The Smart-Ass Guide To Heart Health

By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

applevectorIf you want someone to take notice of you, you’ve got to stand out in the crowd. When it comes to heart disease I think we have to be loud, noisy and a bit of a smart-ass to get the attention we need for this curable epidemic that’s killing us at the rate of one million per year. Isn’t that just a stupid statistic when we know we can stop it, already? Here are some smart-ass tips to get your attention.

Take the combo platter approach. Your health is a mixed bag of interrelated causes and effects. Stroke, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes are related. All three are incited by a high fat, high sugar and high sodium diet. These unwelcome conditions are 90 % preventable when we eat a low-fat (or the right fat) low-sodium and low-sugar diet packed with whole grains, fruits and vegetables in all colors, shapes and sizes. What that means is that you forego the cheese-smothered, jumbo beef burrito, with lard-cooked refried beans and overly-salted rice. Instead, you choose a bowl of brown rice and beans that you can smother in fresh salsa and add a melted topping of soy, almond or rice cheese. That’s the difference between inviting heart disease, stroke and diabetes, and enjoying your natural health. It’s your call. What you pick, sticks.

Outsmart the tricksters. Food manufacturers are notoriously sneaky. They want to sell, sell, sell you their products and make the most money for their shareholders and their shareholder’s yachts. To do that they cut costs, scrimp on nutrition and create products that have a long shelf life so they don’t go bad on the store shelves until you buy them and then they really don’t care what happens to them, or you, for that matter.

myplateYou’ve got to read those labels if you care about what you put into your body. Cheez-Its (1) may taste snappy, but a small serving of 27 crackers contains 8 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, and 250 mg sodium. Look at what’s in the box or package. If you see the word “hydrogenated” put it back. If you spot high sodium and sugar levels, put it back. Shop on the outside of your supermarket where all of the fresh stuff is. Reach for the apples, carrots, zucchini and celery before you reach for the cupcakes and cookies. Otherwise, you’re inviting conditions like clogged arteries which leads to heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

Stop acting your age. Be a bit of a wild child. As adults, we sit on our smart-asses way too much. We have to start acting like kids again and get out there, play hard, romp, frolic, carry on with athletic abandon and be active. Get that oxygen flowing in and out. Computer games and passive television shows do not stimulate the digestive system or activate the blood to flow. They keep our systems stagnant instead of alive. You want to open those flood gates of vibrant circulation, muscle activity, and pump action to help the body function and flourish. That’s what it is designed to do. You’ve seen a pond that’s been left to rot. It gets all gooey, sticky, covered with scum, smells and is home to disease-infected mosquitoes. That’s what you’re doing to your sweet bod when you lounge around all day, inactive, scarfing chips. Get up, get out, and get moving. Give your body a fighting chance to ward off disease by creating a healthy pond that breathes, circulates and is renewed and refreshed all day long.

familyfunIt’s really that easy. It is so uncool to get heart disease, have a stroke or harbor Type 2 diabetes when we know what causes it and how we can stop it. Be a smart-ass. Pick the right foods to go into your body and enjoy yourself while you’re at it. Kick up your heels a little, or a lot, and celebrate how healthy you are! More smart-ass tips next week!

Learn more: www.HeartEasy.com

(1) I’m not picking on Cheez-Its per se, it’s just one in the line of many artery-hardening snacks that Americans ingest by the millions which leads to health consequences over the long term.

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