How loud noises can affect your heart

We know that high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and smoking aren’t good for the heart. Well, it turns out loud noise is another risk factor your doctor may not want to keep quiet about.

That noisy little headline comes from researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital. They studied 499 people with an average age of 56.

At the beginning of the study period, all of them were free of cardiovascular disease. Over time, they tracked how many of the test subjects got heart attacks and strokes. The researchers used the home addresses of study participants to estimate the level of ambient noise where they resided.

Compared to people who lived with lower levels of noise, those with the highest levels of chronic noise exposure were three times more likely to have a heart attack, a stroke or other major cardiovascular event.

The study’s authors said typical sources of heavy chronic noise exposure include close proximity to a highway, a major airport or a busy traffic zone.

Commercial aircraft on takeoff produce noise levels above 120 decibels. A telephone ring produces about 80 decibels and a jackhammer about 100. Highway traffic noise ranges from 70 to 80 decibels at a distance of 15 metres from the highway.

The researchers found that people with the highest levels of noise exposure had higher levels of brain activity inside the amygdala.

The test subjects with higher activity inside the amygdala also had greater amounts of inflammation in their arteries inside the heart and the brain. Doctors know from other studies that inflammation of the arteries is necessary for the development of heart disease and strokes.

In the current study, the researchers found that high levels of activity inside the amygdala actually increased the level of inflammation inside the coronary arteries.

Air pollution, smoking and diabetes are other known factors that cause inflammation of the arteries.

In this study, when the researchers took those factors into account, noise still turned out to be a major contributor to inflammation and therefore to the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Rising rates of noise are happening everywhere. Anyone who lives in a city anywhere on the planet should be concerned about the health impact of exposure to excessive noise.

Until now, we’ve chalked up rising levels of noise from busy highways, traffic zones and airports to progress and prosperity. Now, we see that there’s a hidden danger to our health.

And it’s something your body won’t let you escape. You may be able to tune the noise out of your conscious mind, but your brain and your heart do not develop tolerance to noise. If anything, your arteries may become even more prone over time to damage caused by noise.

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Best Fat-Burning Foods Of All Time

Nuts and nut butters

“Nuts have healthy fat, fiber, and protein, which is a great combo to keep you energized and satisfied.”

Eggs

Another great source of protein (six grams) and healthy fats (five grams), Cording says eggs help keep you satisfied and energized so you can maintain muscle while you’re burning fat.

Milk

Milk offers tons of bone-building calcium (300 mg in one cup) and animal protein (eight grams)–and you don’t have to choose the low-fat varieties to enjoy those benefits.

Yogurt

The probiotics in yogurt can support a healthy gut and your overall wellness. “When your immune system is working well, your gut and brain talk to each other. If you struggle a lot with stress eating, maintaining good digestive health helps nourish a healthy gut so you feel calmer and avoid stress eating.”

Berries

Because they’re loaded with fiber, these sweet treats help improve satiety and reduce cravings as you’re burning fat. In one cup of blueberries, for example, you get fewer calories (about 84) and more grams of filling fiber (3.6) than in one large banana.

“Berries take up lots of space on a plate, so they’re visually satisfying.”

Olive oil

All cooking oils (with the exception of coconut oil) are chock full of monounsaturated fats, at about 14 grams per tablespoon, to promote fullness and keep you from mindlessly snacking. But olive oil is Cording’s all-around favorite option.

Avocados

“Avocados are a really great combination of monounsaturated fats plus tons of fiber, which helps you to stay satisfied.” They’re also an excellent source of potassium, which helps reduce water retention and bloat—always a welcome effect when you’re trying to burn fat.

Grapefruit

“Grapefruit is a very low-calorie density food, so people feel they can fill up on one as an appropriate snack” . It’s also high in antioxidants including vitamin C and beta-carotene to support healthy immune system function. Plus, it has a ton of fiber at three grams per fruit.

Green tea

While you can’t simply sip on green tea and expect the pounds to fall off, there is actually quite a bit of research showing that this elixir can help fire up your body’s fat-burning capabilities.

Chili peppers and cayenne

Capsaicin, the compound that makes chili peppers hot may mildly increase metabolic rate, research shows, which is of course welcome when you’re trying to burn fat.

Beans and legumes

Beans and legumes are a great source of protein (seven grams in half a cup of black beans) to help build muscle, burn fat, and keep you satisfied. A massive dose of both soluble and insoluble fiber (seven grams total) also helps prevent blood sugar spikes for a slower, steadier energy burn.

Whey protein

“Whey protein has been shown to support muscle repair, building, and retention,” And since muscle burns more calories than fat, it helps support an efficient metabolism.

Turmeric

Another fat-fighting hero: “Turmeric, which helps to lower inflammation and may prevent growth of fat tissue.”

Sprinkle a little bit of the spice on your dinner to help give it a major flavor boost.

3 Ways to Lower Your Odds of Diabetes

The nutritionist says … eat one plant protein and one serving of veggies at every meal.

As often as possible, get your protein from low-carb plant foodslike soy and nuts. Beans are also good protein sources, but they’re high in carbs, so be cautious if that’s something you’re monitoring. Studies show that filling your plate with veggies and nuts helps improve chronic inflammation and insulin sensitivity.

And a plant-based diet can also help you lose weight, lower your blood glucose and blood pressure, and ward off heart disease — because you’re getting more fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and healthy fats, and less saturated fat and cholesterol.

The researcher says … sign up for a prevention program.

Most doctors will tell you to eat better and move more, but how exactly do you start putting the advice into practice? That’s why it’s crucial to find a group that helps inspire you to create healthy, lasting habits. Research shows that when you engage in a yearlong lifestyle change program that includes diet, exercise, and support, you’ll cut your risk of diabetes by over half, and by 70% if you’re over 60, you’ll also help prevent heart attacks and strokes.

The doctor says … pop a Vitamin D pill.

While other supplements may claim to help manage or prevent diabetes, vitamin D is the only one with actual evidence to support it. In fact, one study of over 2,000 people with prediabetes found that the higher the level of vitamin D in the subject’s blood, the lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Your body makes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to the sun, but because people aren’t going outdoors as much, it’s very common to be deficient in this vitamin. And it’s hard to reach the right levels just by eating.