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Understanding Heart Health: Women, Heart Attacks & Lifestyle Changes

Understanding Heart Health: Women, Heart Attacks & Lifestyle Changes

In this interview, leading cardiologist, Dr. Aarush Manchanda, discusses how heart attacks differ in women and what we can do as individuals to improve our heart health.

The interview starts by discussing how we take advantage of our hearts and in a world full of supersized products, we need to be aware that heart health is different. Using his heart house analogy, Dr. Manchanda explains why this supersize trend is incredibly bad for your health.

If you think of your heart as a house, it has plumbing, electricity, doors, and walls, just like your home. For example, when we talk about the risk of heart attacks, diabetes and so on, we’re talking about the plumbing. And if you started pouring cigarettes, grease, fat or garbage down the pipes in your home, they’re going to get clogged. And, unfortunately, unlike your home, a super-size plunger is not going to help your heart!

Lifestyle habits slowly build up like a negative debt against us and lead to the number one cause of death – heart disease.

Is Heart Health Different in Women?

The interviewer asks Dr. Manchanda why there’s more publicity about women and heart attacks than there used to be. Has something changed or was this always the case?

Dr. Manchanda explains that it has always been this way but the media has started to build awareness of the risks women face. While women are hormonally active (until they hit menopause), they’re at much lower risk of having a heart attack than men. But by the time they hit the age of 65-68 they actually catch up with men who are the same age and are at just as much risk of having heart attacks (regardless of whether they’re lying about their age or not!).

What Can We Do About Our Heart Health?

Dr. Manchanda offers many lifestyle tips in his book because what we’ve learned over the years is that nobody wants to deal with the problem. Prevention is better than a cure, which is why his lifestyle tips help to prevent this.

The top things are to be active, quit smoking and eat more vegetables, greens, and fiber. The roughage in our diet binds to fat and helps you to poop it out, reducing how much is absorbed into our bodies (no plunger required!). Dr. Manchanda also emphasizes that we need to reduce our stress levels through things like Yoga or meditation. Making these things a part of our daily lifestyle will hopefully lead to a healthier America and a healthier world.

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