Holiday Heart Health

CompassionCare Hospice

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The holidays are upon us and often filled with time-honored traditions that include some of our favorite meals and foods. It’s also the time of year to enjoy delicious cocktails and glasses of bubbly. But it’s important to keep our holiday drinking under control, use of alcohol—which is a risk factor for heart problems—is something to avoid this season.

Drinking too much alcohol can raise the level of triglycerides in your blood (a type of fat) and excess triglycerides can build up in your blood vessels and cause them to harden and narrow. Blocked blood vessels can result in a heart attack or a stroke, high blood pressure and heart failure. Heart disease kills both women and men in the United States, more than anything else. However, if enjoyed moderately, alcohol can actually be good for you-and your heart!

There is some evidence that alcohol can help raise the level of good cholesterol (HDL) and it can also help keep platelets from sticking together. Platelets are cells in blood that help it clot, but when platelets clump together, they form clots that can break off and cause a stroke or heart attack. Wine (Red to be exact- these grapes naturally contains substances—antioxidants called flavonoids—that protect you from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that form in cells and damage them) also helps some people relax and thus reduce their stress. Stress can contribute to heart disease but if not careful can lead to excessive/binge drinking.

If you drink, you should do so in moderation and within the guidelines as recommended by the American Heart Association. Check in with yourself about how much you typically drink per day, and cut back if it’s necessary. Most adults can drink alcohol 1 to 2 drinks a day for men and 1 drink a day for women. A drink is 12 ounces of beer, 4 ounces of wine, or 1 to 1.5 ounces of spirits, depending on the proof.

Categories: Health News, Medical Information
Tags: CCHLV, CompassionCare Hospice, Las Vegas, Nevada, Southern Nevada


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