Women and Heart Disease

I read such an interesting story just now.  It was reported by NPR about a woman in her 40’s who was suffering from extreme shortness of breath and dizziness.  She thought it was because she was overweight and overworked.  Well, it sort of was.  The bottom line for her was that she had coronary arteries that were so clogged that she needed stents to open them up.  Never once in the article was diet mentioned.  What a shame.  If you have stents implanted, you are going to need to be on blood thinners for the rest of your life.  That could get really messy if you were in a car accident.  The stents also have the tendency to clog up again.  Well, if you get stents, just assume you are going to be seeing a whole lot of doctors and hospitals.  Not how I want to live my life.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women.  10 times as many women die from heart disease each year as die from breast cancer.  Heart disease claims the life of 1 in 4 women!

I would like to bring to your attention the power of food to prevent and reverse heart disease.  The foods to stay away from are animal in origin.  Red meat, chicken, eggs, dairy.  Saturated fat and cholesterol are implicated in heart disease. Some of the benefit comes from avoiding animal products, but there are foods to focus on also.  Plenty of greens, beans, fruits, whole grains, and seeds. Lots of groups involved in raising livestock and poultry work very hard to make sure you don’t get the straight story. The people who make junk food certainly don’t want you to know how terrible their products are for your health.  Consider reading some things by Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Joel Katz just to name a few doctors.

I try to talk to every client about making healthy choices and slowly incorporating positive changes into their diet.  You can start by eating whole grain pasta and bread.  You might go meatless a day or two a week.  You can start adding fruit as a dessert.  Small changes that are sustainable add up to a big difference if you keep at it for a year. In one year even people with terrible angina pain that prevented them from being able to walk across a room were able to walk briskly and even run.  When you incorporate serious changes in your diet and lifestyle, your risk of death plummets.