Wellfie Wednesday Tip #77: Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Heart Disease Risk in 2018

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! This week is brought to you by Alyssa (@kuhnalyssa_spt).

     According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 610,000 people die of heart disease each year- that’s 1 in 4 people! Heart Disease remains the leading cause of death in both men and women and coronary artery disease (CAD) takes the cake as the most common form of heart disease. So what causes it?

     Many people used to believe that arteries became “clogged” due to high consumption of saturated fats- commonly found in animal and dairy sources, along with highly processed foods. When arteries get “clogged”, the clots can burst and travel to the heart causing ischemia of the blood- aka a heart attack. The British Journal of Sports Medicine (2017) recently discovered that saturated fats may not play a large part after all.

     A recent meta-analysis found that there was no association between saturated fat consumption and (1) all-cause mortality, (2) coronary heart disease (CHD), (3) CHD mortality, (4) ischemic stroke or (5) type 2 diabetes in healthy adults. Interestingly enough, another study found that in postmenopausal women with coronary heart disease, greater intake of saturated fat was associated with less progression of atherosclerosis (“clogging”), whereas carbohydrate and polyunsaturated fat intake were associated with greater progression. It has also been found that instead of looking to levels of LDL, typically deemed as “bad” cholesterol to determine risk of CAD, the ratio of total cholesterol (TC) to HDL cholesterol (“good”), has been shown to be the best predictor of cardiovascular risk.

But what does this tell us?

     Fat may not the enemy in our diets. It turns out that a high fat, Mediterranean diet (vegetables, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, oily fish) improved outcomes for recurrent myocardial infarctions and all-cause mortality discovered in the Lyon Heart study. We also need to find ways to decrease the TC to HDL ratio in order to diminish risk of CHD.

So, what do we do?

     It’s been shown that replacing refined carbohydrates (highly processed foods) with healthy high fat foods (notably plant fats and vegetables can decrease the TC to HDL ratio significantly. Physical activity can also play a part as those who walk briskly at or above 150 minutes/week (22 minutes per day) have been shown to increase their life expectancy by up to 3-5 years compared to physically inactive adults!

Overall, the two simple ways to reduce your risk of CAD and help to keep your heart healthy:

1.     Eat REAL food. Decrease the amount of refined carbohydrates and processed sugars. Stay in the outer perimeter of the grocery store!

2.     Get moving! Walk 22 minutes a day (which is only 2% of your day!) to keep your heart strong!

     Give it a try this upcoming new year! Thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@TheFuelPhysio@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt@kuhnalyssa_spt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew



Malhotra A, Redberg RF, Meier P. Saturated fat does not clog the arteries: coronary heart disease is a chronic inflammatory condition, the risk of which can be effectively reduced from healthy lifestyle interventions. Br J Sports Med. 2017;51(15):1111-1112. 

Wellfie Wednesday Tip #69: Omega-3s for Heart Health

Happy Wellfie Wednesday! 

     Welcome back! This week is brought to you by Patrick ( @PBernerSPT ). These past few days I had the pleasure to spend time at the annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo #FNCE in Chicago, an amazing experience every year that I go, though as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic's 100th year, it was above and beyond. And I could go on and on about the things I learned and new connections that were made, but as you are our Wellfie Wednesday audience, I digress. 

     This week I do want to share though information from one of the presentations that I attended,  THE BEAT GOES ON: THE LATEST ON OMEGA-3 HEART HEALTH RESEARCH. I'm also going to share it in an unordinary fashion, by only showing you the handouts that were provided, which contain quite a bit of beneficial information, the last one being my favorite. Enjoy!

     Find a way to increase your Omega-3s and let us know how it goes! And thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures this week and tag the WW crew members in your post (@PBernerSPT@Eric_in_AmERICa@AaronPerezPT@DianaKlatt) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

- WW Crew


Wellness Wednesday Tip #24: Know Your Risk Factors for Heart Disease

Welcome back folks! Happy Wellfie Wednesday!

     As we near the end of 2016 and you begin to think about those New Year's resolutions, I wanted to get you thinking about your overall lifestyle and where improvements could be made as we enter 2017. In an unorthodox way of doing so, I'll ask you to think about your risk of heart disease. As the current #1 leading cause of death in the United States, it is something you should be considering. 

     Take a look at this infograph below by the American Heart Association. Notice the larger list of modifiable risk factors, those are factors that can be addressed with choosing healthier behaviors, most notable is a healthier eating pattern and increased physical activity. Think about those as you plan to start your new year!

     If you need ideas for healthier habits, check out #WellfieWednesday on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and see how others choose healthier behaviors. And as always, thanks again for all of the #WellfieWednesday support, be sure to post your pictures again this week and tag Eric (@Eric_in_AmERICa) or myself (@PBernerSPT) and keep the wave of healthy change going!

-       Dr. Patrick Berner, PT, DPT

-       Dr. Eric Uveges, PT, DPT