A Healthy Diet For Your Heart: A Doctor’s Expert Advice

Dr. Perl, a Cardiology Fellow at Israel's Rabin Medical Center
Dr. Perl, a Cardiology Fellow at Israel’s Rabin Medical Center

Dr. Perl is a Cardiology Fellow at Israel’s Rabin Medical Center since 2011 under the distinguished Chief of Cardiology, Professor Ran Kornowski. Dr. Perl completed his one Month Fellowship in Cardiology at Stanford University Medical Center, March 2014 thanks to supporters of the Abraham & Yvonne Cohen Cardiac & Medical Research Fund.

Throughout his residency, Dr. Perl has chosen to focus on interventional cardiology, due to its tremendous possibilities and significant impact on patients’ well-being. Upon completion of his Rabin Medical Exchange Fellowship, he was accepted to the prestigious Stanford Medical Center two-year Fellowship for interventional cardiology fellowship, which he attributes to his Rabin Medical Exchange Fellowship.

Below are a few healthy living and diet tips for your heart from our Rabin Fellow, Dr. Perl!

The first thing to remember is that prevention works: over 50% of the reductions seen in coronary heart disease mortality relate to changes in risk factors, and 40% to improved treatments. Also, despite having a reputation of being relatively protected from heart disease, women are in danger of dying of it- of all deaths that occur before the age of 75 years, 42% are due to cardiovascular disease in women and 38% in men.

Weight reduction:

Reduction of weight is recommended in overweight and obese people, as this is associated with favorable effects on blood pressure and dyslipidemia, which may lead to less CVD. Increased body weight is thought to account for increased blood pressure, insulin resistance (which may cause diabetes), abnormalities in the inflammatory state, heart function, vascular and renal disease.

Physical Activity:

Healthy adults of all ages have to spend 2.5-5 hours a week on physical activity of at least moderate intensity, or 1-2.5 hours a week on vigorous intense exercise. Sedentary subjects should be strongly encouraged to start light-intensity exercise programs. Aerobic exercise is the foundation of physical activity, but ideally should be combined with resistance training.

Smoking:

A non-smoker living with a smoking spouse has an estimated 30% higher risk of cardiovascular disease. Smoking cessation with pharmacological and nicotine replacement therapy aid improves the rate of success. Cessation reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease immediately, approaching the risk of never-smokers within 10–15 years, without ever quite reaching the same level.

Blood Pressure:

Elevated blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease of all sorts, as well as for stroke, peripheral artery disease and renal failure. Diagnosis of hypertension is made when repeated measurements show values above 140 mmHg systolic and 90 mmHg diastolic blood pressures, although the optimal range is lower- 120/80 mmHg and below.

Psychological and social stress reduction:

The following factors area also associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease: low socio-economic status, lack of social support, stress at work and in family life, depression, anxiety, hostility, and the type D personality. Whenever possible, these factors should be accounted for and dealt with seriously.

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