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Each year, roughly 790,000 Americans suffer a heart attack. One in seven deaths continues to be caused by heart disease —making it the nation’s leading killer. These statistics are shocking, right? Did you know that heart attacks kills more women than breast cancer? It’s true! A healthy heart is something that everybody should strive for – it is the foundation to all that we are. I faced some hard truths a few years ago and they really opened my eyes to the importance of staying on top of your health – especially when it comes to heart disease. These illnesses come on rapidly and with a force that cannot be shaken. It’s important to equip yourself with the right knowledge when it comes to your own healthcare or that of your family members.
There are many questions surrounding the prevention of heart attacks.
Consumer Reports asks: When should you take statins to lower cholesterol? What exactly is a heart-healthy diet? How low should your blood pressure go, and what’s the best way to get there? Do you really need an EKG? With the Healthy Heart Report, Consumer Reports aims to provide consumers with “evidence-based information to help you cut through the noise of conflicting studies and swirling, often contradictory advice.”
And we all know how overwhelming it can all be, right?! I think that’s why so many people don’t plug into this information. Because when you go online and do a quick search, you are inundated with noise. Well, here is a really quick way to drown out the nonsense and simply stick to the facts. Steer clear of the forums. There is nothing you are going to learn from that panicked user who swears she is having a heart attack but is sound enough to write a forum update asking for advice. These “knowledge boards” are cesspools of fear. When I dive in, I tend to find that I have every disease, every illness, every virus. They all make sense to me! Stay away from the madness.
As a woman who has been placed on bed rest for a total of 15 months spread over three pregnancies, I can tell you first-hand that these forums suck you right in. I had heart issues with my second and third child. Irregular beating which eventually forced me to wear a monitor for a few days in an attempt to capture more data. Nothing was found, but I still have to keep an eye on it. In fact, I am due for a stress test this year. Me on a treadmill running in front of a room filled with doctors? Oh my! I cannot WAIT to make a fool of myself!
If I want to learn more about stress tests, EKGs or updated research, I KNOW not to head to the masses. Consumer Reports is where I will go. Consumer Reports aims to provide consumers with evidence-based information that cuts right through the confusion.
Do You Have A Loved One Heading To The Hospital?
Consumer Reports provides hospital ratings so that should you or loved one need treatment, you can be informed when choosing your hospital. Consumer Reports wants all hospitals to publicly report surgical results and patient outcomes because that kind of transparency can be a key driver of improvement.
I am going to write about something that is a little bit personal and I don’t want you to judge her for it. My mother made a pretty poor decision recently when it came to family care and my grandmother. She chose a rehab facility based on proximity, instead of based on expertise. My cousin, husband and I all tried to make her understand that it was critical for her not make this decision because she wanted an easy few months, but because she wanted the best care possible for my grandmother. We lost.
Going through that experience, it made me understand more than ever that researching a hospital is important and should not be taken lightly. For example, if you had a family member who was needing surgery relating to heart disease, you could head over to Consumer Reports and read about the TOP ONES in the Nation! Why wouldn’t you take that extra step? It could literally save a life.
Eating Your Way To A Healthy Heart
Consumer Reports has a great starter guide to help you learn a bit more about ways you can work towards a healthy heart. According to the company, for a heart-healthy diet, make vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and beans the centerpieces of your meals. Those foods contain heart-protective antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats. Looking to read more? Check out these great articles:
- How to Have a Good Healthy Breakfast
- Tips for Healthy Cooking
- Keep Trans Fats Out
- Take Charge Of Your Heart Health
Consumer Reports Works For You
Consumer Reports aims to create a fairer, safer, and healthier marketplace putting research, facts, and data at the center of everything they do. They work for and with consumers. REMEMBER, they are a non-profit and independent of corporate and advertising influence. That means that they purchase everything that they review. They have no political ties with any companies they feature in their magazines or online.
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