Three Heart-Healthy Makeovers
Can you really improve your heart health and reduce your risk for cardiac disease?
A Young Father Is Surprised by Heart Disease continued...
"One of the things I've talked about with my doctor is my age," says
Haverly. "We both think the best thing is that we've caught this at a young
age, and I have a lot of time to do something about it. It's a big plus in my
While Haverly's on the right path to heart health, there's even more he can
do. Kathleen Zelman, director of nutrition for WebMD, offers these tips:
Drink moderately. Limiting alcohol to two drinks a day for men (one
for women) can help increase his HDL or "good cholesterol."
Halt the salt. Haverly should watch his sodium intake to help control
blood pressure. Many people think sodium comes from table salt, but most of us
get it from processed foods, canned soups, lunch meat, and more.
Watch your weight. Haverly's on the right track, and he should keep
up the good work -- losing as little as 5% to 10% of your body weight can
reduce your risk of heart disease.
Control the portions. It's the secret to weight loss success. He
should limit high-calorie foods and be liberal with vegetables that fill him up
but won't fill him out.
A Graduate Student Takes Action Against Heart Disease
Vernita Morgan, 40, is an aspiring PhD candidate at the University of Iowa,
studying for a degree in education measurement and statistics. When she "grows
up," she wants to help people better understand the issues around obesity,
which can raise LDL, the "bad" cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, lower HDL
"good" cholesterol numbers, increase
a person's blood pressure levels, and in some cases lead to diabetes. In people who are
obese, heart disease is a major threat.
For Morgan, heart disease is something that hits close to home: Three of her
four grandparents died of either heart attacks or strokes, and her father has
struggled with high blood pressure throughout his lifetime.
Only a few years ago, Morgan herself had a brush with heart disease and
struggled with her weight. She knew she had to turn her own health around if
she was going to live long enough to help others improve their health.