Heart Health

10 Tips for a Heart-Healthy Diet

Veggie Heart HealthyA healthy diet is one of the best ways to combat heart disease. And including healthier choices in your diet isn’t hard, since there are lots of delicious heart-healthy foods available, including whole grain breads, fruit, vegetables, fish, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and even chocolate. There are also some things you should avoid—or avoid too much of. Below are 10 tips to help you get on the path to a more heart-healthy diet.

  1. Eat Fish Regularly 
    Omega-3 fatty acids (eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA) that are found naturally in fish can provide numerous cardiovascular benefits, including reducing blood triglycerides, reducing blood clotting and regulating heart rhythms.
  2. Include Lycopene-Rich Foods in Your Diet
    Lycopene is a plant nutrient that has been associated with reducing the risk of heart disease. There is lots of lycopene in tomato products (particularly cooked ones), pink grapefruit and watermelon.
  3. Eat the Right Kinds of Fat
    Aim for a balance of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Research indicates that both types have benefits, including reducing the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood. Try choosing extra virgin olive oil or canola oil instead of butter or margarine, and natural peanut butter rather than the kind with hydrogenated fat added. Also, almonds, cashews, pistachios and walnuts are good sources of healthy fat and make for easy snacks.
  4. Eat Plenty of Colorful Fruits and Vegetables
    In general, richly colored fruits and vegetables contain lots of helpful plant nutrients, and many have been shown to help protect against heart disease, among other health conditions.
  5. Include Plenty of Fiber in Your Diet
    A diet high in both soluble and insoluble fiber can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Soluble fiber, in particular, helps lower cholesterol levels. Good sources of soluble fiber include oats, oat bran, fruits (such as apples, pears, citrus fruits and berries), vegetables, (like carrots, cabbage and sweet potatoes) and legumes. Insoluble fiber is found in grain products like whole-grain breads, cereals and pastas.
  6. Eat Chocolate—in Moderation
    Milk chocolate, dark chocolate and bittersweet chocolate all contain a unique kind of saturated fat — stearic acid — that doesn’t raise blood cholesterol levels, and dark chocolate is also a good source of substances called antioxidants that are helpful in combating heart disease and other health problems. But chocolate also contains added sugars and caffeine , which should be consumed in limited portions (see below), so don’t eat too much.
  7. Try the DASH Eating Plan
    “DASH” stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.” The DASH diet is low in total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol, and rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts. In addition to helping with hypertension, the DASH diet may also help lower cholesterol. Learn more about the DASH Eating Plan.
  8. Reduce Salt
    Salt makes the body retain fluid, which can strain the heart. This can lead to increased blood pressure and added burden on your heart muscle. Try replacing added salt in your diet with fresh or dried herbs, lemon, onion or no-salt seasonings. Get ideas for other tasty salt substitutes.
  9. Limit Caffeine
    While there isn’t a consensus on the effects coffee can have on your heart, many experts recommend limiting caffeine intake to the equivalent of no more than three or four cups of coffee a day. But remember that other foods and drinks, such as tea, chocolate and many soft drinks, also contain caffeine and factor these into your daily total as well.
  10. Curb Added Sugars
    More than sugars found naturally in fruit and dairy products, added sugars are associated with elevated bad cholesterol and triglycerides and low good cholesterol, which increase the risk of heart disease.

If you are a woman who thinks you may be at a higher risk of developing heart disease, call 404-778-7777 to schedule a comprehensive cardiovascular risk assessment with an Emory Women’s Heart Center specialist.

About Dr. Cutchins

Alexis Cutchins, MDAlexis Cutchins, MD is an assistant professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Cutchins completed medical school at Emory University School of Medicine before going to New York Presbyterian Hospital for her internship and residency in internal medicine. She completed an NIH-supported research fellowship in vascular biology and a clinical fellowship in cardiovascular diseases at the University of Virginia in 2012. She has a special interest in heart disease in women, in addition to heart disease prevention and risk reduction in cardiology patients.

About the Emory Women’s Heart Center

Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening for, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Price Lundberg, MD , provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessments and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease, as well as a full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease. Call 404-778-7777 to schedule a comprehensive cardiac screening and find out if you are at risk for heart disease.

