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For Weight Loss, Eat More Fat?

For years, fats—including butter and red meat—have been demonized. But what scientists have found is that sugar, not saturated fats, is the enemy when it comes to heart health. In fact, I’ve recently changed my dietary recommendations, encouraging people to up their fat intake and reduce the…

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Should You Get Screened for an Aneurysm?

Recently, the daughter of a dear friend contacted me with a quick text, “Can aneurysms run in families?” She explained that her father just lost three uncles and two cousins—all men between the ages of 55-65—to sudden death from aortic aneurysms. Another male cousin is about to undergo…

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Four Things You May Not Know About Salt Consumption

If you’re working hard to prevent heart attack and stroke, as well as the occurrence of other cardiovascular problems, you need to beware of the dangers associated with salt. As any decent doctor or holistic practitioner will tell you, having too much salt in your system can make it difficult for…

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Is Niacin Effective and Safe? Here’s My Take

As you may have seen, a new report published in The New England Journal of Medicine has brought into question the effectiveness and safety of niacin—vitamin B3 that’s often used to control cholesterol problems. The primary benefits of niacin are reducing LDL cholesterol, raising HDL cholesterol,…

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4 Medical Tests You Should Get

Some of you may remember my blog on four medical tests that could do more harm than good. I want to follow up by giving you four medical procedures you should get—many of which have surprising benefits for your health. 4 Medical Procedures Dr. Sinatra Suggests No. 1 Medical Test: Getting your blood…

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To Eat Soy, or Not to Eat Soy: What You Need to Know

If there’s a single food that generates more question, and controversy, than any other food it’s soy. Years ago, I was part of the choir singing the praises of soy as a “miracle food.” At the time, the research looked promising, and it seemed as if we had an authentic vegetable protein…

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Why a Raw Food Diet is Better Than an Antacid

Skip the antacids. Raw foods are a far safer, and more effective, solution for chronic indigestion. If you're one of the many people who suffers from chronic indigestion, you're not alone. Just one look at the shelves in your pharmacy at all of the antacids is enough to show you that Americans are…

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Happiness Can Extend Your Life

I’ve long talked about the healing power of optimism. I have even seen how positive thinking can help to fight cancer. Now, a new study shows that maintaining a positive attitude can extend your life. Researchers at the University College of London just released the findings of their English…

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Announcing the Best Heart Health Diet Recipe Challenge

…super-foods. • What will you receive for taking the Best Heart Health Diet Recipe Challenge? I will feature a variety of the recipes I receive on my blog and website at drsinatra.com—giving you credit for the recipes by giving your first name and the first initial of your last name. Then, if I receive…

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Pets for Heart Health

During a medical conference lecture I gave years ago, one of the doctors in the audience asked whether I had any experience with the healing benefits of pets. Although I couldn't quantify the degree of benefit, I said that, over the years, many patients have told me how comforting their pets have…

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Inflammation and Heart Disease Risk

As you may remember, last week I wrote a blog called 5 Things Your Cardiologist Won’t Tell You. In that blog, I invited readers to ask any cardiology questions they had—and I’ll be answering all of them in future blog posts. Today, I wanted to answer a question asked by Melanie. She wrote, “Dr…

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We Invite You to Share Your Story

As some of you may remember, earlier this week Dr. Sinatra shared a story on his blog from a reader who wrote: "Statins put my dad in a nursing home..." As this reader wrote, "When my doctor suggested that I may need to take a statin, I said NO WAY! He was taken aback by that. Through dietary changes…

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What The Best Multivitamins for Men Include

Some of you will remember my recent blog, Men and Women Aren’t Equal When it Comes to Vitamins. In that blog I talked about the nutrients women need, and today I want to focus on multivitamins for men. One of the biggest areas many multivitamins for men overlook is the need for prostate protection…

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What You May Not Know About Naturopathic Medicine

My son Dr. Drew Sinatra, a naturopathic doctor, has written several blogs here on my site and many of you have asked what a naturopathic doctor is and how to find one in your area. So, I asked him to write today's blog to give you more insight into naturopathic medicine and how it can benefit your heart…

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Open Your Heart to Gratitude and Love

…Lock In techniques are approaches I personally use and recommend to patients, friends, and family. I will discuss these techniques in an upcoming blog, but for now, I'll share the story of the whale unedited with you, as there is nothing as rich as the version going around the Internet. And I wish…

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Helping Your Pet to Live a Long, Healthy Life

…like boswellia and curcumin. Plus, for those of you who have (or know someone who has) recently lost a pet, I’d like to link you over to an earlier blog about losing a pet called "The Rainbow Bridge." This hope-filled tribute continues to comfort my family, and all those with whom we share it. There’s…

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Why Statins Are Dangerous

…raising the incidence of heart failure because they deplete the body of CoQ10—a biochemical that’s critical to heart health. Recently, I wrote a blog about statins and memory loss and I thought that one of the people who commented described the dangers of statin drugs best. So, with her permission…

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Give Thanks for Your Heart

…my health, my job, so much more, and last but not least, you. I thank you for the trust you place in me. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and for considering my advice. I take my responsibility to you very seriously and nothing would make me happier than knowing that I’m helping you…

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The Best Holiday Gift of All

"The Best Holiday Gift of All" has been an annual tradition on my blog. The message is timeless, so I wanted to share it with you once again so we can all be reminded to be truly present at our holiday celebrations and in all of the moments that matter throughout the year. Like many of you, while my…

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3 Secrets for Taking Nutritional Supplements

I’m forever receiving questions, via email, my web chats, and on my blog about the best way to take nutritional supplements. Following a few guidelines will make taking your vitamins and other supplements easier to swallow and much more effective. My Top Tips for Taking Your Nutritional Supplements…

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“But I’m Too Young to Have a Heart Attack…”

…stop making great vitamins for me to take: I don’t like them.” Luckily, her parents allow her protest, but insist on the vitamins. Most of you blog followers are here at drsinatra.com because you are already health conscious, and I commend you! For those of you new to the content you can find here…

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Safe Summer Outdoor Dining

…the high temperatures of barbeque grilling by marinating with a sauce that's 10 percent plain soy sauce and 1 percent sugar. See our August 12, 2009 blog for the recipe, and another discussion on COPs and HCAs, the highly carcinogenic compounds released from the fat of muscle meats. For even more information…

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On the Road With Dr. Sinatra

…the session. Usually, word of an upcoming subscriber session appears in the monthly newsletter, but in the future, we will be announcing them in the blog and on the Web site as well. And you don’t have to be a subscriber to attend. Just come on down! We’d love to see you. For more information on subscriber…

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Vitamin K2 & It’s Benefits

…for the rest of us, making it palatable can be a challenge. Luckily, we have a tasty recipe for natto that I’ll be sharing with you in an upcoming blog! Frozen natto can be found in Asian grocery stores, and frozen pouches of it can be sourced now in many health-food stores. In case neither is local…

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Dateline's Report and the Real News on Supplement Safety

…questions about the quality and safety standards in the dietary supplement industry. This is something that concerns me as well. You may remember the blog I recently wrote about CoQ10 and how some supplements short you on active ingredients. In fact, this is the very reason I started formulating my own…

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High HDL Levels Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

…-brainer” for healthy brain aging, as well as protecting yourself from a host of issues from diabetes to arthritis and more. In addition to the earlier blog tips for reducing inflammation, remember that moderate aerobic exercise can also help increase your blood levels of HDL cholesterol. Researchers believe…

