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In February, Men Must Face the Facts of Heart Disease, too

Heart disease happens when a number of ‘risk factors’ add up. Some of the risks – gender, genetics and age – are uncontrollable; but others – smoking, inactivity, excess weight, high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes – are within our control. The key to preventing heart disease is to eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and take medications as prescribed. Use this Heart Attack Risk Assessment from the American Heart Association to find your risk for heart disease.

Men Need Help

Women take much better care of themselves. They might be programmed in to the system through OB-GYN care or maybe it’s taking care of the kids, but women visit their doctors for checkups, while men do not.

Over the past ten years, men have gotten fatter while women have stayed the same. In 2000, 27.5% of men were obese, but in 2010, it was 35%. In women, the obesity level remained stable at 33%. Along with obesity, men have more diabetes and high blood pressure, which places them at much greater risk. To their credit, men now smoke and binge drink less and they’re a bit more active. (1)
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Billboards Blame Obesity on Cheese. Do Your Thighs Agree?

If you love cheese, you’re not alone, and you may not want to read this.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) believes cheese to be the guilty culprit of our nation’s obesity problem. They believe it so much that they have recently began a billboard campaign in Albany, New York. Large billboards display dimply thighs or flabby guts and read, “Your Thighs on Cheese,” or “Your Abs on Cheese.”

Are they right? Is the ooey gooey goodness of cheese really the enemy?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s estimates, Americans have tripled the amount of cheese they eat each year since 1970. Today, the average American eats 31 pounds of per year. Let’s be real, that’s a lot of cheese!

Neal Barnard is part of the PCRM and clearly stated how he feels about our cheese consumption, especially our children’s cheese consumption. “Cheese and other dairy products are the leading source of saturated fat that our kids are swallowing. And I think most Americans are totally oblivious to it.”
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The Holistic Approach to a Healthy Heart

By Kelly Canull, an online soul and life coach at KellyCanull.com.

Every year, heart disease claims more and more lives. Countless people have had their journeys needlessly cut short. Even more people have been unable to receive the mindful and soulful benefits of having those people in their lives. Heart disease and other violent matters of the physical body are working against us, keeping us from fulfilling our destinies, and from touching the lives of those we know and love.

The Holistic Approach to a Healthy Heart

Your health is the most important tool you have in your pursuit of a higher purpose in life. And I’m not just talking about your body. Your mind, body, and spirit all require a healthy prognosis in order to reach their full potential.

The holistic student is one who understands that everything is connected. A symptom cannot be treated on its own in the holistic setting, because its mal-effects are able to travel across borders and infect every facet of your life, even if that doesn’t seem quite possible.

For instance, when you get a stomach bug, your physical body becomes worn down, which in turn darkens your mind, and even corrupts the light of your spirit. One cannot have the body treated and ignore the mind and spirit.

Your heart is a special place. Each of us is born with a guide, a Divine Guide, which helps conduct us through life in a purposeful manner and leads us ever on to the glories of inner peace. This Divine Guide lives in our soul, moves throughout our bodies, and uses our hearts as its voice.
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Dr. Travis Stork Prescribes the Simplicity of Walking for Heart Health

We spoke with Dr. Travis Stork, a co-host on The Doctors and active ER doctor, yesterday to help spread the word about women’s heart health. During the month of February we’re all doing our part to help to curb the number one killer of women in America – heart disease. The thing is, aside from genetic influence, it can often be completely preventable based on your lifestyle choices.

We asked Dr. Stork what one thing people should do, and could do, today to start making a difference for their heart health, and thus reduce their risk of stroke or death. He recommends “the simplicity of walking 30 minutes each day.”

“[Walking] doesn’t require expensive equipment, it doesn’t require any skill set,” he said. “What I also love about walking is it can do something else that’s interesting for your heart, it can increase the quality time you spend with loved ones.” Those relationships and that time bonding are just as influential on your overall health.

He recommends that we make a post-dinner walk for 30 minutes a part of our family routines. “Make it a habit with your family, your kids will watch you and engage in your habits.” It certainly sounds a lot more appealing than plopping down on the couch as a “root vegetable,” as he described.
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Wear Red February 3rd for Heart Health Awareness

Red is a fabulous color. It’s bright, bold, and down-right stunning. It’s also the official color of the Heart Truth campaign, by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and its partners to raise awareness about women’s risk for heart disease.

The Red Dress is the centerpiece of the campaign and was created as a national symbol in 2002. Its presence is meant to remind women that they need to protect their heart health and inspires them to take action. This Friday, February 3, everyone is encouraged to wear red to raise awareness for women’s heart disease.

The campaign is specifically targeted toward women ages 40 to 60; however, all women can benefit from the small changes encouraged as part of the campaign. Since heart disease develops gradually, it’s really never too early to start promoting healthy heart initiatives.

Some of the major risk factors for developing heart disease are obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, a family history of heart disease, diabetes, and being over the age of 55. Although genetics can definitely play a role in susceptibility to these risk factors, changing lifestyle behaviors can also greatly impact an individuals likelihood of developing the condition.

Although eating a well-balanced diet, staying physically active, and keeping weight in check all seem like simple notions that most people know, it’s often hard to put those general principles into practice. This is probably true because it’s difficult to envision these large scale ideas as small individual actions we make on a daily basis. These small behaviors eventually add up and result in preventative steps toward heart disease prevention.


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