Seven Big Heart Mistakes You’re Making Right Now
November 12, 2015
Could your heart age be the key to the fountain of youth? Based on a short, clinically-accurate quiz, this new concept has proven that we can now reverse-age our hearts by 10 to 20 years. Fix the following seven mistakes, take the quiz at heartage.me and put your body’s age in instant reverse:
- You’re worried about the wrong things when you grab something to eat. Science used to tell us to avoid sodium and fat, but that trend is changing. Sodium is no longer believed to be linked to high blood pressure and a low-fat diet may not actually be particularly heart healthy. Instead of avoiding fats altogether, try to limit your intake to unsaturated fats such as those in olive oil, avocados and peanut butter.
- You’re most likely not getting the heart test you need. Traditional screenings like stress tests and angiograms look for major blockages in large arteries, which are great for preventing major heart attacks, but don’t test for the far less dramatic microvascular disease that more commonly affects women. Particularly if you have any heart-disease risk factors, ask your doctor for the EndoPAT test – a fast, non-invasive way to tell if you’re at risk for the hard-to-detect heart attacks that women often have.
- You focus on cheating, when cheating is irrelevant. When it comes to your healthy lifestyle, it’s not all-or-none. Don’t beat yourself up if you have the occasional glass of wine or piece of chocolate. The five recommended ‘ideal lifestyle choices’ are eating a nutritious diet, drinking moderately, staying active, maintaining a healthy BMI and never smoking, so as long as you’re making small, consistent changes in one of these areas, it makes a big difference.
- You think a Paleo diet will make you thin and healthy. While a high protein/low carb diet may be all the rage in Hollywood, cardiologists warn against it. There’s strong evidence that too much animal protein – especially from processed meats – increases the risk of coronary heart disease. If you simply can’t imagine life without steak, try replacing just one daily serving of red meat with fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy or whole grains.
- You treat your heart like a pump. Despite what you might have learned in your high school biology class, the heart does not pump the blood – it’s more like the blood pumps the heart. Think of your heart more like a dam that uses the blood to sync the functions of your other organs. This should help you more accurately rationalize regular exercise, which promotes a healthy, consistent rhythm throughout your entire body, and eating healthy fats, which releases water into your blood for better rushing action.
- You don’t believe a cure for heart disease is on the way – at least not any time soon. While there’s still plenty of progress to be made, new innovations show promise for faster diagnoses, gold-standard cures and great reductions in death. For example, scientists at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry are developing a webcam that uses a 15-second scan of your face to identify atrial fibrillation, a condition of irregular heartbeats that kills 3 million people a year.
- You’ve decided statins are too complicated to understand. In 2013, new AHA guidelines expanded who should get statins – a group of drugs that act to reduce levels of fats, including triglycerides and cholesterol, in the blood. Consult your doctor to see if they could benefit you.
This year, make your back-to-school routine smooth with Seattle’s Best Coffee and life hacks to make your week slightly less hectic.
Dr. Katie answers your questions about lice and supplies tips and tricks to get through this parenting nightmare, including Vamousse!