Pregnant women who take high-fat dairy products, excessive red meat, and processed junk food ready their unborn children for heart diseases in the future, according to a study.
The chance of the baby suffering from cardiovascular diseases when they grow up increases by 40% due to high cholesterol during pregnancy. Anything that leads to elevated levels of cholesterol like saturated and trans fat found in meat and processed foods should be therefore avoided.
An analysis by experts showed a significant connection between heart attacks and cholesterol levels of patients’ mothers during pregnancy.
“Cholesterol is not routinely measured during pregnancy in most countries, so there are few studies on its association with the health of offspring,” said study lead author Dr Francesco Cacciatore in a statement.
He advised women to take special care of their health and diet during pregnancy and not skip exercise. It is important to cut down on junk food and remain physically active.
The findings of the study indicate that high cholesterol in moms-to-be can be a warning sign to immediately receive lifestyle guidance to prevent heart disease later in life.
The Italian team studied data from 310 hospital patients out of which 89 had a history of heart attacks and the rest 221 were in the control group.
The study, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, also found that high cholesterol in pregnancy made women more prone to atherosclerosis, where the arteries harden leading to either a heart attack or stroke.