• Question: how much burgers or hot dogs can you eat before you have a stroke or heart attack?

    Asked by kieranscottiee to clairemarieroberts, Faye, Martin, Mus, Pete on 20 Apr 2012.
    • Photo: Pete Etchells

      Pete Etchells answered on 20 Apr 2012:

      That’s quite a difficult question! I don’t think that there’s a hard and fast answer to that one, but it’s certainly the case that having a poor diet will be a major risk factor for having a stroke or a heart attack. In general, eating lots of fatty foods (particular those which are high in saturated fats) will increase the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream. Cholesterol is important for your body, because it helps to build cell membranes. However, too much cholesterol can cause blockages in your blood vessels, which can cause both strokes and heart attacks, depending on where the blockage occurs. So for instance, if you eat lots bacon double cheeseburgers from a fast food restaurant, you will be eating more saturated fat than if you eat lots of homemade beefburger made with lean meat and no cheese. In turn, you’re probably more likely to be at risk for a heart attack or stroke with the cheeseburgers.

      I love making healthy, homemade burgers – but even then, I only do it very occassionally as a treat! The best way to reduce the chances of having a stroke or heart attack is to eat a healthy and balanced diet, that includes lots of fruit and vegetables, wholegrain food (like brown rice), and to exercise regularly!

    • Photo: Faye Didymus

      Faye Didymus answered on 20 Apr 2012:

      Hi kieranscottiee! There isn’t a set number of burgers or hot dogs that will make you have a heart attack or stroke – the sad thing is that it could happen to any one of us. And that’s why it’s important to keep active and eat healthily! A balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle is the key to trying to prevent yourself from having a stroke or a heart attack. My moto is that you can eat whatever you like as long as you do it in moderation and make sure that most of your energy is coming from healthy foods such as brown bread and rice, lean meat, fruit and vegetables. If you’re doing plenty of exercise and keeping active, you can probably afford to have a treat every now and again because you’ll be using lots of energy whilst you’re exercising 🙂