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Aftermath of Japan: How to Protect Against Radiation

Today, I’m pleased to welcome a guest blog from a long-time colleague of mine, Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman. For those of you who don’t know her, she’s a highly respected health pioneer, and an award-winning author of more 30 books, including the book Zapped about EMF exposure. I highly respect her…

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Heart Healthy Grilled Watermelon Salad

…menu—grilled watermelon salad. So, I said to Jan, “You can grill watermelon? Where have I been? Let’s give it a try!” As you may recall from my blog on the health perks of watermelon, it’s an extremely heart-healthy food, rich in antioxidants like vitamins A & C, potassium, B vitamins, magnesium…

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Alzheimer's Disease Prevention: Know Your Risk Factors

Since I wrote my earlier blog on Alzheimer's, my mother-in-law's mental status had changed so abruptly that we needed to hospitalize her to rule out a stroke or low heart rate. While she was surprisingly hypertensive on admission and her heart rate low enough to validate a pacemaker, her failing memory…

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Mammography in Controversy

…ultrasound, * digital mammography and MRI, and * thermography. Dr. Sinatra has addressed the benefits of thermography in newsletters, e-letters, and blogs, and I have had the simple test done myself. A form of infrared imaging used to detect heat, thermography can indicate the presence of inflammation…

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San Francisco To Pass Cell Phone Law

If you have been reading Dr. Sinatra's newsletters, e-letters, and blogs, you have been hearing his warnings about wireless communications and electro-pollution for over a year. And, most likely, you won’t be surprised to know that our family and friends are now feeding back to us breaking stories…

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On the Road with Dr. Sinatra

…familiar with the topic of electropollution and the potential dangers of cell phones and “WiFi,” check out previous blogs on the subject. And remember, if you are reading these blogs on your laptop, do NOT use it on your lap (near your abdominal organs), or have them plugged in while you are tethered…

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GMO Food Labeling: Is CT a Winner?

…comes to protecting New England’s local growers, and farmers in all states, we can all help. I’ve endorsed supporting local agriculture with my blogs on heart-healthy “farm stand dinners” that feature healthy, fresh produce—vegetables, fruits, and herbs—you can source from your own local farms…

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How to Stop Seasonal Affective Disorder In Its Tracks

If you're feeling down in the dumps during the dark and cold winter months, you're not alone. The cause is winter depression, otherwise called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In fact, I have one colleague who’s so profoundly affected by the lack of sunlight in the winter that her husband calls…

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Weed Killer and Pet Death

Recently, I was dismayed by what I saw in my own neighborhood. There were signs up all over a large grassy public area, announcing that weed killer for lawns had just been applied. That was worrisome enough for me, but seeing people walking their dogs all over that same area downright frightened me.…

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Statin Medications Will Not Reduce Lp(a)

Statin medicaitons typically prescribed for reducing cholesterol have no impact on Lp(a) levels. In fact, a study involving these drugs showed an increase in Lp(a) levels! And therein lies the dilemma. While statin medications prescribed to help you attain healthy cholesterol can reduce LDL, they…

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Rosemary to the Rescue

One of Dr. Sinatra’s safe at-home summer grilling tips is to always marinate your meat, fowl, or fish in the refrigerator, not the kitchen counter. Set aside any extra sauce you wish to use for basting before it touches the raw foods. We also follow the American Cancer Society warning to trim off…

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Breast Cancer Alert: Men Need to Be Careful, Too

When we think of October, we think cool nights, fall colors, Halloween, and more recently “Pinktober.” October is breast cancer awareness month, which is why you’ve been seeing more fundraising events, complete with pink ribbons, bracelets, tee shirts, and more. But what’s missing in the…

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Heart-Healthy Super Bowl Food

Regardless of which team you’re rooting for on Super Bowl Sunday—or whether you’re one who just watches the game for the incredible commercials and half-time show—I thought I would give you some heart-healthy snacks to enjoy during the game. Here are My Top 5 Heart-Healthy Super Bowl Foods…

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How Do You Know If You’re Getting Pure Olive Oil?

Including olive oil in your diet is certainly what I call a “Sinatra Smart” move for its many health benefits. But with all of the controversy about pure olive oils, how do you know if you’re buying pure extra virgin olive oil, or not? This is an olive oil dilemma I’ve faced myself. Years…

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Women's Vitamin Needs

When it comes to nutritional needs, there really is a different between men's and women's nutrient needs. The first difference is that osteoporosis affects many more women than men, making women's vitamin needs different. The issue of vitamins for women isn’t something to take lightly, since bone…

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5 Heart Healthy Recipes for Cooking Healthy With Vegetables

When it comes to summer dining, it’s easy to focus on the meats you’ll be putting on the grill. But for cooking healthy you want to balance that out with a healthy serving of vegetables. At this time of year it’s easy to find a huge number of delicious fresh veggies in the grocery store and…

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Secrets for Surviving Seasonal Flu

Another cold and flu season is upon us and many areas of our country are being hit hard already. Even our son-in-law was one the many folks in Massachusetts who needed the help of antibiotics to fight off a flu-related complication. It was also devastating to hear about the 17-year-old athlete who…

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Grounding is Good for Pets, Too

Unless you’re brand new to me and my mission for integrative, optimum heart health, you’ll know that for that past year or so, I’ve been particularly excited about the discovery of Earthing, also called “grounding,” as a new treatment modality. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with…

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Secrets for Conquering Attention Deficit Disorder, Naturally

At this time of the year, children are back in school. This means the fun of getting new school supplies, reuniting with classmates, and the almost inevitable uptick of newly diagnosed cases of attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). If you have a child,…

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Natural Pain Relief

For years, I’ve been telling my readers and my patients to avoid acetaminophen—especially the extra-strength variety—because of the potential for liver problems. I’ve also told them to avoid NSAIDs because of the potential for gastrointestinal bleeding, liver damage, and kidney dysfunction.…

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Recognizing a Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia

While most people aren’t familiar with the cardiology term heart rate variability, or respiratory sinus arrhythmia, it plays a big role in evaluating the heart and determining your risk for future cardiac events. As you probably know, your heart rate is not fixed. It fluctuates with physical…

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Discussing the Effects of Microwave Oven Radiation

Every once in a while I get asked about microwave ovens and whether they’re good or bad. My short answer, microwave ovens are bad news. I shun them because of the electromagnetic radiation (EMR) they emit. The FDA has regulated the manufacture of microwave ovens since 1971 and says they’re safe…

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The Real Risk Factors for Heart Disease

If you've read my recent posts about cholesterol, you probably have some questions. The biggest one may be, "Doc, if cholesterol isn't dangerous, then what heart risk factors should I keep an eye on?" That's a good question and one that anyone who wants to minimize their odds of developing…

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Walking Club Check-In: Don't Forget to Warm Up

Welcome, or welcome back, to the Dr. Sinatra Walking Club. If you missed the "official introduction," you can see it here. Each Saturday, I post a new Walking Club Check-in, where you can post your minutes walked, the number of times you walked, or miles by leaving a comment. Today, I want to talk…

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Vascular Dementia Can Happen to Anyone

September is World Alzheimer’s Month. It’s also the month it became time for my mother-in-law Peg to move into an extended care facility (ECF) due to her vascular dementia (VaD). So, what is VaD? While it’s often mistaken for Alzheimer’s disease because mental functioning slowly…

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Lipoprotein(a) Cholesterol Guidelines

Lipoprotein(a) cholesterol has been of great interest to many of you, and we’ve had many comments posted on the topic. I’d like to take the opportunity to answer a sound question about Lp(a) cholesterol guidelines from a concerned mom, because it is an example of what folks often ask that all…

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Could You Have a Silent Heart Attack and Not Know It?