Related Links

Looking for a Great Heart Healthy Recipe for Your Spring BBQ? We Can Help!

Red Bean SaladIt is spring time and that means it is time to get outside and enjoy the gorgeous weather! Enjoy this tasty heart healthy recipe provided by the Emory Women’s Heart Center to to add some variety to your spring/summer cookout.

Red Bean Salsa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 – 15.5 ounce can red beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • Lime slices (optional)

In medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour to blend flavors. Garnish with lime slices if desired.

The Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. Take the online heart disease risk assessment quiz to see if you are at risk for heart disease and if so, schedule your Cardiac Screening today to get individualed action plan for ensuring your heart is ready for the fun of summer! Call 404-778-7777 to learn more.

Heart Disease Screening

About Dr. Cutchins

Alexis Cutchins, MDDr. Alexis Cutchins has published several different articles on adipose tissue distribution and obesity in journals such as Circulation Research, Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology and Stroke and has a special interest in the effects of adipose tissue distribution on the heart.

Dr. Cutchins is board certified in Internal Medicine (2007) and Cardiovascular Diseases (2012). She is a member of several professional organizations including the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.

Dr. Cutchins sees patients at Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Emory University Hospital Midtown and Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Emory Saint Joseph’s. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, their three daughters and their dog. She loves to cook and ride horses.

Related Links

Emory Women’s Heart Center
Quiz – find out if you are at risk for heart disease
Eat Heart Healthy – Mediterranean Salmon Recipe via Dr. Cutchins
What is Congestive Heart Failure? Can I Prevent It?
Emory Healthcare Healthy Recipes Pinterest Board

Congenital Heart Defects in Newborns

newbornCongenital heart defects (CHDs) are abnormalities present at birth that can affect the structure and function of the heart. Approximately 1% of infants born in the United States have CHDs. A baby’s heart begins to develop at conception, but is completely formed by eight weeks into the pregnancy. CHDs occur during this crucial first eight weeks of the baby’s development. Specific steps must take place in order for the heart to form correctly. Often, CHDs are a result of one of these crucial steps not happening at the right time, leaving a hole where a dividing wall should have formed or a single blood vessel where two ought to be, for example.

Some CHDs are known to be associated with genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome, but the cause of most CHDs is unknown. In these cases, doctors generally assume the cause is some mixture of environmental and inherited (genetic) factors.

Common types of congenital heart defects, which can affect any part of the heart or its surrounding structures, include:

While CHDs sometimes go undiagnosed for years — even into adulthood — others cause serious symptoms at birth, requiring the infant to be placed in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for immediate evaluation by a cardiologist.

Today there are more treatment options for CHDs than ever before, and most defects are treated successfully. If you suspect that your child has a heart defect, the sooner you get medical attention, the better chance your child will have of making the fullest recovery possible.

About Dr. Campbell

Robert Campbell, MD, is chief of cardiac services and director of cardiology at Children’s Sibley Heart Center. Dr. Campbell earned his medical degree from Emory University, where he also completed a residency in pediatrics. He completed a pediatric cardiology fellowship at the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

About the Congenital Heart Center of Georgia

The Congenital Heart Center of Georgia is a collaboration between Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory Healthcare. The Congenital Heart Center of Georgia is a comprehensive program for children and adults with congenital heart disease that provides a continuum of lifesaving care from before birth through adulthood. It is the first comprehensive congenital heart disease program in the South and one of the largest in the country. The program is led by Emory Healthcare cardiologist Wendy Book, MD, Robert Campbell, MD, chief of cardiac services and director of cardiology at Children’s Sibley Heart Center, and Brian Kogon, MD, chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery. To schedule an appointment, please call 404-778-7777.

Related Links

Are You Looking to Get Your Heart and Diet into Shape for Summer Swim Season?

Apple HeartIf so, Emory Women’s Heart Center nurse practitioner, Christine Nell – Dybdahl NP-C, MPH, MSN, has some recommendations to help you shape up your heart for the summer and for life. Chris recommends patients follow the 2011 Heart Disease Prevention Guidelines for Women and follow a Mediterranean style heart healthy lifestyle habits. Chris notes that many of her female clients are unaware of the specific dietary intake recommendations for women.

