Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital hosted its second annual “Heart Fest” Tuesday, Feb. 19.
The heart-focused event was a luncheon/lecture featuring two cardiologists.
Dr. Tomas Vybiral, founder of Blue Ridge Cardiology and Internal Medicine, spoke to the packed conference room about the “Paleolithic Diet.”
Insulin is a big culprit in health problems relating to weight, Vybiral said. Due to the current trend of high starch and sugar meals, the amount of natural insulin is increasing. When diabetes is discovered, the treatment - more insulin to prevent death from the existing insulin - can cause more severe weight gain than when untreated. The best way to avoid this is to cut out refined carbohydrates, he said.
“Lower your insulin level at all cost, whatever it takes,” he said.
He also noted how pet owners are often in better shape than those with no pets.
“As the saying goes, if your dog is fat, you need more exercise,” he said. The need for your pets to get out and walk is an opportunity for you to get your daily exercise, he said.
Dr. David Bohle of Winston-Salem Cardiology spoke on “Knowing Your Numbers,” explaining what physical and economic costs cardiovascular disease causes. In a PowerPoint presentation, he noted that 82 million men and women live with some degree of heart disease. In 2006, cardiovascular disease added up to $403 billion in medical costs.
“Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in our country. You can combine the top five cancers and you only get about half the number of patients that die from heart disease,” Bohle said. “Is it a natural part of aging? No. Heart disease by and far is treatable.”
Bohle listed five numbers patients and their doctors should keep tabs on. Blood pressure, lipids, weight, waist size, and blood sugar are all important figures to know, and he noted that waist size should be taken directly below the belly button, not down around the hips.
He gave several activities that could prevent the risk of heart disease as well. Like Vybiral, he noted the importance of dogs and cats to making people get out of the house and exercise. He said that when you and your doctor determine your health numbers, treat those numbers accordingly.
Also, eat smaller portions of food and allow yourself at least eight hours of sleep, Bohle said.
“God gave us three basic drives: hunger, thirst and sex,” he said. “(Sex) lowers your blood pressure, it burns some calories, it gives you that intimate time that you need with each other to lower anxiety and stress.”
He also noted that to lower stress levels at home, people should talk to their loved ones and have a strong belief system. “I still think its important to go to church on Sunday. I still think its important for people to have a personal relationship with a higher authority, because I know many times of need if I don’t pray I’m nothing.”
He summarized by recalling advice from the past. “We lost what our moms told us. Moms said ‘Go outside and play, eat right, get a good night’s sleep.’ We disobey our moms every day.”
In between the two speeches, Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital staff demonstrated healthy tips for making breakfast, “starting your day off right.” Through the use of heart-healthy breakfast tips like using egg whites instead of cholesterol-heavy whole eggs, or leaving salt out of meals, to using tub containers of butter rather than stick butter to avoid trans fats used in their production, the two staff members made healthy omelets and fruit salad, along with healthy oatmeal.
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