Cardiovascular General Health Tips
Alcohol Consumption and the Heart
Heavy alcohol consumption is associated with cardiovascular diseases such as cardiomyopathy, hypertension, arrhythmias, and stroke.
Aspirin After a Heart Attack
Aspirin During a Heart Attack
C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
Cloning and Transplants
Dine at the Dinner Table Only
Exercising When Obese
Fat Free vs. Calorie Free
Food Labels to Reveal Artery-Clogging Trans Fat
Garlic and Heart Disease
Heart Reshapes After Injury
High Sodium Foods
Ibuprofen vs. Aspirin
Inflammation May Cause Heart Attacks
Inflammation Twice as Bad as Cholesterol
Mini-Meals for Weight Loss
New MRI Technique for CAD
Nuts Cut Sudden Death Risk in Men
Nuts for Nuts
OTCs and Sodium
Reducing Dietary Sodium - Breads and Cereals
Reducing Dietary Sodium - Fats and Sweets
Reducing Dietary Sodium - Fruits and Vegetables
Reducing Dietary Sodium - Meats
Reducing Dietary Sodium - Milk
Sodium = Na
Tea Reduces Heart Disease
Treatment May Help Body Grow Bypasses
Whole Grains, Older Women and Heart Health
Women and Heart Disease
By increasing the intake of folate and Vitamin B6, you may also prevent heart disease. Women with the highest intake of folate (545 micrograms or more per day) and Vitamin B6 (4.6 mg or more per day) were 45% less likely to develop coronary artery disease than women with the lowest intake of folate (less than 190 mg per day) and Vitamin B6 (less than 1.1 mg per day). The main source of both vitamins is a multivitamin supplement and many cold breakfast cereals that are fortified with both nutrients.
Older women who eat the right amount of whole grains cut their risk of a fatal heart attack significantly. At ages 55 - 69, women who eat whole grains for at least three of their daily carbohydrate servings were found to be in better heart health during the next 10 years. Whole grain breads, crackers and cereals -- made from grains that have not been stripped of their bran and germ -- protect against heart disease and diabetes. Its unclear which part of the whole grain -- the fiber, the vitamin E, the folate, the magnesium or some of the health-protective phytochemicals -- provides the health benefits. Read labels carefully. Look for "whole-grain" or "whole-wheat flour" as the first or second ingredient.
Medication that prompts the growth of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) may one day help the body produce its own bypasses around clogged heart or leg arteries.
Studies show tea can help prevent cancer, osteoporosis, and heart disease. Tea antioxidants, called polyphenols, may be 100 times as effective as vitamin C and 25 times as effective as vitamin E.
Read the labels when you buy packaged foods. Look for different sodium compounds that are added to foods. Watch for the words on labels that identify sodium ingredients. These include "sodium" and sodium's symbol, "Na" which is a capital "N" with a small "a."
People with kidney problems, or who are taking medicines, should check with their health care provider before using "salt substitutes." Potassium chloride is found in many salt substitutes. Too much potassium can be harmful to some people.
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group:
* Cheeses vary in sodium content, but tend to be higher in sodium than milk or yogurt.
* Processed cheeses, cheese foods, and cheese spreads contain more sodium than natural cheese.
* Reduced sodium cheeses are available.
* Processed luncheon meats are high in sodium. Select lower sodium luncheon meats.
* Choose unsalted nuts.
* Most canned soups are very high in sodium.
* Reduced-sodium soups are available; however, they still contain substantial sodium.
* Many frozen dinners, convenience foods, combination dishes, and packaged mixes are also high in sodium. Check the Nutrition Facts Panel to compare the sodium content of these foods.
Fruit and Vegetable Groups:
* To keep the sodium content down try seasoning vegetables without salt.
* Herbs and spices can provide a tasteful alternative.
* Canned vegetables are higher in sodium than fresh or frozen.
* Try the low-sodium or "no-salt added" versions.
* Plain frozen vegetables contain less salt than those frozen with sauces.
* Canned vegetable juices are high in sodium, select reduced sodium versions.
Fats, Oils and Sweets:
* As a general rule salad dressings and condiments are high in sodium.
Breads, Cereals, Rice and Pasta Group:
* Read the Nutrition Facts Panel to compare the sodium content of cereals.
* Snack foods are typically high in sodium.
* There are lots of reduced sodium or no-salt-added snacks available.
The beds might not get made, but you still must make time for exercise. That's how you keep weight off, you make exercise part of your daily schedule.
Some OTC drugs have large amounts of sodium in them. Always read the labels for over-the-counter drugs. When in doubt, ask a pharmacist, or your health care provider, if the drug is one you can use.
Have you stopped snacking on nuts because you've heard they're too fatty, caloric, and salty? Well, take heart. Recent studies have shown that nuts can help prevent coronary disease. They're rich in unsaturated fats, vitamin E, fiber, folic acid, and other B vitamins. And walnuts are especially rich in heart-healthy oil. So dig in, but choose the unsalted variety and, as with any food, enjoy them in moderation.
