Nutrition

Takeaways from Dr. Lundberg’s Heart-Healthy Holiday Eating Chat

heart health holiday eatingThanks to everyone who joined us Tuesday, December 9, for our live online chat on “Heart-Healthy Holiday Eating,” hosted by the Clinical Director of the Emory Women’s Heart Center, Gina Lundberg, MD.

With holiday parties in full swing, many of us are staying busy and eating on the go or overindulging in sweet party treats. Dr. Lundberg discussed heart-healthy tips and recipes, as well as answered your questions on how to make smart food and drink decisions.

See all of Dr. Lundberg’s answers by checking out the chat transcript! Here are just a few highlights from the chat:

Question: What are some entrée or side substitutions I can make without losing the “holiday” touch?

Gina Lundberg, MDDr. Lundberg: Turkey and ham are both lean meat, so entrees aren’t usually the problem The side dishes are usually where we run into trouble. Feel free to have your ham, turkey, and even lean pork and beef, but try to avoid the potato-heavy, cheesy side dishes.

 

Question: I crave sweets every day. What can I do to satisfy my cravings without reaching for the chocolate?

Gina Lundberg, MDDr. Lundberg: The more sugar you eat, the more you crave sugar. If you stick to a diet that is higher in protein, you’ll be more satisfied and won’t crave sugar as much. Eating healthier snacks more frequently (fruit, veggies, raw nuts) will stop you from being hungry and eating the wrong things.

 

BONUS: Dr. Lundberg’s Top 10 Tips to Stay Healthy During the Holidays

holiday-health-tips

If you missed out on this live chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the chat transcript. If you have additional questions for Dr. Lundberg, feel free to leave a comment in our comments area below.

 

Can the Right Diet Help Prevent Heart Disease?

Healthy DietThe simple answer is yes. A proper diet is one of the best ways to reduce your risk for heart disease. But changing entrenched eating habits can be difficult, and it can help to have a deeper understanding of the roles various nutritional components play in the function of your heart and circulatory system.

Fats
Fats serve a number of essential roles within your body, such as supporting cell growth, providing energy, helping with nutrient absorption and assisting in the production of certain hormones. But not all fats are the same, and it’s important to choose the right kinds to include in your diet.

In general, saturated fats and trans fats increase the bad type of cholesterol (LDL) in your blood. These fats tend to be solid at room temperature, such as butter. Unsaturated fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), on the other hand, can help lower the amount of LDL cholesterol in your blood. These types of fat tend to be liquid at room temperature, such as vegetable oil. LDL cholesterol can contribute to plaque build-up on the inside walls of your arteries (atherosclerosis), thereby reducing or blocking blood flow. In addition, all fats are high in calories and can therefore contribute to overweight and obesity, which put additional strain on your heart muscle. Both overweight/obesity and atherosclerosis increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a type of dietary nutrient that converts to glucose (sugar), which provides energy to cells throughout the body. The two basic types are simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. In general, simple carbohydrates are less healthy because they convert quickly to glucose inside your body, resulting in blood sugar spikes that are associated with heart disease and diabetes, among other health conditions. Simple carbohydrates are found in things like fruit and milk, which contain naturally occurring sugars, but they also find their way into our diets as refined sugars that are added to processed foods.

Complex carbohydrates take longer for your body to convert to glucose, and therefore are less likely to cause blood sugar spikes. Because your body needs carbohydrates to function, choosing complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain cereals and breads, vegetables, and legumes, instead of simple ones is better for your heart health. However, in large quantities, complex carbohydrates can also cause blood sugar spikes, so it’s important to consume even complex carbohydrates in moderation.

Protein
Protein is a component of every cell in the body. It helps the body produce new cells and repair damaged ones, and it’s essential in the production of vital chemicals in the body such as hormones and enzymes. But too much protein can actually be unhealthy. This is primarily because much of the protein we eat is in the form of meat that’s high in saturated fat , which is associated with atherosclerosis and heart disease. Also, too much protein in the diet often means that we eat smaller amounts of other important nutrients. The good news is that there are plenty of protein sources that aren’t high in saturated fat, such as lean meats, low-fat dairy products, peas and beans.

Sodium
Salt makes the body retain fluid. This, in turn, can lead to increased blood pressure and added burden on your heart muscle. One of the simplest ways to reduce your intake of sodium is to cut back on packaged and processed foods, which tend to be high in added salt.

It’s important to remember that maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to compromise on taste. Just take a look at some of Emory’s delicious HeartWise℠ recipes.

