Yesterday, I told you how the U.S. government based its long-lived war against fat on a big, fat medical myth. In fact, at the time the government declared war on fat 40 years ago, not one clinical trial linked a low-fat diet to lower cardiovascular disease rates. Yet, cardiologists and experts at the American Heart Association still went right along with this nonsense for their entire careers–and apparently still do, as I exposed yesterday.
So if you don’t need to cut out all fat, what should you do to prevent heart disease?
In a moment, I’ll tell you about five simple steps you can take to help reduce your heart disease risk. But first, let’s talk about an interesting new study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that found vitamin supplement users are less likely to die of heart disease.
Remember, statisticians can play with numbers when it comes to disease rates. But they can’t do that with death rates. You’re either dead or you’re not. (Although with some government “experts” and mainstream medical “thinkers,” I sometimes have to wonder.)
In this new NIH analysis, researchers looked at heart disease death rates for nearly 9,000 men and women older than 40 years. The data came from the large U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III.
The NIH scientists found that women who took vitamin-mineral supplements for three years or more were more than 35 percent less likely to die. This research doesn’t surprise me, since I follow the science of nutrition and nutritional supplementation.
According to researchers, multi-vitamin-mineral products account for more than 40 percent of all nutritional supplement sales. And more than one-third of Americans take multi-vitamin-mineral supplements, spending almost $6 billion each year.
Ironically, most multivitamins sold at retail outlets are extremely poor quality. Despite the clear limitations of most multivitamins sold at retail stores, this study goes to show something is better than nothing.
But I still don’t recommend taking a low-quality, run-of-the-mill multivitamin. For real results, it’s much better to take high-quality, properly formulated individual vitamin and mineral supplements at the right doses in the right combinations. And unfortunately, you can’t get the doses and combinations you really need in one, convenient tiny little pill.
The best approach to lowering your heart disease risk starts with these five simple steps.
- Follow the Mediterranean diet
The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating lots of healthy fruits and vegetables, fish, poultry, eggs, and some healthy red meat.
- Get moderate exercise
Most cardiologists recommend exercise to their heart disease patients. But from a health standpoint, there appears to be no reason to exceed 30 minutes per day a few days a week. In fact, most current studies show the greatest health benefits in the general population happen when you get up off the couch and engage in some regular, light-moderate physical activity–such as walking, swimming, house work, or yard work. Adding more exercise on top of that amount may offer some marginal benefits. But, as research has shown, there is a point where you can get “too much.” In fact, going that “extra” mile shows no benefit. And it can actually harm you.
- Find ways to reduce stress
Stress is the No. 1 silent killer when it comes to heart disease. Fortunately, you can learn to manage your everyday stress. Many different mind-body techniques can help, including meditation, acupuncture, and therapeutic massage. But first, you should determine which personality type you have. This will help you decide which technique will work best for you. For example, hypnosis or meditation works well for some personalities. But not for others. Take this short online quiz to learn which personality type you have. [insert hyperlink to: https://drmicozzi.com/books/your_emotional_type/find-your-boundary-type ] Then, you can make a better-informed decision about which mind-body technique to use. In addition, two books can help in your quest to stay stress-free all year round, Your Emotional Type and New World Mindfulness.[insert hyperlink to books]
- Get some sun and supplement with vitamin D
Many studies in adults demonstrate the benefits of vitamin D for heart health. In a new study, researchers wanted to see how just how early this association begins. The study looked at data from the Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study on 2,148 individuals recruited in 1980 when they were 3 to 18 years. They found that low vitamin D levels during childhood increased the risk of atherosclerosis in adulthood. I recommend everyone supplement with 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily to support heart health and overall good health.
- Read my new report, The Insider’s Guide to a Heart-Healthy and Statin-Free Life
You can learn much more about natural ways to keep your heart strong in my new report The Insider’s Guide to a Heart-Healthy and Statin-Free Life.
- “Multivitamin-Mineral Use Is Associated with Reduced Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Mortality among Women in the United States,” The Journal of Nutrition (www.jn.nutrition.org) 3/1/2015
- “Childhood 25-OH Vitamin D Levels and Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in Adulthood: The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study,” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2015; jc.2014-3944