Information about the OmniHeart diets

The Optimal Macronutrient Intake Trial for Heart Health (OmniHeart) study compared the effects of three heart-healthy diets, all based on the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet — one emphasized carbohydrates, another emphasized protein, and the third emphasized unsaturated fat. Although all three lowered blood pressure and improved cholesterol and triglyceride levels, the higher-protein and higher-unsaturated-fat diets worked best. The general plan for all three diets looked like this: (Locked) More »

October 2010 references and further reading

Sodium intake among adults — United States, 2005-2006. MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2010; 59:746-9. Sacks FM, Campos H. Dietary therapy in hypertension. New England Journal of Medicine 2010; 362:2102-12. Itamar Medical. Endothelial function assessment with Endo-PAT2000. (Locked) More »

Beating high blood pressure with food

A healthy diet that includes poultry, fish, whole grains, vegetables and fruits, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy products, and unsaturated fats can help control high blood pressure. More »

Standing guard over blood vessel health

The layer of endothelial cells that lines blood vessels helps protect them and keep them functioning properly, but smoking, poor diet, and other risk factors can damage the endothelium, opening the door to heart disease. (Locked) More »

Choosing the right replacement heart valve

If replacing a heart valve becomes necessary, the decision is mainly a choice between a mechanical valve or a tissue valve. A mechanical valve requires the recipient to take warfarin to prevent clotting and a tissue valve will not last as long as a mechanical one. When it comes to choosing a new heart valve, your doctor's advice is definitely important. But your personal preferences and situation should also be part of the decision. (Locked) More »

In Brief

Brief reports on anxiety disorders and increased risk of heart disease, the decline in trans fat use in fast food, and the health benefits of bicycling. (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: Am I exercising too much?

I am an 80-year-old man. Forty years ago I had a heart attack after completing a long hike. I stopped smoking but remained very active, doing a lot of hiking and kayaking. I now walk 2 to 3 miles a day, work out with weights three times a week, and walk up and down 25 flights of stairs twice a week. My blood pressure, with the help of medications, hovers around 125/70; my resting pulse is 55. A year ago I tore my quadriceps tendon, but am now back to my usual activities. My physician thinks I am pushing too hard and has urged me to take it easier. Is he right? Should I follow his recommendation? (Locked) More »

Ask the doctor: Are raw oats better than cooked oats?

My family has squabbled about oats for some time. Some members say that to get the biggest health benefit from oats you need to eat them raw, at room temperature, and moistened with water. Others say they should be cooked. Does cooking take something beneficial out of oats? Can you bring us some peace at breakfast time? (Locked) More »