Heavy Meals Weigh on Your Heart

Written by Jennifer Strailey

Before you take that third helping, you should know that a big meal could increase your risk ofeating and heart attacks heart attack.

We often gather with friends and family, watch football and gorge ourselves into a stupor. But we may have a lot more to be thankful for if we eat sensibly.

Eating a big meal may increase your risk of heart attack by four times within a two-hour period following the feast, says research from the American Heart Association.

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In the same way that rage or extreme physical exertion can trigger a heart attack, a heavy meal can put extra stress on your heart.

The study found that the risk of heart attack increased for those who had eaten a big meal within the last 26 hours, but the risk was greatest for those who had chowed-down in the previous two hours. Those with heart disease were most susceptible to the dangers of overeating.

A heavy meal can serve up a full buffet of problems for your heart. For one, eating and digesting food releases hormones into the bloodstream that can increase the heart rate and blood pressure. They may also increase the likelihood of clots. The rise in insulin that also accompanies a heavy meal decreases the normal relaxation of the coronary arteries.

So leave a little on your plate, and your heart may thank you for it.

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