Heart disease is undoubtedly the leading reason for the death of people, and annually, more than 1 million Americans die from a heart disease.
In most cases, people suffer from coronary artery disease (CAD), which can result in a heart attack.
Research predicts that 920,000 people in the U.S. will experience a heart attack, and about half of them will happen without any prior warning symptoms.
- A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a part of your heart becomes blocked. This is often the result of plaque build-up inside your arteries (atherosclerosis), which may rupture and form a blood clot that blocks blood flow.
- If this blockage is not eliminated fast, a part of the heart muscle will begin to die and will be substituted with scar tissue, which may lead to numerous health complications afterward.
- For example, a previous heart attack (in particular, if it has caused a big area of the heart) poses a great risk for sudden cardiac arrest, which is the result of abnormal rhythms of the heart and can have fatal consequences.
5 Ways to Prevent Heart Attacks
– It’s remarkable that heart attacks are so common and cause so much pain (emotional and physical) and disability when they are nearly always preventable. You’re probably already aware that your lifestyle plays a role in your risk of heart disease (and heart attacks), but perhaps you’ve not yet taken it to heart…
– If you need some motivation, consider a new study conducted at the Karolinska Institute. It found that engaging in five healthy lifestyle habits could prevent nearly 80 percent of first-time heart attacks in men. Even the researchers were surprised at how powerful a healthy lifestyle could be, noting:
– “It is not surprising that healthy lifestyle choices would lead to a reduction in heart attacks… What is surprising is how drastically the risk dropped due to these factors.”
– A similar study was conducted in 2004 by INTERHEART, which examined heart disease risk factors in over 50 ountries worldwide and discovered that 90% cardiovascular disorders can be entirely prevented if certain diet and lifestyle changes are implemented.
What are these crucial lifestyle changes that play such an important role in cardiovascular health?
1. Healthy diet
2. Moderate physical activity (walking/bicycling minimum 40 min per day and exercising minimum 1 hour per week)
3. Healthy waist circumference (waist circumference under 95 cm or 37.4 inches)
4. Moderate alcohol consumption (maximum 10 to 30 g. a day)
5. No smoking
What Is a Healthy Diet for Your Heart?
Contrary to popular belief, the worst foods for our heart aren’t saturated fats like butter, lard or eggs, it’s the refined sugars, carbs and processed foods that do the most damage.
People often get confused about this issue because it’s common belief that high LDL cholesterol levels, also known as “bad” cholesterol, lead to cardiovascular diseases and saturated fat can increase LDL in your blood. However, what is unknown to most people is that there are TWO kinds of LDL cholesterol particles:
– Small, dense LDL cholesterol
– Large, “fluffy” LDL cholesterol
Research has shown that those large, fluffy LDL particles aren’t to blame when it comes to heart disease. The small and dense LDL particles cause arterial plaque buildup which leads to heart attack. When it comes to food, trans-fats increase the levels of small, dense LDL particles, while saturated fats increase the level of the large, benign LDL particles. The amount of small LDL particles is increased with the intake of carbs and refined sugars, like bread, bagels, sodas and so on and that’s why trans-fat and carbs do a lot more damage to your cardiovascular health than saturated fats alone.
Heart-Healthy Diet Regime
In order to prevent heart diseases, your diet should trans fats, so avoid all kinds of processed foods. Moreover, you should also address the issue concerning the insulin and leptin resistance, which is caused by excess consumption of grains and sugars. In order to reduce the risk of a heart disease you should follow the instructions below:
You should eliminate grains, sugar, processed fructose, from your diet. On the other hand, your diet should be rich in organic whole foods. Therefore, you should consume:
– vegetables- as much as possible
– Low-to-moderate quantity of high-quality protein
– High-quality healthy fat, meaning monounsaturated and saturated fat from animal and tropical oil sources. For optimal health, the majority of people need 50-85 % fats in the diet, which is significantly more than the 10 % now recommended.These are the riches sources of healthy fats: raw dairy, grass-fed meats, organic pastured egg yolks, coconuts, and coconut oil, raw nuts, such as almonds, pecans, macadamia, and seeds, butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk, unheated organic nut oils, and avocados.
Moreover, the regulation of the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 ratio is also really important for your cardiovascular health. Namely, those fatty acids stimulate the creation of the cells in your arteries that produce prostacyclin, which promotes a smooth blood flow.
The lack of omega-3 in the body has been linked to numerous serious health issues, both mental and physical, and might significantly contribute to 96,000 premature deaths annually.
Hence, it is advisable to consume wild-caught oily fish (like anchovies or sardines) or to take a high-quality krill oil supplement. Moreover, you should avoid most vegetable oils.
Fruit and Heart health
A study presented at the ESC Congress in Barcelona this year revealed some amazing discoveries. The study showed that people who regularly consumed fruits had a 40% lower risk of any type of cardiovascular disease and a 32% lower risk of death from any cause in comparison with people who didn’t.
Fruits abound in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients which can improve your cardiovascular health and prevent inflammation. According to a study from the British Medical Journal eating just one apple a day can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and death from heart attack in people over 50 years, having similar effect as statin drugs.
