Please pass on the salt!
Last month, the CDC reported that 9 out of 10 Americans consume more sodium than is recommended. The average was almost 3300mg, whereas the recommended dose is 2300mg for regular joes and 1500mg for high-risk individuals! More than that, most of that sodium came from only ten food groups, most of which are from grocery stores: cold cuts, pizza, soup, bread, pasta, cheese, snacks (chips, pretzels). Follow the link below to see them all. While we can’t completely avoid salt (and most of us admit to loving those chips or pretzels), make sure you pay attention to how much you eat. Too much sodium can not only lead to unwanted bloating and water weight, but also higher risk for heart attacks and strokes.
True or False: Soda is okay if it is “diet”?
According to a recent study that followed 2500 people for 10 years, daily intake of diet sodas was associated with an increased risk of diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, obesity, and other vascular risks. While this study was not completely conclusive, it does add to the growing body of research that suggests diet soda–like regular soda–is not doing our bodies any favors, and may be hurting us.
Be One in a Million Hearts!
You don’t have to be old to have a heart attack or a stroke. Every day about 2200 people die from heart disease–1 out of every 3–and most of them are younger than 65! There are many risk factors that lead to strokes and heart attacks–some are obvious, while others are silent and not even detected on traditional laboratory evaluations for heart risk. As American Heart Month comes to an end, let it be the beginning of your decision to build and maintain a healthy heart! Start by seeing a doctor who will do a thorough and proactive evaluation, and be a part of the CDC’s campaign to prevent a million strokes and heart attacks!
Salty Love Leads to Painful Hearts
A recent study by the CDC found that 9 out of 10 people consume more sodium than is necessary – a whopping 3300mg as opposed to the <2300mg recommendation. We do love our salt! But too much sodium can cause severe health issues such as heart disease and strokes. Read this article to get an idea of which foods contain the most sodium so you can make better, more informed choices about your meals!
In Your Corner: February 2012 – Love Your Heart!
Disappearing in a puff of smoke?
Well, not quite yet, but there is some good news on the smoking front: the number of Americans smoking decreased between 2005 and 2010. According to the CDC’s MMWR (Morbitiy & Mortality Weekly Report) released yesterday, the percentage of adult American smokers decreased from 20.9% to 19.3%. This is equal to about 3 million less smokers! The bad news though is that the South (21%) and the Midwest (21.8%) have a greater percentage of their population who still smoke. The graphic below from the MMWR report shows a breakdown by state:
Smoking is one of many different risk factors for heart attacks and strokes-some well known, others you probably haven’t heard about. At Cornerstone we go above and beyond when it comes to heart attack and stroke prevention–just one aspect of the out of the ordinary care we provide to help our patients build their optimal health. Call us or come in to find our more about our practice.
Stocks break hearts…literally
Worried that the stock market’s recent roller coaster ride will hurt you financially? Unfortunately the health of your wallet may not be the only thing to worry about when stocks go crazy like they have recently. Research published in the European Heart Journal this summer looked at stock market volatility and how it relates to Coronary Heart Disease (i.e. heart attacks). They found that the more volatile stock market was–in either a downward or upward direction–the more deaths from heart disease that occurred.
So…don’t forget about your physical health while working toward financial health! Since about half the time sudden death is the first sign of heart problems, come in today to get a more comprehensive check-up and get started on a heart-wealthy life!
It’s Good to be a Quitter when…
…you need surgery. Did you know that some people-including some clinicians-believe that quiting smoking before surgery actually increases risk for pulmonary (lung) complications after surgery? In the last couple of months 2 different meta-analyses have put this question to rest and not only were there not more pulmonary complications, one analysis actually found a 41% relative reduction in total post-operative complications. The longer you quit the better, but even quiting for relatively short periods of time yeilded benefits to the quitter.
We talk a lot about the longer-term risks of smoking (i.e. heart attacks, cancer, lung disease, etc), and how quiting can decrease your risk for those problems. And while this is true, these recent studies point out a short-term benefit: if you’re looking at having surgery and want to reduce your risk of complications afterward, consider quiting now!
(This is one of the new warning labels being considered for cigarette packaging)
Sushi and Building Heart Health
I’m looking forward to eating sushi and talking with patients, friends and anyone else interested in “Building Optimal Health: The Heart of the Matter”. Space is filling up quickly so let us know soon if you’d like to come!
I often talk to my patients about the connections between one aspect of our health with others. Three recent studies provide additional examples of this. In the first an association between Alzheimer’s disease and low HDL cholesterol was seen. In the second, a type of counseling was found to reduce the risk of repeat heart attack by 45%. In the third, metabolic syndrome (a constellation of problems correlated with heart disease) was reversed in patients who followed a particular healthy diet.
These kinds of connections are why I designed Cornerstone Private Practice to facilitate a whole-person approach to care. Although medicines can be important, they aren’t always the answer to every problem. By taking the time to understand the issues and discuss the options, we can come up with approaches to care tailored to each patient individually.