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, FACC, FAHA

Susmita Parashar, MDSusmita Parashar, MD, MPH, MS, FACC, FAHA is a board-certified cardiologist at the Emory Heart & Vascular Center and an associate professor of medicine (cardiology) at Emory University School of Medicine. Prior to joining the faculty of the Division of Cardiology, Dr. Parashar was an assistant professor of medicine in Emory’s Division of General Medicine for eight years. She applies her experience as a board-certified internist in providing a holistic approach to patient care.

Dr. Parashar was awarded the American Heart Association (AHA) Trudy Bush Fellowship for Cardiovascular Research in Women’s Health, which recognizes outstanding work in the area of women’s health and cardiovascular disease, and the Emory Department of Medicine Early Career Faculty Research Award for Clinical Research.

Dr. Parashar completed her residency in internal medicine at the Medical College of Georgia and a cardiology fellowship at Emory University. She completed her master’s of public health and a master’s of science at Emory University in 2005.

A passionate clinician-researcher and educator, Dr. Parashar 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 an emphasis on women and cardiovascular diseases. She has received several grants and awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the AHA to conduct research on women and heart disease and has authored or coauthored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications. 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 national media organizations such as CNN, CBS and NPR.

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

Related Resources

Tasty, Heart Healthy Summer Breakfast recipe!

struedel1Grab some healthy summer fruits and mix up a heart healthy summer breakfast muffin that your family will love! This fat – free streusel muffin recipe is delicious and filling. Try it out to add some spice to your summer meals!

Fat – Free Streusel Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups all –purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt
  • 2/3 cup skim milk
  • ½ cup blueberries or diced apples

Streusel Topping:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Gently stir in the yogurt and milk, blending just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in fruit. Fill lightly greased or paper-lined muffin cups ½ full with batter. Place 1 teaspoon of cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of each, and add batter to fill the cups ¾ full. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until well browned. Serve warm.

*Makes 12 muffins

Nutritional Information

  • Calories – 138
  • Fat – > 1 gram
  • Cholesterol – < 1 milligram
  • Sodium – 230 milligrams

This heart healthy summer recipe will fill you up and give you the energy to attack all your fun summer activities!

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. Shirazi

Farheen Shirazi, MDFarheen Shirazi, MD is Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Shirazi completed medical school at Morehouse School of Medicine before completing her internship at NYU, residency at Stanford University and fellowship at Emory University. She is passionate about teaching patients how to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke. Her practice encompasses the scope of general cardiology, with a focus on cardiovascular disease prevention and women’s health. Dr. Shirazi has published in the arena of preventive cardiology and is currently working on literature in the field of women’s cardiovascular health.

Dr. Shirazi is board certified in Internal Medicine (2009) and Cardiology. She is a member of several professional organizations including the American Heart Association, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association and the American College of Cardiology.

Dr. Shirazi will see patients at Emory at East Cobb – Heart & Vascular as well as Emory Heart & Vascular Center at 1365 Clifton Road. She enjoys drawing, painting and reading classical literature in her spare time.

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

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

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

4 Heart Healthy Benefits of Almonds!

AlmondsThe evidence is overwhelming that almonds can help lower LDL-cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease. On top of that they are incredibly convenient, requiring no preparation. Why do these little nuts pack such a big punch? Read on to find out.

  1. Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, but low in saturated fat (the bad kind). Monounsaturated fats are the same type of health-promoting fats as are found in olive oil, and they’ve been associated with reduced risk of heart disease.
  2. Almonds are packed with a whopping 247 milligrams of magnesium per cup. Magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker, cleaning out veins and arteries and helping them relax, which lessens resistance and improves the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body.
  3. Almonds are loaded with potassium. Potassium is an electrolyte with a critical job: helping your heart beat. Potassium helps trigger your heart’s squeeze of blood through your body, and helps to promote normal blood pressure.
  4. Almonds are high in Vitamin E. Two landmark studies followed a total of 125,000 men and women, concluding those who supplement with at least 100 IU of vitamin E daily reduced their risk of heart disease by 59 to 66%.1, 2

So next time you’re in the supermarket, grab some almonds and do something good for your heart!

References

1 Stampfer MJ, Hennekens CH, Manson JE, Colditz GA, Rosner B, Willett WC. Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary disease in women. N Engl J Med. 1993;328:1444-1449.
Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ,Ascherio A, Giovannucci E, Colditz GA, Willett WC. Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease in men. N Engl J Med. 1993;328:1450-1456.

Related Resources:

Fish Oil Can Improve Heart & Brain Health

Fish Oil Supplements Heart HealthPhysicians and nutritionists advocate that individuals should eat 2 – 3.5 ounce servings of fish high in omega – 3s each week to improve heart and brain health. When eating this amount is not possible, many experts recommend substituting fish oil supplements. In fact, Emory Women’s Heart Center clinical director Gina Lundberg, MD recommends fish oil supplements for all patients after 50 years old.