Men who eat nuts regularly have roughly half the risk of sudden cardiac death as those who don't consume the food.
Nuts contain unsaturated fats that aren't as hard on the arteries as their saturated siblings. Some nuts have other cardiac benefits. Walnuts are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, a form of omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to boost cardiovascular health and which may prevent heart rhythm anomalies. They can also be a good source of nutrients such as vitamin E and magnesium.
A new type of imaging technique using an MRI device can detect most diseased coronary arteries, potentially sparing many heart patients a more invasive, expensive and uncomfortable test, the angiogram.
Having smaller, more frequent meals can prevent you from getting ravenously hungry and overeating. On average, weight loss winners eat five times a day.
Despite their seemingly healthy cholesterol levels, new research shows many people are at high risk of heart attacks because of painless inflammation in the bloodstream.
The inflammation comes from many sources and triggers heart attacks by weakening the walls of blood vessels, making fatty buildups burst. A large study concludes it is twice as likely as high cholesterol to trigger heart attacks.
Inflammation can be measured with a test that checks for C-reactive protein, or CRP, a chemical necessary for fighting injury and infection. The test typically costs between $25 and $50.
Diet and exercise can lower CRP dramatically. Cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins also reduce CRP, as do aspirin and some other medicines.
In what doctors are calling a revolutionary departure from long-held beliefs about the causes of heart attacks, there is new emphasis on low-grade inflammation in various parts of the body as triggering such events.
While medical experts have for years focused on cholesterol and clogged arteries, research indicates that inflammation may just as often be the cause of heart attacks, and in fact half of all heart attack victims have normal or even low levels of cholesterol.
New research shows that people with high levels of C-reactive protein - - an indicator of inflammation - - have twice the risk of heart attack than those with elevated cholesterol.
In response to the findings, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is drawing up new recommendations that will likely urge doctors to test most middle-aged Americans for inflammation, as well as cholesterol, as a prevention for heart attack.
The popular pain reliever ibuprofen blocks the heart-protecting effects of aspirin when taken at the same time. Regular aspirin can be taken two hours before or after ibuprofen. Enteric-coated aspirin, which is released more slowly into the blood, could be taken at bedtime without a conflict.
High sodium foods include:
Canned soup, canned vegetables, canned tomato products, canned tuna/salmon, ham, hot dogs, bacon, sausage, olives, pickles, sauerkraut, instant mixes, garlic salt, onion salt, celery salt, soy sauce, processed foods, lunch meat, cheese
Using the male chromosome as a marker, researchers studying eight cross-gender heart transplants from New York Medical College have discovered that the body can actively reshape the heart after injury.
Garlic helps fight heart disease. It contains sulfur compounds, which scientists suspect inhibit the formation of artery-clogging blood clots. It may reduce both elevated blood cholesterol and blood pressure. Roasting transforms garlic into an almost buttery substance that makes a great fat-free spread for bread or addition to dips. To roast, wrap a garlic head in aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 40 minutes.
Trans fat hasn't gotten the attention its infamous cousin, saturated fat, earned through warnings and labels. That's about to change: After 10 years of debate, the government is requiring food labels to reveal exact levels of the artery clogger.
Tran’s fat is in numerous products, from meats and dairy products to pastries. The most common source is partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, where liquid oil is turned into a solid to protect against spoiling and maintain long-term flavor.
Just because a product is fat free, doesn't mean it is calorie free. In fact, fat free or reduced fat products can have as many, if not more, calories per serving than regular products. So, yes, you do need to watch your fat intake. But remember that calories count, too.
If you're obese, check with your physician before initiating any exercise program. Search for a low impact aerobic program as a starter.
If you eat in front of the TV, then every time you nestle in with the remote control, it's a cue to eat. Instead, designate an eating spot for all meals and snacks.
Researchers say they've taken a major step toward cloning pigs whose hearts, lungs and kidneys could be safely transplanted into humans. Such organs would save the lives of thousands of critically ill people who cannot get transplants because of the shortage of human organs. Scientists say they produced four piglets without one of two genes that lead to the massive rejections that have plagued efforts at xenotransplantation -- the process of replacing human organs with animal organs.
Cardiovascular disease is a disease of the heart and blood vessels and is the nation's leading killer, claiming 939,610 lives in 2000. The personal, social, and economic impacts of cardiovascular disease are significant. In 2000, the economic impact was estimated to be almost $290 billion. Knowing the risk factors for heart disease and heart failure and adopting life-long heart-healthy practices can improve heart health.
The C-Reactive Protein test (CRP) is a blood test that may be a better indicator of heart attack risk than tests for cholesterol.
Up to 10,000 more people would survive heart attacks if they would chew one 325 milligram aspirin tablet when they first had chest pain or other sign of a heart attack. Patients should be given aspirin during the first hour -- during pre-hospital transport or in the Emergency Room -- if a heart attack is suspected.
Studies show that heart attack patients who took aspirin when their symptoms began, and then daily for one month, significantly lowered their risk of dying and of having another heart attack or stroke.