6 Tips To Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
Most guys mistakenly believe that cancer is the #1 killer, but they’re wrong—it’s cardiovascular disease. In fact, mortality rates for men show that 1 out of 4 deaths of American men this year will be caused by heart disease or stroke. But these stats can be improved significantly.
According to the Center for Disease Control heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States, killing 321,000 men in 2013.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men of most racial/ethnic groups in the United States, including African Americans, American Indians or Alaska Natives, Hispanics, and whites. For Asian American or Pacific Islander men, heart disease is second only to cancer.
- About 8.5% of all white men, 7.9% of black men, and 6.3% of Mexican American men have coronary heart disease.
- Half of the men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease.
- Between 70% and 89% of sudden cardiac events occur in men.
High blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (49%) have at least one of these three risk factors.
Several other medical conditions and lifestyle choices can also put people at a higher risk for heart disease, including:
- Overweight and obesity
- Poor diet
- Physical inactivity
- Excessive alcohol use
Bestselling author and renowned nutrition expert Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS (The Great Cholesterol Myth; and the recently released Smart Fat: Eat More Fat. Lose More Weight. Get Healthy Now) emphasizes proper nutrition for optimal cardiovascular health. Bowden brings a healthy dose of clarity and preventive wisdom to the table beyond the CDC’s standard recommendations for controlling risk factors, such as diet, exercise, tobacco, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Check out his 6 tips below to improve your health.
Reduce sugar and processed carbs in the diet.
Stop worrying about fat, including saturated fat.
Two major meta-analyses in the last few years have established that saturated fat does not cause heart disease. However, the combination of sugar and fat is a very bad one.
Do an oil change!
Reduce your intake of vegetable oils and increase your intake of omega-3’s, especially fish oil. The balance between omega-6 (vegetable oil) and omega-3 (fish oil) is one of the most important metrics for human health, and the ideal ratio of these two types of fat in the diet is 1:1. Research shows we consume over than 16 times more (inflammatory) omega-6’s than (anti-inflammatory) omega-3’s.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
Cholesterol does not cause heart disease, but inflammation does. Foods rich in anti-inflammatories include virtually all vegetables as well as some low-sugar fruits like apples and berries. And new research shows the citrus, Bergamot, to be a powerful balancing agent for the critical Triglyceride: HDL radio as well as the lipid profile.
Top recommendations include fish oil, magnesium, vitamin D, and for those with existing heart issues, D-ribose and L-carnitine.
In addition, two supplements which have wide ranging, systemic effects on the body—Citrus Bergamot and resveratrol. Bergamot lowers triglycerides, raises HDL cholesterol, lowers inflammatory LDL, and helps control blood sugar and improve arterial health.
While not usually thought of as a specific “heart” supplement, Resveratrol does many important things that impact heart health. It thins the blood, acts as an antioxidant, is anti-inflammatory, and turns on the SIRT genes (for longevity). Recent research shows it also improves memory and glucose metabolism.
The active ingredient in resveratrol is trans-resveratrol, and this is the part of resveratrol that matters most. Reserveage Nutrition, a top selling brand in America for the past 6 years, is among the few companies that offers potencies as high as 500mg per daily dose and the widest selection of potencies and forms of resveratrol—100mg, 250mg, 500mg, liquid and chews, veg cap formulas, and with the fewest additives and fillers (e.g., no magnesium stearate).