You often hear the same refrain in magazines, blogs, newspapers, and even your doctor… eat a healthy diet and adopt a healthy lifestyle and you can reduce your risk of myocardial infarction (MI) or in layman’s terms…heart attack. But how much do diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes impact your heart attack risk?
Many people, and even some doctors, are still skeptical at how much diet, exercise and lifestyle really impact your risk of heart attack. Often times, clients try their best to make changes but at the end of the day they fall short, and resort to taking medications – typically statin drugs that reduce all-cause mortality (death from any disease condition).
A new study, hot off the press shines a powerful light on just how much influence you can have on reducing your risk factors. The September 30th issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that each of the following lifestyle factors independently conferred lower risk of heart attacks:
1) Healthy diet
2) Moderate alcohol consumption
3) Smaller waist circumference
4) Not smoking
If you are able to incorporate all five lifestyle changes, you would reduce your risk of heart attack by a whopping 86%! The results were so compelling that study author Dr Agneta Akesson wrote “the benefit of combined diet, lifestyle, and healthy body weight may prevent up to approximately four out of five cases of MI [heart attacks].” Imagine reducing heart attack rates by 80% with simple changes in diet, exercise, and lifestyle … it is possible!
If you are struggling with poor diet, excessive alcohol intake, weight gain, smoking, or lack of activity then start by addressing one factor at a time. Once that becomes manageable, you can think about addressing another factor on the list.
Take an pro-active role in your health, the research shows it’s your best bet to a long and healthy life!
Yours in health,
Dr. Marc Bubbs ND, CSCS