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How to Maintain a Healthy Heart

by | February 27, 2020

How to Maintain a Healthy Heart

February is AMERICAN HEART MONTH!

According to the CDC, heart disease is the #1 cause of death of US adults. Before we end this month, I want to share a few key guidelines with you about maintaining heart health:

Eat a plant-rich diet. There are a number of contradictory studies in the medical literature on what the optimal diet should be to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Here are a few things we can all agree on:

  • Eat whole foods, mostly plants (no matter which diet you follow, if you follow one, always eat mostly plants!)
  • Avoid processed food
  • Avoid added sugar
  • Eat mindfully, and stop eating before you start to get the sensation of fullness.
  • Maintain a normal weight.
  • Avoid sugary beverages. A study recently found that those who drink more than 12 ounces of sugary beverages per day were found to have >50% higher incidence of high triglycerides and almost 100% higher incidence of low “good” cholesterol, compared to those who drank less than 12 ounces per month.
  • Exercise. Doing consistent aerobic exercise is key, however a recent research paper that reviewed 300 studies found that while those who are physically active can halve their risk of a heart attack and sudden cardiac death, intense exercise training can be risky for some individuals.
  • Lifestyle program: For those with cardiovascular disease, a lifestyle modification program including nutrition, stress management, fitness, love and support, can significantly reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as body mass index, blood pressure, total and “bad” cholesterol and exercise capacity. According to the American Heart Association, 1 in 4 heart attack and clot-related stroke survivors will have another. It’s never too late to change your habits and get healthier – the earlier, the better.
  • If you smoke, QUIT!

To your healthy heart!
Dr. Bojana

Disclaimer

Nothing stated or posted in this article is intended or should be taken to be the practice of medical or counseling care. The information made available in this article, including, but not limited to, interviews, text, graphics, images, links to other articles, websites, and other material contained in this article, is strictly for informational and entertainment purposes only. The information in this article is NOT (and should not be used as) a substitute for professional psychiatry, psychology, medical, nursing, or professional healthcare advice or services, nor is it designed to suggest any specific diagnosis or treatment. Please always seek medical advice from your physician or a qualified health care provider regarding any medical questions, conditions or treatment, before making any changes to your health care regimen, medications or lifestyle habits. None of the information in this article is a representation or warranty that any particular drug or treatment is safe, appropriate or effective for you, or that any particular healthcare provider is appropriate for you. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking help from a health care provider due to something you have read or seen in this article. Your reading/use of this article does not create in any way a physician-patient relationship, any sort of confidential, fiduciary or professional relationship, or any other special relationship that would give rise to any duties. This article does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, healthcare providers, procedures, or treatments, and if you rely on any of the information provided by this article, you do so solely at your own risk.

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About the Author

Dr. Bojana

Dr. Bojana

Dr. Bojana (Boy•ana) Jankovic Weatherly is an award winning physician, double board certified in internal and integrative medicine. After completing internal medicine residency, she did a fellowship in integrative medicine, trained in functional medicine, nutrition and mindfulness. Her approach is rooted in evidence-based medicine that is personalized to each individual she works with.

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