A Cholesterol-Lowering Approach to Food and Exercise

Heart Disease Risk Calculator: CAC and MESA

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This fall, my annual cholesterol screening showed an alarming increase in all the cholesterol markers: Total Cholesterol, HDL (‘good’) cholesterol and LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol.

Both my Primary Care Doctor and I whipped out our phones and opened the ASCVD risk calculator app. I was relieved to find that although my 10-year risk of heart disease had increased versus last year, it still showed a low enough risk that statin medication was not required.

BUT THEN she told me about someone who eats well and exercises and also had a low 10-year risk of heart disease according to the calculator –

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Tomato Tomato Tomato Gazpacho!

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If you have a late-summer bounty of tomatoes and cucumbers, I have a Gazpacho recipe for you to try. Which is funny because I normally DO NOT LIKE gazpacho … but I loved this one.

Aptly named, Best Gazpacho, Julia Moskin explains that this recipe delivers the smooth style of gazpacho served in Seville, Spain. And as an avowed gazpacho-hater, I’m shocked to tell you that it is indeed both smooth and delicious. And easy to make.

All you need is a very strong blender, ‘2 pounds of ripe red tomatoes’ (this is about 6 ‘baseball-sized’

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Lo-Co Meal Planning

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Meal Planning. “UGH” I can almost hear you say. Who has time? Who wants to plan?

I hear ya. And I’ve gotten so lazy about meals and meal planning… and my weight is starting to creep up so I’m concerned my cholesterol probably is as well.  I need to start meal planning again so I did a little research for some tips.

I got a little help from the folks over at Kitchenda. After reading my 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines Published post, they suggested their article, Why Experts Recommend Meal Planning For Every Home, might be helpful.

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Amazing Heart-Healthy Broccoli Salad

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If your family is like mine, the ‘Broccoli Salad’ brought to family events is a dish laden with mayonnaise and sugar, not to mention bacon. Delicious, sure, but not at all heart-healthy.

Recently, a friend brought Cookie + Kate’s Favorite Broccoli Salad to a dinner party and I was WOWED.  Not only was it delicious, I loved it even though the recipe includes raw red onion, which I ordinarily despise.

My friend Lisa, who made this dish, explained her take on the recipe: she always makes the dressing the day before (or at least many hours before) and adds the onions to the dressing.

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February is American Heart Month: Ask For Your Numbers!

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February is ‘American Heart Month’ — the perfect time to consider your heart health and the steps you can take to minimize heart disease risk.

One of the easiest and most important things you can do if you have high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure (two key heart disease risk factors) is to ASK FOR YOUR ‘NUMBERS.’

Information is power! If you have your blood pressure numbers AND your full lipid (cholesterol) panel results, you can easily calculate your own ’10-year risk of heart disease!’

In the past 6 months, two of my close friends were diagnosed with high cholesterol and their doctors started discussing statins.

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