March 12, 2011

101 Heart Health [14 February 2011]

Happy Valentine’s Day! This holiday is traditionally associated with affairs of the heart, so let’s look at ways to improve our heart health. Sudden death is often the first sign of heart disease - so don’t wait until you know you have a problem. Heart disease is easy to prevent but you have to be proactive.

One of the simplest ways is to increase our servings of fruits and vegetables. A recent study published in the European Heart Journal showed a 22% decrease in deaths from heart disease for people who consumed 8 servings a day compared with those who ate only 3. This was a large study, following 313,000 people for 8 years.

Manage your blood lipids. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, the lipid ratios are a more accurate risk factor than total cholesterol. HDL / TC x 100% should be more than 10% (ideally more than 24%) and TG / TC x 100% should be less than 2%. Exercising and taking omega 3 EFAs will help here.

Insulin resistance which can lead to Type II Diabetes is actually a more significant risk factor of heart disease than cholesterol. Control your insulin levels by reducing refined carbs.

If you are overweight, lose the extra fat. The best way I know is using the Ideal Protein Diet. But since heart disease is a contraindication for the diet, you have to do this before the heart condition develops. This diet is also an excellent way to control blood lipids, blood pressure and insulin levels.

What else can you do? Manage stress levels. Keep a positive outlook and stay happy. OK – these last items may not be so easy.

This article is intended for educational purposes only; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.

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