How to Save Your Heart-Health!

How to Save Your Heart-Health!

You have never heard of an acute coronary syndrome. But what about heart attack, or unstable angina? Those well-known conditions are both acute coronary syndromes, an umbrella term for situations where the blood supplied to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked.

“This is an absolute medical emergency.

Symptoms

  •  Chest pain (angina) that feels like burning, pressure or tightness and lasts several minutes or longer
  •  Pain elsewhere in the body, such as the left upper arm or jaw (referred pain)
  •  Nausea
  • Vomiting
  •  Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
  •  Sudden, heavy sweating (diaphoresis)

Lifestyle and Diet

You can take steps to prevent acute coronary syndrome or improve your symptoms.

Don’t smoke. If you smoke, the most important thing you can do to improve your heart’s health is to stop. Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble with quitting.

Eat a heart-healthy diet. Too much saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet can narrow arteries to your heart. Follow the advice of your doctor and dietitian on eating a heart-healthy diet that includes plenty of whole grains, lean meat, low-fat dairy, and fruits and vegetables. Also, limit the salt in your diet. Eating too much salt and saturated or trans fats will increase your blood pressure and cholesterol.

Exercise regularly. Regular exercise helps improve heart muscle function and keeps blood flowing through your arteries. It can also reduce your risk of acute coronary syndrome by helping you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, and control diabetes, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure. Exercise doesn’t have to be vigorous. For example, walking 30 minutes a day five days a week can improve your health.

Check your cholesterol. Have your blood cholesterol levels checked regularly, through a blood test at your doctor’s office. If your cholesterol levels are undesirably high, your doctor can prescribe changes to your diet and medications to help lower the numbers and protect your cardiovascular health. It’s recommended that overall cholesterol levels be below 200 mg/dL, and that high density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol (HDL) levels be above 40 mg/dL for men and above 50 mg/dL for women. Recommended LDL cholesterol levels depend on your heart disease risk. For those with a low risk of heart disease, LDL cholesterol should be below 130 mg/dL. In people with a moderate risk, a level of less than 100 mg/dL is recommended. For those with a high risk of heart disease, including people who’ve already had a heart attack or who have diabetes, it’s recommended that LDL levels be below 70 mg/dL.

Control your blood pressure. Have your blood pressure checked at least every two years. Your doctor may recommend more frequent checks if you have high blood pressure or a history of heart disease. Normal blood pressure is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg).

Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight strains your heart and can contribute to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Losing weight can lower your risk of acute coronary syndrome.

Manage stress. To reduce your risk of a heart attack, reduce stress in your day-to-day activities. Rethink workaholic habits and find healthy ways to minimize or deal with stressful events in your life.

Drink alcohol in moderation. Drinking more than one to two alcoholic drinks a day raises blood pressure, so cut back on your drinking if necessary. From a heart-healthy standpoint, one to two drinks daily is fine for men, and women can have one alcoholic beverage a day. One drink is equivalent to 12 ounces (355 milliliters, or mL) of beer, 4 ounces (118 mL) of wine or 1.5 ounces (44 mL) of an 80-proof liquor.

By Smriti Jha

-Registered Dietitian having more than 8 yrs of experience in Clinical Dietetics.
-Diabetes Educator, Health &Wellness Coach.
-Blogger/Writer/Speaker.
Contact Details: smritijha1985@gmail.com

5 comments

  1. Dr. Thomas E. Levy has been a practicing cardiologist for 30 years. In his book, Stop America’s #1 Killer!, Dr. Levy references over 650 studies published in medical and scientific journals that prove conclusively that coronary heart disease is caused by multiple nutritional deficiencies. On page 253 he lists 33 dietary supplements, available at any health food store, “…for optimizing the ability of the artery to regenerate itself and reverse any existing atherosclerosis”…“the typical diet does not even come close to supplying enough of these essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients.” As someone with a family history of heart disease, I have been taking this list of supplements since 2008. I am now 63 years old and recently had an MRI. The doctor declared, “Ray, your arteries are as clean as a whistle!” Needless to say, I am a big fan of Dr. Levy and am dedicated to disseminating this important information; so, I give away free paperback copies of his book (this book is not available as an e-book). If you want a free copy of Stop America’s #1 Killer, just email me at rayellis@saveyourheart.com, leave your name and physical address and I will snail-mail it to you right away. Be Well!

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      • Yes but, imagine you are a British sailor onboard a ship in the year 1776. Your are dying of scurvy. You know that just a few ounces of lemon or lime juice per day will cure the disease and prevent you from dying and the ship’s surgeon tells you, “But diet and lifestyle are also important as per experts!” Your “diet and lifestyle” can be the best in the world and you will still die from scurvy if you don’t get enough vitamin c every day. Atherosclerosis is first and foremost a multiple nutritional deficiency disease. All medical doctors agree that the only proper way to treat a nutritional deficiency disorder is to reverse the deficiency by getting the proper nutrients in the proper dosages every day. Let’s take just one nutrient: Vitamin C. You would have to eat 30 oranges per day to get enough vit c to prevent or reverse atherosclerosis. And there are 32 other nutrients on Dr. Levy’s list. It is impossible to eat your way to a healthy cardiovascular system. If it were possible then obese people would have the healthiest cardiovascular systems! The food we eat just doesn’t have the nutrients it had 100-200 years ago. This is why a person can be both obese and undernourished. The only practical solution is to take the required nutrients in the required doses everyday from supplemental sources. I’m all for maintaining a good diet and lifestyle, but they won’t prevent you from dying from heart disease if you don’t give your cardiovascular system the nutrients it needs on a daily basis.

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