Most doctors, including myself will tell you that a healthy heart is key to a long life lived in good health. Even better, when you take steps to care for your heart, you do your whole body a good turn. That’s because many of the processes that underlie heart disease also contribute to the formation of other diseases.
Yet as modern science gets more advanced, new and exciting diagnostic tools become available. Just recently, I’ve researched some innovating indicators and risk factors that could be major contributors to heart disease.
Scientist are just starting to unveil breaking medical news about the effects of artery inflammation and a process called glycation that has a direct correlation to your heart health. And with heart disease being the leading killer in the United States, this information could be an important healthy answer to preventing heart damage.
Reduce Your Heart Disease Risk Factors
Most heart disease discussions begin and end with cholesterol. That’s unfortunate because there are many other important risk factors. Cholesterol is very important, but lowering cholesterol alone is often not enough.
The problem begins when cholesterol is combined with other factors. Cholesterol by itself won’t hurt you. But when you have high LDL cholesterol levels in the presence of free radicals or inflammation, the cholesterol can oxidize damaging your arteries and forming plaques. Along with your concerns of cholesterol comes a new warning, and it’s probably one you never heard about before.
The Heart Disease Risk Factor You Never Heard of Before Sports
If you haven’t heard of glycation, don’t feel bad. Most people haven’t. It often goes overlooked by doctors, as well. When you eat foods high in sugar and starch, the glucose that enters your bloodstream can bind with proteins or cholesterol. This process is called crosslinking, and it’s not good. Some researchers have found that glycation and crosslinked proteins contribute more to the development of heart disease than either cholesterol or diabetes. 1
When glycation occurs, it results in the formation of compounds called advanced glycation endproducts, or AGEs for short. That nickname is appropriate. AGEs cause you to age at a cellular level. AGEs cause your arteries and the heart muscle itself to become stiffer and less functional. They can also affect how your heart uses calcium, causing a further decline in function. 2
Preventing glycation doesn’t include taking any fancy drugs. It just takes a small change in your eating habits. Glycation happens when you consume an excess of sugar-especially fructose. High fructose corn syrup is the worst offender.
In animal studies, researchers show that fructose results in glycation and arterial damage when combined with cholesterol. The damage is much worse than that caused by cholesterol alone. 3 To stop this from happening in your arteries, eat more lean protein and more vegetables. Avoid foods with that contain high fructose corn syrup.