How Your Weight Impacts Your Heart Health

Jun 10 • 2016

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. One of the biggest causes of heart disease is obesity – especially an excess amount of stomach fat. This is because fat around the abdomen produces hormones that can interfere with blood vessel activity, triggering the arteries throughout the body to be clogged. As a result, heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease are some of the most common issues that develop from clogged arteries.

Studies have shown that maintaining a healthy body weight reduces your risk of heart disease. This is because it can help prevent diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, all of which increase your risk for coronary artery disease. If you don’t currently suffer from any of these issues, avoiding obesity can help ensure you don’t develop problems later in life.

Achieving A Healthy Lifestyle

Becoming more physically active and creating a diet plan are the first steps you’ll want to take to lose weight. Research has shown that as little as 5% less body fat can greatly improve your health. Once you begin to lose the extra pounds, your body will start changing and your heart health will improve.

Here are more benefits of prioritizing a heart healthy diet:

  • Less fat that forms plaque around your coronary arteries, thus reducing your risk for a heart attack
  • Change in blood lipids which reduces cholesterol and fat
  • Less chance of blood clots

If you’re overweight and are looking to change your lifestyle in order to improve your heart health, speak with your doctor for personalized recommendations. Additionally, consider working with a nutritionist or personal trainer in order to stay on track. Getting started is the first step to a healthier lifestyle.

Visit our Heart and Vascular Care page for more information about heart services at Baptist, or find a physician by visiting our Find a Doctor page.