Diet, Exercise & Heart Disease

Heart disease remains the number one killer and too much cholesterol in your body is a risk factor for heart disease. Today statins, the drug of choice for lowering cholesterol, are prescribed to about 15% of the U.S. population and with the new cholesterol guidelines that may double. New cholesterol guidelines are pushing physicians to prescribe more statins and in larger doses as a means to prevent heart disease. Yet side effects include muscle damage, elevated blood sugar and depression. What does this mean? More attention is needed on how to take control of your lifestyle habits in order to lower the risk of heart disease and obesity without the side effects of medications.

Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy, reveals the dietary secrets and habits of Europe’s three healthiest countries, which have significantly lower rates of heart disease compared to 17 affluent nations including the U.S.

Small changes in behavior and dietary choices are proven to be long lasting in comparison to drastic changes that lead to dissatisfaction and yo-yo dieting. I urge you to take control and make small adjustments to improve your diet and lifestyle.

I applaud the American Heart Association in leading its efforts in research and education to prevent heart disease and obesity.

AHA general dietary guidelines suggest two to four servings of fresh fruit every day, another four to five servings of vegetables (preferably fresh), more whole grains, low fat dairy and limiting meat, fish and poultry to 6 ounces or less per day.

The American Heart Association now recommends moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, for an average of 40 minutes three to four times a week.

Before making changes to diet and exercise routines, consult your physician and registered dietitian.