems is high blood pressure, which makes sense with thickened walls and the same amount of blood has to pass through, doesn’t it?
  2. Flour and processed grains and even fruit juices. What, what? These foods breakdown into sugar quickly, triggering blood sugar and insulin to go up. The process is similar to what we’ve just talked about.
  3. Vegetables and hydrogenated oils. Vegetable oils have a significant amount of Omega 6 fatty acids, these are inflammatory to the body. Vegetable oils are added to loads of packaged and processed food. The average American consumes a ratio of Omega 6/Omega 3 of 20:1 vs a healthy ratio of 3:1. As discussed in this show before, Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory fatty acid. Hydrogenated oils are made from vegetable oils.  And then, there are trans fats.
  4. Trans fats. In the US, the FDA has banned trans fats, which are partially hydrogenated oils. However, the FDA says trans fats may still be in foods like:
    1. Crackers, cookies, cakes, frozen pies, and other baked goods.
    2. Snack foods such as microwave popcorn
    3. Frozen pizza
    4. Fast-food
    5. Margarine
    6. Coffee creamer
    7. Refrigerated dough like biscuits and cinnamon rolls
    8. Ready-to-use frosting
  5. Alcohol: Yeah, besides having empty calories and causing weight gain, remember that alcohol is made out of sugar. The amount/frequency you drink makes a difference. A couple of glasses of wine regularly in the week can weaken your heart and shrink your arteries. Alcohol impacts blood pressure, heart rate, and can weaken the heart muscles.

But hold on, isn’t the popular belief that red wine is good for the heart.

Is that what you say to yourself, please don’t. If you choose to drink, go ahead -I am NOT encouraging you to do so though. But if/when you do, do NOT use this excuse.

The negative consequences of alcohol are numerous, including sleep, energy, eating habits, physical and mental performance, neurotransmitters, and the list goes. Cardiologist John William McEvoy at Johns Hopkins said that’s “The truth isn’t so clear-cut. It’s hard to determine cause and effect from those studies.”

Look, occasionally, I enjoy a glass of red wine and when I decide to be a bad girl, I have a sangria or margarita. I rarely drink more than one glass. I support the body as much as possible with healthy foods and electrolytes during and after.  Yet, it’s still disrupting my body in many ways.

Ultimately, the best is to drink no alcohol at all and that’s my friend, it’s a choice you must make. You can always start by establishing boundaries and limitations.

So, is there anything else that harms the heart? Unfortunately, there are and some are less obvious.  However, I will stop here. I hope you found this helpful.

Are you ready to make improvements?

Your homework is to PROTECT your heart with intentionality. It’s time for self-kindness so you show up in life to perform at 100%.

If you are eating lots of packaged and processed, start reading the ingredients. Don’t assume that just before it says natural, fat free, healthy, whatever marketing b.s. is on the box, read the ingredients. Do not know what it is? Cannot pronounce? Put it back on the shelf. Grab something else. Or walk away and cook your food at home. Once you start reading ingredients, you will be surprised with the amount of sugar (and its 50+ names) and oils you are paying to put into your body.

If you are eating out, ask whether they are putting sugar on the food. Ask what kind of oils they are cooking the food. You have the right to know and there’s nothing to feel weird about. Increase your knowledge so you can make a decision to what to do next.

Here is the thing…

When you sit down to assess what you are eating and ditch 1-3 of them, you will be doing so much good for your heart and overall health. Your body is an incredible machine and like any other machine, it needs the right ‘fuel’ and tune-ups.

If you have questions, submit one at www.BeFabBeYou.com/podcastquestion

Next episode, I will talk about exercise and heart health. Stay tune and thanks for listening.

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