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When we think of heart problems, most of us tend to believe that men carry the bigger risk.
But the truth is women are more than twice as likely to die after a heart attack than men.
Thanks to mountains of research into what can help us avoid such a fate, it’s not a risk that you have to take lying down.
But you know what, it gets even simpler than that…
According to a study published in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society, the meal that boosts your heart health the most isn’t all about what you eat, but who you eat with…
Previous research notes the dangers of eating alone
It may seem odd, but if you’re eating alone, you’re putting your heart at risk.
It’s true — previous studies have reported that eating alone more often is associated with a higher risk of abdominal obesity and elevated blood pressure.
This is likely due to the fact that when you eat by yourself, you’re more likely to eat faster, which can lead to an increase in body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure and cholesterol — all of which skyrocket your risk of heart disease.
And if that weren’t enough, eating alone has also been found to negatively impact your mental health, which is further linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
So this got the researchers wondering: Just how much of an effect does going it alone at mealtime really have on women’s heart health?
The easiest meal with the biggest impact
To find out, the research team followed nearly 600 menopausal women, 65 and older, and compared health behaviors and nutritional status between ladies who ate alone and those who spent mealtimes with others.
Hands-down, the team discovered that older women who ate alone had both poorer nutritional knowledge and intake than their counterparts.
Specifically, the researchers say that eating alone went hand-in-hand with lower intakes of energy, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sodium and potassium.
Even worse, women who ate alone were 2.58 times more likely to have angina, a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart and a symptom of coronary artery disease.
“This study shows that older women who eat alone are more likely to have symptomatic heart disease. Given that women live longer than men, finding ways for older women who are socially isolated to engage and create meaningful social ties may not only improve their nutrition but also their overall health,” said Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.
Call a friend for dinner, lunch or breakfast
So, there you have it. The easiest meal to support your heart health is the one (or ones) you enjoy with someone else. When your next mealtime rolls around, be sure to use your “call a friend” lifeline to keep your heart at its best.
And if you’re a woman already living with heart disease, there’s one more tip that could up your chances of survival even if you were to suffer a heart attack…
Research has shown that women who see female doctors are more likely to get the treatment they need in time to save their hearts and their lives.
Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!
Can eating alone be bad for your heart? – EurekAlert!