—A Special Report from Victor Marchione, MD
Research has shown that there seems to be a much higher risk for heart disease now than there has been in past generations. High cholesterol and high blood pressure have become commonplace. These two risk factors can lead to heart attack or stroke. Then there is also the problem of insulin resistance, which leads to heart disease, too, as well as diabetes and a host of other medical problems. Studies have shown that one in three Americans may be insulin resistant. Given the side effects, these are staggering numbers. Also, Type II diabetes is gaining notoriety, as the population is steadily packing on more weight. Not to mention the negative impact that our sedentary lives are having on us.
Just recently, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have put a definite number on the amount of people with heart disease risk factors: nearly HALF of all American adults have high blood pressure, high cholesterol or diabetes (!).
This latest report was based on data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 1999-2006. The researchers found that 45% of those questioned in the survey had at least one of the three risk factors: 30.5% with high blood pressure; 26% with high blood cholesterol levels; and 9.9% with diabetes. About one in eight adults had two of the conditions and three percent had all three. And that’s not all: according to researchers, 15% of the population is unaware that they have one or more of these conditions.
Is there anything you can do to avoid developing heart disease risk factors? You bet there is! It has been proven that a healthy diet combined with an exercise program will reduce your chances of having heart disease. Smoking is a huge player in heart disease as well. Quitting smoking now will greatly reduce your chances of having a heart attack — and a multitude of other health problems.
Simply speak to your doctor to determine an appropriate diet and exercise routine that will send you on your way to a healthier heart. It’s all about a whole diet, chock full of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, omega-3 fatty acid (found in salmon and other coldwater fish) and minimal amounts of lean meat, and plenty of exercise — remember, gardening and house-cleaning are considered forms of exercise, too.
Your heart is such a vital organ in your body that it makes sense to take care of it. You probably agree that it is better to take care of yourself now and reap the benefits down the road than to waste precious moments of your life suffering from an illness you could have prevented.