Excessive consumption of alcohol and snacks can worsen the functioning of the heart and lead to various heart problems in early age. Experts have said that the trend of intake of alcohol with snacks in Indian parties should be reduced to prevent heart diseases.
Dr Bipeenchandra Bhamre, Cardio-Thoracic Surgeon at Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, has said that alcohol consumption has become commonplace in the Indian party scene. A significant shift is being noticed in the way youngsters and elderly binge eat and drink.
Dr Bhamre said that alcohol is known to increase fat deposits in the body, and both long-term or binge drinking leads to build-up of these fatty deposits along the walls of the arteries in the heart.
This results in gradual narrowing of the arteries, clot formation and diminition of blood flow in the body, ultimately leading to increased load on the heart and cardiac arrest, sometimes even sudden death.
Dr Bhamre pointed out that snacks such as chips, breads and fried items have more calories and they also contain saturated and trans-fat. These are enemies of the health of heart. These foods lead to increased cholesterol levels and also central obesity (fat deposition around the stomach) which are risk factors for cardiovascular diseases.
Dr Bhamre explained that if an individual is already suffering from cardiovascular problems and blood pressure he should totally avoid alcohol. This is to ensure that he does not further increase the levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL) in his body and exacerbate the heart condition.
Alcohol can increase blood pressure, which may be an almost immediate effect, especially when a person is hypertensive. This substantially increases the risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
Dr Bhamre said that late night parties also mean lack of sleep or irregular sleep patterns. This, combined with unhealthy eating and drinking habits, especially in patients with pre-existing heart conditions, is a recipe for disaster waiting to happen. There is no way to prevent heart disease if there is excessive consumption of alcohol or junk diet.
Moderate drinking followed by gradual withdrawal and consumption of a balanced diet, low-saturated fat diet which is high in fiber can reduce the risk of developing heart disease. People should ensure they have adequate water intake if they consume alcohol. Exercising regularly is equally important to enhance heart and total body health.