Heart Healthy Blog by Boston Heart

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

Holiday Stress.  How to Keep Your Cool… and Your Heart Health

Posted by Erin Langbein, RD, LD on Dec 1, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Did you know that the winter months, particularly December, have the highest incidents of heart attacks?1  While this could be attributed to the time of year and overindulgence, emotional stress is also believed to be a major factor.  Stress is your mind-body response to the thrills and challenges of the world around you. It can come and go quickly (acute stress). Stress can also drag on for years and feel like intense anxiety (chronic stress). When you’re stressed, your body jumpstarts the “fight or flight” response as a reaction to perceived danger. Before you even have a chance to mentally process what’s happening, your body is preparing to enter a fist fight with a shark, or send you running from a spider.

While you can’t eliminate all causes of stress in your life, you can better understand your mind-body response and how to handle it.

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Topics: Wellness, Men's Health, Alternatives to Medication, Women's Health

Why Exercise is So Important for Diabetics

Posted by Chad Knutson, RD, CDN, CDE, CSCS on Nov 28, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Exercise can play a key role in managing diabetes in several different ways such as improved glucose uptake, improved insulin sensitivity, and increased glucose tolerance. The American Diabetes Association recommends those with prediabetes or diabetes get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 90 minutes of vigorous exercise per week. Ideally, this is at least 30 minutes 5 days per week. Let’s look more closely at how exercise can help manage pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.

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Topics: About Stroke, Diabetes and CVD, Wellness, Alternatives to Medication

6 Steps to Starting a Weight Loss Program that is Sustainable

Posted by Joi Gleason, RD, LDN, CHWC on Oct 27, 2016 11:30:00 AM


The quote by Lao Tzu, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is often associated with making lifestyle changes.   This connection is appropriate as it can be extremely difficult to change lifelong habits that may have contributed to obesity, ill health and disease risk. Tzu also instills a sense of hope that one single step is a beginning for change and that changing old habits is a journey and not something achievable overnight. 

Weight loss is most likely the best lifestyle medicine for reducing heart disease risk because it can lead to a lower blood pressure and improved diagnostic test results related to heart disease.1  Weight loss is also important for reducing risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome because excess fat on the body can lead to insulin resistance and higher blood sugars.  Since being overweight (over “fat”) plays a prominent role as a risk factor for the most common chronic diseases, it makes sense to begin the journey to better health by losing weight. 

Begin your weight loss journey with one of these six steps.

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Topics: Food and Nutrition, Wellness, Alternatives to Medication

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

8 Important Facts About Diabetes

Posted by Dominique Adair, MS, RD, CLS, TTS on Apr 7, 2016 11:37:00 AM

Diabetes is more common than you may think. In fact, type 2 diabetes affects some 18 million Americans! That means that you, your relatives and/or your friends may have diabetes or have been affected by it in some way. But how much do you actually know about diabetes?

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Topics: About Stroke, Diabetes and CVD, Wellness, Men's Health, Women's Health

How to Avoid Diabetes

Posted by Dominique Adair, MS, RD, CLS, TTS on Mar 10, 2016 11:24:00 AM

A few years ago a patient said to me, “Dominique, you act like everyone has diabetes.”  That really struck home. I had been explaining to him that he should exercise regularly (about 300 min/week) and eat a mostly plant-based diet with enough lean, heart healthy protein and occasional high-fiber grains. “That’s how my aunt has to eat,” he said. ”She has diabetes but I don’t,” he expressed. Suddenly, I realized what I had probably been recommending all along—eat as if you have diabetes and you are less likely to get it. 

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Topics: Food and Nutrition, About Stroke, Diabetes and CVD, Wellness

The Best Diet Isn’t a Diet at All But a Healthy ‘Eating Pattern’

Posted by Dominique Adair, MS, RD, CLS, TTS on Feb 11, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Eat less fat! No, eat more fat but only the right kinds! Wait! Eat low glycemic, high fiber, three meals, six meals, no, graze all day long!   All this nutrition information is ripe with plenty of good advice but also a lot of contradictions and myths. Sorting it out can be extremely confusing.

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