A Cholesterol-Lowering Approach to Food and Exercise

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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Breakfast Cereal and Dietary Fiber

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One of the easiest ways to add (cholesterol-lowering) dietary fiber to your diet is at breakfast. Many think Cheerios is a heart-healthy cereal, and in some ways it is. But there are many more fiber-rich cereals than Cheerios. Back in 2013 I wrote a post, The Cheerios Myth, about how much cereal you’d have to eat to get a decent amount of dietary fiber (spoiler alert – A LOT).

Which is why I have a glass of Metamucil and eat Oatmeal for breakfast every day (if I do nothing else heart-healthy, at least I get a good start at breakfast!)

But a reader recently reached out to let me know the link comparing breakfast cereals in that Cheerios Myth post no longer worked (thank you,

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2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines Published

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The USDA just published the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. As it’s 2020 of course there is controversy. The clash concerns sugar and alcohol. In these updated guidelines, the federal government rejected their own scientific advisory committee’s recommendation to lower sugar and alcohol targets. So once again, politics trumped science. Sigh.

Disappointment aside, the guidelines are helpful in other ways.

For those of us looking to lower cholesterol with a heart-healthy diet, these guidelines are useful. First of all, they conclude that health can improve with diet and exercise: the very core of the first step in managing heart health.

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