Life Extension Magazine May 2012
By Michael Ozner, MD
By Michael Ozner, MD
It’s no secret that heart disease is the number-one killer in the world, and in the United States cardiovascular disease deaths nearly outnumber deaths from all other causes combined. Heart Attack Proof: A Six-Week Cardiac Makeover for a Lifetime of Optimal Health, by Michael Ozner, MD, may be the lifeline that people with cardiac problems have been looking for. In Dr. Ozner’s own words, “If we are smart and committed to change, in the majority of circumstances, we have the tools to prevent coronary heart disease…I’ll guide you on a six-week journey through the lifestyle and medical changes necessary to achieve optimum heart health. Each week we’ll build on the previous week’s tasks, until you’ve achieved a full cardiac makeover. Embracing these prevention principles and developing a heart disease prevention plan with your personal physician will allow you to take control of your health and begin your journey to becoming virtually Heart Attack Proof.”
The book begins with one of the most important factors in alleviating cardiac risk: diet. In Week One, Dr. Ozner encourages people to “Take a Mediterranean Vacation…From Your Toxic American Diet.” This involves taking an entire inventory of your diet, from what you buy at the grocery store, to what you eat in restaurants, to what you grab on the go. This helps establish a baseline for your diet. Once you’ve written everything down, the hard work begins: you have to revamp and replace all of the toxic, preservative-laden foods in your American diet with healthy, Mediterranean alternatives. Some suggestions include replacing sugary cereal with oatmeal, grilled salmon for grilled steak, and fresh fruit for cheesecake. The idea is to move you away from foods that may be causing your cardiac problems to foods that can help alleviate them. In week one, you’ll also be nudged to quit smoking, get a thorough medical check-up, and to get a dental evaluation,
Week two is titled: “Get Fit for Life.” As the phrase would indicate, this week is all about setting up a sound fitness plan to get your health back on track. For added motivation, there are sections on ‘exercise and heart attack,’ ‘exercise and hypertension,’ and ‘exercise and stroke’ that will, in Dr. Ozner’s own words, prove that, “Exercise is so powerful, it even helps people with existing heart disease, including those who have already had a heart attack.” In short, exercise is medicine and Dr. Ozner provides ample reason for you to get up and get moving while offering a simple fitness plan and schedule for you to start with.
Weeks three and four deal with creating a stress free lifestyle and achieving optimum nutrition. “Stress and anger increase the release of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. These have the natural effects of increasing blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar; causing the heartbeat to become rapid; and increasing the “stickiness” of our platelets, which raises the likelihood of a blood clot. How well you handle daily stress is key to keeping your stress hormones and stress response under control,” Dr. Ozner says. Buttressing his stress relief program is an essential guide to eating well, with a basic primer on fat loss, fats, food, and how certain foods affect your body and heart. Sections on the dangers of high fructose corn syrup and the hazards of eating too much beef cannot be highlighted enough. And while it may seem obvious, Dr. Ozner’s call to eat more whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables is backed up with some interesting studies.
The book concludes with chapters that teach people how to read their most important heart numbers and an entire section on heart healthy supplements. While Life Extension® readers may be familiar with the heart healthy benefits of CoQ10 and vitamin D, there are new studies brought to light about those and other supplements that reinforce why taking vitamins and minerals are a vital component to any heart healthy plan.
To order a copy of Heart Attack Proof, call 1-800-544-4440 or order online
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