Wednesday, February 17, 2016
The 5 Most Dangerous Heart Disease Myths:
Myth #1: It only happens to older people
Fact: People as young as children and adolescents can begin building plaque in their arteries.
Myth #2: Heart disease runs in my family, so I’m doomed.
Fact: A healthy diet, regular exercise and the right nutritional support can go a long way in preventing heart disease, regardless of your family history.
Just because something may be in your genes does not mean those genes will be “activated.” Healthy lifestyle habits can do a lot to counteract genetic tendencies.
Myth #3: My cholesterol isn’t high, so I don’t have to worry about heart disease.
Fact: Cholesterol is not the primary culprit behind plaque buildup—it’s inflammation in your arteries that triggers the process.
And cholesterol is only one of the “ingredients” in plaque build-up to begin with.
Plaque is also made of fatty deposits—especially trans-fats—plus fibrous proteins, smooth muscle cells and other wastes in your blood. So even if your cholesterol is normal you could still have inflammation present and plaque building up.
Myth #4: I’ve been smoking for many years so it won’t make a difference if I quit.
Fact: The benefits of quitting smoking start the very second you quit, no matter how long you have smoked.
After only one year after quitting, your heart attack risk will have dropped by 50 percent, and in 10 years, it will be the same as if you never smoked.
Myth #5: My blood pressure is controlled with medication, so my heart disease risk is minimal.
Fact: High blood pressure is only one of the factors that stirs up inflammation in your arteries and contributes to atherosclerosis. Even if your blood pressure is controlled, free radicals or excess glucose or homocysteine in your bloodstream can also raise your heart disease risk.
Help reduce YOUR risk—it’s not rocket science
There is so much you can do to help minimize your risk of heart disease.
It’s not rocket science—it’s just a matter of using what I call the H E A R T approach:
H Healthy diet
A Additional nutrient support
R Restorative Sleep
T Trans-fat elimination
In addition to the obvious eat lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish and healthy fats, it’s arguably MORE important to avoid sugars and starchy carbs.
Sugars and starchy carbs such as breads, pasta, rice and crackers (even if they’re whole grain) can create surges of inflammation-stirring glucose in your bloodstream. While whole grain options are a bit more nutritious than highly refined varieties, they still turn to glucose upon digestion—and increase your heart disease risk.
Plus here’s something you won’t hear every day--saturated fat (from natural sources) IS GOOD FOR YOU in moderation. Your body needs saturated fat—it’s actually the type of fat that your heart draws upon during times of stress! Plus it’s vital for your nervous system health too.
Moderation is the key, and that means a 3-4 oz. serving of red meat (preferably organic), scrambled eggs for breakfast or butter on your toast or vegetables.
About 30 percent of your daily calories should come from fats, with an equal breakdown between saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Exercise lowers your blood pressure, strengthens your heart and improves blood flow and oxygen delivery to all of your cells.
Don’t be an excuse-maker when it comes to exercise. Even a walk around the block can be helpful.
Get your doctor’s OK and get moving toward better heart health.
Additional nutrient support
Two key nutrients for cardiovascular support are Omega-3 essential fatty acids and vitamin B12.
Omega-3 EFAs have been medically proven to help lower blood pressure, they can help counteract inflammation in your arteries and they help reduce the stickiness in your platelets and curb fibrinogens (which contribute to plaque).
Vitamin B12 converts homocysteine (a by-product of protein digestion) to a harmless amino acid. If homocysteine is left unchecked, it can cause inflammation in your blood vessels and raise your heart disease risk.
Calcium buildup and arterial stiffness are two primary signals of heart disease.
A recent study has shown that adults who sleep fewer than five hours a night have 50 percent more calcium in their coronary arteries than those who slept seven hours.
Plus study participants who reported poor sleep quality also had 20 percent more calcium buildup in their arteries, compared to those who slept well.
Seven to nine hours of sleep a night is ideal, so make sure you’re getting what you need.
The more you concentrate on real, whole foods, the more you naturally eliminate trans-fats from your world.
Stay far away from margarine, vegetable shortenings and any products that contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
Also, look for trans-fats in sneaky places. Some very popular brand-name vitamins even contain hydrogenated palm oil! Read labels for everything that goes into your body.