Each year, the US spends a whopping $60 billion on surgical and invasive cardio care, which research is now beginning to show are not saving lives or preventing heart attack in the way they are expected to!
Given the ongoing issues with escalating health care costs, this lack of long term benefit in terms of health is of great concern for America’s health care system.
A quick review shows that the US has just 5 per cent of the population on our globe, yet is doing 50 per cent of the world’s heart surgeries, including bypasses and stent insertions. At the same time, countries that have much less money to put into such interventions have much fewer heart-related deaths.
What’s going on?
Dr Michael Ozner, a preventative care cardiologist, says that we are not doing enough to address the real cause of heart disease, which includes clogged arteries and sedentary lifestyles. Ozner argues that the majority of heart disease is actually a metabolic problem, and when it is, the problem can be best addressed by the right kind of interventions: encouraging a healthy metabolism. What we are back to is lifestyle factors, like getting plenty of exercise, eating well and reducing stress.
In fact, research out of Harvard indicates that cardiovascular disease risk can be reduced by more than 80 per cent by tackling lifestyle changes first. This trumps all forms of treatment for heart issues and heart related conditions – including cholesterol.
Improve your heart health
Ozner recommends a number of key changes to your way of living to improve your heart health:
- Follow a Mediterranean Diet, with lots of heart healthy fats and lower glycemic food choices.
- Lower cholesterol by making the right food choices, including more fruits and vegetables. Fiber is a big component of this, as fiber prevents cholesterol from being absorbed.
- Exercise to raise your “good” HDL cholesterol and reduce the number of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
- Reduce free radicals and oxidative stress, by increasing antioxidants. You can do this both through supplements and via healthy food choices.