So-called “silent” or minor heart attacks often go unnoticed because the symptoms can be very vague. If a silent heart attack occurs during waking hours, you may have a slight feeling of discomfort, of being a little bit “off.” They can also occur in your sleep. It’s a fact that about 25…

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The Benefits of Multivitamins

I know many of you have seen the headlines that I have proclaiming that “multivitamins are a waste of money” or “don’t work.” This media buzz was caused by an editorial published in the Annals of Internal Medicine with the headline, “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamin and…

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Walking Club Check-In: Walking Can Keep You Fit and Feeling Great!

Welcome, or welcome back, to the Dr. Sinatra Walking Club! If you missed the official introduction, click here to see all the details. With bathing suit season just around the corner, weight loss is another motivating reason to get out and start walking. In fact, I was recently talking with a…

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10 Unhealthy Foods to Avoid

As a cardiologist, I’m often asked if there are certain foods that should be on the “do not eat” list. I’d have to say yes, and no. Yes, there are several foods that you should avoid most of the time—since they can wreak havoc on both your heart and your health in general. But you don’t…

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Rainbow Bridge for Pets

After discussing Dr. Sinatra's and my heartbreak over losing our family dog Chewie, our dear friend Barb, who loves and cares for our dogs in our absence, sent us a wonderful story called the Rainbow Bridge. I don’t know the author or origins of the story, but if you have ever loved and lost a…

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Cooking Healthy: Quick and Easy Eggplant Parmesan

At this time of the year you can find plenty of eggplants in the grocery stores and farm stands, which is a good thing for cooking healthy. Eggplant contains fiber which is important not only for healthy digestion, but is protective against heart disease. It also contains a number of vitamins and…

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Israel Issues a New Warning About Cell Phone Dangers

As many of you know, I’ve long been concerned about the dangers of cell phone radiation. Many of these dangers have been swept under the carpet in our country, driven by the media spin of the telecommunications industry. While all the science is yet to be tallied, the early research findings were…

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Alzheimer's Disease Touches All of Us

Alzheimer’s disease affects all of us, whether it happens to a beloved family member, a dear friend, or a valued co-worker. My family is no exception. In the summer of 2010, my wife Jan took her mom to a geropsychiatry specialist to assess her memory (“Gero” for aging). Mom, then 90 years of…

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The Importance of Emotion Well-Being

The heart has much to teach us about the high cost of emotional shutdown. The connection between our emotional well-being and our hearts is more than metaphorical. Your emotions truly are the heartstrings that join mind, spirit and body. Consider this during “heart month,” how the Valentine…

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Enjoy DHA Omega-3 Benefits

Learn more about DHA omega-3 benefits, and why taking DHA omega-3 supplements promotes eye, heart, and brain health. At this point, most people have heard how important omega-3 supplements are to good heart health. The reason they’re called “essential” fatty acids is that your body doesn’t…

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8 Ways to Avoid Colorectal Cancer

Up until the last few years, colorectal cancer was thought to be at least 90 percent preventable, if you get regular colonoscopies. That’s because colon cancer begins as a polyp, which can be removed during a colonoscopy before it can become cancerous. But a large-scale Canadian study found that…

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How To Prevent Stroke

Each year 795,000 Americans suffer from a stroke, making it the third leading cause of death in the U.S. About 15 percent of the time, strokes are preceded by an early warning signal called a transient ischemic attack, or “mini-stroke.” After a mini-stroke, the chances of a full-blown stroke…

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Chicken Soup for the Lungs—A Natural Cold & Flu Treatment

Every year around this time I get many questions about the best natural cold and flu treatments. This season, I’m trotting out an old remedy: chicken soup. However, it’s not your regular chicken soup. This “souped-up” chicken soup is loaded with hot spices to support your immune system and…

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Immune-Boosting Tips for a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season

As many of us prepare for the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of it all—from shopping, to cleaning, and hosting guests. Stress can really wipe us out and make us more vulnerable to illness. So, here’s my stay-healthy strategy for your holiday season. * Take time to…

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Grief Can Increase Your Heart Attack Risk

There are many painfully tragic things I’ve seen in my days as a hospital cardiologist, but one of the saddest is the death of a surviving spouse following the loss of their mate. Now, a study by Harvard Medical School researchers shows there’s a 21-fold increase in heart attacks within the…

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A Heart-Healthy Diet Plan Should Include Organic Foods

There's no question that organic foods are an important part of a heart-healthy diet plan. But the popularity of organic food has led to a lot of misrepresentation and clever marketing, making it easy to be fooled about the products you buy. Nothing can stop a local grower from claiming produce is…

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6 Little-Known Facts About DHA Omega-3s Benefits

Most people know they need the benefits of omega-3 for their heart and overall health. But when it comes to choosing an omega-3 supplement, many myths abound. Here are what more doctors and pharmacists should be telling you about the benefits of omega-3s… 1. Most Americans get just 100-300 mg of…

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Could Optimism Fight Cancer: Why Not?

I recently heard a story about a colleague, named Ashley, that’s such a perfect example of the healing power of an optimistic attitude that I wanted to share it with you. You see, a while back Ashley and her husband Roger (pictured at right) found out that he’d developed esophageal cancer that…

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Is Your Cell Phone Causing Heart Problems?

When a colleague's father received a pacemaker he received a list of precautions to take. But nowhere on the list did the cardiologist mention avoiding cell phones and cordless phones. Both types of phones can be a real danger to your pacemaker and your heart. Plus, the same danger exists for folks…

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How to Relieve Holiday Stress for a Healthy Heart

As enjoyable as the holidays are, I know they can be stressful and hectic for many people. Shopping and wrapping holiday gifts, cooking and entertaining for loved ones and friends, and all of the extra family expectations can make this one of the toughest times of the year. But it's vital that you…

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Fight Heart Risk Factors With Nutraceutical Support

Vitamin and mineral supplements are not substitutes for a proper diet, but even the rare American who eats a balanced diet does not get the amount of nutritionals needed to combat the toxins and heart risk factors that threaten his/her health. This is why it’s critical that you take a quality…

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How to Naturally Protect Your Vision Health

You know, whenever I look at a sunset, I always think of my dear mother. She suffered from blindness for the last 10 years of her life, and told me that the thing she missed most was seeing a simple sunset. You see, my mom developed cataracts subsequent to diabetes. Her deteriorating vision health…

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Happy Decoration Day!

Did you know that originally Memorial Day was called Decoration Day? The reason is that years ago back in the 1800’s, Decoration Day was when organized women’s group in our nation’s south decorated the graves of Civil War soldiers. Later, Memorial Day was officially proclaimed by General John…

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Measuring the Heart Rate-Brain Connection

I truly believe in the heart-brain connection. And now there is science to support what I noticed happening with hospitalized patients who were hooked up to cardiac monitors right in front of me: heart rate and blood pressure fluctuate with more than exertion and medication. They respond directly…

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How Dangerous is Your Bathroom?

