The Heart Attack Grill is a hospital themed restaurant in Las Vegas serving fast food that makes McDonald's and Burger King look healthy. The waitresses are dressed as nurses while the customers wear hospital gowns and are referred to as patients. Last week, one of the "patients" turned into an actual hospital patient when he had a real heart attack while eating at the grill.
Heart Attack Grill
The Heart Attack Grill is no ordinary restaurant. They serve four types of hamburgers ranging from the smallest (Single Bypass Burger) which contains a 1/2 pound of beef to the biggest (Quadruple Bypass Burger) which contains 2 pounds of beef. Each burger comes with the option to add 5 slices of bacon per patty (20 slices for the Quadruple Bypass Burger). Their biggest burger, the Quadruple Bypass Burger contains 8,000 calories!
Though the food is unhealthy, the restaurant does have a fun and unique theme. Anyone over 350 pounds eats for free and anyone who finishes a Quadruple Bypass Burger gets wheeled to their car in a wheelchair by a nurse. On February 14th, a man eating at the restaurant suffered a heart attack and had to be transported to the hospital.
A Heart Attack in the Making
A heart attack happens when one or more of the blood vessels that carry blood to the heart muscle is blocked. The conditions that make a heart attack possible don't happen overnight. A heart attack happens after years of neglect.
Your health is dictated by a combination of the choices you make over a long period of time and family history. Bad health is the result of behaviors including but not limited to eating unhealthy foods, not exercising, smoking, drinking and living a stressful life. Good health is the exact opposite. The man that got a heart attack while eating at the Heart Attack Grill probably ignored his health for years before the heart attack. He most likely ate Heart Attack Grill-like foods on a regular basis, had a sedentary lifestyle and a family history of heart problems. The Heart Attack Grill didn't cause his heart attack, his unhealthy lifestyle did.
Cheat days and cheat meals are very important in keeping you sane while on a healthy diet. Healthy eating sometimes requires giving up your favorite foods: chocolate cake, doughnuts, pizza and Quadruple Bypass Burgers. If you love any of these foods, salads, fruits, nuts, beans and grilled chicken sometimes won't fill your cravings. Cheat days help you stick to your healthy eating plan by allowing you to sometimes indulge in your favorite foods.
The Heart Attack Grill is an extremely excessive cheat meal. A cheat meal isn't a blank check to eat anything. Instead it should be used to allow yourself to moderately indulge in your favorite unhealthy foods. Eating one 8,000 calorie burger (assuming you can even finish the whole thing) once isn't going to do any permanent damage. Having one of these "hamburgers" twice a month will have an impact on your health.
Avoiding Heart Attacks and Cardiovascular Disease
The following lifestyle changes will help you reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease:
- stay within your healthy weight range
- eat a lot of fruits and vegetables
- eat foods high in unsaturated fats while avoiding saturated and trans fats
- eat lean proteins
- eat complex carbs
- eat foods low in sodium
- cook your own meals
- eat foods high in fiber
- exercise more
Eating foods you love occasionally and in moderation will help you sustain a healthy diet for a long period of time. Cardiovascular disease doesn't happen overnight. Rather, it's the result of years of neglect both in terms of a bad diet and a sedentary lifestyle. The problem isn't eating an 8,000 calorie meal, the problem is embracing a lifestyle that completely ignores healthy foods and physical activity.