Senior News: Diet and Heart Health
A worldwide study has concluded that there really is a relationship between diet and the risk of cardiovascular disease for patients who are taking drugs for prevention of secondary events. More than 31,000 high-risk seniors in 40 countries were assessed for quality of diet. A higher-quality diet resulted in a lower risk of recurring cardiovascular events in people age 55 and older who are already taking medication for cardiovascular disease or who have diabetes.
Here’s the big news: The risk of dying from a heart-related event was reduced by 35 percent. A healthy diet also meant a 14 percent lower risk for new heart attacks, a 28 percent reduction in risk for congestive heart failure and 19 percent cut in risk for stroke.
In other words, taking medication for cholesterol and blood pressure isn’t enough. The same goes for beta blockers, aspirin and other medications commonly prescribed for cardiovascular disease. We have to eat right to promote heart health.
Diet should emphasize vegetables, fruits and grains, and more fish than meat. Ask your doctor if the American Heart Association diet is appropriate for you.
Fruits and vegetables: At least 4.5 cups/day
Oily fish: Two 3.5-ounce servings/week
Whole grains: Three 1-ounce servings/day
Sodium: Less than 1,500 mg/day
Nuts, legumes, seeds: At least four servings/week
Sugared drinks: No more than 36 ounces/week
Processed meats: No more than two servings/week
Saturated fat: Less than 7 percent of total intake.
For more information, go online to www.heart.org.
Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Write to her in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.