There is an interesting video that has been abuzz on the Internet this summer. This simply done animated tale is an 8-minute tongue-in-cheek look at our cosmetic industry. And while humor abounds, the take-home message is clear: most of us have no idea what is in the cosmetics we put on our body…

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Why “Good” HDL Cholesterol Isn’t Always Good

The drug companies have sold the American public a simplified version of cholesterol, that LDL cholesterol is “bad” and HDL cholesterol is “good.” They’ve propagated that message in order to sell more cholesterol medications, but that message is doing more harm than good. Knowing your HDL…

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The Cholesterol Numbers Doctors Should Measure

Many doctors, including cardiologists, look at all the wrong cholesterol numbers. If your cholesterol is over 220 mg/dl, they get worried—if it’s over 300 mg/dl they panic. Then, they put you on statin drugs to bring down the “bad” LDL cholesterol numbers and to help raise the “good”…

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The Health Benefits of Resveratrol

Within the last decade, resveratrol—a polyphenol found in red wine—has stormed into the nutritional supplement arena with a reception befitting a superstar. While I was originally a bit skeptical of the benefits of resveratrol given one falsified study, I’ve kept my eye on it and I’m firmly…

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Is Taking Multivitamins Safe?

Since I began practicing medicine years ago, the nutritional supplement industry has exploded. Now, you can’t walk into a grocery store, vitamin shop or even online, without seeing hundreds of supplement choices. But, when it comes to taking multivitamins in particular you need to choose…

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Quick, Easy Stroke Recognition

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE As you may know, there’s an email that periodically floats around the Internet regarding what is supposedly an easy test for whether someone is having a stroke. And I often have concerned patients come…

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Intrinsic Cardiac Pacemakers

Today, I want to tell you about a couple of intrinsic cardiac pacemakers. We'll start with the atrioventricular or AV node. Like our discussion of the SA node, the discussion is pretty technical. Look at it as a way to impress people around the watercooler! The AV node is a "back up" for the SA…

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Mercury Levels in Fish: Is It a Worry, or Not?

For many years I used to eat a good deal of fish in my healthy heart diet, primarily for its protein and omega-3 fatty acids. However, I later “scaled back” my fish intake because mercury levels in fish have been a major concern among researchers. They've long considered this exposure…

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6 Healthy Grilling Tips

This weekend is the unofficial start of summer. Even though this Memorial Day we will be at our daughter’s wedding, my wife Jan and I love this kickoff-for-summer weekend. First of all, it reminds us to take time to remember those who have served and sacrificed to defend our nation. And, as it is…

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Should You Take Blood-Thinning Drugs?

I can’t count how many times I’ve been asked, “Doc, do I have to be on this blood thinner medication?” There’s something about Coumadin, and other blood-thinning drugs, that elicits an “anything-but-that” response from about half the folks who are on it. In addition to the side…

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Indoor Tanning is Risky Business

With the winter months approaching, I know that many of you may turn to tanning beds to keep that healthy glow in your skin. Or maybe you like them for the “light therapy” they provide during months when days are short. Well, before you expose yourself to those UV lights, you may want to know…

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Stroke 101: Risk Factors for Stroke

Strokes go by many names, and there are a couple different kinds but, simply put, a stroke is are a cessation of blood flow somewhere in the brain. The loss of blood supply can last from a few seconds to the rest of your life, and can affect any area of the brain, large or small. In the old days,…

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6 Holiday Gifts to Avoid or Use with Caution

Those of you who have been with me for a while know how concerned I am about electromagnetic radiation (EMRs). This colorless, odorless electro-pollution is all around us, in fact we’re living in a sea of invisible EMRs. At the holidays, the problem only gets worse and manufacturers introduce…

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Science Shows April Fool's Day Can Benefit Your Heart

I'm not fooling when I say April Fool's Day can benefit your heart. In fact, any day that can put more laughter in your life can improve your health. That's because like crying, laughter softens the chest and is good for your respiratory system. Plus, if you’ve ever laughed so hard you cried,…

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For Heart-Healthy Omega-3 Benefits, Eat More Fat

Learn which foods I recommend to get the most heart-healthy omega-3 benefits. We often hear about the fats we shouldn’t eat, like fried greasy foods. But what still gets little press is the fact that the majority of Americans are getting far too little of another vital fat that you need in a…

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Healthy Heart Nutrition: Winning Waldorf Salmon Salad

Eating as much salmon as I do, I love to collect great salmon recipes. I also love salad recipes. The recipe below combines salad and salmon into one great meal. In fact, this fantastic salmon-salad recipe has all the omega-3s you want for heart health, plus the low-calorie and low-fat requirements…

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Spa Vacations Benefit Your Heart, Even If You're at Home

Years ago, I had my first spa experience. I was lecturing at Canyon Ranch in Arizona. During my week-long stay, I lost five pounds while nurturing my body. It was a very positive experience and I learned some alternative therapies in the healing process as well. Back home on the East Coast I…

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How Salt Causes High Blood Pressure

For decades I’ve made spaghetti sauce for family and friends. Twenty or so years ago I noticed that the day after the meal I’d gained a few pounds and was unusually thirsty. I was perplexed until I learned the canned tomatoes, pastes, and purees I was using were high in salt. Here I was, a…

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What Causes Coronary Artery Disease?

Many people, including some doctors and holistic health professionals, still think cholesterol is the main cause of coronary artery disease, but they’re wrong. So, you ask, if cholesterol is not the main culprit for the development of coronary artery disease, what is? Inflammation Plays a Central…

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If Someone Has a Heart Attack, Do These 2 Things!

A heart attack can strike anyone, anywhere, at any time. Many people think a heart attack will never happen to them and take their heart health for granted. Then, the next thing they know they’re a patient on the critical care unit for cardiovascular issues. I hope you never need this information…

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Do You Need a Heart Pacemaker?

Last month, a colleague told me her 72-year-old dad was getting a heart pacemaker. It came as a shock, since he was fit, spry and an avid cyclist. His heart rate had always been low, but over time it had dropped to just 33 beats per minute (BPM), which he and his doctor attributed to his fitness.…

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Debunking the Gluten-Free Myth

The biggest mistake people make when going on a gluten-free diet is that they eat foods that are high in sugar which can cause inflammation and weight gain. Gluten-free diets have received a lot of press in the last few years—with people touting it as the “secret to better health and weight…

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Flax and Omega-3 Benefits for Blood Pressure

Discover why I recommend omega-3 benefits, in cooperation with omega-6 fatty acids, to maintain healthy blood pressure. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a component of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil and algae, is taken up by cardiac cells and can be used to calm the heart or decrease…

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Mood-Boosting Foods

If you crave chocolate when you’re stressed or feeling blue, and feel a noticeable difference after you eat it, you know first-hand that there is such a thing as a mood-boosting food. But while one or two squares of dark chocolate are good for your heart I wouldn’t recommend depending on it to…

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This Year, Try a Resolution You Can Live With

Here’s a message I posted several years ago, which definitely bears repeating… Now that the New Year is here, I know a lot of people have made resolutions—some kept, and some already broken. Well, here’s a resolution you can not only keep, but can easily live with all year long—to be more…

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My Advice to the Presidential Candidates—and to You

Every nightly news broadcast, every talk radio show, every newspaper front page, everywhere we’re bombarded with information and opinions about this year’s presidential election. It can be difficult not to get caught up in the frenzy of it all. But if you think we’re getting caught up in it,…

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Information About Eggs & Heart Health

For years, eggs got a bad rap from most doctors and especially cardiologists. That’s because people had the notion that eggs contribute to the formation of LDL “bad” cholesterol—but that’s an unfounded myth. The truth is that eggs are an excellent protein-rich choice for breakfast, or any…

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6 Ways to Protect Yourself from UV Dangers

It’s getting to be that time of year when we’re all spending more time outside—which leaves us with a new issue to think about, sun exposure. In the attached picture, I wanted to show you the “fishing look” that I have been sporting since I had dermatology procedures on my face in…

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Is Taking a Daily Aspirin Right for You?

