Greetings from Sweetwater!
American Heart Month
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, here in the U.S. One in four deaths are to blame for this disease. You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have this condition. Here are a few steps to help keep you on track with heart health.
-Watch your weight
- Watch your salt intake
-Quit smoking and stay away from second hand smoke.
-Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
-If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
-Get active and healthy.
Here at Sweetwater we care about your heart. Make a lifestyle change today and you’ll be glad you did later down the road.
The Best Heart Healthy Habits
We all know that exercise and a good diet can keep your heart healthy but is there any other habits we can start to keep the heart up to beat? We have found five key things you should do every day to help your heart in the best shape possible. Try incorporating these habits into your lifestyle, and your heart health will be the best it can be for you.
- Eat healthy fats, NOT trans fats
Despite what media tells you, we need certain fats in our diet. These include saturated, polyunsaturated and unsaturated fats. One fat our body can do without is trans fat, which is known to increase your risk of developing heart disease and or causing a stroke in your lifetime. Trans fat is known to clog your arteries by raising your bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and lowering your good cholesterol levels (HDL). Cutting trans fat from your diet will help your blood circulation. What exactly are trans fats? They are industry-produced fats often used in packaged baked goods, snack foods, margarines and fried fast foods to add flavor and texture. So be on the lookout and be careful.
- Practice good dental hygiene, especially flossing your teeth daily
Dental health is a good indication of overall health, including your heart. Those who have periodontal (gum) disease often have the same risk factors for heart disease. Studies continue on this issue, but many have proved that bacteria in the mouth involved in the development of gum disease can move into the bloodstream and cause an elevation in C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood vessels. These changes may in turn, increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Get enough sleep
Sleep is an essential part of keeping your heart healthy. If you don’t sleep enough, you may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease no matter your age or other health habits. One study looking at 3,000 adults over the age of 45 found that those who slept fewer than six hours per night were about twice as likely to have a stroke or heart attack as people who slept six to eight hours per night. Researchers believe sleeping too little causes disruptions in underlying health conditions and biological processes, including blood pressure and inflammation.
- Don’t sit for too long at one time
In recent years, research has suggested that staying seated for long periods of time is bad for your health no matter how much exercise you do. This is bad news for the many people who sit at sedentary jobs all day. When looking at the combined results of several observational studies that included nearly 800,000 people, researchers found that in those who sat the most, there was an associated 147 percent increase in cardiovascular events and a 90 percent increase in death caused by these events. In addition, sitting for long periods of time (especially when traveling) increases your risk of deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot).
- Avoid secondhand smoke like the plague
Studies show that the risk of developing heart disease is about 25 to 30 percent higher for people who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work. According to the American Heart Association, exposure to tobacco smoke contributes to about 34,000 premature heart disease deaths and 7,300 lung cancer deaths each year. And nonsmokers who have high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol have an even greater risk of developing heart disease when they’re exposed to secondhand smoke. This is because the chemicals emitted from cigarette smoke promote the development of plaque buildup in the arteries.
Have Cancer in the family?
Many women (and men) remain at increased risk of cancer and are unaware of lifesaving medical options available to them. Your personal and family history of cancer matter and hereditary cancer testing saves lives. As board-certified Ob Gyn Specialists, we recognize the importance of the identification and management of patients with elevated cancer risks. We have incorporated risk assessments and genetic testing into our practice years ago and would love to tell you how genetic testing has evolved in recent years and how it has become a benefit to our patients. If you are interested in assessing your own risk, please take the quick survey below.
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A Tastier Oatmeal
Ever heard of overnight oatmeal?
It’s a really easy “on the go” type of way to ensure a healthy breakfast every morning. Only takes a couple of minutes of preparation every night. Here is a recipe I use quite frequently. It also is very tasty and filling.
1 half cup of whole rolled oats
1 cup Coconut Milk or milk of your taste
1 Tbsp of Honey
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 Tbsp of Chia Seeds (full of cancer fighting antioxidants)
Optional: Fruit and/or nuts – I use a Tbsp of bittersweet dark chocolate chunks and banana, yum!
Combine all ingredients in a small Tupperware and mix Cover and place in fridge until morning You can heat it up if you prefer just make sure to put your toppings on before you eat
Dr. Shannon Crowe- February 26th
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Did you know?...
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Don't let a period stop you.
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Look for next month’s newsletter for your latest in Sweetwater Ob/Gyn News.
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