A study has recently shown that women over the age of 50 who consumed the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids maintain better brain function than those who consumed lower levels. While fish oils have not been proven in research to reduce heart attack and strokes, the benefits of consuming fish oil are great. Foods (and supplements) that contain omega – 3 fatty acids (such as fish and fish oil) can reduce an individuals risk of abnormal heart rhythms such as arrhythmia and can delay plaque growth rate in the arteries. Further, omega – 3s and/or fish oil can also help lower blood pressure. A generic over the counter fish oil supplements can provide a similar benefit to the more expensive omega – 3 prescription fish oils at a lower cost, say Dr. Lundberg. Read the entire article published in USA Today to learn more as well as determine which fish oil supplements may be the best for your heart and brain health.

Related Links

About Gina Lundberg, MD
Dr. Gina LundbergDr. Lundberg, Emory Women’s Center Clinical Director, is a Preventive Cardiologist with The Emory Clinic in East Cobb. Dr. Lundberg is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine.

She is a National AHA Spokesperson. Dr. Lundberg has been a Board Member of the American Heart Association for Atlanta from 2001 till 2007 and was on the Southeast Affiliate Board 2006-2007. She also served on the SEA Strategic Health Initiatives Committee to promote Go Red for Women. She has been involved in every program related to the Go Red for Women initiative for the metro Atlanta area since its development in 2003. Dr. Lundberg was the Honoree for North Fulton/ Gwinnett County Heart Ball for 2006. In 2009 she was awarded the Women with Heart Award at the Go Red Luncheon for outstanding dedication to the program. She is a Circle of Red founding member and Core Vitae member for AHA. She also serves on the ACCF Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease Committee.
She has been interviewed on the subject of Heart Disease in Women on CNN and in USA Today. Governor Sonny Perdue appointed Dr. Lundberg to the Advisory Board for the Department of Women’s Health for the State of Georgia in 2007 till 2011. In 2005, Atlanta Woman Magazine awarded Dr. Lundberg the Top 10 Innovator Award for Medicine. In 2008 Atlanta Woman Magazine named her one of the Top 25 Professional Women to Watch and the only woman in the field of medicine. She has published articles in several medical journals and contributed to several text books.

She attended the Medical College of Georgia and trained in Internal Medicine at Atlanta Medical Center (Georgia Baptist). Her cardiology fellowship was at Rush University in Chicago. She has been in practice in Atlanta since 1994. She is Board Certified in Cardiology and Internal Medicine and recertified in both in 2002. Dr. Lundberg has two children and considers motherhood her first and foremost career. Dr. Lundberg has lived most of her life in the metro Atlanta area.

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.
Find out if you are at risk for heart disease by scheduling your comprehensive cardiac screening. Call 404-778-7777.

Make a Healthy Nutrition New Years Resolution You Will Keep Year Long!

Did you make a New Years Resolution yet? According to a recent study at the University of Bristol, approximately 88% of the resolutions people make each New Years fail, even when the participants were extremely confident they would succeed. Well make a resolution you can keep by following some simple guidelines outlined by Emory Women’s Heart Center cardiologist Farheen Shirazi, MD. Dr. Shirazi recommends that if you want to start eating a heart healthy diet and lose weight that you should start with small measurable goals instead of trying to make any dramatic changes right away.

For example, in order to change your diet, she recommends mapping out your menu for the month and only changing one or two things each week. This could be as simple as increasing the number of times each week you eat fish by one night and increasing your intake of a fruit by one a week. You can accomplish this by switching a carb snack for a fresh fruit one time a week. She highly recommends you write down your goals because you will be encouraged to progress.

Check out more healthy recipe and meal planning tips on this New Years heart healthy video -

Dr. Farheen ShiraziAbout Dr. Shirazi
Farheen Shirazi, MD is Assistant Professor of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Shirazi completed medical school at Morehouse School of Medicine before completing her internship at NYU, residency at Stanford University and fellowship at Emory University. She is passionate about teaching patients how to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke. Her practice encompasses the scope of general cardiology, with a focus on cardiovascular disease prevention and women’s health.

Dr. Shirazi has published in the arena of preventive cardiology and is currently working on literature in the field of women’s cardiovascular health.

Dr. Shirazi is board certified in Internal Medicine (2009) and Cardiology. She is a member of several professional organizations including the American Heart Association, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association and the American College of Cardiology.
Dr. Shirazi will see patients at Emory at East Cobb – Heart & Vascular as well as Emory Heart & Vascular Center at 1365 Clifton Road.

She enjoys drawing, painting and reading classical literature in her spare time.

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.
Find out if you are at risk for heart disease by scheduling your comprehensive cardiac screening. Call 404-778-7777.

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