Still, everything should be in moderation, and this goes for fruits as well. You should especially be careful with sweeter fruits; they contain high levels of fructose. The most beneficial ingredients are usually found in the skin or seeds and they have a bitter or sour taste. When buying fruit always opt for organic produce, they are the most nutritious and you’ll know for sure they haven’t been stripped of all the nutrients. Keep in mind that fruits contain lots of fructose and should be consumed in moderation. There are certain guidelines as to how much fruit you should eat on a daily basis according to your overall health condition. For example:
– If you are leptin/insulin resistant, overweight, hypersensitive or have high cholesterol levels (this includes nearly 80% Americans), you shouldn’t eat more than 15 g fructose daily.
– If you are not insulin/leptin resistant, and have normal weight, don’t suffer from diabetes, hypertension, or high cholesterol and if you do some physical activity almost every day, you can eat as much fruit as you like.
– If you belong to the second group, fruit can still increase your blood sugar, even your protein glycosylation. It’s best to eat fruits after workout and some physical activity, because your body will then use the sugar as fuel rather than store it in your blood and raise your blood sugar levels.
– Plus, if you’re an endurance athlete, you can also consume large amounts of fruits because your body will burn most of the glucose during exercise, and it won’t be stored as fat.
Diabetes Drug Increases Heart Disease Risk
Metformin, a drug that makes your body’s tissues more sensitive to insulin, is one of the most common diabetes drugs on the market. However, new research shows that among people with hypothyroidism, the use of metformin was associated with an increased risk of low thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. If your TSH levels become too low, it may lead to serious damage, including heart problems such as atrial fibrillation, which in turn could lead to congestive heart failure. Separate research has also shown that treating type 2 diabetes with glucose-lowering drugs actually showed the potential to increase your risk of death from heart-related and all other causes. Researchers noted:
“The overall results of this meta-analysis do not show a benefit of intensive glucose lowering treatment on all cause mortality or cardiovascular death. A 19% increase in all cause mortality and a 43% increase in cardiovascular mortality cannot be excluded.”
These risks are typically unnecessary, as type 2 diabetes is easy to reverse without drugs. If you want the short version… simply swapping processed foods for whole organic foods lower in sugar and sugar-forming carbohydrates — combined with a few minutes of regular high-intensity exercises — will quickly put you on the road to reversing diabetes.
A Warning About Beta-Blockers and Scientific Misconduct
Beta-blockers are common drugs, usually used in the case of congestive heart failure and high blood pressure. They act by impeding the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline) to bind to beta receptors, thus dilating blood vessels, which decreases the blood pressure and the heart rate.
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) advised the use of beta-blockers in the case of non-cardiac surgery. Yet, a research done earlier this year showed that this guideline is based on “questionable and probably fraudulent research,” and may have been the reason for 800,000 deaths in Europe in a period of five years.
Namely, these guidelines regarding the use of beta-blockers were done by a scientist who was fired in 2011, for scientific misconduct, and at the same time, was the chairman of the committee that constructed the draft of the European treatment guideline on the first place.
Yet, even though expected otherwise, the ESC needed two years to withdraw the beta-blocker recommendation. His delay led to the death of a half of a million people.
Recently, the Forbs published a revised version of the article was published, which explained in details all the risks and consequences of the publication of a fraudulent research and its practical use in clinics.
“They write about a culture of neglect in which few if any participants have anything to gain by finding or reporting scientific misconduct. They cite numerous examples in which misconduct has been alleged but the responsible actors– authors, home institutions, journals, and medical societies– have responded in only the most minimal and non aggressive fashion. The portrait they paint is of a scientific and medical establishment devoted to not rocking the boat.”
Heart Attack Prevention
You should not wait until you experience the first symptoms or a heart disease, in order to begin taking care of your cardiovascular health, as the most common heart disease symptom is actually death.
Therefore, follow these instructions in order to prevent heart issues and protect your health:
– Reduce stress
– If you are resistant to leptin or insulin, eliminate all sugars, as well as processed fructose and grains. This is due to the fact that a diet rich in sugar promotes insulin and leptin resistance, which is the main cause of heart disease
– Your vitamin D levels should be optimal, so you can get them from being exposed to the sun, a tanning bed, or you can take as oral vitamin D3 supplements
– Avoid long sitting, as you should sit no more than three hours during the day. Moreover, it is advisable to make 10,000 steps throughout the day.
– Eat unprocessed saturated animal fats. Moreover, numerous people will benefit a lot from incorporating more healthy fat in the diet to 50-85% of daily calories
– Eat a healthy, organic diet, and combine it with a regular workout. You can use a mix of core work, high-intensity interval training, stretching, and strength training.
– Statins may cause numerous side effects, and their benefits are questionable. Only in the case of a genetic familial hypercholesterolemia, patients may benefit from their use. The symptoms of this condition include abnormally high cholesterol, resistant to lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet and a regular exercise
– You should frequently walk barefoot to the ground, as in this way, you will help the transfer of free electrons from the earth into your body, which represents one of the most powerful antioxidants and will effectively treat inflammation in the body.