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Heart Disease



10 No-Nonsense Tips for Improving Your Heart Health Today

By Layne Lieberman, MS, RD, CDN

Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in both men and women. Luckily, it’s preventable and controllable. With new cholesterol guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, more and more Americans will be prescribed drugs known as statins to lower cholesterol. Of course, there’s another way to get results: Diet and exercise are the foundations for heart health and are without the side effects of drugs.
Layne heart

I’m a Registered Dietician, a Culinary Nutritionist, and Author of “Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy” but I have an even deeper personal connection to this topic: I was diagnosed with high cholesterol at age 9.


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Mari Farthing Lost 61 Pounds While Battling Metabolic Syndrome

Mari Farthing before afterImagine being told by your doctor that you have a medical disorder that is affecting your health and makes it difficult to lose weight, yet that is the very suggestion he/she gives you to improve your condition. Most of us would feel frustrated, angry and overwhelmed. When Mari Farthing was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance), she felt the same way. Then, she cranked up her iPod, laced up her kicks and hit the track.

She knew losing weight would be tough but not impossible, and now she’s 61 pounds lighter because of her determination.

Mari describes her weight as being a, “lifelong kind of thing” that didn’t really become a problem until adulthood. She started to notice a few more pounds each year, even though she was taking steps to eat healthy and exercise. Before her diagnosis, frustration led to a cycle of yo-yo dieting. After the diagnosis, she felt relief; at least now she could quit feeling like a failure.

“When I learned there was a part of me that was essentially broken, it was powerful, she said. “It answered so many questions for me. It gave me strength. It empowered me. Let me know that I’m enough. Because I didn’t feel like I was.”


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Eggs and Smoking Equally Bad for Those Who Have Heart Disease

Eggs for breakfast – healthy right? Perhaps not for everyone, as a new study suggests that eating eggs may accelerate heart disease just as much as smoking. 

The study, published in the journal Atheroscolerosis, found that people who ate more eggs per week had significantly greater plaque buildup – almost two-thirds as much as smokers. One reason why this could be is that one large egg yolk can contain as much as 237 milligrams of cholesterol, according to lead author Dr. David Spence who contends that diets low in cholesterol are key for heart health in people of all ages. “Just because you’re 20,” he warns, “doesn’t mean egg yolks aren’t going to cause any trouble down the line.”

This may be true, but it seems studies come out suggesting one thing and then two weeks later suggest another, which makes it hard to know where to stand on health topics such as this.

Martica Heaner, PhD, a nutritionist, adjunct associate professor in nutrition at Hunter College, and research associate at Columbia University Medical Center, points out that observational studies like this suggest links and associations and don’t state hard-line facts, which is why this news shouldn’t send everyone into a panic about their diet.
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Coffee May Prevent Diabetes and Heart Disease, Study Shows

There’s now one more reason to get your morning fuel from coffee: it’s good for your heart, according to new research.

The study, published in an American Heart Association journal, comes from the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical. Based on their findings, researchers now believe drinking two cups of coffee a day will lower the risk for diabetes, which as a result lowers the risk for heart failure.

The size of your ‘two cups of coffee’ is important, however, and shouldn’t exceed more than 8 ounces. By keeping these parameters, researchers say people may be able to lower their risk of heart failure by as much as 11 percent compared to non-coffee drinkers. But if you exceed that 16-ounce a day limit, it may actually undermine the beneficial qualities.
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Medicare Offers Coverage of Yoga and Meditation for Heart Disease Prevention

Heart disease is still the number one killer in the United States, even though it can be prevented with a just few simple lifestyle changes. Call it ignorance, lack of motivation, or a complete disregard for personal health; certain people continue to put themselves at risk of dying from a heart attack. Lists of excuses may have superseded action, however as of late, a lack of money is no longer an issue in maintaining good health. Medicare is now covering programs that contribute to positive lifestyle changes, such as yoga, healthy eating, and relaxation.

Based on an agenda that teaches clients about plant-based diets, meditation, and regular exercise, the Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease is one of the plans covered by Medicare. It is employed to teach patients how to take better care of their heart.

Nutrition, stress management, moderate exercise and group support are the four components that make up the program. Contrary to popular belief that a new pill or potion will erase poor lifestyle habits, the Dean Ornish program let’s people regain their health by doing it the old fashioned way, by earning it.


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