Short article - what really works in cardiac disease
More recently, a small, but significant clinical
trial by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., of the Cleveland Clinic
Foundation, showed that a plant-based diet in conjunction with
cholesterol-reducing medication eliminated progression of coronary
artery disease over a 12-year period in patients with triple-vessel
disease. Most of the 18 patients had experienced an earlier failed
intervention of bypass surgery or angioplasty. All patients who
maintained the diet achieved the cholesterol goal of less than 150
mg/dL and had no recurrent coronary events during the 12 years. At five
years, angiography was repeated in most cases. By analysis of the
stenosis percentage, none
had any progression of the disease and 70 percent had selective
regression. This data is compelling when one considers that the same
group had experienced more than 49 coronary events during the eight
years before this study.
1. Go out and
play. You are better off being in good shape and
fat than thin and in bad shape. There's no pill or diet that can
substitute for the health benefits of exercise. Don't starve yourself,
but eat well and get moving, doing whatever kind of exercise is fun for
you. Go for a bike ride with your spouse, or play basketball with your
kids. You'll look and feel better, and your heart will thank you.
2. Watch your
waistline. Despite the advice above, where your
fat lands is key. Abdominal fat is a risk factor for metabolic
syndrome, which dramatically increases the risk of heart disease. So do
sit-ups and keep your waist measurement less than 40 inches for men and
35 inches for women.
3. Have sex.
Sexual activity can provide exercise and emotional
bonding, perhaps explaining why one study shows that having orgasms at
least 100 times a year (that's twice a week) is associated with
longevity. On the other hand, sexual dysfunction can be a signal of
heart disease. Like a dipstick, erections of the penis reflect the
vascular health of a man's heart, so trouble in that department may
mean it's time to see your doctor.
4. Go nuts.
Rich in healthy fats, nuts are great to snack on and very filling, so
you don't feel compelled to eat as much junk.
5. Relieve the
pressure. Emotional stress causes physical
stress. Avoid traffic jams, for example, which studies show are
associated with heart attacks. Relaxation techniques keep the heart
healthy. Yoga and meditation are great, but even simple
stress-reduction techniques can work. Try counting to 10 and taking
yourself outside the situation, as if just observing it.
Stress can also raise your blood pressure, and studies show that people
with the lowest blood pressure have the fewest heart attacks. What we
once thought was normal may be way too high for heart health. While we
don't know yet how low is low enough, if you have heart-disease risk
factors and your blood pressure is 130/80 or higher, see your doctor.
How to Cut Your Risk
if you follow just the first seven tips below (and don't smoke, of
course), you'll reduce the chance of having a heart attack by as much
as 90 percent compared to a typical person your age!
1. Walk 30 minutes a day every day, no matter what --
and then call someone.
2. Know your blood pressure and do whatever it takes
to get it down to 115/75.
- 3. Eat an ounce of nuts a day.
4. Learn your HDL number and do what you can to raise
it to 50.
5. Eat 10 tablespoons of tomato sauce a week.
- 6. Floss your teeth regularly.
7. Eat no more than 20 grams of saturated fat a day
and as little trans fat as possible.
- 8. Read labels and throw out all food that has sugar in
the first five ingredients.
9. Have a glass of wine or beer today.
10. Eat 9 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables a
Stop smoking. If you smoke, quit. If
someone in your household smokes, encourage them to quit. We know
tough. But it’s tougher to recover from a heart attack or stroke
live with chronic heart disease. Commit to quit. We’re here to
you need it. more
Reduce blood cholesterol.
Fat lodged in your arteries is a disaster waiting to happen. Sooner or
later it could trigger a heart attack or stroke. You’ve got to
your intake of saturated and trans fat and get moving. If diet and
exercise alone don’t get those numbers down, then medication is
key. Take it just like the doctor orders. Here’s the
lowdown on where
those numbers need to be: more
Total Cholesterol – Less than 200 mg/dL
LDL (bad) Cholesterol – LDL cholesterol goals
- Low risk for heart disease – Less than 160 mg/dL
- Intermediate risk for heart disease – Less than 130
- High risk for heart disease including those with heart
disease or diabetes – Less than 100mg/dL
HDL (good) Cholesterol – 40 mg/dL or higher for
men and 50 mg/dL or higher for women
Triglycerides – Less than 150 mg/dL
high blood pressure.
It’s the single largest risk factor for stroke. Stroke is the No.
3 killer and one of the leading causes of disability in the United States.
Stroke recovery is difficult at best and you could be disabled for
life. Shake that salt habit, take any medication the doctor recommends exactly
as prescribed and get moving. Those numbers need to get down and
stay down. Your goal is less than 120/80 mmHg. more
active every day.
Research has shown that getting 30–60 minutes of physical
most days of the week can help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol
and keep your weight at a healthy level. But something IS better than
nothing. If you’re doing nothing now, start out slow. Studies
people who have achieved even a moderate level of fitness are much less
likely to die early than those with a low fitness level. more
Aim for a healthy weight.
Obesity is an epidemic in America,
not only for adults but also for children. Fad diets and supplements
are not the answer. Good nutrition and physical activity are the only
way to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity places you at risk for high
cholesterol, high blood pressure and insulin resistance, a precursor of
type 2 diabetes — the very factors that heighten your risk of
cardiovascular disease. Your Body Mass Index (BMI) will tell you if
your weight is healthy. more
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of diabetes-related death.
People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop
cardiovascular disease due to a variety of risk factors, including high
blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity and lack of physical
scientists have noted a relationship between coronary heart disease
risk and stress in a person's life that may affect the risk factors for
heart disease and stroke. For example, people under stress may overeat,
start smoking or smoke more than they otherwise would. Research has
even shown that stress reaction in young adults predicts middle-age
blood pressure risk. more
Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure, cause heart failure
and lead to stroke. It can contribute to high triglycerides, produce
irregular heartbeats and affect cancer and other diseases. It
contributes to obesity, alcoholism, suicide and accidents. The risk of
heart disease in people who drink moderate amounts of alcohol
(an average of one drink for women or two drinks for men per day) is
lower than in nondrinkers. However, it’s not recommended that
nondrinkers start using alcohol or that drinkers increase the amount
they drink. more