La combinación asesina: no desayunar y cenar muy tarde

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Las personas que se saltan el desayuno y cenan muy tarde, casi a la hora de irse a la cama cerca, son los que van a tener peores consecuencias si sufren un ataque al corazón. Lo ha visto una investigación publicada en « European Journal of Preventive Cardiology».

El estudio ha visto que las personas con estos dos hábitos alimenticios tenían una probabilidad de muerte cuatro a cinco veces mayor, de experimentar un nuevo ataque cardíaco o angina (dolor de pecho) dentro de los 30 días posteriores al alta hospitalaria por un infarto.

Este es el primer estudio que ha valorado estos comportamientos no saludables en pacientes con síndromes coronarios agudos. De las 113 personas analizados, el 58% se saltaba el desayuno, el 51 cenaba a altas horas de la noche y en el 41% tenían ambos comportamientos.

El estudio incluyó pacientes con una forma particularmente grave de ataque cardíaco llamada infarto de miocardio con elevación del segmento ST (STEMI). «Uno de cada diez pacientes con STEMI muere al cabo de un año, y la alimentación es una forma relativamente barata y fácil de mejorar el pronóstico», señala Marcos Minicucci, autor del trabajo y profesor de la Universidad Estatal de São Paolo (Brasil).

De acuerdo con los investigadores, es recomendable un intervalo mínimo de dos horas entre la cena y la hora de acostarse. «Se dice que la mejor manera de vivir es desayunar como un rey», agrega. «Un buen desayuno generalmente se compone de productos lácteos (leche descremada o baja en grasa, yogur y queso), un carbohidrato (pan integral, panecillos, cereales) y frutas enteras. Debe tener entre el 15 y el 35% de nuestro total ingesta diaria de calorías».

El estudio incluyó 113 pacientes con una edad media de 60 años, el 73% varones. Se les preguntó sobre los comportamientos alimenticios en el ingreso en una unidad de cuidados intensivos coronarios. Saltarse el desayuno se definió como comer nada antes del almuerzo, excluyendo las bebidas, como el café y el agua, al menos tres veces por semana. La cena tardía se definió como una comida dentro de las dos horas anteriores a la hora de acostarse al menos tres veces por semana.

Estudios anteriores han encontrado que las personas que no desayunan y cenan tarde tienen más probabilidades de tener otros hábitos poco saludables como fumar y niveles bajos de actividad física. «Nuestra investigación muestra que las dos conductas alimentarias están vinculadas de forma independiente con resultados más pobres después de un ataque cardíaco, pero tener un conjunto de malos hábitos solo empeorará las cosas», señala Minicucci. «Las personas que trabajan tarde pueden ser particularmente susceptibles a tener una cena tardía y luego no tener hambre en la mañana».

Además, señalan «creemos que la respuesta inflamatoria, el estrés oxidativo y la función endotelial podrían estar involucrados en la asociación entre conductas alimentarias no saludables y resultados cardiovasculares».

En este estudio, el uso de estatinas antes del ingreso hospitalario fue mayor en el grupo con hábitos alimenticios poco saludables y con peor resultado. «Hay algunas controversias con respecto a los hábitos alimenticios de los pacientes que toman estatinas. Nuestro estudio sugiere que los pacientes con STEMI perciben las estatinas como una ruta alternativa a los beneficios para la salud. Pero estos medicamentos deben ser un complemento de los hábitos alimenticios saludables, no un reemplazo».

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