Watching the Super Bowl May be Hazardous to Your Health

When you are getting ready to watch for the Super Bowl, the upcoming Winter Olympics, or any other big sporting event, you probably aren’t thinking about the possibility of suffering a heart attack. In a story published by CBS News, studies have shown that the risk increases when fans are watching major sporting events.

The chances of a person having a heart attack while watching the Super Bowl or a similar event increase from 1 in 100,000 to between 2 and 3 per 100,000. Rabid sports fans beware: if your team loses the Big Game, your risk of heart attack increases on game day and for a few weeks afterward.

The combination of increased adrenalin levels and overindulgence in snack foods and alcohol can put extra strain on the heart muscle, which has the potential to trigger a heart attack. It’s not just the people who fit the profile of a person who is at risk that need to be concerned about their heart health; a heart attack can happen to anyone.

Heart Attack Warning Signs

Here are the signs of heart attack that you need to be aware of. Men should be on the lookout for:

  • Chest Pain or Pressure
  • Feeling Lightheaded
  • Nausea
  • Pain Radiating Down Left Arm
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Sweating

For women, heart attack warning signs are a little different. According to the National Institutes of Health, about half of women who have a heart attack don’t experience any chest pain during the event. Instead, a woman should be aware that the following symptoms may indicate a heart attack:

  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Indigestion
  • Shortness of Breath

Have fun watching the Super Bowl and enjoy the time spent with friends and family, but be aware of what’s happening with your body. If you experience the kinds of symptoms listed above, don’t wait until half time or the game is over – get to the Emergency Room right away.

Healthy Super Bowl Snacks are Good for Your Heart

Part of the fun of attending a Super Bowl party, other than watching the game and hanging out with friends, is enjoying the food.

This event can turn into a non-stop snackfest, and unfortunately it’s very easy to go into automatic mode at one of these events and lose track of how much you’re eating.

Fun foods can be part of a heart-healthy diet, and you don’t have to feel deprived on Super Bowl Sunday. If you are hosting the party, plan to offer a variety of foods to your guests during the event, including ones that are high in fiber and low in fat.

Fresh vegetables combined with a dip made from low-fat ingredients are popular. Choose low-fat Ranch dip, salsa or hummus. Black bean dip is a good choice if you want to have a few chips or nachos.

heart healthy foods photoGuacamole is a popular Super Bowl snack item, but the avocados used to make it are high in fat. If you decide to indulge, do so in moderation.

Air-popped popcorn is another healthy choice, and you can add a small amount of salt or some grated Parmesan cheese to kick up the flavor.

If you have a choice between eating a hamburger or a turkey burger, go for the turkey. It’s lower in fat and calories. Top with some low-fat ranch dressing or salsa, lettuce tomatoes and cucumbers for a tasty sandwich. A burger made with lean ground beef can be kept on the healthy side if served on a whole-wheat bun and topped with ketchup, mustard, tomato and lettuce (hold the cheese).

Chili is a popular food at Super Bowl events, since it’s warm and filling. It can be a heart-healthy choice, if you make it with ground turkey instead of ground beef. A vegetarian chili has the advantage of being a high-fiber choice that is packed full of flavor while being low in fat.

No matter where you decide to watch the action of the Game of the Year, you can choose heart-healthy foods to enjoy. Consider the options available and remember that moderation is key to enjoying good health.