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Heart Health Tips from Dr. Oz

By: , – Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, Family Circle
8/9/2011 6:00 AM   :  15 comments   :  10,459 Views

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Perhaps you already know that heart disease kills more women than breast cancer -- more than all cancers combined, in fact. What you may not have heard is that the number of middle-aged women having heart attacks is on the rise. The good news: Heart disease is preventable if you make simple lifestyle changes. Dr. Oz is on call to teach you how.
 
What a Woman's Heart Attack Looks Like

It's not that women don't get chest pain during a heart attack. We can, although often women describe the sensation more as achiness, tightness, or pressure than as pain. But we're also more likely to experience other symptoms. While chest pain was the most common symptom for both men and women, according to a Swedish study of 225 first-time heart attack patients, women were more apt to report nausea, back pain, dizziness, and palpitations. Women were three times as likely as men to experience more than three heart attack symptoms at once. "Even doctors sometimes mistake women's symptoms for indigestion, heartburn, or the flu," says Dr. Oz.

Two Big Diet Fixes—Make 'Em Today!


Eat Less Sugar
Sugar hurts us in two ways, says Dr. Oz. First, the sugar molecule itself is like a jagged piece of glass that scrapes up the arteries as it travels through your bloodstream. That scarring catches plaque, allowing it to build up and narrow the arteries. Second, because sugar is stored as fat, it leads to weight gain, particularly around the belly. Most Americans take in about 22 teaspoons of sugar every day. Much of that comes from sodas and fruit drinks. Other sweeteners, like high fructose corn syrup, lurk in unlikely places, such as ketchup, mustard, and salad dressing. The American Heart Association now recommends that women limit added sugar consumption to 100 calories (about 6 teaspoons) a day, with no more than 450 calories a week coming from sugary drinks. That's less than half a 12-ounce can of regular soda a day. Dr. Oz's rule: "If high fructose corn syrup is one of the first five ingredients in a product or there's more than 4 grams of sugar per serving (that's 1 teaspoon), skip it."

Eat More Fatty Fish
As sources of protein go, it doesn't get much better than fish, which is low in artery-clogging saturated fat and high in omega-3 essential fats, which improve triglycerides, reduce artery plaque, and prevent irregular heartbeats that can cause sudden death. Women in the Nurses' Health Study who ate fish at least twice a week lowered their risk of dying from heart disease by 31 percent. Grill or bake (don't fry) salmon, shrimp, rainbow trout, pollock (the fish used to make imitation crab), or sardines. Dr. Oz also recommends taking 600 milligrams a day of the omega-3 essential fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Read the rest of Dr. Oz's tips at FamilyCircle.com!

More great stories from Family Circle:
 
How do you keep your heart healthy?
 
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Comments

  • 15
    What do I do to keep my heart healthy?
    Diuet and exercise. I always look for ways to adjust my healthy life. A small change every day can add up to a BIG change. - 2/29/2012   6:54:19 AM
  • 14
    All this is so true. Nice to see and article from a well know Doctor. - 8/14/2011   3:18:05 PM
  • 13
    I like Dr. Oz's show, and thanks for the article. We eat a fair amount of fish here, try to get enough exercise in. We do have a bit of a problem, with fatty foods though..ie. cheese. - 8/13/2011   2:53:09 PM
  • RUNESHADOW
    12
    Dr. Oz can be entertaining, but I sure would like to see the study about the sugar molecules. I've read articles about him but take his info with a grain of salt. I watched his show twice but couldn't stomach it. His enthusiasm and animated manner don't make everything he says true. - 8/10/2011   6:36:50 PM
  • 11
    Dr. Oz is a funtastic health educator. He makes learning fun so he get results! - 8/10/2011   7:25:46 AM
  • 10
    I adore Dr. Oz and find his show very informative. I have learned quite a few things and have less fear about possible medical problems because of him. - 8/9/2011   4:11:29 PM
  • VIMVIGOR
    9
    Good information. I was very surprised at the negative comments about Doctor Oz. I had believed he was a highly qualified heart surgeon and an expert on heart related health issues. After googling him, and reading of all his accomplishments and awards I found not one reason to change my mind. Is there something I should know??? Is his advice unrealizable??? Is he a fraud, a quack??? - 8/9/2011   3:32:03 PM
  • 8
    good information - 8/9/2011   2:01:14 PM
  • 7
    Dr. Oz is not someone I respect. His show seems designed for fear mongering. Please offer us information from other doctors. - 8/9/2011   1:02:52 PM
  • HYEGEEK
    6
    Keep in mind that glucose (also a sugar) will scrape your arteries as well. Ie. It is important to keep your blood sugar in check to keep your heart health. To keep blood sugars in check, watch how many carbs you take in, not just the sugar. Of course, starting with sucrose and/or fructose is good, just don't stop there. - 8/9/2011   11:26:10 AM
  • 5
    I love Dr. Oz. - 8/9/2011   11:24:21 AM
  • SINNY11
    4
    I had absolutely no idea that sugar scraped the artery walls!!!! Another excellent reason to control my sweet tooth - 8/9/2011   9:33:56 AM
  • 3
    People still take Dr. Oz seriously?! It's nice to see him giving some good advice in between the rest of the rubbish he comes out with, though. Maybe that's why a lot of people confuse him with someone who's credible? - 8/9/2011   8:58:11 AM
  • 2
    Sugar scrapes the arteries? When it dissolves, isn't it liquid? How about Splenda? Does it scrape the arteries too? - 8/9/2011   7:55:22 AM
  • 1
    It seems that I'm always reading articles about how bad sugar is for you. I never associated it with heart attacks though. I had almost eliminated sugar from my diet, but was slowly slipping back into having sugary deserts. This is an important reminder NOT to go there! - 8/9/2011   6:52:18 AM

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