Suggestions based on a 2000 calorie diet per day.

  • Load up on Fruits and vegetables!
  • Fruits and vegetables should visually take up half of your plate.
  • You should aim for at least 4 ½ cups a day of nonstarchy, fruits and vegetables.
  • When possible, make the veggie to fruit ratio be greater than two to one.
  • Examples of serving size are:

½ cup juice
1 small fruit
¼ cup dried no sugar added fruit
1 cup raw veggie
½ cup cooked veggie

Make sure to consume foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids!

  • We recommend women should consume (preferably fatty fish), at least two times a week.
  • Daily average intake of omega 3’s should be approximately 1,000 mg.
  • Examples of serving size is:

A single serving of fish is 3 ½ ounces, or about the size of a deck of cards.

  • One serving of salmon has between 1,000 to 1,800mg of omega 3 fatty acids.

Nuts, legumes, and seeds should be eaten at least four times a week.

  • Examples of servings size:

1 ½ ounces nuts (A combo of walnuts and almonds is great)
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
½ cup legumes or beans
½ ounce of seeds

Eat your Fiber!

  • Fiber should be around 30 grams per day.
  • Consumer soluble fibers to help with lowering blood cholesterol.
  • Example:

One cup of cooked winter squash or pinto beans equals 4 grams of soluble fiber.

Don’t forget your whole grains!

  • Avoid refined grain products.
  • Consume approximately 3 whole grain servings per day.
  • Examples:

Two slices of whole wheat bread equals 2 grams of soluble fiber.
½ cup of brown rice

Limit sugar, alcohol, sodium, fat, and cholesterol intake.

  • Added sugars should be limited to six teaspoons or 24 grams per day.
  • Limit alcohol to no more than one serving per day.
  • Examples:

4 ounces of wine
12 ounce beer
1.5 ounce of 80-proof spirits

  • Limit sodium to fewer than 1,500mg daily.

Remember that a teaspoon is equal to about 2400mg/day.
Did you know that most of the sodium consumed in the American diet comes from breads?

  • Limit saturated fat to fewer than 7% of your total energy intake.

This is estimated to be less than 15 grams per day.
This should be lowered to 5% if you have high blood cholesterol.

  • Limit cholesterol intake to under 150mg/day.

The average egg yolk has about 180mg of cholesterol.

  • Avoid trans-fatty acids.

Avoid any foods that have the ingredient “hydrogenated”.

Make time during the busy summer season to exercise! In addition to these heart healthy dietary recommendations, be sure to accumulate 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. This can be accomplished in at least 10 minute increments such as with brisk walking during a break at work.

For weight loss, this recommendation should be increased to 60-90 minutes per day. Additionally, for weight loss, many women should consider reducing their calorie intake to about 1,200-1,500 calories per day. It is also helpful to do at least 2 days per week of muscle strengthening activities.

Take the heart disease risk assessment quiz to determine if you are at risk for heart disease!

To get a full assessment of your heart health, schedule your heart screening today:

Heart Disease Screening

References

  • Mosca, et al. AHA Guidelines for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Women. JACC 2011:57; 1404-1423.

About the Emory Women’s Heart Center

Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.

Christine Nell – Dybdahl, NP – C, MPH, MSN has been a registered nurse since 1994 and a nurse practitioner since 1998. She brings to the practice over 20 years of cardiology experience. She is the clinical nurse director for Emory’s Center for Heart Disease Prevention and is active with the Emory’s Women’s Heart Program. She received her BSN from Kent State University and her dual
master degrees from Emory University in nursing (board certified family nurse practitioner) and public health (health education and promotion). Her interests include cardiovascular disease prevention, heart healthy life style changes, cholesterol abnormalities, women’s heart care, and family-involved chronic heart disease management. Chris is a member of the American College of Cardiology, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She makes it a priority to connect interested patients and researchers at Emory. She is the founder and clinical leader of the Women Living with Angina Support Group. She has co-authored several journal articles and has spoken at many conferences on a wide variety of topics

Related Links

Emory Women’s Heart Center
Quiz – Are you at risk for heart disease?
Top Symptoms of Heart Attacks in Women
Eat Heart Healthy – Mediterranean Salmon Recipe via Dr. Cutchins

What Is Congenital Heart Disease?

