A Healthy Lifestyle (Almost) Eliminates Sudden Cardiac Death
Logic dictates that a healthy lifestyle would reduce the incidence of fatal heart attacks (also known as SCD, or sudden cardiac death). Now, a major study not only confirmed that logic but, for the first time, put up actual numbers showing that a healthy lifestyle may practically eliminate SCD—by up to 80 percent!
That was the conclusion drawn from an assessment of questionnaires filled out periodically by participants in the Harvard-based 81,000-strong Nurse’s Health study, who have been followed for decades.
A healthy lifestyle was defined as:
- Not smoking. Smoking causes sludgy, viscous, and inflamed blood. Stopping smoking can improve your heart health, tremendously.
- Avoiding an overweight body mass index (higher than 25).
- Doing 30 minutes or more of daily physical activity.
- Eating a Mediterranean type diet emphasizing vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, and olive oil.
- Having a moderate alcohol intake.
These study results were music to my ears, because I have been preaching these very same things to my patients—and to you—over the years.
Cutting out smoking is a no-brainer. So is doing regular exercise. Maintaining a normal weight clearly reduces inflammatory compounds produced by body fat, while a Mediterranean diet is basically an anti-inflammatory diet. Both of these are key to preventing the root cause of heart disease: inflammation.
Now it’s your turn: Which of these healthy habits do you practice?
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Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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