We all know that smoking kills. So what do we do with people who smoke? We offer programs and support to equip them with the tools to quit.
And yet, if someone with hypertension or high cholesterol goes to the doctor, odds are they will be told to take pills that only mask their symptoms – even though the real issue is their lifestyle choices. Is this any different to giving smokers pills that suppress coughing, while they go on smoking?
There is now overwhelming evidence that heart disease can be reversed with healthy lifestyle. We no longer have to accept a lifetime of taking drugs.
At my primary care practice, Lifestyle Medical, many patients have experienced genuine healing and eliminated medications through living out these four pillars of health.
First, follow these simple principles with your nutrition.
WHOLE FOODS. The closer to its original form, the better.
EAT MINDFULLY. We tend to more than we really want or need to when our mind is elsewhere, such as watching TV. Enjoy your food with your full attention, and you will naturally stop eating earlier as your body sends signals that you have had enough.
MOSTLY PLANTS. Saturated fats found in animal products, especially processed meats and cheeses, clog your arteries.
Second, set up your daily routine so that you move more. 150 minutes of moderate activity per week is recommended, but don’t worry too much about the specifics. The best kind of physical activity is the kind that you enjoy.
Third, aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night, and dedicate time each day and week to refresh your mind, such as through meditation or journaling.
Fourth, invest in the relationships in your life. While it may not seem obvious, there is clear evidence that quality social support matters for heart health. It is also important to connect with your spirituality.
With the pandemic around us, it is more important than ever to take control of chronic conditions. If you would like to take action, feel free to meet us by scheduling an appointment.