February is American Heart Month: Let’s get make our heart healthy for 2019

By Liliya Slutsker, M.D.

Special to The Tribune

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. The month of February is American Heart Month and a time for us, as a community, to stay aware of the disease and steps to take for prevention.

Although it remains the leading killer in both men and women, according to the American Heart Association, the number of deaths from heart disease has dropped in the recent decades due to public health campaigns addressing common risks factors such as smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, a diet high in saturated fat and alcohol abuse.

So, what are biggest lifestyle changes people can address for prevention of such disease? 

The answer seems obvious, but it can be a difficult thing for people to embrace. If you are at risk for heart disease, ask your health care physician to help you embrace a healthy lifestyle and help empower you to take control of your health in order to halt and reverse this disease. There are options other than medication and surgery.

There have been pilot studies where people with heart disease were asked to eliminate any kind of oil, meat, chicken, fowl, turkey, eggs and avoid all dairy products (cream, butter, cheese, ice cream, or yogurt) and cut back on sugar. Patients began to lose weight and began to lose symptoms of heart disease. Some patients completely reversed the changes.

And a lot of patients would say: “I could never give up meat. I could never give up dairy,” but along the way, their quality of life improves so much that they were thankful they changed their lifestyle.

Some patients I see are fighting diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and obesity. At CMS we provide a non-invasive medical approach to weight loss by choosing the best diet, exercise, and pharmacotherapy. Together, we can keep you on the path to a healthy lifestyle, but the power is in your hands.

The results have been very rewarding in that they began to lose weight and lose symptoms of heart disease. There are also patients that find it difficult to make sudden changes but are agreeing to take small steps to increase a healthy lifestyle. It is important to know, however,  that many people look for excuses not to make a lifestyle change before realizing its great benefits. Once we begin to change our mindset, we can really think differently about the benefits or damages of certain foods.

In fact, we can all agree that the Western diet looks, smells and taste good. One may not feel pain while eating these foods, it can injure our health. On the other hand, whole foods and vegetables also look, smells and taste good. It also can heal your body to provide health benefits as discussed above.

“How about if I just meet in the middle,” you ask? You can have a small heart attack or a small stroke or have a modest amount of erectile dysfunction – but if you are really going to keep your vessels clean and protect yourself from heart disease, you need to commit to an overall healthy lifestyle and follow a plant-based diet.

You can do this and Carrington Medical Spa is happy to help you embrace and empower you during your journey. Let’s work together this February during American Heart Month! 

Dr. Liliya Slutsker is a board-certified physician and member of the Obesity medicine association and has proudly served communities in New York, Georgia, and Alabama for over 22 years guiding patients to a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Slutsker believes in a holistic approach to weight loss and management, including diet, exercise, genetic testing and the aid of medication — all tailored to an individual’s need.