Early in my career when I was running through hospital halls, coat tails flying behind me, headed to help someone in cardiac arrest—I pondered whether daily aspirin could prevent these types of calamities. It was the 1980s and there wasn’t a hard-working doctor who didn’t worry about having…

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Best Multivitamins for Women: What the Media Didn't Report

Chances are you saw the recent news reports about a study that suggested multivitamins cause higher mortality rates in older women. The Archives of Internal Medicine released a study that followed about 40,000 women ages 55 to 69 for nineteen years and found that taking multivitamins was linked to…

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Drinking Cold Water With Meals? Think Again.

We're a society where icemakers abound, and restaurants serve iced water with every meal. But before you have your next glass of iced water, I want to tell you a story. More than 70 years ago, Ted and Dorothy Hustead posted some signs along Highway 16 in their tiny cow town of Wall, South Dakota,…

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Folic Acid for Dementia & Alzheimer’s Prevention

We know how devastating Alzheimer’s disease can be. It robs people of their cognitive powers, their spirit, dignity, freedom and, ultimately, their life. And it puts great strain on those loved ones who care for them. But, I’ve learned through my patients afflicted with Alzheimer’s that there…

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Good Pet Health Begins with a Heart Healthy Diet

When it comes to pet health, our four-legged friends need the same types of care we do—including plenty of exercise and a heart-healthy diet. But choosing the right foods to feed your dog can be tougher than you might think. I’m not a veterinarian, but my own vet Dr. Harvey Hayden of Sharon, CT…

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Why You Need Vitamin Supplements

Every now and then an inflammatory story on vitamins comes out in the media, blasting the need for vitamins. But these news stories fail to acknowledge the science and medicine behind the value of vitamin supplements. Here's a reminder about why you need vitamin supplements. Yesterday must have…

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In a Healthy Heart Diet Beware of Hidden Salt

For decades I’ve been making spaghetti sauce for family and friends. It's a mainstay in my healthy heart diet. As I prepare the sauce over the course of a day, I repeatedly taste it to make sure that I get it just right. Years ago, I noticed that the day after the meal I had gained a few…

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5 Heart-Healthy Tips for Lean Living!

1. Get the juices flowing! Invest in a juicer so you can make fresh juices out of both fruits and vegetables. Such juices are abundant in health-promoting enzymes, many of which are lost in processing, which is why store-bought juice is not always a good bet. Juice at least twice a week for the…

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Cell Phone Radiation Risks

Some of my neurology colleagues are convinced that cell phones are involved in cases of tinnitus, or ringing in the ear. They also believe that, unfortunately, we will be seeing a surge in brain tumors as cell phone use becomes more widespread. It may take years to get the evidence of cell phone…

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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). A major study not only confirmed that logic but put up actual numbers showing that a healthy lifestyle may practically eliminate sudden cardiac death—by up to 80…

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Pregnancy and Radiation Exposure—An Important Warning

As many of you know, I’m very concerned about the risks of radiation exposure, especially for children. Now, an important new initiative is warning expectant mothers about the dangers of radiation exposure during pregnancy— something that concerns me greatly. This public health action is a…

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The Antioxidant Benefits of Alpha Lipoic Acid

Hundreds of studies have shown that antioxidant nutrients protect cells from free radicals, neutralizing these molecular marauders before they do serious damage. Antioxidants also protect your genetic DNA, cellular membranes and even the enzyme systems that support cell metabolism. This protection…

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Protect Your Heart Health with a Sugar-Free Diet

As you've heard me say for some time, sugar is bad news when it comes to a heart healthy diet. Too much sugar will age you faster, and put you at a greater risk for developing heart disease than cholesterol. So, as we head into the hotter days of summer I want you to read the packages carefully on…

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Could Your Home Be A Cause For High Blood Pressure?

Learn why I think cordless phones, cell phones, and other wireless devices could be causing your high blood pressure. I spend a lot of my time getting the word out about the dangers of wireless technology. Electropollution is all around us — but few people understand its risks, especially to…

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An Amazing Story About the Benefits of CoQ10

I have always known about the powerful benefits of CoQ10, but when I lectured in Florida even I was amazed at the difference CoQ10 can make. I want to share an amazing experience I had at a health seminar I gave at Hain’s Creek Baptist Church. If you’ve ever wanted to know if taking my health…

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What is Lp(a) Cholesterol?

Lately, Dr. Sinatra has been getting a lot of questions about the very small, dense, and highly inflammatory cholesterol particle known as lipoprotein(a)—or Lp(a) for short. Good questions! Dr. Sinatra is one cardiologist who just doesn’t think that total cholesterol levels are the evil…

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The 14 Most Dangerous Toxins to the Heart

There are 14 environmental toxins that can affect your heart and overall health. Though distasteful to think about, we live in a sea of chemicals that have a significant impact on our health. Endocrine disorders and chronic inflammation are just two of the conditions influenced by the unnatural…

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The Heart Health Benefits of Watermelon

I thought I knew all there was to know about the perks of different types of fruit, but then I discovered a refreshing summertime drink with a fruit I had underestimated: watermelon. Watermelon contains a number of important nutrients, including: * Carotenoids lycopene and beta carotene that…

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Skipping Breakfast Puts Your Heart at Risk

We’ve long-known that skipping breakfast isn’t good for your. In fact, there's many studies about the benefits of breakfast. Now we have evidence to show just how big the impact is of skipping breakfast on heart health. In a report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,…

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4 Foods for Depression

It may seem strange that certain foods can help lift your mood and thereby lower your weight, but that’s the way our systems work. As you probably know, I recommend the Pan Asian and Mediterranean (PAM) diet for everyone. But if you suffer from mild depression, here are four foods for depression…

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8 Health-Boosting Secrets From My Life

Because I write and lecture about health, I’m not surprised when I’m asked about my own lifestyle. I can assure you that I practice what I preach, and I don’t recommend anything unless I’ve tried it myself. In addition to taking the Awesome Foursome and other nutrients, here are eight…

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9 Ways to Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally

Learn about nine effective, natural ways to reduce blood pressure through healthy lifestyle changes. Everyone has experienced stress in their lives, and stress can be a cause for high blood pressure. Doctors, holistic health practitioners, and even most patients know that if you’re able to…

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Juicing Your Way to Optimum Health

No matter what time of year, seems like we are always looking to detox and to manage our weight! Through the winter months, I convince myself that weight management will be easier in the warm weather when I can work in the yard; walk about more freely without ice, snow, and storms to contend with;…

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A High Antioxidant Diet Lowers Heart Attack Risk

In this day and age of grabbing quick, highly-processed foods here’s a study we all need to note. Researchers have found that women who eat a high-antioxidant diet have a significantly lower risk of having a heart attack. For this study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical…

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Is It Your Heart, Or Is It Lyme Disease?

Recently, a reader mentioned she thought she had a heart issue that turned out to be Lyme disease. She’s not alone. Lyme disease is often called the “great masquerader,” because it can present itself with the symptoms of other diseases—including cardiovascular disease. One of the biggest…

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Benefits of Resistance Training

Resistance training is NOT synonymous with term same “strength training,” which encompasses ANY resistance exercise that builds strength. Nor should it be confused with lifting, power lifting, or body-building, all of which are competitive sport endeavors that value achievement and excessive…

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The Best Prostate Health Vitamins

There’s no question that prostate cancer can be scary. Plus, the longer you live, the greater your chances of getting it. But while there’s a lot of information out there on prostate cancer screenings, few doctors are telling their patients what they can do to achieve natural prostate health.…

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EECP for Cardiovascular Health

Enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP) is a therapy for treating angina and congestive heart failure. It offers hope to those with advanced coronary artery disease who can’t undergo bypass surgery. Here's how it works... The physiology of EECP is similar to that of the intra-aortic balloon…

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Fish: A Natural Source of Omega-3s

Learn why the omega-3 benefits of fish make it a cornerstone of my eating plan for optimal heart health. I have followed the research on fish as a cardio-protective and anti-aging agent for 30 years. What makes fish so important to any healthy heart nutrition plan is the fact that it is a natural…

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When and How to Find a Natural Heart Doctor

Learn when you need a heart doctor and how to find a cardiologist that understands the power of natural medicine. One of the most frequent questions I get is, "Do I need to see a heart doctor?" Sometimes the need to find a heart doctor (cardiologist) is clear. For example, if you have had a heart…

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Foods High in Saturated Fat Aren’t the Enemy

We’ve long been told that foods high in saturated fat are bad. But the fact is saturated fats are the good guys. They help to raise beneficial HDL cholesterol, improving your triglyceride/HDL ratio—a key marker of cardiovascular health. Foods high in saturated fat also help to change your LDL…

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Signs and Symptoms of Coronary Artery Disease

Coronary artery disease is by far the most common cardiovascular problem, but do you really know what it is? You may have heard of the term atherosclerosis, which refers to the buildup of plaque in the blood vessels. Essentially, coronary artery disease is a form of atherosclerosis that affects the…

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Eating Healthy Foods: Test Your Food IQ

As I’ve long said, sugar--not cholesterol--is the real villain when it comes to heart disease. Naturally, that begs the question about foods you can eat and which foods you should avoid. Test your “food IQ” and get the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions I receive on eating…

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Reduce the Risk of Mercury Poisoning From Eating Fish

Fish is a wonderful source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. But… The world’s oceans contain high levels of mercury and other contaminants, making fish our primary source of environmental exposure to mercury poisoning. Nearly all fish contain trace amounts of mercury, some more…

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The Great Cholesterol Myth

When I first came to Healthy Directions over seventeen years ago, what excited me most was the ability to get the latest cutting-edge heart research out to more people than I could ever reach in my clinical practice, including other doctors and healthcare professionals. One of my top missions has…

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Protect From Exposure to Radiation

Our hearts go out to our friends and neighbors in Japan as they mourn their losses and try to deal with new fears of exposure to radiation. Even here in the U.S. mainland, Hawaii, Canada and elsewhere, folks wonder if we should be taking precautions to protect ourselves from the threat of possible…

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Foods that Help to Knock Out Disease and Slow Down Aging

Normally, we think of antioxidants in simple, neat terms as foods or ingredients that protect our inner turf by knocking out damaging free radicals at the heart of chronic inflammation and accelerated aging. Now, we know that many antioxidant-rich foods, like blueberries and turmeric, actually have…

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Beware of Dry Cleaning Chemicals on Your Clothes

The other day, I had an interesting experience. I ran into a couple I know at our local shopping mall. They were telling me how they’ve followed my advice to the letter, eating all the right foods, taking nutritional supplements and exercising. Yet, over my friend’s wife’s arm was a bundle of…

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Surprising Health Benefits of Donating Blood

During the summer months, we often hear that the American Red Cross is in greater need of blood donations. If you're thinking about donating blood, here's a surprising fact that many people don't know: donating blood doesn't just help the person who receives it, it improves your heart health as…

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How To Avoid Age Spots and Sun Damage to Skin

Do you have age spots? Those large freckles or brown spots on the back of your hands or other areas of the skin are the result of free radical damage to skin cells, particularly collagen and underlying connective tissue. Foods To Eat in Age Spot Treatment The good news is that a high intake of…

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Quit or Reduce Your Blood Pressure Medication

My recommendations for getting off or reducing your blood pressure medication will help you and your doctor make the right decisions. A few years ago I hosted a live online blood pressure chat. One question and answer that certainly bears repeating is on the topic of quitting or reducing blood…

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On the Road from Canada: Dangers of Electropollution

TORONTO, CANADA—I wanted to share some important information that I just presented at The Toronto Health Expo. I was there as a presenter for an all-day seminar to inform the public on the hazards electro-pollution as part of a newly-formed coalition called Doctors for Safer Schools. The…

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Treat Heart Disease With a Heart Healthy Diet Plan

Dr. Sinatra has long believed in the famous words of Hippocrates, the Greek physician of centuries past who is now recognized as the “Father of Medicine.” Hippocrates employed food to assist his patients in healing their physical ailments. With all our high-tech medical approaches and complex…

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Can Optimism Improve Your Health?

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Research has found that optimists are not only happier, they’re also healthier, live longer, and recover from illnesses better than those with less cheery outlooks. Optimists interpret events in a way that gives them hope to keep on trying. Pessimists look at…

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How to Include Yoga in Your Exercise Routine

Let’s face it, there can be a lot of things that can get in the way of a regular exercise routine. Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, schedules get busy, or you’re traveling. What I’ve found works for me (and I do workout regularly) is to have a variety of exercise options at my…

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Measuring Your HDL Cholesterol Level

The ability to increase your HDL cholesterol level—the so-called good cholesterol—is generally associated with protection against heart attack. However, we now know that HDL can be further divided into subtypes HDL1 and HDL2. Both reduce heart risk factors, but HDL2 is far superior and provides…

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Vitamin B Benefits for Your Heart

We often hear about B vitamins as the “stress vitamins” because they’re depleted in time of stress—but what we don’t hear often enough is how important vitamin B benefits are for your heart. In fact, I was one of the first cardiologists to get the word out about this critical connection,…

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Cooking Healthy: Baked Winter Squash

Are you looking for a new idea for cooking healthy? Winter squash are a heart-healthy diet bonanza. They contain potassium, alpha lipoic acid, beta carotene, manganese, and vitamin A—and they’re loaded with fiber. Plus, while winter squash are so rich and delicious that they taste like they…

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5 Heart-Healthy Snacks

The snack industry in America is a multi-billion dollar business. You can’t walk into a movie theatre, shopping mall, or ballgame without seeing dozens upon dozens of snacks that are loaded with too much fat, calories, and sodium. Americans are literally snacking their way to obesity, poor heart…

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DHA Omega-3 Benefits Your Brain, Too

Discover which DHA omega-3 benefits support your brain, and get my recommendation for the best DHA omega-3 supplement to keep your brain healthy as you age. You've probably heard someone say something like, "He's as sharp as a tack, even though he's in his 80s!" We often naturally expect our bodies…

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Spinach: A Sinatra Super Food and Apparent Crowd-Pleaser!

Spinach has been on my list of super foods for as long as I can remember. Spinach is an excellent source of calcium, which not only contributes to bone and tooth health, but also helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Spinach also contains healthy amounts of vitamin C and vitamin E, which reduce…

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On the Menu: Mediterranean Chicken

If you’re looking for a delicious easy meal this weekend, try my Mediterranean Chicken recipe. It features black olives which are a good source of heart-healthy monosaturated fats that help to increase good HDL cholesterol, along with garlic, roasted peppers, and more. Mediterranean Chicken…

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Could a Power Outage Actually Be Good For Your Health?

Like many in the North East, my wife Jan and I prepared for Superstorm Sandy by battening down the hatches and evacuating our home as her force approached in full fury. As happened last year during Hurricane Irene, the storm brought us together in community with our neighbors in a way that deepens…

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The Most Common Blood Thinners

Blood thinners, particularly Coumadin, prevent strokes by helping to prevent blood clots from forming in the chambers of the heart and blood vessels. Studies have shown that common blood thinners like Coumadin can protect you from a stroke if you have mechanical heart valves, atrial fibrillation or…

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Ease Stress with Gifts that Give Back

Stress can be devastating to your heart. It causes your blood pressure levels to rise and increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. And, if you are like me, the mad dash around the holidays can be very stressful. Why not take some time to remember what the holiday season is supposed to be…

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Diabetes and Heart Disease

A recent study published in the journal Diabetes Care said that the death rate of people in the U.S. with diabetes has dropped substantially. Plus, the number of people with diabetes and heart disease has dropped as well, but is still much higher than those who don’t have diabetes. Facts About…

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L-Carnitine for Healthy Blood Pressure Levels

In my last post, I discussed CoQ10. Now I'd like to discuss its partner, L-carnitine. Together, they form a "dynamic duo," with the ability to help promote healthy blood pressure levels and to reduce a wide variety of risk factors of heart disease. You see, while CoQ10 sparks energy within the…

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The Benefits of Fish Oil Supplements for Heart Disease

It’s been all over the news. A study review published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that taking fish oil did not prevent heart attack or stroke survivors from having another cardiac event. One news headline read, “Fish Oil Delivers Few Heart Benefits, Study Finds.” This type of…

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5 Dining Secrets that Help to Take Off the Pounds

A new study conducted by researchers at the Arizona State University Department of Psychology found that cutting foods into smaller pieces causes people to eat less. When they presented subjects with an uncut bagel, versus one that was cut into quarters, those who were given the smaller pieces ate…

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6 Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Bone Health

To improve bone strength, you need to eat a balanced diet, including sufficient calcium and vitamin D. But there are also six common bone health robbers you want to avoid: 1. Excess Protein—Some protein is necessary to build strong bones, but excessive amounts of animal protein without sufficient…

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Statin Drugs and Memory Loss

Many doctors fail to tell their patients that cholesterol-lowering statin medications cause memory loss, one of many statin drug side effects, and many patients never connect the dots themselves. In fact, I’m convinced that a lot of what we call “senior moments” is really a reaction to statin…

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Relax to Prevent High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure readings are like the Dow Jones average; they go up and down, even in a five-minute interval. Remember, your heart is a pulsating, dynamic organ, so your blood pressure will vary, sometimes as much as 20 to 30 mm/Hg in successive readings. How can you prevent high blood pressure…

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Summer Hazard #1: Tick-Borne Illnesses

Our New England home is close to Old Lyme, Connecticut, a delightful seaside town abundant in charm, art galleries, and beach communities. It’s also known as the “birthplace,” if you will, of Lyme disease. I was a busy Connecticut-based cardiologist in 1975 when the deer tick was first…

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5 Foods to Eat (or Avoid) for Healthy Aging

There’s an old saying that “you are what you eat.” That’s extremely true, especially when it comes to aging. Eating the wrong foods can accelerate aging, while eating the right foods can help you to “put the brakes on aging”—slowing down the impact of free radicals on your body.…

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Magnesium and Calcium for Heart Health

Most of us are deficient in magnesium, which is unfortunate because it is so critical for helping to maintain healthy blood pressure and to avoid a myriad of cardiovascular problems. Adhering to good cardiovascular nutrition can help, but even if you do eat whole-food sources of magnesium (tofu,…

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Study Finds Doctors Too Quick to Insert Heart Stents

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: If I’m ever having a heart attack, I want someone to get me to the closest hospital to have an angioplasty/stent procedure performed as soon as possible. Heart stents are simply the best way to improve blood flow to the heart and preserve heart…

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Don't Lug Your Luggage

Dr. Sinatra wrote about airport angina in an issue of Heart, Health, and Nutrition years ago. For those of you who missed it, here is a synopsis of his tips for heart patients: 1. Know your bag: Select luggage that’s user-friendly. There’s a great selection of bags with easy moving wheels under…

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Selenium Supplements and Prostate Cancer

Here’s some important prostate cancer news that I want to share with you. New findings just released from the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) showed that for some high-risk men, a high-dosage of selenium supplements can be risky for the prostate. What Is the SELECT Trial?…

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5 Ways to Help Prevent a Cardiac Event

Many hospitals advertise that they have preventive cardiology programs that help you to make lifestyle changes to prevent a cardiac event. But the fact is there are many important ways to prevent a cardiac event, many of which these programs overlook. So, I wanted to tell you how to implement your…

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Eat Garlic to Reduce Blood Pressure

Did you know garlic naturally reduces blood pressure? Find out how garlic supports heart health and how to integrate garlic into a high blood pressure diet. It's amazing how many nutrients are packed into a single glove of garlic: 33 sulfur compounds, 17 amino acids, antioxidants such as germanium…

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Heart Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

I'm often asked if the health benefits of coconut oil are good for your heart, and my answer is a resounding yes. The ordinary coconut—known for its sweet milk, great fiber and ability to conk people on the heads in Marx Brothers movies—can do your heart good—and a lot more. Many people shun…

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6 Ways to Get Natural Allergy Relief

Spring allergies are a real issue for many people. Just this morning, a colleague of mine told me she started sneezing the moment she opened her front door to get the newspaper—and the itchy, watery eyes soon followed. Big Pharma would like you to think that the best remedy for seasonal allergies…

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Improper Grilling Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Now that the summer is in full force, you are likely hooking up the barbecue and gathering with friends to enjoy dinner in the great outdoors. As enjoyable as these get-togethers can be, research has shown that grilling meat at high temperatures can create a number of harmful compounds. High heat…

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Heart-Felt Lessons from the Olympics

Ah, the joys of summer—one of which this year is watching the Summer Olympics. I’ll confess I plan my evenings at home so I can view the London competitions, and I find them compelling for two reasons. On a personal level, watching the athletes takes me back to my teenage years when I used to…

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Healthy Heart Nutrition: White Bean Salad

Now that the weather is warmer, my wife Jan and I have switched over from soups to salads in our kitchen. One of our favorite heart healthy recipes is White Bean Salad. Beans are a heart-healthy “wonder food,” high in fiber that helps reduce cholesterol and inflammation. White beans also…

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Vitamin D Deficiency and Sunscreens

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can forget about the sun and your skin. First off, you want to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D. At this time of year it’s easy to be short on sun, and our bodies need 10-20 minutes of sunlight in order to manufacture vitamin D—or you…

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5 Easy, Natural Cures for the Health Hazards of Summer

I’ve always loved summer, including the longer days and warmer temperatures. But these hazy, lazy days can also come with their own health hazards. Here are five ways to keep the most common health hazards from spoiling the season for you. * Bee stings. If you get a bee sting and you’re not…

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A Hidden Cause of Sudden Cardiac Death

Paul “Bear” Bryant, the winningest coach in college football history, died of a massive heart attack shortly after his retirement. His abrupt demise was termed a “sudden death.” A sudden cardiac death occurs once every minute. It’s the leading cause of death in the 20-to-64 age group and…

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5 Cancer-Fighting Supplements

One hundred years ago, cancer was low on the list of dreaded diseases. Today, the pendulum has swung far and wide, and it’s said that one in three people will get cancer. Five Effective Cancer-Fighting Supplements * Fish oil. In laboratory studies, fish oil has been shown to slow the rate at…

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Can a Flu Vaccine Stop Heart Disease?