Congenital Heart GraphicCongenital heart disease, or CHD, is a broad term that covers a range of conditions present at the time of birth that can affect the structure and function of the heart. CHD is the most common type of birth defect, but thanks to a number of advances in medical and surgical treatment, more and more children with CHD are surviving into adulthood. In fact, according to the Adult Congenital Heart Association (ACHA), there are about one million adults living with CHDs in the U.S.

Some of the most common conditions that cause congenital heart disease include:

As children with CHDs grow into adults, they need ongoing specialty cardiac care. Yet, this high-risk group often experiences lapses in cardiac care due to the perception that they are “fixed” or because they aren’t experiencing symptoms. Moreover, CHDs are so closely associated with infancy and childhood that people often think the conditions just don’t affect adults.

The Congenital Heart Center of Georgia was created to bridge the gap between pediatric and adult care for people with CHDs. If you were born with a CHD and haven’t been evaluated regularly by a cardiologist, you were recently diagnosed with a CHD or you have a child who will be transitioning into adult care in the near future, learn more about the Congenital Heart Center of Georgia and make an appointment today.

About Dr. Book

Wendy Book, MDWendy Book, MD , is the director of the Emory Adult Congenital Heart Center. She has 15 years of experience in adult congenital heart disease, including clinical and research experience. She has a background in heart failure, transplantation and pulmonary hypertension, which complement skills of other Emory Adult Congenital Heart Center physicians. She is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology.

About the Congenital Heart Center of Georgia

The Congenital Heart Center of Georgia is a collaboration between Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory Healthcare. The Congenital Heart Center of Georgia is a comprehensive program for children and adults with congenital heart disease (CHD) that provides a continuum of lifesaving care from before birth through adulthood. It is the first comprehensive CHD program in the South and one of the largest in the country. The program is led by Emory Healthcare cardiologist Wendy Book, MD, along with Robert Campbell, MD, chief of cardiac services and director of cardiology at Children’s Sibley Heart Center. To schedule an appointment please call 404-778-7777.

Related Links

Wake up your Taste Buds with this Fun, Summer Heart Healthy Chicken Recipe!

Fruity Chicken RecipeDo you think that you can’t have healthy and tasty in the same meal? Well, think again, this grilled chicken recipe provides tons of heart healthy benefits and also tastes amazing! Try it out at your next summer cookout!

Grilled Chicken with Warm Fruit Salsa

Ingredients

  • 3 kiwi fruits
  • 1 cup strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup cantaloupe melon, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • Hot cooked rice (optional)

Preparation Information
Peel kiwi fruit and cut into π – inch thick slices. Cut slices in half to form half circles. Toss kiwi fruit rounds with strawberries, melon cubes, and tarragon in bowl. Heat olive oil in small saucepan. Stir in shallots and sauté until soft, but not brown. Stir in vinegar and pepper, and heat until mixture boils. Drizzle hot dressing over fruit, tossing gently to mix well. Set fruit aside to marinate for one to two hours. Grill or broil chicken breasts until cooked through. Spoon fruit salsa over chicken just before serving over rice.

Nutritional Information
Yield – 4 Servings
1 chicken breast with 2/3 cup fruit
Calories: 225
Fat: 6 grams
Cholesterol: 68 milligrams
Sodium: 82 milligrams

Spring time is also the perfect time to get your heart checked in time for summer! Schedule your heart screening today with an Emory Women’s Heart Center cardiologist

About the Emory Women’s Heart Center

Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.

About Susmita Parashar, MD, MPH, MS

Susmita Parashar, MDSusmita Parashar, MD, MPH, MS is a Board certified cardiologist at the Emory Heart and Vascular Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at Emory University School of Medicine. Prior to joining as faculty in the Division of Cardiology, Dr Parashar was Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of General Medicine at Emory for 8 years. She applies her experience as a Board certified internist in providing a holistic care to patients. She was awarded the American Heart Association (AHA) Trudy Bush Fellowship for Cardiovascular Research in Women’s Health Award to recognize outstanding work in the area of women’s health and cardiovascular disease and Emory Department of Medicine Early Career Faculty Research Award for Clinical Research.

