Heart Healthy Blog by Boston Heart

Southern Diet Made Heart Healthy

Posted by Qula Madkin, MS, RD, LD, CDE on Mar 23, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Recently, the American College of Cardiology released a comprehensive review of foods and diets. 1 Included in this review, people were advised to avoid a Southern diet due to evidence that it negatively impacts cardiovascular health. The Southern diet is typically high in added fats and oils, fried foods, eggs, organ and processed meats, and sugar-sweetened drinks. While this report provides great information for healthy living, it doesn’t do much for my Southern palate.

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Topics: Food and Nutrition, Expert Support

Incorporating Frozen Fruits – In the Kitchen with Caitlin

Posted by Caitlin Quinn Dunn, MS, RD, LDN on Mar 10, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Hi Everyone!  Welcome back to In the Kitchen with Caitlin, a blog series where I feature some lesser known ingredients and highlight ways to use them in delicious and healthy recipes.  Did you know March is National Frozen Food Month?  No?  Well, don’t feel bad, I didn’t either until just recently.  In honor of National Frozen Food Month, I’m going to blog about how to build a nutritious and delicious smoothie.  Smoothies are a great way to save some money on fruit by buying frozen.  I love having frozen fruit on hand because unlike fresh, it is picked in season and flash frozen so the flavors are great any time of year.  Also, frozen fruit, unlike canned, is typically frozen without any added sugar or juice so you’re just getting the fruit itself.  Lastly, keeping frozen fruit on hand means you don’t have to worry about it spoiling.  If you live alone, you may be deterred from buying fruit because it tends to spoil before you get a chance to eat it all, with frozen fruit you don’t have to worry about that!

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Topics: Food and Nutrition, Expert Support

“It’s OK. It’s good for you”

Posted by Peggy G. Daly, ND, FNP-BC, FNMM, ABAAHP, MBA on Feb 14, 2017 12:00:00 PM

“Not that one….get the one that’s 70% or higher,” are words of wisdom when it comes to chocolate!  Chemicals called polyphenols found in the cocoa of chocolate have tremendous health benefits.  Flavanols and flavanoids are sub-categories of polyphenols that act as antioxidants in the body. They have been shown to cause dilatation of the arteries (meaning the arteries become wider) by increasing a substance called nitric oxide. When nitric oxide is released, the arteries open up and blood pressure goes down.1 Studies show that cocoa intake can reduce blood pressure by 2-3 mm/hg. What if we combined modest exercise (30-40 mins/day), which lowers systolic blood pressure by 4-9 mm/hg, with cocoa polyphenols? 2,3 There are no clinical studies to tell us what the combination would do, but sometimes it’s the little changes that cause dramatic effects.  

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Topics: Food and Nutrition, Expert Support, Latest Science

NLA Guidelines – Sorting Fact from Fiction

Posted by Dominique Adair, MS, RD, CLS, TTS on Feb 9, 2017 10:34:00 AM

With nutrition information everywhere, it can be hard to tell fact from fiction.  Scientific breakthroughs happen from time to time, but they are very rarely “breakthrough” despite the sensational news headlines.  Making sense of these exaggerated news bites can be difficult for most.  In fact, the National Lipid Association, a well-respected organization of scientific professionals, just released their version of nutrition education materials1 to help healthcare providers help patients make better nutrition choices.   This marks a significant step forward in combatting nutrition mythology and in helping healthcare professionals provide legitimate nutrition education to their patients. 

I’ve always believed in the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Silly).   There is lots of sound information out there that is well supported by research, but we also see a lot of not so great or even downright harmful information being passed around.  Here are a few strategies I have shared with my clients over the years to help them detect the truth from the fiction:

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Topics: Food and Nutrition, Expert Support, Latest Science

Mind Over Matter – The Key to Lasting Change

Posted by Caroline Hoffman, MS, RD, CDE on Jan 3, 2017 8:00:00 AM

In my work with people to help them learn about healthy foods and eating, it is clear that the focus on behavior change extends well beyond the food.  Yes, learning about food labels, nutrients, and meal planning is key, but implementing behavior change is often the struggle.  The expression “mind over matter” really is true as many of us know what to do, we just cannot seem to do it. 

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Topics: Expert Support, Wellness, Empowerment

Quitting Tobacco – Practice Makes Perfect

Posted by Dominique Adair, MS, RD, CLS, TTS on Nov 17, 2016 10:30:00 AM

As it is Great American Smokeout Day, it is important to raise awareness that people trying to quit smoking often feel a lot of shame around failed attempts.  Reframing multiple quit attempts as practice for eventual success instead of submission to multiple failures can have an enlightening effect on someone trying to quit.  Understanding these challenges and some tobacco myths and half-truths can help people get closer to quitting smoking for good.

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

A Healthy Waist is Less than Half Your Height

Posted by Michael Dansinger, MD on Sep 8, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Leonardo da Vinci’s globally recognized illustration “Vitruvian Man”, created around 1490 AD, is an inspirational reminder that human bodies are amazingly symmetrical, beautiful and functional. For example, human arm span is the same length as body height, forming a square in his illustration. At the center of a circle, circumscribed by outstretched arms and legs, is the navel. The navel is also located at the “golden ratio” point along the human body. The golden ratio, a measure of symmetry and natural beauty famous among mathematicians and architects (symbolized by the Greek letter phi), can be found throughout the body when analyzing the lengths of related body parts, body dimensions, and facial features. In fact, symmetry and special ratios can be found throughout the natural world, and in the physical laws of nature and the universe.

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Topics: Expert Support, 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