taking preventative measures is still the best way to avoid a heart attack:I eat a vegetable-based diet, I spend hours at the gym, and, I avoid harmful foods like red meat and dairy. Why do I do all this? I’ll tell you why. I don’t want to be a statistic! I don’t want to be another American who dies prematurely. I don’t want heart disease! And as Jane E. Brody of The New York Times reports
While patients and their loved ones are no doubt extremely grateful for the ability of modern medicine to keep people alive and often well when their hearts are on the verge of giving out, the therapeutic approach to curbing the coronary death rate is like shutting the barn door after the horse has escaped. A more economical, not to mention less terrifying, approach is to prevent the development of this life-threatening and costly disease.Speaking of prevention—is it true? Is heart disease really preventable? Isn’t getting old, sick, and having heart attack a natural part of aging? After all, everyone’s doing it. No, Dr. Fuhrman makes it perfectly clear, declining health and premature death is not normal. Dr. Fuhrman elaborates in Is Heart Disease Totally Preventable:
According to the new analysis, about 44 percent of the decline in coronary mortality during the 20 years studied was due to improvements in risk factors for heart disease: reduced cholesterol levels, better control of high blood pressure, a decline in smoking and a small rise in physical activity.
These changes have occurred largely through the seriously underfinanced efforts of public health advocates who for decades have championed the cause of primary prevention of heart disease. They started in the early 1960s with campaigns against smoking, continued with efforts to curb saturated fats, cholesterol and salt in the American diet and moved on to still-lagging efforts to get more Americans to be physically active.
If we do a careful look at the scientific evidence at our disposal, we can make some claims with a strong degree of certainty. It is my belief that every heart attack death is an appalling tragedy because that person did not have to die. I believe every bypass surgery, every angioplasty, and every emergency treatment for heart attack could have been prevented. If all cardiac patients, heart-disease sufferers, and even those who will soon die of cardiac arrest were given the option a few years ago to choose to eat and live healthfully in order to be free of heart disease, what do you think they would have chosen to do?Here’s more from Defeat Heart Disease Now:
I am convinced that if all of these individuals had been convincingly informed that heart disease and premature death could be avoided and that health could be improved dramatically with changes in diet and lifestyle, they would not have chosen suffering and premature death. Faced with this sober choice, diet and lifestyle changes would seem a delightfully enjoyable choice.
Fortunately, we can win the war against heart disease by making a few simple, but profound, dietary and lifestyle changes. By following the recommendations in my book Eat to Live, virtually everyone can improve their heart health. In fact, if you start in time, you actually can make yourself heart-attack proof. I believe all people should be informed they have a choice to protect themselves.Now, if you’re still hungry for more. Check out these posts:
There is no magic to heart health. Educating yourself with the latest scientific findings and eating a diet of delicious, natural, unprocessed food allows you to protect yourself and your family from the heart disease tragedies you see all around you.
Following this approach, you can achieve positive results simply by making the right diet and exercise choices—consistently, without the use of drugs or surgery. Almost everyone can achieve protection against heart disease by reaching the following goals:
- Achieve an LDL cholesterol of 100 or lower.
- Achieve a homocysteine level below 10.
- Achieve healthful weight and blood pressure.