Cardiac disease is the number one cause of death among adult Americans: each year, 478,000 individuals die of coronary artery disease, 1.5 million suffer a heart attack, 407,000 undergo bypass surgery, and 300,000 receive angioplasty. Most of us have read about the risk factors--simply being a man over the age of 45 or a woman who has gone through menopause makes one more likely to suffer from coronary artery disease, as do a family history of cardiac disease, diabetes, cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, elevated levels of cholesterol, and stress. Unfortunately, in addressing this epidemic, many books and experts have made it seem that reducing heart disease risk means out-and-out deprivation, advocating stringent and unrealistic programs without answering some of the key questions patients have: Does heart disease really mean I can't eat anything that tastes good? Does taking medication mean I'm a failure at controlling my diet? How can I stick with an exercise program when it bores me? In this groundbreaking volume, Dr. Mary McGowan draws on her years of clinical experience in working with real patients to create a proven, livable program for preventing and reversing cardiac disease. Of course, we can't change our age or our family history--but there are significant positive actions that we can take to change our lives without feeling deprived. In Heart Fitness for Life, Dr. McGowan shows you how, with a comprehensive and down-to-earth life plan that includes: * A 20 percent fat diet--which gets results because it is strict enough to make a difference but lenient enough for people to stick with it * A detailed investigation into the genetic basis of high cholesterol--and what to do about it * A thorough explanation of the role of estrogen in preventing heart disease--dispelling the confusion surrounding this issue and offering clear, reassuring advice * A non-judgemental and supportive approach to cholesterol and blood pressure medications that explains when taking medication is appropriate and even necessary * Vital, up-to-date information about the risks of elevated lipoprotein (a) and homocysteine levels * An energizing section on making exercise an exciting and fulfilling part of one's life, developed in tandem with an exercise physiologist * A concrete plan for giving up smoking--that really works! * An analysis of the connection between stress and heart disease, with tested stress-reduction techniques developed by a psychiatrist * A selection of delicious and easy low-fat recipes developed by a professional chef--including pizzas, pasta, and desserts * Straightforward advice and suggestions from a registered dietitian about how you can design your own low-fat, low-cholesterol meals And, at the core of Heart Fitness for Life are the stories of nine patients, ordinary men and women, who took on the challenge of fighting heart disease with Dr. McGowan's program--and who have won extraordinary victories. At last, in one volume, you have the expert advice and information you need to truly live well, whether you are a man or a woman, looking to prevent or reverse cardiac disease. By combining good food and good health with authoritative medical information and advice, Dr. McGowan's book truly has the power to change lives.
Health, Mind & Body, Disorders & Diseases, Heart Disease,