• heart
    February is Heart Month February is Heart Month

    February is Heart Month

February is Heart Month

Can heart attacks be virtually eliminated?

A recent editorial in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology stated that medical research “has revealed enough about the causes and prevention of heart attacks that they could be nearly eliminated.” Yet the reality is that 16 million Americans are living with coronary heart disease and half a million die from it each year. In fact, coronary heart disease is the number-one killer in our country and a major contributor to our health care crisis.

So why does our country’s number-one health problem, which is essentially preventable, continue to be so prevalent? It’s not because prevention doesn’t work—and not because it’s “too late” once heart disease or heart attacks have already occurred. The most likely culprits are our lifestyle choices and behaviors, as well as the current trend of treating the precursors and symptoms of heart disease aggressively, but overlooking the causes and failing to prescribe a path toward prevention.

It is clear to anyone familiar with medical literature that maintaining an appropriate diet and engaging in moderate physical activity on a daily basis can reverse or eliminate major cardiovascular risk factors. And when major cardiovascular risk factors are eliminated, the chances of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality are drastically reduced. In other words, it really is true that heart attacks can be virtually eliminated without the need for drugs, surgery or some new “miracle breakthrough.” It’s as simple as paying careful attention to our diet, physical activity, and our addictions and stress levels.

Heart Health Tips:

 • Use Food As Your Medicine

  • Eat whole, non-processed, food—mostly plants, and not too much
  • At least 5 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables daily, preferably 9
  • Avoid refined grains
  • Eat beans and nuts daily
  • Eat food sources […]
By |February 19th, 2014|Healthy Living, Preventive Medicine|Comments Off on February is Heart Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.

Type 2 Diabetes Epidemic: Should we treat the symptoms, or should we treat the cause?

Type 2 Diabetes, formerly known as the Adult Onset Diabetes (because it almost never occurred before adulthood), is now occurring in epidemic proportions in the US and in many areas throughout the world. Genes almost certainly play a role in the predisposition to Type 2 Diabetes. However, it is equally clear that those who are predisposed to diabetes are not destined to develop it unless they also develop poor lifestyle/health habits. Furthermore, it is refreshing to note that even in those who have developed type 2 Diabetes, it can be reversed with significant changes in lifestyle habits.

Study after study has confirmed, and I have witnessed, multiple patients who have reversed all of their signs, symptoms, and lab values of type 2 Diabetes using simple lifestyle modification. With the reversal of certain biometrics and lab values, it has been proven that severe problems like blindness, kidney failure, and heart disease can be completely avoided in these patients.

On the other hand, using standard medical therapy of oral medications and/or insulin typically leads to weight gain and a myriad of other health problems. Simply treating high blood sugar levels (a symptom of diabetes) with medications which lower blood sugar levels does not, in any way, treat the cause of diabetes. Ironically, though medications may be necessary at first, if appropriate lifestyle changes are made, then there will be no need for diabetes medications in most cases. Therefore, for patients with metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, and mild type 2 diabetes, lifestyle modification alone will likely completely reverse the disease. In patients who are diagnosed at a more advanced stage, it is often necessary […]

By |November 12th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.
  • walking
    Nature: Fantastic for Your Brain Health Nature: Fantastic for Your Brain Health

    Nature: Fantastic for Your Brain Health

Nature: Fantastic for Your Brain Health

Several recent studies confirm that it takes only 5 minutes of walking in a natural setting to boost your self-esteem, improve your mood, and reduce your blood pressure. Very few other choices can provide such large benefits (in such a short time). Certainly, no single medication is likely to provide these benefits, especially without side effects. Therefore, scheduling a walk outdoors at least several days a week can provide incredible health benefits.

The current recommendation for minimal adequate physical activity is to obtain at least 30 minutes of walking on at least 5 days a week. However, for many people, this should be a goal, not a starting point. Furthermore, one should choose whatever physical activity they enjoy as their exercise of choice.

Finally, when you walk can provide even more benefits. Studies have recently confirmed that walking during the first hour after a meal can significantly improve the way glucose (sugar) is handled in the bloodstream. Our blood sugar increases after each meal and requires significant response from the pancreas to produce insulin. Walking after a meal provides a way to move glucose into muscle cells without the need for insulin. Therefore, this is a natural way to treat type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and prevent progression to diabetes.

In summary, we all must plan to get up and get outside at least most days of the week. Ideally, this will involve a planned activity at a park, on a trail, or at the beach!

By |October 31st, 2013|Fitness|Comments Off on Nature: Fantastic for Your Brain Health
  • Stretching
    Can heart attacks really be virtually eliminated? Can heart attacks really be virtually eliminated?

    Can heart attacks really be virtually eliminated?

Can heart attacks really be virtually eliminated?

An editorial in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology recently suggested that “medical research has revealed enough about the causes and prevention of heart attacks, that they could be nearly eliminated”. On the other hand, they lamented that 16 million Americans are living with coronary heart disease and half of million die from it each year. In fact, coronary heart disease is by far the #1 killer in our country, and a major contributor to our health care crisis.

