Cardiovascular disease is the major cause of death in America, accounting for 34 percent of deaths, many suddenly and almost all of them premature. This is down from 40 percent just four decades ago, mainly due to treatment of common risk factors. If you have diabetes, your risk increases dramatically. The best prevention against heart disease and stroke is to understand the risks and treatment options. The greatest risk is ignorance or misinformation. The first step is to take responsibility for your health. Your ticker is a pretty simple organ. It brings blood in by way of arteries and then pumps it back out to the rest of the body. A waxy substance called plaque can build up on the inside of these arteries, which makes them narrower, and it becomes more difficult for the blood to take the ride into and out of the heart. Over time, the buildup of plaque deposits can rupture and cause total blockage of the blood flow to the heart. This is called a heart attack and it’s the No. 1 killer of both men and women each year in the United States.

These 5 lifestyle changes could prevent 80 percent of heart attacks:

A healthy diet

Being physically active (walking/bicycling ≥40 min/day and exercising ≥1 h/week)

Healthy waist circumference (waist circumference <95 cm or 37.4 inches)

Moderate alcohol consumption (10 to 30 g/day)

No smoking

If you need some motivation to improve your lifestyle, consider a new study conducted at the Karolinska Institute. It found that engaging in five healthy lifestyle habits could prevent nearly 80 percent of first-time heart attacks in men. Even the researchers were surprised at how powerful a healthy lifestyle could be!

A INTERHEART study(2004), which looked at heart disease risk factors in over 50 countries around the world, found that 90 percent of heart disease cases are completely preventable by modifying diet and lifestyle factors. Still people are not using lifestyle habits to their advantage. Therefor only 1 percent of them (men aged 45 to 79) engaged in all five of the “low-risk” behaviors that could prevent a heart attack.

What does a Healthy Diet mean for your Heart?

Part of the confusion on fats revolves around its impact on LDL cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol. According to the conventional view, high LDL is correlated with heart disease, and saturated fat does tend to raise LDL. However, we now understand that there are TWO kinds of LDL cholesterol particles:

Small, dense LDL cholesterol

Large, “fluffy” LDL cholesterol

Research has confirmed that large LDL particles do not contribute to heart disease. The small, dense LDL particles, however, do contribute to the build-up of plaque in your arteries, and trans fat increases small, dense LDL. Saturated fat, on the other hand, increases large, fluffy—and benign—LDL.

More importantly, research has also shown that small, dense LDL particles are increased by eating refined sugar and carbohydrates, such as bread, bagels, and soda. Together, trans fats and refined carbs do far more harm than saturated fat ever possibly could.

While you may be tempted to eat unhealthy foods when you feel stressed, anxious, or depressed, it’s important to think about your heart health even when you’re feeling down. If you are concerned about your cardiovascular health or have already been diagnosed with high cholesterol or heart disease, the food you eat can be just as critical for your heart as controlling your weight and exercising. In fact, a heart-healthy diet can reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke by 80%. By understanding which foods are healthiest for your heart, you may be able to lower cholesterol, prevent or manage heart disease and high blood pressure, and take greater control over the quality and length of your life.

Although you might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it’s often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine-tune your diet.Once you know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit, you’ll be on your way toward a heart-healthy diet.

Improving your diet is an important step toward preventing heart disease, but you may feel unsure where to begin. Take a look at the big picture: your overall eating patterns are more important than obsessing over individual foods. No single food can make you magically healthy, so your goal can be to incorporate a variety of healthy foods prepared in healthy ways into your diet, and make these habits your new lifestyle.

Heart-Healthy Diet Plan

Eat a healthy diet of whole foods, ideally organic, and replace the grain carbs with:

• Large amounts of vegetables

• Low-to-moderate amount of high-quality protein (think organically raised, -pastured animals)

• High-quality healthy fat (saturated and monounsaturated from animal and tropical oil sources). Most people actually need upward of 50-85 percent fats in their diet for optimal health—a far cry from the 10 percent currently recommended. Sources of healthy fats to add to your diet include: Avocados, Butter made from raw grass-fed, organic milk, Coconuts and coconut oil, Raw dairy Unheated organic nut oils, Raw nuts, such as almonds, pecans, macadamia, and seeds Grass-fed meats, Organic pastured egg yolks.

Should You Eat More Fruit for Your Heart?

Most fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, making them heart healthy.

Keep fruit and vegetables at your fingertips. Wash and cut fruit and veggies and put them in your refrigerator for quick and healthy snacks. Choose recipes that feature these high-fiber ingredients, like veggie stir-fries or fruit salad.

Incorporate veggies into your cooking. Add pre-cut fresh or frozen vegetables to soups and sauces. For example, mix chopped frozen broccoli into prepared spaghetti sauce or toss fresh baby carrots into stews.

Don’t leave out the legumes. Add kidney beans, peas, or lentils to soups or black beans to a green salad.

Make snacks count. Fresh and dried fruit, raw vegetables, and nuts are all good ways to add fiber at snack time.

Caution against eating too much fruit, however, especially the sweeter fruits that are commonplace today. Many of the most beneficial phytonutrients found in fruits actually have bitter, sour, or astringent taste, and are found in the skin and seeds. To satisfy the modern palate, farmers have, throughout time, opted to selectively breed the sweetest varieties, which makes fruit far less nutritious than it once was. Still, carefully chosen fruit – such as organic apples, blueberries, or cherries – can certainly be beneficial when eaten in moderation.