Dr. Parashar completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Medical College of Georgia, Augusta and Cardiology fellowship at Emory University. She completed her Master of Public Health and a Master of Science from Emory in 2005. A passionate clinician-researcher and educator, she trains medical students, residents and cardiology fellows. In addition, she conducts clinical research. Dr Parashar’s clinical and research focus is in preventive cardiology with a focus on women and cardiovascular diseases.

She has received several grants and awards from the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the AHA to conduct research on women and heart disease. She has served as Emory principal investigator for large NIH funded clinical research for heart attack patients. She was also invited to participate as a co-investigator for the NIH funded Cardiovascular Health Study for older adults. She has presented her work in national and international scientific meetings, including the AHA Annual Session, AHA Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke, American College of Cardiology Annual Session, Society of General Internal Medicine and International Congress of Coronary Heart Disease.

Dr. Parashar has authored/coauthored over 60 peer-reviewed publications, including invited textbook chapters, manuscripts, abstracts and review articles. Her work has been published in such prestigious journals as the New England Journal of Medicine, Archives of Internal Medicine and Circulation, and highlighted by the Nature and national media such as CNN, CBS and NPR news.

She believes in family-career balance and applies her experience as a mother of two young children and wife to her work.

Related Resources

Emory Healthcare Recipes for Wellness
Emory Healthcare Healthy Recipes on Pinterest

What Can You Do to Fight High Blood Pressure?

hypertensionDid you know that over 30% of adults (over the age of 20) have high blood pressure, also known as hypertension?* Did you also know that high blood pressure is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease? The good news is that high blood pressure can be prevented if you educate yourself and take the recommended course of action from your physician.

What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?
Blood pressure is the amount of the blood force against the arterial walls. The upper number is the pressure when the heart is contracting and the lower number is when the heart is at rest.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is when one or both numbers are elevated. Normally it should be under 140/90 mmHg, and anything above this is considered elevated.

What are the symptoms of High Blood Pressure?
Many people think that you can tell if you have high blood pressure by experiencing symptoms like headache, nose bleeds or chest pains, but the reality is that hypertension is a symptomless disease. When blood pressure is elevated and is not treated, you heart, brain and kidneys can suffer the consequences and you do not know it.

Get checked for High Blood Pressure
Everyone should know what their blood pressure numbers are and get treated if elevated or prevent it from being elevated. Factors like age, obesity, family history, increased salt consumption, medications, lack of exercise, alcohol, drugs, renal disease and hormonal abnormalities can contribute to the development of high blood pressure.

What can I do to prevent high blood pressure?

  1. Reduce salt (sodium) intake – Salt is known to retain water and increase blood pressure and the United States is considered a society that consumes a high salt diet. Most of the salt we eat comes from processed and packed foods. The recommendation is to consume less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day, to get an idea a teaspoon of salt has 2,400 mg of sodium!
  2. Consume Potassium – Potassium counterbalances the effects of sodium, at least 4,700 mg daily is advised. Some of the foods rich in potassium are potatoes, greens, bananas, tomatoes and oranges. Patients with renal disease should discuss with their doctors about their potassium intake.
  3. Limit alcohol consumption – Men should limit their alcohol intake to 2 drinks per day and women to 1 drink daily.
  4. Exercise! Exercise! Do at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity to keep your circulation, lungs and heart healthy.

If despite of trying your best to prevent hypertension your blood pressure is elevated, your doctor can work with you to find an appropriate medical regimen to control it. Medications that help your body eliminating the sodium excess, retaining potassium or relaxing your blood vessels can be prescribed to you. Together with diet and exercise, medications can control hypertension and prevent heart attacks and strokes.

To learn more about ways to prevent and treat hypertension, join us at the Community Education Series sponsored by the Emory-Adventist Hospital at Smyrna, 3949 South Cobb Drive Smyrna, GA 30080. The event will take place  on Wednesday June 18th, 2014 at 7:00 pm. To find out more, visit https://www.emoryadventist.org/education-events.

