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Can Heart Disease Be Prevented and Reversed?

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Women's Choice In Comfort Foods
Can Be Unhealthy For Heart

It is believed that our diet will partly determine how high the risk of getting heart disease. Under normal circumstances, people who are told to adopt a healthy diet will probably adhere to this advice, especially those who have already had or are on the verge of getting into health problems. But, when they are in negative emotions, they will tend to change their choices.

An interesting research, conducted by Cornell University researchers in 2005, showed that there is gender difference between men and women in what trigger them to turn to and what they choose as their comfort foods. The study was conducted with researchers from McGill University in Canada and was drawn from a web-based survey of 277 participants, of which 81 were males.

Women are slightly more prone to pick comfort foods high in fat and sugar like cakes and ice cream when they feel guilty, lonely, and depressed. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to turn to soups, pasta, and steak as a reward when they are feeling upbeat. That is significant because those who associate comfort foods with positive emotions are more likely to pick healthier foods.

The study also found that foods high in sugar and fat content are more efficient in alleviating negative feelings. Nevertheless, not everyone uses comfort foods to reduce stress. The Cornellís study also found that comfort foods low in calories, such as soups, vegetables, were more prone to associate with positive emotions. Women were 50 percent more likely than men to admit feeling guilty about indulging in comfort foods. At the same time, 40 percent of female respondents picked high-calorie sweet foods, while the same was true for 35 percent of men.

The steak, pasta and pizza picked by men are not necessary optimal choices but, in general, they are better than the sweet and fatty foods women turn on.

Another section of the study examined which comfort foods people picked when they were restraining their caloric intake. Like women, those on the strictest diets tended to associate comfort foods with negative feelings. And they were also more prone to pick the most nutritionally deficient foods.

That might explain why women are more drawn to high-fat, high-sugar foods when in need, since they are more likely to be more preoccupied about weight gain. So when they are not happy, they head straight for the forbidden foods.

The logical extension is that if people stop worrying or not under stress, they will naturally make healthier choices. People should, therefore, remember to keep themselves happy most of the time to avoid switching to unhealthy comfort foods, especially when they are advised to have strict diet.

 

 

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