Heart Healthy Blog by Boston Heart

Do You Really Know What is Healthy for You to Eat?

Posted by Joi Gleason, RD, LDN, CHWC on Aug 11, 2016 11:18:00 AM


An interesting survey by the New York Times was conducted recently that caught my attention.  The survey data were used to compare the opinions of expert nutritionists with the opinions of the general public about the healthfulness of a variety of foods.  Results of the survey demonstrated a number of differences between the way the public and nutritionists rated several foods.  For example, over 70% of the public felt granola bars were healthy, whereas only 30% of nutritionists felt the same.  Why is there a difference of opinion?

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Topics: Food and Nutrition, Men's Health, Women's Health

Should You be Taking CoQ10?

Posted by Peggy G. Daly, ND, FNP-BC, FNMM, ABAAHP, MBA on Jul 28, 2016 2:39:04 PM

CO…what???  That’s a common response when I ask a patient to start taking Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), also known as ubiquinone (or in activated form ubiquinol)!  Yes CoQ10 has a funny name but your body needs it to produce energy in every cell. 

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Topics: Latest Science, Men's Health, Alternatives to Medication, Women's Health

5 Ways to Increase Your Hidden Superhero (HDL Cholesterol)

Posted by Michael Dansinger, MD & Kristy Consalvo, MBA on Jul 14, 2016 11:20:00 AM

Have you ever felt you have a superpower inside of you? Well, you do! Every single one of us does—it’s our High Density Lipoprotein (HDL).  What makes HDL a superpower? HDL particles in the blood- helps to clear out excess cholesterol from your arteries helping to reduce your risk of forming a blockage which could lead to a heart attack or stroke.1

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Topics: Latest Science, Men's Health, Alternatives to Medication, Women's Health

Ditch the Quick Fix Diet And Set Yourself Up for Success

Posted by Joi Gleason, RD, LDN, CHWC on Jun 30, 2016 11:32:00 AM

“Lose 10 pounds in 10 days!” Wow, that sounds amazing!  Who wouldn’t want to try that? Practically everyone could restrict their calories for 10 days.  But, the plain truth is that the very low calorie approach needed to achieve this type of rapid weight loss is difficult to maintain for very long and might be unhealthy.  Also, the weight that you lose is mostly water along with a mix of your precious lean tissue (muscles) and some body fat.  Then, after you suffer through the 10 days, you return to your previous way of eating only to quickly gain back the ten pounds and possibly more. 

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Topics: Expert Support, Men's Health, Women's Health

6 Ways to Eat Mindfully

Posted by Debanjali Ghosh, MA on Jun 16, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Food is our primary life source. It’s delicious, powerful, has the ability to prevent and cause disease, and can make us simultaneously feel in and out of control.  Unfortunately, over time, we have cultivated dysfunctional relationships with food. These relationships, however, do not have to be permanent. Incorporating mindful practices into your eating provides you with opportunities to learn, grow, and love the way that you eat on a daily basis! Eating mindfully can help you find what works for you as an individual and encourage you to embrace a sustainable lifestyle. 

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Topics: Food and Nutrition, Men's Health, Empowerment, Women's Health

Targeting Better Heart Disease Prevention

Posted by Michael Dansinger, MD on Jun 2, 2016 11:32:00 AM


Great news! A recently published study highlights and strengthens the evidence supporting a key principle and effective strategy in heart disease prevention. In this study1, published by the American Diabetes Association’s peer-reviewed journal Diabetes Care, Dr. Nathan Wong and colleagues demonstrate the tremendous health benefits of cumulative cardiovascular risk factor optimization.

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Topics: About Stroke, Diabetes and CVD, Latest Science

Redefining “Healthy” – A Welcome Change for Nutrition Labels

Posted by Joi Gleason, RD, LDN, CHWC on May 19, 2016 11:28:00 AM


When choosing foods, what does the word “healthy” on the label mean to you?  Last week the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) labeling rules and regulations were in the news because of new thinking about an outdated definition for the food label claim, “healthy.”  In the 1990s when “healthy” was defined, it was mostly based on a food being low in fat – regardless of the type of fat. At the time, the amount of sugar wasn’t even considered!   

Fast forward twenty years and we now know much more about nutrition and what makes a food healthy or not healthy.  At the same time, food label claims are becoming more and more important, because people are seeking and choosing products that will have positive health benefits. Current food package definitions including “healthy” are often misleading to consumers and persuade them to make unhealthy choices. The fact that the FDA will be rethinking their modern definition of healthy is welcome news. In addition, proposals to improve the nutrition facts panel include making the serving size and calorie information more prominent and providing the gram amounts per serving for added sugars. While the FDA is working to redefine healthy, here are some quick and easy tips you can use to make healthy choices.

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Topics: Food and Nutrition, Latest Science, Men's Health, Women's Health

How Important is Exercise to Your Overall Health?

Posted by Joi Gleason, RD, LDN, CHWC on May 5, 2016 11:28:00 AM

Recently, I read a blog suggesting that exercise isn’t as important for weight loss as a healthy diet. I can’t argue the fact that a healthy diet, with just enough calories and a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats is important if you are trying to lose weight.  However, if you think you can skip your workout because you eat healthy, think again!

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Topics: Wellness, Men's Health, Women's Health

5 Tips to Keep You Motivated to Exercise

Posted by Briana Jones, RN, BSN on Apr 22, 2016 9:05:15 AM

The third Monday in April is Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts, but ever since I moved to Boston 10 years ago I’ve thought of it as “Marathon Monday.” Every year I look forward to cheering on the runners, whether it’s humid and 90 degrees or 40 degrees and pouring rain. Whether you’re a runner or a fan, it’s easy to be motivated by the Boston Marathon. Maybe it’s the thousands of people running for charity, the site of the most elite runners in the world, or the amazing Hoyt family, but I don’t have to look hard at the Boston Marathon to be inspired. I walk away from the Marathon every year determined to exercise more regularly and improve my fitness and strength. This year was no different than the others. On April 18, I left the Boston Marathon with renewed energy towards my fitness routine.

In the past, I have managed to stick with my regimen for a few months. And even though the benefits of regular exercise, including decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes, cannot be overstated, I find staying on track can be hard, especially during the summer.

If you struggle with consistency in your exercise, you’re not alone. Most people want to exercise and have great intentions, but life often gets in the way. So how can we improve? 

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Topics: Men's Health, Empowerment, Women's Health

Minnesota Coronary Experiment—Trying To See In A Blizzard?

Posted by Michael Dansinger, MD on Apr 19, 2016 2:20:07 PM

I was startled last week by new research study findings that have unexpectedly “transported” me back to my own origins and fundamental assumptions. This study originated in Minnesota in the 1960’s—and so did I. The newly published results of the Minnesota Coronary Experiment, conducted nearly a half-century ago, have made headlines and raised uncertainty and controversy about how dietary intake causes heart disease and atherosclerosis.

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Topics: Food and Nutrition, About Stroke, Diabetes and CVD, Latest Science