A Cholesterol-Lowering Approach to Food and Exercise

Newly Diagnosed with High Cholesterol?

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Health issues due to the pandemic affected nearly everyone in 2020. Lockdowns and working from home wreaked havoc with exercise routines. For many, stress eating and drinking replaced healthy habits. The result: millions of Americans know they gained weight last year. But many may not realize that weight gain alongside months of anxiety and stress might also have elevated blood pressure. And that is alarming as weight gain, alcohol consumption, and elevated blood pressure all increase risk of heart disease… sometimes significantly.

So if you’ve had—or are about to have—an overdue physical, don’t be surprised if your doctor newly diagnoses you with high cholesterol (or high blood pressure or diabetes.)  If that happens,

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Heart-Healthy(ish) Gnocchi

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While searching for an easy dinner to make while on vacation (why I’m cooking on vacation is another story), I found an article in the New York Times by Ali Slagle, with a recipe for Crisp Gnocchi with Brussels Sprouts and Brown Butter. I tried it because the opening line said:

“For a fantastic meal that can be ready in 20 minutes…”

That was all I needed to hear.

That said, I almost didn’t try this recipe as it calls for 6 tablespoons of butter (and, um, has ‘butter’ in the title). But when I scanned the recipe comments,

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If you MIGHT need a statin, consider a CAC scan

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Did you know that there’s a non-invasive test that can help you and your doctor decide if you truly need a statin medication to lower cholesterol?

It’s called a Coronary Artery Calcium (CAC) Scan. While this test is not right for everyone, if your personal risk of heart disease is uncertain it can help guide your medication decision.

That’s what happened with me, which I wrote about in my 2017 post, Coronary Calcium Scan Illuminates Heart Disease Risk. Since then, the CAC scan is being more widely used and it’s something everyone who falls into the ‘unclear’

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Risi e Bisi

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I adore risotto but it’s made with a lot of butter so I rarely order it in a restaurant (remember dining inside a restaurant? Sigh.) And I’ve always been too intimidated to try it at home; what if it was a fail after all that stirring?

Chef Gabrielle Hamilton’s recipe for a risotto-like dish made with zucchini and fresh peas inspired me to give a recipe requiring 20 minutes of stirring a try. It looked pretty easy (other than the stirring) and had not one but two vegetables—and they’re easy: fresh peas require zero prep, and baby zucchini is easy to slice.

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Hands-Only CPR and Symptoms of Sudden Cardiac Arrest and Heart Attack

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Did you know there is a method of performing CPR that is HANDS-ONLY?  I did not, and this is vital information in our pandemic world. So I decided to learn more about Hands-Only CPR, and also reviewed the signs and symptoms of Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest (they are different.)

First, a refresher on Heart Attack symptoms. It’s key to note that Heart Attacks can present differently in women and men—for more details, see my post, Heart Attack Symptoms in Women and Men. The following information and infographic from the American Heart Association lists the Heart Attack symptoms both men and women experience.

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