Welcome to SimplifiHealth. This is Dr. Jill Wade and I am honored to be here with you today. I appreciate the time you’ve carved out to listen and to learn with us. Aurelia is not with me on this episode and I tend to tackle the more specific scientific information on my own.
Today, we’re going to start the discussion of lifestyle choices and the chance to reduce your risk of a heart attack by 92%—that’s huge, guys. Heart attacks are the number one killer of women and more than all cancers combined that people died from. So heart attacks kill more people than all cancers combined.
I use the word choices for a reason. Why? Because we have a complete choice—100% choice—of how we live our lives. We choose what we want to eat, what we drink, and we choose if we’re going to exercise or not. I want to highlight a few lifestyle choices that will decrease your risk by 92% of a heart attack, choices that you can control. It’s more effective on saving your life than any magic pill that you can take or be prescribed with.
Some of you may know that I’m a big supporter and advocate of the American Heart Association. They are truly dedicated to heart-health education and research and they do a great, great job. I’m so proud to be a supporter of them and to be a Circle Of Red member. Back in 2010, the American Heart Association came up with their seven essentials list for heart health. I’m going to quickly review those seven items with you. But if you would like a printout of this, feel free to visit our site at relevancehealth.com and you can print an easy download version for yourself. This list became really very important to research in order for them to create relevant research and to document it to help patients themselves, but even more to help doctors actually take care of patients.
Let’s go over the actual seven essentials for heart health. Surprisingly enough, four of them are actually direct lifestyle issues. Number one, do not smoke. I think that’s pretty obvious to everybody; have your BMI or Body Mass Index be less than 25; have at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. They have quite a few things listed to think about on your diet. At least 4 of these—5 as what they say—4 half cups per day of fruit and vegetables, greater than 2 of 3.5 ounces of fish per week, less than 3 sugars sweetened, 12 ounce beverages per week, greater than three 1 ounce servings of fiber rich whole grains per day, and less than 1500 milligrams of salt per day. Then they go on to list less than 200 milligrams of total cholesterol, they want your blood pressure to be less than 120/80, and they want your fasting blood glucose to be less than 100. Once again, you can download the list of those items on our website at relevancehealth.com or you can go straight to the American Heart Association and I’m sure you can pull up a list there.
Now for me, as a passionate dentist about the oral systemic links, we know how much the oral health actually is involved in helping decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. My personal goal is to work with the American Heart Association to actually add a number 8, which of course would have something to do with dental. Something like this; number 8: brush and floss your teeth at least 2 times a day. Why is all of this important again? Remember, we have a choice. We have a choice in our lifestyle choices that we make.
I’m going to give you a summary of what they really intended to happen with this list of 7 items. If you have in place 6–7 of those items compared to 0–1, it will have an effect on cardiovascular disease, it will decrease the risk of an event—meaning a heart attack—by 10 times, cardiovascular mortality risk or death is decreased by 88%, heart failure risk by 70% less, type 2 diabetes on onset risk by 89% less, dementia risk by 37% less, and cancer risk by 51% less. Look at all the things that can happen. That can be really a huge difference on your risk factor of having an event down the road if you just have 6 out of these 7 things in place compared to 0 or 1. That’s why this is so important. At the BaleDoneen Preceptorship that I was just at, it just always reminds me of different things. We studied about two really critical research papers that have to do a lot with this particular topic.
For those of you who have been around in my office, you know I’m a really big advocate for Brad and Amy’s book called Beat The Heart Attack Gene by Dr. Brad Bale and Dr. Amy Doneen. If you haven’t ever read that book, it is written for the public, for patients in layman’s terms. It is a wonderful book chock-full of information. Many times, what you hear me speak about has something to do with their number one idea—which I believe in 100%—that is that the common thread of all of these diseases is inflammation and that everything that we do you has to focus on inflammation and to get it to decrease. So let me go back to these two research articles. Basically what they were talking about was what you needed to do with your lifestyle to prevent heart attacks.
The first one that I’m going to reference basically talks about optimizing of these healthy lifestyle behaviors could prevent 79% of heart attacks in men. The lifestyle choices that they specifically talk about are, first of all, their diet; choosing healthy foods which include things like fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, reduced fatty diet products, whole grains, and fish. Stay away from unhealthy foods such as red and processed meat, fried potatoes, solid fats, full fat cheese, white bread, refined cereals, and various sweets. They go on to talk about alcohol and that they say you only would want to have 30 grams of alcohol a day or less, preferably less, lifestyle of also not being a smoker or at least having been without it for 20 years. They also talk about physical activity wanting you to walk or cycle at least 40 minutes a day and exercise greater than one hour per week. Also, consider your waistline. For men they want it to be 37.5 inches and less and for women around 34 inches or less. When that happens, they are stating that there is a 79% reduction of heart attack. That’s pretty good.
Let’s take it one step further. The next research paper then talks about and focuses more on women. They say, for healthy lifestyle, if you do not smoke, if you have a normal BMI, your physical activity is greater than 2.5 per week, and that your television viewing is less than 7 hours a week, you have in control your diet and your alcohol, that is where they come up with this; women with 6 lifestyle factors in place compared with women with no healthy lifestyle factors in place had a 92% reduced risk of a heart attack. I don’t know about you but that’s pretty incredible.
There is another fellow preceptor of the BaleDoneen program name Dr. David Wright and I always laugh because he says, “You can never out prescribed lifestyle.” And that’s the truth. There is no drug on the market, I promise, who can do better than a 92% reduction of risk of a heart attack. So guess what? It’s your choice—92% decrease, by your own choice, personally seems like something I think we should stop and really think about. I think it’s time for you to stop and focus on the following things that you need to improve. You need to improve your diet. I think we can all so hate that it’s pretty easy to let get out of hand on occasion so always be thinking about how you can improve your diet, evaluate your weight but specifically your waist circumference. Try to get it down to about 34 inches, ladies. Increase your exercise and your physical activity. Guys it’s not about just being skinny, it’s about being fit. Decrease your alcohol consumption, definitely stop smoking—that also includes second hand smoke—and less TV.
Remember, heart attacks are the number one killer for women and our lifestyle choices can reduce the risk up to 92%. You need to ask yourself, “Why wouldn’t you do these things? Why wouldn’t you? Why wouldn’t you make better choices?”
I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. I’m sure we will continue to discuss many more lifestyle items in the future. If you have a question for me directly, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for joining us on SimplifiHealth. This is Dr. Jill Wade, keep smiling from the inside out.
Heart Attacks are the number one killer of woman…more than all cancers combined. And we have 100% choice of reducing our risk for an event by simply making better lifestyle choices. Come on Ladies! We have to get smart and take proactive steps to taking care of ourselves. If somebody told me I could shed off 25 pounds with a 92% success rate by doing what they said to do, I would stop everything and go for it. So why do we even hesitate when it comes to our heart health?