What I'm referring to is the incredibly lame information I come across that passes as "heart health" on the internet, magazines, and other media. Just to keep abreast of what is being said, I subscribe to multiple newsletters and magazines and I witness the sorts of advice offered to the reading public.
A recent long-winded article on a popular website listed the "exciting" strategies available for a healthy heart:
Eat healthy --by eating a "balanced" diet low in saturated fat
Don't ignore chest pain symptoms or breathlessness
Know your numbers! meaning your cholesterol numbers. "If your cholesterol is high, you may need to speak to your doctor about medication to reduce it."
Surely they must all believe we're stupid. Otherwise, why would they repeat the same obvious information over and over again? Quit smoking? Gee, you think so?
How about some real heart healthy advice:
Get a heart scan --since we have to accept that cholesterol values are a miserable failure in detecting hidden heart disease. So is waiting for symptoms to appear.
If you have any measure of coronary plaque, ask your doctor to assess lipoproteins, not lipids (cholesterol).
Take fish oil for omega-3 fatty acids --At a dose of 1000 mg or more of EPA + DHA, heart attack risk is reduced by at least 28%.
Eliminate wheat and other processed carbohydrates --Small LDL has emerged as the number one cause of coronary plaque, not high cholesterol from saturated fat.
Get vitamin D assessed --The effects are huge--HUGE. There's already a study in a kidney disease population that showed a substantial reduction in mortality with vitamin D supplementation. More data are coming, including our own.
That's a start--truly effective, practical heart healthy strategies that go way beyond the conventional bland advice.
Copyright 2007 House, MD