*Centers for Disease Control

About Dr. Gongora

Carolina Gongora, MDDr. Gongora is a Board certified cardiologist at the Emory Heart and Vascular Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine (Cardiology) at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Gongora currently sees clinical patients at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Midtown and Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Smyrna. To schedule a general preventive cardiology consult please call 404-778-7777.
Dr Gongora went to medical school in Bogotá, Colombia, where she is from originally. She moved to Atlanta in 2005. Before starting her training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Emory University, Dr Gongora did a post doctoral research fellowship in hypertension and renal disease. Her research was partially funded by the American Heart Association.

During this time she published in recognized journals like the Journal of American College of Cardiology, Hypertension and Circulation. Also, she presented in nationally renowned meetings, like the American Heart Association, the American Society of Hypertension and the American Physiology Society meetings, among others. She has been a member of the American College of Cardiology, the American Physiological Society and the American Heart Association-Council for high blood pressure.

She is board certified in Cardiology, Internal Medicine and Echocardiography.

Related Links

Emory Heart & Vascular Center at Smyrna
Emory Women’s Heart Center
Manage Your Blood Pressure & Keep Your Heart Healthy
Emory Explores New Treatment Option to Reduce High Blood Pressure

Want a Heart Healthy Summer Dessert Recipe?

Raw Brownie RecipeThank you all for submitting recipes into the Emory Women’s Heart Center recipe contest! After consulting an Emory Healthcare nutritionist, we have selected LaVelle Johnson’s submission for the “OMG, It Can’t Be A Raw Brownie” Recipe as our favorite! LaVelle’s recipe was taken from the website PreventDisease.com. This recipe is amazing, but what is even more amazing about this delicious dessert – it’s heart healthy! Try out this new, fabulous brownie recipe to make a scrumptious dessert for your mother this Mother’s Day, and check out all of our great heart healthy recipes on our Pinterest page!

Brownie Base Ingredients

  • 1 cup Walnuts
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ cup Raw Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Avocado

Icing Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp Raw Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Dash sea salt
  • Dash cinnamon

Directions

  1. Combine walnuts, dates, and the 1/3 cup of cocoa powder in a food processor (or high-end blender) and pulse mixture until it looks like potting soil. Pat this into an 20cm x 20cm (8inch x 8inch) pan.
  2. With a food processor (or high-end blender) blend the avocado, honey, maple syrup, second lot of cocoa, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon until smooth.
  3. Spread the icing over the brownie base, then put in the freezer for about an hour to set. No matter how long the brownies stay in the freezer, they never become rock-hard mostly because they won’t last that long.
  4. Enjoy!

*Original image and adapted recipe from wayfaringchocolate.com

Eating healthy can help prevent heart disease. So why not, eat your favorite foods with different healthy twist and try it out! Remember to schedule your heart screening today!

Heart Disease Screening

About Emory Women’s Heart Center

Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.

Related Links

Treating Congenital Heart Disease in Adults

Congenital Heart DiseaseDid you know that congenital heart defects affect approximately 40,000 babies each year? And now, due to advances in medicine, many of these patients are living to adulthood and there are estimated to be more than 1 million adults in the United States with congenital heart defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

We strongly recommend that all adults born with a congenital heart defect should have routine follow – up care with a congenital heart specialist in order to ensure the heart is healthy. Conditions can develop later in life that a patient could benefit from additional treatment later. Luckily, not all congenital heart patients have to have surgical or medical treatments – some patients may just need routine monitoring.

Congenital Heart Disease Treatments

For those congenital heart patients who need more advanced treatments your physician will work with you to determine if your condition warrants medical treatment only or if you need more advanced surgical treatment.

Medical Management of Congenital Heart Disease

If a patient has an of the following conditions, preventive care and medical management of the congenital heart disease may be sufficient to keep the heart healthy:

If the congenital heart defect is more serious, surgical or interventional treatment may be required such as:

  • Heart Transplant
  • Pulmonary Valve Replacement
  • Valve Repair and Replacement
  • Septal Defects
  • Congenital Structural Heart Interventions

If you were born with a congenital heart defect it is important to find a physician who has specialized training in congenital heart disease. These physicians have specialized training and experience to deal with the complexities of congenital heart disease. Emory recently partnered with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta to form the Congenital Heart Center of Georgia that offers congenital heart care from birth until late life. Physicians at the Congenital Heart Center of Georgia have years of dedicated experience on patients with CHDs and will work with the team of physicians across CHOA and Emory to develop a treatment plan that best meets your needs.