So why is the #1 health problem in our country essentially preventable and yet it continues to be so prevalent? It’s not because prevention doesn’t work, and not because it is “too late” once heart disease or heart attacks have already occurred. The most likely reason is because of our lifestyle choices and behaviors combined with the current approach of treating the precursors and symptoms of heart disease aggressively, but not the causes. It is quite clear to almost all who know the medical literature that an appropriate diet and moderate physical activity on a daily basis will lead to the absence of major cardiovascular risk factors. Furthermore, the absence of major cardiovascular risk factors is clearly shown to be highly protective against cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. In other words, it is really true that heart attacks can be virtually eliminated without the need for drugs, surgery, or some new “miracle breakthrough”. It is as simple as paying careful attention to our diet, our physical activity, our addictions, and our stress levels.

By |October 23rd, 2013|Healthy Living, Preventive Medicine|Comments Off on Can heart attacks really be virtually eliminated?
  • Berries
    The Power of Berries: A Natural Path to Heart Health The Power of Berries: A Natural Path to Heart Health

    The Power of Berries: A Natural Path to Heart Health

The Power of Berries: A Natural Path to Heart Health

A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health followed 93,600 women over 18 years and found that those who ate more than 3 servings of strawberries and blueberries per week were 32% less likely to have a heart attack. This held true even in patients who had a history of high blood pressure.

So, what makes berries so powerful? We believe the nutrients in berries called anthocyanins and flavonoids have a direct effect on our arteries/blood vessels which make them more supple and pliable, which reduces blood pressure. As we age, our blood vessels become stiffer, but berries counteract this trend. As an aside, the same nutrients which give berries their powerful health benefits, also give them their bright colors.

So what is the bottom-line? This study further confirms that we should choose a variety of brightly colored berries at least 3 times a week. Other studies have shown additional benefit from a variety of brightly colored vegetables and fruits. At a minimum, we should consume 5 servings (1/2 cup) of fruits and vegetables each day. However, more than 5 is likely to be more protective. Remember the saying “Five is Fine, but Nine is Divine!”

 

By |October 3rd, 2013|Healthy Living|Comments Off on The Power of Berries: A Natural Path to Heart Health
  • CashewNuts
    Nuts or No Nuts? A Common Nutritional Question Nuts or No Nuts? A Common Nutritional Question

    Nuts or No Nuts? A Common Nutritional Question

Nuts or No Nuts? A Common Nutritional Question

A great deal has been made regarding the potential health benefits of adding nuts to our diet versus the concern that nuts are packed with calories, and therefore should be avoided by anyone trying to lose weight. Some medical professionals and nutritionists even recommend that nuts are not advisable to those trying to simply maintain their weight.

Certainly, nuts are packed with calories. In fact, they are packed with calories from fat. However, unlike most of our food choices which contain fat, the fat in nuts is a healthy type of fat which is very beneficial to our cells and our body. In addition, the success of many fad diets is predicated on the fact that fat tends to satisfy our hunger and we ultimately eat less, not more, calories.

A new review of several recent studies confirmed the fact that those who add nuts to their diet are more likely to lose weight, rather than to gain weight. Therefore, nuts are both healthy and good for us and we should not fear that they will lead to weight gain, or prevent weight loss. As always, adding nuts to otherwise bad and unhealthy diet will not correct the underlying problem. But in these cases, the problem is not the nuts, and if a change is to be made, we must change our bad choices.

In summary, we are what we eat, and if we eat nuts, we will be healthier and lose weight! We should all try to add nuts to our diet every day in addition to making other healthy nutrition choices!

 

By |September 17th, 2013|Healthy Living|Comments Off on Nuts or No Nuts? A Common Nutritional Question
  • manrunning_sidebar
    Should Men Stop Eating Fish and/or Taking Fish Oil? Should Men Stop Eating Fish and/or Taking Fish Oil?

    Should Men Stop Eating Fish and/or Taking Fish Oil?

Should Men Stop Eating Fish and/or Taking Fish Oil?

Should Men Stop Eating Fish and/or Taking Fish Oil?

A study was released this past week in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute which proposed that men who have “high levels” of long chain omega-3 fatty acids (Fish oils) had a higher likelihood of developing prostate cancer then men with “low levels” of Fish oils in their bloodstream. The paper included a review of an original study done to determine the benefit of selenium and vitamin E (antioxidants) supplementation in improving health. Blood levels of Fish oil were determined in each patient and then the patients were followed over time to determine if they developed prostate cancer.  Those in the study group with “higher levels” (not high levels) were more likely to develop prostate cancer.