If you’re insulin or leptin resistant (are overweight, diabetic, hypertensive, or have high cholesterol), then it would be advisable for you to limit your fruit intake. As a general rule, limiting your fructose intake to a maximum of 15 grams of fructose per day from ALL sources, including whole fruit.

If you are not insulin/leptin resistant, (are normal weight without diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol)and regularly engage in strenuous physical activity or manual labor, then higher fructose intake is unlikely to cause any health problems. In this case, you can probably eat more fruit without giving it much thought.

if you are in category two above, you might benefit from a further refinement. Fruit will still increase your blood sugar and many experts believe this will increase your protein glycosylation. So my approach is to consume the fruit typically after a workout, as your body will use the sugar as fuel rather than raise your blood sugar.

if you’re an endurance athlete, you can probably get away with eating fairly large amounts of fruits since your body will use most of the glucose during exercise, and it won’t be stored as fat.

If you’re still unsure of just how stringent you need to be, get your uric acid levels checked and use that as a guide.

Diabetes Drug Increases Heart Disease Risk

Metformin is commonly used to treat type 2 diabetes. It lowers blood sugar levels by reducing glucose production in the liver.  increased risk of producing low levels of the thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), can lead to complications, scientists have warned.The condition can cause heart disease, goitre – a lump in the throat caused by a swollen thyroid -pregnancy problems and a life-threatening condition called myxoedema coma. Both men and women can have an underactive thyroid, though the condition is more common in women.   In the UK, it affects 15 in every 1,000 women and one in 1,000 men. The condition can also develop in children.The amount of metformin an individual needs to control blood sugar levels is worked out by a person’s doctor or diabetes team.However, some previous research has raised concerns that the drug may lower thyroid-stimulating hormone levels.

The importance of heart failure as a cause of morbidity and mortality in diabetic patients is now apparent. Diabetes more than doubles the relative risk of prevalent heart failure . In addition, heart failure patients with diabetes are at increased risk of adverse outcomes compared with their nondiabetic peers . Despite this increasingly recognized association, the underlying link between diabetes and heart failure remains incompletely understood. Clearly, the multitude of CVD risk factors in diabetic patients, particularly those with type 2 diabetes, predispose them to coronary artery disease, increasing the likelihood of myocardial infarction. Not infrequently, the resulting cardiac injury is disturbingly silent. However, many patients with coexisting diabetes and heart failure have preserved systolic function but with impaired left ventricular relaxation . This “diastolic dysfunction” also often goes clinically unrecognized.

Warning About Beta-Blockers and Scientific Misconduct

Beta-blockers are drugs commonly used in the treatment of high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. They work primarily by blocking the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline) from binding to beta receptors, thereby dilating blood vessels, which reduces your heart rate and blood pressure. Until recently, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) also recommended using beta-blockers in patients undergoing non-cardiac surgery.                              A recent article in Forbes Magazine1 highlights how medical guidelines based on questionable science may have resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of patients in just a few years:Medical guidelines based on questionable science may have resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of patients in just a few years:”Last summer, British researchers provoked concern when they published a paper raising the possibility that by following an established guideline UK doctors may have caused as many as 10,000 deaths each year,2” Larry Husten, editorial director of WebMD professional news, writes.”Now, they have gone a step further and published an estimate that the same guideline may have led to the deaths of as many as 800,000 people in Europe over the last five years 3… The 800,000 deaths are comparable in size to the worst cases of genocide and mass murder in recent history.”

Avoid Becoming Another Heart Attack Statistic

By developing healthy lifestyle habits and relieving emotional problems without the use of food, you can achieve weight loss success.

Avoid excess sitting; aim for three hours a day or less of sitting and try to take 10,000 steps a day (exclusive of your exercise).

Optimize your vitamin D levels, either through appropriate sun exposure, a tanning bed, or as last resort an oral vitamin D3 supplement.

Avoid all sugars, including processed fructose and grains if you are insulin and leptin resistant. It doesn’t matter if they are conventional or organic, as a high-sugar diet promotes insulin and leptin resistance, which is a primary driver of heart disease.

Exercise regularly, as physical activity along with a healthy diet of whole, preferably organic, foods may be just as potent—if not more potent—than cholesterol-lowering drugs. Use a combination of high-intensity interval training, strength training, stretching, and core work.

Manage your stress daily. My favorite tool for stress management is the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Eat unprocessed saturated animal fats, and ignore the media, as you will benefit from these fats. Many may also benefit from increasing the healthy fat in their diet to 50-85 percent of daily calories.

Avoid statins, as the side effects of these drugs are numerous, while the benefits are debatable. In my view, typically, the only group of people who may benefit from a cholesterol-lowering medication are those with genetic familial hypercholesterolemia. This is a condition characterized by abnormally high cholesterol, which tend to be resistant to lifestyle strategies like diet and exercise

Regularly walk barefoot to ground with the earth. When you do, free electrons are transferred from the earth into your body, and this grounding effect is one of the most potent antioxidants we know of, and helps alleviate inflammation throughout your body

Source : http://theheartysoul.com

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