Think Cardio Meds Are Enough? A Healthy Diet Helps Prevent Repeat Heart Attacks, Too
It's clear that a healthy diet, paired with exercise, can help prevent heart disease. And now a new report, published Monday in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation, shows how diet affects people who already have the disease. The five-year study analyzed nearly 32,000 adults from 40 countries, all of whom had cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus. Those with the healthiest diets, which typically included high intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts, were 35 percent less likely to die from a repeat heart attack or stroke, than people with the least healthy diets, reports The Wall Street Journal. The healthy dieters were also 28 percent less likely to develop congestive heart failure and 14 percent less likely to have a repeat heart attack.
Mahshid Dehghan, a study author and nutritionist at the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, said it's inaccurate for people to think they only need medication to keep their hearts in check. "At times, patients don't think they need to follow a healthy diet, since their medications have already lowered their blood pressure and cholesterol—that is wrong," she told The Wall Street Journal. "The more healthy you eat, the healthier you are."
How You and Kate Middleton Can Manage Morning Sickness
It's hard to imagine the likes of Kate Middleton—jet-setting, glossy-smiled, impeccably-dressed royalty—falling victim to something so decidedly not glamorous: morning sickness. Severe morning sickness, at that. News that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting broke Monday when she was hospitalized for hyperemesis gravidarum—a term typically used to distinguish between tolerable morning sickness and vomiting so frequent that it impairs a woman's life, says Elizabeth Lyster, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Holtorf Medical Group in Foster City, Calif. Women with this condition are so sick that they can't go to work or manage their normal responsibilities, and they're often hospitalized for dehydration, which requires IV therapy.
Even if a woman isn't experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum, plain old morning sickness can still take a toll. While the cause of morning sickness is hazy—hormones play a role, and blood sugar likely drops—we do know that most pregnant women experience nausea to some degree. And according to the National Institutes of Health, about a third will suffer from vomiting.
If your "pregnancy glow" has a greenish hue, or if you're a partner wanting to help, try the following:
1. Clearly articulate which smells trigger your nausea: It could be food preparation, cologne, or that spring breeze-scented laundry detergent. If scents you hardly noticed before are sending you straight to the bathroom, let your partner and family know, so they don't accidently add to your misery. "Being able to address these triggers gets to be a little tender," Erick says. "Most women don't want to say, 'By the way, you stink' or 'Don't breathe on me.' They have a hard time telling people how to take care of them." But if these triggers aren't acknowledged, the situation can escalate quickly. "If you don't address that, you're part of the problem—not part of the solution," she says. "If those [triggers] aren't removed, then someone is going to be unhappy and nauseous. They're not going to eat or drink, and they're going to lose weight and become dehydrated. It's like a snowball going downhill." [Read more: How You and Kate Middleton Can Manage Morning Sickness]
Helping Your Spouse Lose Weight? Feed Him Support
As the New Year approaches, you may be starting to think about the weight you want to lose, writes U.S. News blogger Keri Gans. But maybe dropping pounds isn't on your list of resolutions—instead, it's on your spouse's. Maybe this is the first time your husband or wife has decided to lose weight, or perhaps it's a road all too familiar. In any event, as a caring spouse, you need to find a way to be supportive, so the weight battle doesn't become a family battle.
Believe me, I know this can be difficult. My husband is overweight and has been told more than once by a doctor that he needs to slim down. You might think living with a registered dietitian would be a slam-dunk for weight loss. But no one can make someone lose weight if he or she isn't ready.
Once your spouse reaches that point, here's what I propose you do to help:
1. Stock up on healthy foods. If you're responsible for food shopping in your home, make sure to include lots of healthy choices, like fruits and veggies. Now is not the time to load up on ice cream, especially if your spouse has a weakness for it. If your husband or wife does the shopping, try and refrain from asking for your favorite cookies. Healthy eating needs to be a family affair if it's going to work. No one is saying that you can't indulge, but at least for a while, try to do it away from home.
2. Pick restaurants with healthy choices. Maybe as a couple there are certain places where you like to enjoy your favorite high-calorie entrees. Make sure these restaurants also offer healthier fare. Don't be an enabler by suggesting sharing the cheese fries; rather, suggest a vegetable side. [Read more: Helping Your Spouse Lose Weight? Feed Him Support]