What You Eat Really Can Improve Heart Health

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While I KNOW that choosing heart-healthy foods (along with exercise) can naturally lower cholesterol and improve health, it’s startling when you see it in action.

A new breakfast routine has reduced my blood pressure in a matter of weeks. I now eat Overnight No-Cook Refrigerator Oatmeal (easy and delicious) instead of the 1/2 whole-wheat bagel with a smidge of cream cheese and 1 slice of lox that was my daily breakfast for years. Though I knew 1 small slice of lox packed 1/3-1/2 of the recommended maximum daily serving of sodium (and even posted about it vs oatmeal),

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February is American Heart Month – What’s Your Heart Disease Risk?

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February is American Heart Month: do you know your personal 10-year risk of heart disease? And the key factors that elevate heart disease risk?

What’s Your Personal 10-Year Risk of Heart Disease?

You can easily calculate your own 10-year risk of heart disease. In fact, the risk calculator is even available in an app (my cardiologist used his phone to calculate my risk during our last appointment). If you do not already have heart disease, are between 40-80 years old, and have an LDL cholesterol level lower than 190 mg/dL, you can calculate your 10-Year risk of heart disease with an online calculator. 

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Is Your Heart Older Than Your Actual Age?

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February is “American Heart Month,” which the CDC calls in the “Strong Men Put Their Health First” post as “a great time to commit to a healthy lifestyle and make small changes that can lead to a lifetime of heart health.”

While I agree making changes that can lead to a lifetime of heart health is important, why the CDC wrote this post about men is beyond me. Especially because heart disease is THE NUMBER 1 KILLER OF WOMEN in the US. Though this is frustrating, I provided a link to the CDC male-oriented page because there’s useful general info there.

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Statin Guidelines – The Fight Continues

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It’s startling how much debate and disagreement exists about the guidelines for statin use.

Back in November 2013, new guidelines were published by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology. The 2013 guidelines represented a significant shift in cholesterol management: essentially moving away from targeting/treating to a specific cholesterol level and instead encouraging treatment of all individuals with a 10-year risk of heart disease of 7.5% or higher (for specifics, see my post, The NEW guidelines for cholesterol-lowering statin meds).

There then ensued heated arguments over the published Risk Calculator that yields that all-important 10-year level of heart disease risk.

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How Much Exercise For Boosting Heart Health?

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Exercise is one of the key methods for lowering cholesterol – and blood pressure, my new concern — without medications. So to reduce my blood pressure and to continue to keep my cholesterol in check without any meds, I’ve been wondering just how much, how hard, and how often I need to exercise.

In researching, I found this nifty chart from the American Heart Association. It’s a little busy, but the key is the bottom-most graphic, which is for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure (how handy that they are together goal-wise!)

Apparently, to lower cholesterol and blood pressure,

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