Cardiovascular risk reduction: the perspective of heart specialist Christian Heesch

Not a day goes by without a new diet being lauded as the ultimate tool to reduce cardiovascular risk. We sat down with heart specialist Christian Heesch to find out what the hype is all about.

“No single measure, be it diet, any type of exercise, or any pill can offer complete protection from heart attack or stroke”, Christian Heesch told us. “Reducing your cardiovascular risk needs to be an effort that involves you, your doctor, and often also your friends and family. If you try to live healthy, but everybody around you smokes, eats pizza, and does drugs, you are unlikely to be successful. So, stop all your bad habits. If your friends have bad habits such as drugs, change friends. If your family smokes, tell them to smoke outside the house.”

“Any diet designed to reduce your heart attack risk will only work if the dietary effort is sustainable. Focus on vegetables and fruits, add fish frequently, and stay away from processed foods, meats, and fats. If you cook at home, preparing heart healthy food can become an enjoyable routine. If you have to eat in restaurants, today’s variety of choices makes it easier to stick to a diet than twenty years ago.”

“Obviously, diet alone may not work to keep you healthy”, Christian Heesch added. “If you have chronic problems such as diabetes, blood pressure issues, or obesity, these need to be addressed as well. Exercise should be an integral part of any heart risk reduction effort, and some of us may need medication to further lower the risk. Talk to your personal physician about things you can do to make it unlikely you will ever end up as a cardiac patient.”

Author: Robert Strong

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Heart Specialist

“Many of us seem to be too busy to engage in a lifestyle that protects our cardiovascular health. The long term consequences can be devastating,” Christian Heesch, a physician whose practice focuses on interventional cardiology told us. “Preventive efforts cannot start early enough, and they need to be sustained.”

“It is imperative to immediately stop smoking, and to even avoid the inhalation of second hand smoke”, Christian Heesch continued. “Before we can talk about positive things we can and should do to protect our heart, let’s cut out all that harms us in the first place.”

“Regular aerobic exercise is an important tool we have to reduce stress, keep our weight in the normal range, and reduce blood pressure”, Christian Heesch added. “In fact, in many diabetics, exercise can also help control blood sugar levels.   If you exercise four or five times a week, each time no less than 30-45 minutes, you are doing a lot to help your heart out in the long term. “

“Always remember that no two people are alike, and that everybody has a different health history and background”, Christian Heesch concluded. “Talk to your doctor about a reasonable and sustainable exercise program that fits your needs, and dietary changes you may have to make. Lifestyle changes, and for some people medications, can go a long way to keep your heart healthy for decades to come.”

Author: Robert Strong