When you are sad or stressed, it is very tempting to give in to the temptation and melt a large bar of chocolate in your stomach.
Researchers warn that this could harm your heart health in the long run.
The scientists studied 1,109 people who were rated by whether they were eating emotionally — by opening the refrigerator in response to feelings like sadness or stress rather than hunger.
They were followed up for 13 years and no cardiovascular injury was reported.
These include rapid carotid pulse waves in the groin, indicating hardening of the arteries, and diastolic dysfunction, indicating hardening of the heart.
Atherosclerosis is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke because a stable heart means that the muscles do not relax enough after contraction, and this is associated with a higher risk of heart failure.
The analysis showed that emotional eating was associated with atherosclerosis and a 38% increased risk of developing heart stiffness.
The researchers found that stress levels accounted for 32 percent of the relationship between emotional binge eating and heart stiffness.
However, the number of calories eaten had no effect.
Researchers at the University Hospital of Nancy in France report their findings in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
Professor Nicholas Gerrard, one of the authors of the study, said: “We might expect emotional people to eat high-calorie foods, which in turn would lead to cardiovascular problems, but this was not the case.
One explanation is that we measured average calorie intake and that emotional eating can cause overeating when under stress.”
The researchers advise that one way to help avoid emotional overeating is to try to eat “carefully and slowly.”
Professor Gerrard said: “Emotional eating causes a person to consume food to fill the brain, not the stomach. Mindful eating can help break this habit. This means taking time to eat alone or with others, staying in the moment and being in the know. what’s going on. You’re doing and you’re not distracted by your phone or TV.”
Lead author Dr Sandra Wagner said: “Stress may be one reason we eat in response to feelings rather than hunger. We know that emotional eating is less sensitive to hunger and satiety, but mindful eating draws attention to these physical sensations.Physical activity – whether it be a walk or exercise “More intense is another way to avoid emotional overeating because it relieves stress and provides alternative activities. Just 10 minutes of meditation and breathing exercises a day can help reduce stress.”
Source: Daily Mail