You may have heard the recent news reports, like I have, which proclaim that getting a flu vaccine not only prevents the flu—it can also prevent heart disease. In fact, these new findings which were released by the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress says that a flu shot can reduce the risk of a…

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Pets and Your Heart

Research confirms what you’ve probably known all along: Animals—especially those with which you’ve had a long-term relationship—can be good for your health! The survival rate of people who suffer a heart attack has been found to be five times greater among those who leave the hospital and…

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Protect Your Vision with Fish

Whether we notice the subtle changes or not, about nine million of us over the age of forty have some signs of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In fact, like cataracts AMD is one of the leading causes of blindness. That’s why I’m always on the lookout for any natural ways to protect our…

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You Can Think Your Way to Better Heart Health, Quite Literally

One of the most important things I’ve learned as a cardiologist is the enormous impact emotions can have on heart health. Stress is a major contributor to heart attacks. As I’ve often said, prevention starts from the neck up. But what many people don’t realize is that the converse is also…

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Prevent Macular Degeneration

There's no question that macular degeneration can be one of the scariest changes we can experience when it comes to eye health, since it can result in functional blindness. In a nutshell, the macula is the "bulls eye," or center, of the retina. It records the images you see and sends them via the…

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The Blood Lipids Ratio to Watch

As many of you know, I've long said cholesterol isn’t the real culprit when it comes to heart disease, inflammation is. That hasn’t changed, but research shows there is another number you should watch—your triglyceride/HDL cholesterol blood lipids ratio. Keeping your beneficial HDL…

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Healthy Heart Nutrition for Kids

Given the typical American diet, I am very concerned about the healthy heart nutrition lessons we're teaching our children. The high levels of salt, trans-fats, and calories in fast food can cause serious harm to the heart and the rest of the body. But the reality of life is that, on any given day…

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Stress is a Killer

How you handle stress can be a matter of life and death because when you get fired up emotionally, anything can happen. You see, your feelings can light a fuse inside your body that causes an immediate and deadly explosion. Both heart attacks and strokes can be the result of excess stress and…

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Healthy, Inspiring Books for Children

At this time of the year, you can’t walk into a store or turn on the television without seeing electronic gadgets being marketed to children as holiday gifts. This concerns me greatly because electropollution has a negative impact on our health, and children are even more vulnerable than adults.…

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Reflections on Labor Day and 9/11

With Labor Day this weekend, and the approach of the tenth anniversary of 9/11 in a little over a week—I’m choked up by the memory of an article I read several years ago. The Wall Street Journal had reported that children who become newspaper carriers are at significant risk for injury, or even…

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This Year, Take Time to Touch the Hearts of Others

I’ll soon be headed back to the northeast to spend time with family and friends over the holidays. This year, more than ever, I am so aware of how blessed I am to have a home and loved ones to go to. Too many folks back in my home state of New York—as well as New Jersey, Connecticut, and other…

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The Heart-Brain Connection

When you look at your anatomy, the largest vessel to emerge from the left ventricle is your aorta. And right after it leaves the heart and feeds its own circulatory tree, the aorta has two major arteries—the carotids, which branch off to the head and shoot blood directly to the brain FIRST.…

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Heart-Healthy Secrets for Safe Grilling

Now that spring’s here, we’ve been firing up the grill quite a bit. But what many people don’t realize is that grilling can be hazardous to your health. The first step to better grilling is to not use charcoal, which can release carcinogenic agents called PAHs (polycyclic aromatic…

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October Pays Tribute to Breast Cancer Victims and Survivors

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, as most of you know, the pink ribbon is the logo. It has been inspiring to see so many people and businesses contribute to raising funds and awareness about this key women’s health issue. The CDC reports that in 2005, 186,467 women (and 1,764…

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Heart-Healthy Diets: 6 Surprising Foods to Avoid

You likely know that junk foods like potato chips and cookies aren’t heart-healthy options. But there are other foods where the dangers are far less obvious. Here are the top foods you should avoid, not in my particular order—they’re all equally bad! For a Heart-Healthy Diet, Keep These Foods…

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The Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee

We’ve long worried about the downsides of coffee. But new research indicates that the health benefits of drinking coffee can even lengthen your life. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) teamed up to study the relationship…

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3 Holiday Foods You Can Eat in a Heart-Healthy Diet

We often hear about what holiday foods we should avoid. Eggnog, for instance is loaded with fat, sugar, and empty calories. But what we don’t hear about are the holiday foods you can indulge in, guilt-free as part of your heart-healthy diet. A Heart-Healthy Diet Can Include These Holiday Treats…

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Blood Iron Levels and Heart Disease

Serum ferritin, better known as iron, is vital to human life because it stimulates the production of hemoglobin, the red blood cell pigment that carries oxygen to our cells. Without it, we couldn’t survive. However, research suggests that iron overload, or hemachromatosis, is a risk factor of…

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Are You a Candidate for EECP Therapy?

Since 1992, more than 150 research articles have documented that EECP therapy does indeed work, and is particularly effective if you have far-advanced coronary artery disease and limited treatment options. I continue to be impressed that my EECP therapy patients report their angina symptoms to be…

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Dr. Stephen Sinatra on the Becker Show

On the Road with Dr. Stephen Sinatra In December, Dr. Stephen Sinatra visited Dallas, Texas, to tape a couple of programs with endocrinologist Richard Becker, M.D., and his wife Cindy, hosts of Your Health, which broadcasts at 11a.m. EST Monday through Friday on Family Net TV. Dr. Stephen Sinatra…

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Airport Angina: What You Need to Know

I know many of you are already making travel plans for the holidays, and thousands of you will be traveling by air. That’s why I wanted to make you aware, and review once again, the heart risks associated with air travel—namely “airport angina.” “Airport angina” is a phrase coined to…

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How to Control Your Sugar Intake

Today is Halloween, which means kids decked out as ghosts, witches, and vampires will be trooping by in the Main Street parade at our Connecticut home. Then, at the end of the day, these same small town kids—like 40 million or so of their peers around the country—will be eagerly going door to…

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My Favorite Heart-Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, you are probably considering what to make for the big meal. So, I wanted to once again share one of my favorite heart-healthy Thanksgiving recipes. Cranberry Slaw: A Heart-Healthy Thanksgiving Dish One of the most heart-healthy foods on many Thanksgiving…

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Are Airport Security Scanners Safe?

At this point, I've earned quite a few frequent-flyer miles. Whether I’m headed out for business a vacation or a fishing trip, I always follow my own healthful traveling tips. Plus, lately there’s another travel issue that has me concerned—exposure to airport security scanners. We all receive…

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Remembering the Freedom for Which It Stands

When I was growing up, there were flags flying from the porches of every house in the neighborhood on July 4th. I still see this today and the image never fails to touch my heart. Flags flying on porches, others drawn by children and taped to screen doors, patches of the flag on Boy Scout uniforms,…

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The Best Homocysteine Level for Cardiac Health

A while back, I was talking with Jim Roberts, M.D., an integrative cardiologist and my co-author for Reverse Heart Disease Now—and we both shared that we have low homocysteine levels. That may sound like good news, given the well-documented danger of high homocysteine levels. But the truth is,…

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