The popular foods that could cause blood clots include sausage rolls

British Heart Foundation: Understanding blood clots

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Blood clots can stir up serious complications if they don’t dissolve naturally so it’s crucial to minimise the risk of developing them. What’s worse, an expert has warned that some popular British foods and snacks could be driving up the process leading to the gel-like clumps.

While blood clotting is necessary to stop bleeding when a blood vessel gets injured, clots that have formed without an obvious injury can be dangerous.

Worryingly, certain foods may kickstart the mechanisms that lead to the formation of these harmful clots.

From sausage rolls to crisps, nutritionist Rory Batt has revealed the popular food options that could pose a risk.

Batt said: “Foods fried in vegetable oil can over time drive the process of atherosclerosis (the hardening and obstruction of arteries) leading to blood clots.

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“They can raise LDL [cholesterol], which in itself is not bad, but they also lead it to become oxidised LDL which is a bad thing as this is the actual ‘bad’ cholesterol that leads to damaging of the artery walls and subsequent blockages of arteries.

“[Furthermore], most veg oils contain a lot of omega-6 fatty acids, too many of which can be pro-inflammatory. 

“On top of that, the heating of these fats and others in the oil can alter their chemical structures to become super inflammatory.”

As inflammation is the “key” driver for the process of atherosclerosis, eating foods that contain vegetable oils could lead to blood clots.

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Batt explained that almost all junk foods, including some British favourites, have traces of vegetable oils.

So the foods that could be putting you at risk of clotting include:

  • Fried chicken
  • Crisps
  • Biscuits
  • Crackers
  • Chips
  • Scotch eggs
  • Sausage rolls.

The expert added: “Inflammation plays a role in all of the stages of development of atherosclerosis, from when plaques initially start to form, to when they build up and start to obstruct the arteries.

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“The supercharged version of damaged fats are trans fats, which are formed from the process of hydrogenation. They are also known as hydrogenated fats.

“They are super inflammatory and can cause blood clots in some people from chronic exposure via the same mechanisms as above.”

Trans fats are found in the culprits above like biscuits, fried foods, cakes and more.

Foods like these also boost your bad cholesterol levels, which can eventually trigger atherosclerosis if left untreated.

The NHS recommends cutting back on saturated fats and swapping them for their unsaturated counterparts, found in the likes of plants and oily fish.

What are the warning signs of atherosclerosis?

As this is the “principal” way through which foods can lead to blood clots, Batt shared the warning signs to be aware of.

According to the expert, symptoms can include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • General fatigue
  • Tenderness and pain in extremities like legs and arms
  • Chest pains
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Poor blood flow to the brain resulting in confusion.

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