Eat well. Exercise. Get enough omega-3s. Chances are, you’ve heard tips on making heart-healthy choices before. But how do your good decisions affect heart function? Read on to discover how common advice has an extraordinary impact on heart health.
I’m Dr. Louis Ignarro, a research pharmacologist and Nobel Laureate* in medicine for my research into Nitric Oxide, an important molecule Susan Bowerman described in detail in a recent article about heart health. I’ve spent the last decade focusing on educating others about the impact of nutrition and lifestyle on the heart, and you know what I’ve found? Many people don’t understand how their good decisions affect heart health and overall bodily wellness. And for good decisions to have staying power, it’s important to understand the impact they’re having.
When you lose weight, you can see the difference. But the results of a healthier heart are more difficult to measure. Let’s take a look at five healthy choices and how they impact your heart.
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Heart health expert Louis Ignarro, PhD has a tremendous amount of practical advice about how each of us can look after our hearts, so we’ve invited him to share some of his knowledge with us over the next few weeks. If you have any questions then let us know in the comments section below and we’ll make sure to pass them on.
Hi Louis, thanks for joining us today. It’s a pleasure and an honor to welcome you to our Herbalife offices. We all know you as an eminent heart health expert but can you tell us a little about your background?
Louis Ignarro: Of course. I grew up in Long Beach, NY and was always active. I enjoyed swimming in the ocean and one-on-one stickball but I always had an interest in understanding how things worked and delighted in constructing and deconstructing things – if I could get them to work again then even better!
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Samantha and I are in privileged company this week – we’re looking forward to a guest post from Louis Ignarro Ph.D, Nobel Laureate*, consultant to Herbalife and member of the Herbalife Nutrition Institute Nutrition Advisory Board, in which he’ll describe the impact of a healthy, active lifestyle on heart health. A healthy diet is, as Dr. Ignarro says, “as good for your heart as it is for your taste buds.”
I couldn’t have said it better. But what I often run into with my patients is that it’s one thing to know what to eat – and why (okay, that’s two things…) – but they often get hung up figuring out how to incorporate more healthy foods into their diet. So let’s take a good look at the key “whats”, “whys” and – more importantly – the “how tos” of a heart healthy diet.
Happy Valentine’s day! I know many people are thinking about their romantic heart today but did you also know it’s Heart Health month?
The story around diet and heart health has been around long enough that you probably know the drill pretty well. Watch your weight, keep your total fats and saturated fats down, and don’t be too heavy-handed with the salt shaker. Sprinkle in some soluble fiber – from foods like beans and oatmeal – and you’ve got a pretty good dietary strategy.
All good advice, to be sure. After all, a high-fat diet can put weight on you, saturated fats can bump up your blood cholesterol levels, and too much salt can drive up blood pressure – all of which can increase your risk for heart disease. But there are a couple of other pieces to the heart health puzzle that are getting more attention these days – a fatty acid “balancing act”, and a little molecule called nitric oxide.
Most people don’t need an excuse to party, but in case you need an official reason to celebrate, February doesn’t disappoint. Sure, there’s the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day, but we’ve also got Groundhog Day and President’s Day, and – in case you didn’t mark your calendars – February is also National Heart Health Month. You probably don’t want to celebrate this holiday with pizza and buffalo wings – so instead, why not show everyone that you’ve got a heart of gold by preparing a delicious heart-healthy meal?
First – make a toast to your good health with a glass of champagne. Not only is champagne festive, but a glass of bubbly is heart-healthy, too. Like wine, champagne is rich in polyphenols – naturally-occurring compounds found in grapes that help to increase blood flow and decrease blood pressure.
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The story around diet and heart health has been around long enough that most people know the drill pretty well. Watch your weight, keep your total fats and saturated fats down, and don’t be too heavy-handed with the salt shaker. Add some soluble fiber from foods like oatmeal and some healthy fish oil into the mix, and you’ve got a pretty good dietary strategy.
All good advice, to be sure. After all, a high fat diet can put weight on you, saturated fats can elevate blood cholesterol levels, and excess salt can drive up blood pressure – all of which can increase your risk for heart disease. But there’s another piece to the heart health puzzle that’s getting more attention these days – a little molecule called nitric oxide.
Read more »