Heart disease….the world’s number one killer. James Gandolfini dead at 51. John Ritter shockingly dead 5 days shy of his 55th birthday. Michael Clarke Duncan, last September at 54 years of age. These are just a sprinkling of the celebrities we know and hear of. How many loved ones have you known that have lost their life to a mostly preventable disease?
Both the tragedy and bright side of cardiovascular disease is that it avoidable for the majority of the population. You can significantly reduce your risk for heart disease with your diet and lifestyle (a splash of the research here and here and here). Studies have shown that eating a whole food, plant-based diet reduces your risk for most of the biggest risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, poor cholesterol profile (specifically high LDL, low HDL, high triglycerides, and/or ratio of LDL:HDL of > 2:1), overweight and obesity, diabetes, and unhealthy diet. Other non-diet behaviors include smoking, lack of physical behaviors, and stress.
So sad to hear when people lose their lives tragically and/or suffer from the consequences of illnesses that are largely preventable. It is in these moments when we can remind ourselves and our loved ones how to remain as protected as possible and why our lifestyle matters. The most important variables you can modify to reduce your risk for heart disease are: