South Heartland Health shares heart health tips for American Heart Month

HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – February is American Heart Month and the South Heartland District Health Department is highlighting the importance of heart health and preventing cardiovascular disease during the month.

According to health experts, one person dies from cardiovascular disease every 33 seconds globally.

Director Michele Bever said what makes cardiovascular disease so dangerous, is that it can lead to a lot of life-threatening conditions in patients.

”Cardiovascular diseases are diseases of the heart and blood vessels and there’s a set of conditions as a result of a substance called plaque that’s building up in our arteries and these conditions could be coronary artery disease, where it’s chest pain, heart attack, or stroke,” Bever said.

She added that cardiovascular disease is not only the leading cause of death nationwide but also prevalent in the state of Nebraska.

”About 1 in 12 people have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease and these are the leading causes of death across the nation actually and if you have diabetes than you’re two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than those who do not have diabetes,” Bever said.

In addition to being a leading cause of death, she mentioned that the disease also imposes a financial burden on families, with healthcare costs exceeding $422.3 billion between 2019 and 2020.

To lower the risk of the disease and improve your overall cardiovascular health, Bever emphasized the importance of making lifestyle changes and educating yourself about the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

”Both diabetes and cardiovascular disease have similar risk factors, so it’s important to learn or find out if you have those risk factors and think about whether to take some next steps and make some changes and there’s some things everyone can do to make their risk

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Study Answers if a Low-Carb Diet or Low-Fat Diet Helps You Live Longer

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  • New research determines whether a low-carb or low-fat diet is better for longevity.

  • Researchers found that participants who followed one diet had an 18% lower mortality rate than those that followed the other.

  • Experts interpret the findings.

When it comes to diets, every kind of eating plan boasts different benefits, whether it’s weight loss, reducing inflammation, or boosting your brain power. Now, new research finds out if a low-carb diet or a low-fat diet promotes longevity.

The study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine looked at the effects of both low-carbohydrate diets and low-fat diets to determine which of the two helped people live a longer life—and the results may surprise you.

Researchers analyzed data from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, which in 1995 and 1996 recruited AARP members ages 50 to 71. Study participants were asked to complete a food questionnaire. Participants who reported having cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, end-stage kidney disease, or other health issues were excluded from the analysis—which left 371,159 participants in total.

The participants’ food choices were categorized based on how closely they resembled a “healthy” low-carb or “healthy” low-fat diet. A healthy low-carb diet was defined as a high intake of unsaturated fats with limited consumption of low-quality carbohydrates, such as refined grains, added sugars, fruit juice, and starchy vegetables. A healthy low-fat diet included plant-based proteins, high-quality carbohydrates, like whole grains, whole fruit, legumes, and non-starchy vegetables, and limited saturated fat.

After following up around 23.5 years later, researchers found that participants whose eating patterns were most similar to the healthy low-fat diet had an overall mortality rate that was 18% lower than those with eating patterns

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