A Cholesterol-Lowering Approach to Food and Exercise

Are You CardioSmart?

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CardioSmart—from the American College of Cardiology—is a terrific online resource designed to help people with high cholesterol and heart disease risk understand and improve their heart health.

The CardioSmart site explains “Our mission is to help individuals prevent, treat and manage cardiovascular disease. We are committed to providing visitors to our site with accurate, un-biased information in an advertising-free environment. We hope you enjoy visiting our site and find it a useful extension of your relationship with your cardiologist.”

Understanding the risks and options for managing high cholesterol so you can partner with your physician in creating a treatment plan that best addresses your personal situation is so important.


What’s Your Heart Disease Risk?

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Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. According to the American Heart Association, “Cardiovascular disease, listed as the underlying cause of death, accounts for nearly 836,546 deaths in the US. That’s about 1 of every 3 deaths in the US.”

1 in 3.

What’s your risk? If you know your cholesterol levels and blood pressure you can calculate YOUR risk of heart disease (and take steps to lower it). It’s easy with this online calculator:

  • Online AHA 10-Year Heart Disease Risk Calculator: Web version *

Once you input your information,


Quesadilla Lasagna with Green Sauce

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Nutritionist Dana White’s fabulous Quesadilla Lasagna recipe is surprising, delicious, quick and easy to make, and a great source of lean protein, vegetables and fiber. Even my husband who does not usually care for ‘1-pot’ meals loves this hearty dinner.

Dana’s original recipe calls for traditional salsa but since that messes with my acid reflux, I modified to use her Green Sauce instead of salsa.

So give this recipe a whirl when you have about a cup of leftover Green Sauce. Or make some delicious Green Sauce first: it’s fantastic on proteins, vegetables, salad and as a dip.


Menopause and Heart Disease Risk

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Did you know that the hormonal changes associated with perimenopause and menopause can affect your heart health?

At a recent visit with my gynecologist, I learned a great deal about how heart health is adversely affected by declining estrogen during the menopause transition. There are many myths and misunderstandings about the role of estrogen therapy as it relates to heart health after menopause.

Midlife women, as well as their healthcare providers, are still confused about the results of the Women’s Health Initiative, a study from the 1990s that concluded that hormone therapy is inherently dangerous. It’s important to know the facts.


Healthy Guacamole

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Avocados are a heart-healthy food, proven to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association’s article, An Avocado a Day May Keep Bad Cholesterol At Bay:

“Eating one avocado a day as part of a heart healthy, cholesterol-lowering moderate-fat diet can help improve bad cholesterol levels in overweight and obese individuals, according to new research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers evaluated the effect avocados had on traditional and novel cardiovascular risk factors by replacing saturated fatty acids from an average American diet with unsaturated fatty acids from avocados.“

What some find confusing about declaring avocado a heart-healthy food is that avocados are,