I recently heard a physician say “Combine all the cancer deaths together and they are lower than the deaths from heart disease”. Surprised by that? I was. Of the two diseases which one do you think you have the most control over? Although there’s some research pointing to control over some cancers, cancer is such a complicated disorder with so many unknowns. On the other hand, heart disease continues to show a much greater response to management through lifestyle changes. So why is heart disease the number one killer when we know we can often stop it dead in its tracks and even reverse the disease? Good question!
We know that keeping our total cholesterol under 150 is a great way to reduce our chances of having a heart attack. In the United States the magical number we aim for is 200. If we know 150 is a better indicator of good heart health, why would we encourage people to focus on 200? Another good question!
In many cases, heart disease is an unnecessary evil. A small percentage of people have various heart abnormalities that may not respond as well to lifestyle medicine. The rest of us are lucky to have this amazing machine that gives us life. Regardless of the state of your heart, YOU have more control over the health of your heart than you believe.
If the heart is so important to a good life, why would you feed it fuel that is going to clog up the pipes and create all kinds of problems? If your car requires diesel fuel, what happens if you add regular gasoline? You’re going to be facing some pretty expensive repairs, right? Have you priced an open heart surgery or the cost of statins? Proper fuel is important in both instances.
As someone who walked away from bacon and other high fat meats 5 years ago (and reduced my total cholesterol to 150), I can honestly say that I do not miss them at all. Was it easy to do? No. Along the way, I reduced the number of times I put those foods on my table. I then found the episodes of craving bacon became less and less. Once you start eating different food, your taste buds do change. Your heart will be grateful. I’m guessing your friends and family will be too.
At Lifestyle Medicine Solutions we stand ready to support you and your family and friends in making those important lifestyle changes. Come join us?