On Valentine’s Day celebration: Doc’s advice to lovers: Keep your heart healthy

By Jason B. Neola


Dating with your spouse or lover at his or her much loved resto is a good treat that you could offer on Valentine’s Day, but not always with the kind of food that both of you are going to feast on.

So said Councilor Sonny Rañola, a physician, who used to warn his constituents when holidays or big occasions come in against food that are bad for their health, like junk foods including those stuffs disguised as healthy foods like your favorite processed low-fat and fat-free foods.


The words “low fat” or “fat free” on packaging usually means that it’s a highly processed product that is loaded with sugar.


Basically, one has to constantly avoid food products that are salty, greasy, and fatty, he said. “By avoiding such kind of stuffs, we can also avoid heart ailments because our blood carries the bad cholesterol to the arteries and it becomes a part of plaque, which can get deposited on the inner side of arteries that can clog the arteries,” the doctor said.


Rañola, who is also the chairperson of the Naga City Health Board, said bad cholesterol causes dangerous accumulation of cholesterol on the walls of the arteries. Due to this deposit over time, the arterial passage narrows and the flow of blood gets reduced. This reduction in blood flow in the arteries can cause serious health complications such as coronary heart disease.


“One of the main effects of bad cholesterol in the human body is the increased risk of coronary heart disease. When the blood vessel narrows down due to the accumulation of low-density lipoprotein, blood cannot flow to the heart properly that results in angina (chest pain). When the blood vessel gets blocked completely due to plaque, the blood is not able to flow to the heart and this may cause a heart attack leading to the death of the person,” he further explained.


He even advised parents to seek immediate medical attention for their children suffering from meningitis, sore throat or tonsillitis to keep them away from ailments that could lead to rheumatic heart disease.


Rañola, a healthy lifestyle advocate, said avoidingas much as possible many of the high-risk habits in life helps a person to be able to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle.


Asked further about the dos of keeping a healthy heart, the doctor said: “Stop all forms of tobacco use, incorporate physical exercises into your daily routine, keep a healthy weight, make a habit of getting regular screenings of your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, avoid too much stress, manage your mental health, eat a heart-healthy diet, avoid foods that are bad for your health, and limit alcohol to a healthy amount.”


Going along with such reminders would assure us to have not only a happy celebration of Valentine’s Day but a blissful, and blessed life worth living, he concluded.

LOVERS Future couples attending a pre-valentine marriage orientation organized by the Naga City Population and Nutrition Office. JBN/VIC VILLAFLOR/CEPPIO