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Cardiovascular Month

Take heart: Nine out of ten strokes can be prevented.

Did you know, in the United States, someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds and every minute someone dies from a heart-related incident?

Did you know that around 50% of people who have a heart attack, have normal lipid (cholesterol) levels?

And did you know that heart disease is, in most cases, preventable?

April is Cardiovascular Month on my website. I will be posting information and advice about healthy hearts on my blog throughout the month. I will explain how our understanding of the causes of heart disease has shifted from fats and cholesterol to metabolic syndrome, insulin and inflammation. I will discuss ‘The Big Fat Fraud’ and how fats came to be public enemy number one.

We now know that healthy fats form a crucial part of a balanced diet – but are ALL fats healthy? Which fats are safe to cook with? When we have blood tests to assess cardiovascular health, which tests should we be asking for? I will explain the difference between HDL, LDL, VLDL and triglycerides to enable you to better understand your OWN blood test results and what they mean.

How many of you are on statins? How many of you on statins are aware of the numerous long-term adverse side effects of statin use? Government guidelines are causing many people to be put on statins, who have cholesterol levels considered perfectly healthy in the field of Functional Medicine. I will explain the very important role cholesterol plays in the body and what health risks we become vulnerable to with low levels of cholesterol. I will also discuss the most recent scientific evidence on statins to enable anyone of you on a statin to be informed enough to approach your GP to discuss any concerns.

Become educated and aware in order to improve your own health care

How healthy is your heart?

  • Is your blood pressure above 140/90?

  • Is your resting pulse above 80?

  • Is your cholesterol above 5.5?

  • Is your homocysteine level above 9? (Ask your GP for this test if you have never been tested.)

  • Do you get out of breath climbing up stairs or inclines?

  • Do you sometimes get chest pains?

  • Do you smoke more than 5 cigarettes a day?

  • Do you exercise less than twice a week?

  • Are you overweight?

  • Do you have cardiovascular disease?

  • Do any of your immediate family suffer from cardiovascular disease or high cholesterol?

  • Do you eat LESS than three servings of fruit and vegetables most days?

  • Do you rarely take vitamin supplements?

  • Do you consider your lifestyle stressful?

  • Do you eat fried food, meat or other high fat foods most days?

Score 1 for every YES answer. The ideal score is 0.

Less than 4: your score is low but address those questions to which you answered yes.

5 or more: You may be at high risk of cardiovascular illness. Take action now to change your diet and lifestyle. Check into my website at least once a week for guidelines, help and advice on how to improve your cardiovascular health.

Backed up with the necessary lifestyle changes, many people find rapid improvements in cholesterol, blood pressure and other risk indicators. April will be jam-packed with tips, recipes and advice, aimed at helping you to help yourself.

Remember, if you do not change direction, you may end up where you are headed. matter how long you have traveled in the wrong direction, you can always turn around!

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