By Dr. Debbie Bernstein, MD
Heart disease is still the number one cause of death for both men and women. It is very much associated with our western lifestyle. Knowing and evaluating your risk factors for heart disease can empower you to make simple but profound changes in your diet and lifestyle.
It is no longer about just knowing your cholesterol level and blood pressure. Research is pointing towards other important risk factors as well. Some of the testing for these risk factors include: total particle number and particle size of LDL and HDL cholesterol, Highly Sensitive C-Reactive Protein and Homocysteine. There are also tests that look at genetic predisposition factors that can be modulated by lifestyle, dietary and supplemental interventions.
Chronic inflammation appears to be one of the underlying causes of heart disease and many other chronic western diseases. Inflammation is caused by stress, excess weight and inflammatory foods such as refined sugar and flour products, and unhealthy fats. In addition, some people have sensitivities to common foods leading to inflammation.
Choosing an anti-inflammatory lifestyle is critical to good heart health. Selecting clean, minimally processed, and ideally organic foods is a great start. The Doylestown Co-op offers a great selection of local fresh clean vegetables that are rich in antioxidants which reduce inflammation. In addition, the Co-op works with farmers that supply us with clean antibiotic free wild fish and pastured meats. Choosing these animal products is critical due to the fact that the quality of the fat from these animals is rich in Omega-3s and other healthy fats instead of pro-inflammatory omega 6 fats. The Unrefined Olive Oil from Tunisia available at the Co-op is rich in important polyphenols that are critical for heart heath.
Shopping at the Doylestown Food Co-op serves you, your community and your heart!
Debbie Bernstein MD is a proud co-op member and eco-system partner. She is Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Integrative-Holistic Medicine, and is an Institute of Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner. She also has a Masters in Bio-Nutrition.
Her office is located in Lahaska and her website is www.drbholisticmd.com