So what should we take from this study? First, it should be noted that none of the men in the study had high levels of long chain omega-3 fatty acids (Fish oils) in their serum.  In fact, the levels were low for all groups compared. Therefore, no conclusions can be drawn from the study regarding high levels of Fish oil and prostate cancer.  Furthermore, many countries throughout the world, which eat fish on a regular basis, tend to have lower levels of prostate cancer, not higher levels. Likewise, there have been multiple studies over the past 10 years, which specifically looked at the effect of eating fish/taking Fish oils, and its effect on health and prostate cancer.  Some of the studies have shown a specific benefit of eating fish (and higher levels of Fish oils in the blood) and others have shown no effect. Finally, the preponderance of research evidence that currently exists, clearly shows that those with higher omega-3 […]

By |July 18th, 2013|Healthy Living|Comments Off on Should Men Stop Eating Fish and/or Taking Fish Oil?
  • milk_glass-300
    Osteoporosis: Do we need more milk? Osteoporosis: Do we need more milk?

    Osteoporosis: Do we need more milk?

Osteoporosis: Do we need more milk?

For years and years, we have been told, by the dairy industry, scientists, physicians, and our mothers and grandmothers, that we need to drink more milk to “build strong bones” and prevent osteoporosis.  However, do we have proof, or even strong evidence, that increased milk and dairy consumption prevents osteoporosis and builds strong bones?  The fact is that recent evidence may be to the contrary.  The evidence is certainly not clear, but recent observational studies have demonstrated that the 3 countries with the highest dairy consumption in the world also have the highest osteoporosis levels in the world.  In contrast, 3 of the areas with the lowest dairy consumption in the world have extremely low levels of osteoporosis.  A new theory suggests that the dominance of meat and dairy and simple carbohydrates in our diet leads to a lower blood pH level which requires neutralization in our blood which is accomplished by removing calcium from our bones.  On the other hand, diets high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (again, a more Mediterranean-type diet) tend to increase the pH in our blood and preserve calcium in the bones, preventing osteoporosis.  Is it possible that dairy isn’t actually good for “building strong bones”?

By |July 11th, 2013|Healthy Living|Comments Off on Osteoporosis: Do we need more milk?
  • CoupleBiking
    Find Time To Exercise Find Time To Exercise

    Find Time To Exercise

Find Time To Exercise

By Julie Eubanks

 

Quick Tips for Incorporating Exercise into your Daily Schedule

Life is amazing, fast-paced and full of excitement.  Schedules are often full leaving little free time let alone time for exercise.  Exercise benefits are numerous; yet other responsibilities crowd out our time to focus on this aspect of our well- being.  The following are some quick tips for incorporating exercise into your daily routine.

 

1.)     Change your attitude.  View exercise as the solution instead of the problem.  We often have a “problem” fitting exercise into our schedules.  If we choose to view exercise as the solution for stress, fatigue and low energy levels, we are likely to prioritize it.

2.)   Plan to exercise.  Make an appointment with yourself in your day planner to exercise.  Include specific dates and times in your planner.  Scheduling time in your day to exercise will improve your consistency and commitment.

3.)   Find an accountability partner.  Identify a buddy to exercise with or just a friend you can report your progress to.  Knowing someone will be asking you about your exercise habits is a great motivator.

4.)   Set reasonable exercise goals for yourself.  Making small, attainable, measurable goals for your exercise week will help improve your confidence in fitness.  Often we set lofty goals that we are unable to achieve, leaving us to feel as if we have failed.  Keep your goals simple and build on them gradually.

5.)   Multitask.  Try reading a book or a report while riding a stationary bike or walking on a treadmill.  Walk up and down a flight of stairs for 5 minutes at lunch time.  Have a walking meeting. Turn on your favorite music while you clean to put a little extra pep in your step. Exercise during […]

By |May 23rd, 2013|Fitness|Comments Off on Find Time To Exercise
  • CoupleOnBeach
    Healthy Living Healthy Living

    Healthy Living

Healthy Living

Vitamin D: Sunshine for Health

Long known for its benefits to bone health, it has become increasingly found to be associated with other health conditions.  Thousands of studies now find association between low vitamin D levels and heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, diabetes, chronic pain, macular degeneration, poor lung function, arthritis, and several cancers.  Vitamin D appears to be strongly associated with healthy immune system.

So why are our vitamin D levels typically so low and how do we increase them to boost our immune system and keep strong bones?  First, most of us, who live in Florida, would have excellent vitamin D levels if we simply spent 10-15 min. a day in the sun without using sunscreen.  Any further sun exposure would require the use of sunscreen to prevent damage to our skin.  Sunburns are certainly strongly associated with skin cancer and significant skin damage.  However, research has not shown that “unprotected” sun exposure of short duration (which doesn’t lead to sunburn) is harmful to our health.  For those who do not, or will not, obtain a healthy amount of sun exposure each week, vitamin D levels can also be increased by eating certain foods which have high vitamin D levels.  Finally, vitamin D supplementation can safely increase vitamin D tissue levels to the appropriate level.

Keeping adequate vitamin D levels in our body appears to be essential to good health and is not difficult to do.  Unfortunately, most Americans have gradually lowered their  vitamin D levels.  Don’t let this happened to you!

By |April 30th, 2013|Healthy Living|Comments Off on Healthy Living