Nutrition plays a major role in our health. Certain foods can, for example, make us gain weight faster or get high cholesterol. However, what we drink can have just as big an impact.
According to nutritionist Rory Batt, of meal prep company Marvin’s Den, sugary drinks can be one of the culprits when it comes to blood clots because of their effect on cholesterol levels.
Blot clots are small clumps of blood that have formed into a gel-like substance.
While they’re necessary to prevent excessive bleeding if you get a cut, those that don’t resolve naturally can be dangerous.
And if they travel to organs like the lungs or heart, that’s cause for serious concern.
READ MORE: Rhinorrhoea is ‘top’ Covid symptom on double shot – seen in 83% of cases
Mr Batt explained how sugar can increase the risk of blood clots: “Sugar foods are also involved in multiple pathways leading to atherosclerosis. Similar to that of fats.
“Sugar not only raises low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (“bad”), but it also brings a lot of oxidative stress and inflammation, causing low-density lipoprotein to form oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL), which can increase your risk . of atherosclerosis) as well.
“As with the fats, the inflammation drives processes such as platelet aggregation, which is how blood clots are formed.
“Platelet aggregation is one of the factors involved in atherosclerosis and leads to obstruction and blood clots.”
And the American Heart Association reported how a study found a link between cholesterol and venous thromboembolism (VTE), which occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein.
“LDL cholesterol — so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol — is known to constrict blood vessels, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes,” it says.
“It is now also suspected of contributing to venous thromboembolism, new research suggests.”
Symptoms of a blood clot include:
- Throbbing or cramping pain, swelling, redness, and warmth in a leg or arm
- Sudden shortness of breath, sharp chest pain (may be worse when you breathe in), and cough or cough up blood.
There are two types of VTE, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE).
“Deep vein thrombosis is a clot in a deep vein, usually in the leg. DVT sometimes affects the arm or other arteries,” says the American Heart Association.
“A pulmonary embolism occurs when a DVT clot dislodges from an artery wall, travels to the lungs, and then blocks some or all of the blood supply.
“Blood clots coming from the thigh are more likely to break off and travel to the lungs than blood clots in the lower leg or other parts of the body.”