natural heart protection

  1. Lower your heart risk with these foods

    Fiber can protect your heart

    It's one of the simplest, cheapest and healthiest dietary changes you could make: eat more fiber.

    A diet rich in fiber can help fight or prevent chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease (and, of course, it can help keep things moving along in the bathroom). And now, one new study confirms that the more fiber you have in your diet, the lower your risk of serious heart problems.

    Eat more soluble fiber, for example, and you can slash your risk of cardiovascular disease. Adding cereal fiber, on the other hand, will lower your risk of coronary heart disease (the form of heart disease marked by buildups of plaque in the arteries).

    But why choose one over the other?

    For maximum benefits, you want a wide variety of fiber -- because the study finds that every 7-gram boost in total fiber will cut your risk of both types of cardiovascular disease by 9 percent, according to the study in BMJ.

    But most people don't get anything close to what they need.

    Mainstream guidelines recommend 30-38 grams of fiber a day for men and between 21 and 25 grams of fiber a day for women, and I recommend even higher levels of between 40 and 50 grams a day for everyone.

    On average, however, Americans get a pitiful 16.2 grams of fiber per day.

    It's time to change that. Skip the fiber chews and processed foods that claim to be "made with whole grains" and go right for the source: fresh, whole foods that are naturally high in fiber.

    Oatmeal is high in fiber and makes for a terrific breakfast. High-fiber foods such as beans, broccoli and artichokes make for great side dishes and salads at lunch and dinner.

    And don't stop there. Replace junk food snacks with natural sources of fiber such as apples, pears, berries, nuts and seeds.

    For more on fiber and how it can save your life, read this free report from my House Calls archive.

  2. Lose weight and lower risk factors for heart disease

    The belly is connected to the heart

    If you've let yourself go a little over the years, you're hardly alone. But if you think you can be overweight or obese and still be healthy, I've got a new study on the major risk factors for heart disease you need to see.

    It puts to bed the myth that it's OK to be obese as long as you're healthy by other standards -- because it shows how extra weight alone, even without any other risk factors for heart disease, can lead directly to it. Or worse, leave you staring straight down the barrel of a heart attack

    If you're obese, your risk of a heart attack is double what it should be, and your risk factors for heart disease are 64 percent higher, according to the new study. And if you're overweight but not obese, your heart attack risk is 38 percent higher and your heart disease risk is 25 percent higher.

    Now, that alone isn't a surprise. If anything, I'd say the numbers are a tad on the low side.

    No, what some people have found surprising (but not me) is that the risks were high even when the researchers pulled out all the other possible risk factors for heart problems -- especially the "big three" that make up metabolic syndrome: high blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

    Yes, all of those conditions will raise your heart risk no matter how much you weigh. But if you're overweight or obese, they're not the main reason you face a higher risk of heart problems.

    In fact, the study finds those risk factors for heart disease account for between 12 percent and 26 percent of the risk in the overweight and the obese.

    The rest comes from those extra pounds you're lugging around.

    So if you're overweight or obese but believe you're otherwise healthy, consider this your wakeup call -- because along with heart attack and heart disease, too much body fat can increase your risk of everything from arthritis to cancer.

    (In fact, obesity is the number two cause of cancer... second only to smoking! Click here to learn more.)

    If your BMI is higher than 25, you're officially overweight. If it's above 30, you're obese. While these numbers alone aren't the final word in your health, they make for a pretty good starting point -- and if you're above them, it's time to get to work on your waistline.

    One of the safest, easiest and most painless ways to get it done is with the Mediterranean diet that's been proven to help lose weight, fight heart disease and prevent heart attack and stroke.

    For more information, read this free report from my House Calls archives.

  3. Metformin side effects don’t protect heart

    The diabetes drug metformin is often given to people with heart disease, but new research shows it does practically nothing for these patients.
  4. How to prevent a heart attack

    The key to avoiding a second heart attack is making the same changes to your diet that could have prevented the first -- but you don't have to give up the foods you love.
  5. Benefits of music help the heart

    Want a better workout? Turn on some music -- because music can increase the benefits of exercise, according to new research.

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