About Dr. Sahu

Anurag Sahu, MDAnurag Sahu, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and is the Director of the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Emory University Hospital. He also specializes in cardiac MRI and cardiac CT imaging with specific training imaging of adults with congenital heart disease. He is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine, Nuclear Medicine, Cardiovascular CT and Echocardiography. He has 4 years of adult congenital heart clinical and research experience.

About the Congenital Heart Center of Georgia

The Congenital Heart Center of Georgia, a collaboration between Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory Healthcare, is one of the largest programs in the U.S.—and the only one in Georgia—specializing in the treatment of children and adults with congenital heart disease (CHD). The team, led by Wendy Book, M.D., Robert Campbell, M.D., and Brian Kogon, M.D., provides individuals with congenital heart disease appropriate lifelong care from before birth through adulthood. To schedule an appointment please call 404-778-7777. Find more information about this unique partnership by visiting congenitalheartgeorgia.org.

Related Links

Emory Adult Congenital Heart Center Treatments

Did you know that you can exercise at work even if you have a desk job?

Exercise at WorkThe Emory Center for Heart Disease Prevention staff are practicing what they preach and are doing their best to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week. They recently acquired 2 bike pedal systems that fit under the desk so staff can exercise while working. These unique devices are small and easy to use and can be used for short periods of time to get your heart pumping. After using the bike pedals, Emory registered nurse Charlotte Applequist, RN commented, “I was surprised that I burned a total of 142 calories pedaling on and off through out the day! A lot of days I don’t get to workout at home, so this was great! My mood is better at work as well; my stress level was reduced.”

Emory Senior Medical Secretary Patty Watson also commented, “I sit a lot at work and my commute is two hours round trip to Emory. Already, I can feel the benefit of stronger legs and mentally I feel more invigorated.”

Exercise is one part of the equation in the fight against heart disease but Emory Women’s Heart Center Nurse Practitioner Chris Nell-Dybdahl also recommends that in order to improve cardiovascular health you must eat a heart healthy Mediterranean – style diet, reduce stress and follow a prevention plan.

Heart Disease Screening

To find out if you are at risk for heart disease, schedule your heart screening today by calling 404-778-7777 or visit emoryhealthcare.org/womensheart

If you work on or near the Emory campus, drop by the Emory Heart Disease Prevention Center at The Emory Clinic, Second Floor Cardiology and see what the fuss is all about as well as inquire about purchasing these for your office!

About Christine Nell-Dybdahl, NP-C, MPH, MSN

Christine Nell – Dybdahl, NP – C, MPH, MSN has been a registered nurse since 1994 and a nurse practitioner since 1998. She brings to the practice over 20 years of cardiology experience. She is the clinical nurse director for Emory’s Center for Heart Disease Prevention and is active with the Emory’s Women’s Heart Program. She received her BSN from Kent State University and her dual master degrees from Emory University in nursing (board certified family nurse practitioner) and public health (health education and promotion). Her interests include cardiovascular disease prevention, heart healthy life style changes, cholesterol abnormalities, women’s heart care, and family-involved chronic heart disease management. Chris is a member of the American College of Cardiology, Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, and American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. She makes it a priority to connect interested patients and researchers at Emory. She is the founder and clinical leader of the Women Living with Angina Support Group. She has co-authored several journal articles and has spoken at many conferences on a wide variety of topics

About the Emory Women’s Heart Center

Emory Women’s Heart Center is a unique program dedicated to screening, preventing and treating heart disease in women. The Center, led by nationally renowned cardiologist Gina Lundberg, MD provides comprehensive cardiac risk assessment and screenings for patients at risk for heart disease as well as full range of treatment options for women already diagnosed with heart disease care.

About the Emory Heart Disease Prevention Center

Emory Heart Disease Prevention specialists provide a collaborative and comprehensive approach to the prevention, detection and reversal of heart disease. We offer a full range of prevention and wellness programs that will help you stay healthy. You can count on our commitment to guiding you to a healthier way of life for yourself and those you love.