Tag Archives: heart disease

sugar

The (Too) Sweet Life: Can Sugar Lead to Heart Attack, Cancer?

Life is sweet.

But is too much sweetness in one’s life dangerous?

According to 60 Minutes’ Dr. Sanjay Gupta, sweets – sugar to be exact – may very well be toxic.

In a recent report, Dr. Gupta reported that according to estimates, nearly 20 percent of the total calories in American diets comes from added sugar via soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, desserts, fruit drinks, ice cream and other candies.

“Unfortunately, the sweeter the item is on the lips, the worse it is on the hips,” says Dr. Coral Quiet of Arizona Breast Cancer Specialists. “And, while sweets increase fat and caloric content, they are often void of necessary nutrients and antioxidants.”

And, apparently, that is only the beginning.

Heart Disease

According to Dr. Gupta, just one sugar-sweetened soda a day can sharply increase one’s risk for heart disease.

Some stories, such as an analysis recently published in the New York Times, report that these sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks and alcoholic beverages can increase one’s risk for heart attack by more than 20 percent.

This would stand to reason as sugar can adversely change levels of good and bad cholesterols as well as increase levels of dangerous triglycerides.

So, if one simply eliminates sugary beverages from his/her diet, then she will be fine, right?

Wrong.

In addition to soda, secret sugars in food we eat each day – primarily processed foods – are acting as toxins in our body, too. This can include everything from yogurts to sauces to breads and peanut butters.

Cancer

“I truly believe that sugar is a leading cause of cancer in the United States,” Dr. Quiet says.
According to Dr. Quiet, the word “cancer” is actually the general name given to some 100-plus diseases from breast cancer to lung cancer to skin cancer and is when cells in a specific part of the body begin to grow out of control, causing a tumor.

“Most people don’t know that nearly a third of all cancerous tumors have insulin receptors on their surface that have learned to use sugar to progress,” Dr. Quiet adds.

Backing her assertion, Dr. Gupta reports that over the years, tumors with insulin receptors — like breast and colon cancers — have begun to bind with sugars in the bloodstream, stealing it from muscles and other organs signaling for it as well.

Just as other parts of our bodies use sugar for energy, so do the tumors.

The problem has become so evident that researchers are currently working around the clock on a new suite of drugs specifically meant to block tumors from hijacking sugar and glucose in the bloodstream.

The bottom line

“Until research catches up with the sweet tooth, all individuals, whether currently fighting cancer or not, need to focus on decreasing their processed food intake along with red meats, high-fat dairy products and fried foods,” Dr. Quiet says.

health screenings

Top 5 Health Screenings Every Woman Should Have

Preventative health screenings are important but there is conflicting information about who needs them, when the right time is to get screened and how often certain tests should be done. May is National Women’s Health Month so it’s time to set the record straight and take health matters into your own hands.

“Preventative health screenings are crucial but often confusing for my female patients,” said Dr. Angela DeRosa, president and chief managing officer of DeRosa Medical, P.C., a private women’s heath medical practice in Scottsdale and Sedona. “Routine tests are our best defense for early diagnosis of disease and in-turn higher successful treatment rates if something is detected. Women need to make their health a priority and National Women’s Health month is a great time to do that.”

Dr. DeRosa suggests these Top 5 health screenings for her patients:

1. Heart disease is the number one killer of women throughout the world, six-times more likely to cause death than breast cancer. Based on these statistics, women over the age of 50 should have an electrocardiogram (EKG) yearly.

2. Skin cancer screenings must be conducted every year no matter what your age. The American Cancer Society anticipates Arizona will have 1,650 new cases of melanoma in 2012.

3. Pap smears should be done annually between the ages of 21 and 30 and then every 3 years in patients older than 30, providing they are in a monogamous relationship and have a history of normal pap smears.

4. Starting at age 40, mammograms need to be performed every other year and annually after age 50.

5. A colonoscopy should be performed at age 50 to screen for colon cancer. After a baseline is established, follow up tests should be done every 5-10 years.

“You can never be too careful when it comes to your health,” added DeRosa. “Just this year I discovered a melanoma on a patient’s stomach during a routine skin cancer exam. She had been told by another physician that it was nothing to worry about.”

May 13-19, 2012 also marks the 10th annual National Women’s Health Week designed to empower women of all ages to take control of their own health needs through health screenings, being active, eating right and prioritizing mental well-being.

Nutrition

Media-Influenced Weight Loss, Nutrition: Make Informed Decisions

“I really don’t eat that badly.” If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that, I’d be retired. If you’re seeking advice on nutrition there’s something about your body you want to change that your current eating habits are not satisfying.

Your nutrition

What is the basis for your nutritional guidelines? Are you following food industry principles and sponsored studies or independent PhD research? Most of the reliable information isn’t new; it has just been overshadowed by business propaganda.

Coincidence?

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, obesity in the U.S. has increased dramatically since 1985; currently one-third of adults are in this category. And the 1980 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans supported a major shift to double the recommended servings of carbohydrates, including starches, whole and enriched grains, as well as a greater reduction in fats. The effort was to reduce the risk of chronic diseases ― but it’s not working. 
Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer percentages are all on the rise. Furthermore, food is big business, and all major industries have lobbyists influencing government agencies. As food companies’ profits expand, so does your waistline. So whose standards are you following?

More Confusion

Spend this weekend counting how many ads you view in any media for diet/nutrition programs. Now, think back through the last 10 years. Atkins®, Sugar Busters®, Zone®, South Beach®, Weight Watchers®, Nutrisystem®, etc. Which one is the best?

All are based on reasonable medical facts. Try any one and follow the program strictly, no exceptions, and you will lose weight. And then what? Whether it’s because you reach your goal weight or quit during the program, they are all banking on the fact that you will stop.

They are all companies seeking profits, and they have statistics predicting when you will gain the weight back and return to the program or try another one. It’s a vicious cycle that wreaks havoc on your body physically, mentally and emotionally.

What do I do?

Stop focusing on weight loss. This is a short-term goal with little concern for more important factors. Reducing your total body weight doesn’t improve your body. Focus your efforts on improving your overall health ― blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, sleeping better, sustained energy, elevated mood, mental clarity, and so on. The side effect? Long-term fat loss; you won’t be merely losing weight, but losing fat. Remember, it’s possible to stay the same weight while also lowering body fat.

Try this logic. Would Mother Nature provide anything to deliberately harm you? Is she focused on profit? All-natural means you can chase it, pull it out of the water, dig it out of the ground, or pick it off of a plant. Then you can eat it as is (or with minimal cooking because we’re not cavemen anymore).

Ever try Natural Cheetos? Tell me where I can find the Cheetos tree so I can pick a fresh bag. Remember that on your next trip to the grocery store. There are programs such as Paleo or Gluten-free living that are a bit extreme, but they do teach you to make better selections.

Nothing worthwhile is easy

Remember why and how badly you want this. It takes effort, discipline and desire. If it was easy everyone would look and feel great!

Educate yourself to make proper choices for your body and your lifestyle. Are you expected to maintain these choices all the time? Yes! That’s what a lifestyle change means ― for the rest of your life.

And although clean eating can put more demands on your budget, ask yourself this: would you rather spend now on better food or later on increased medical bills?

Heart Star: Larry Fitzgerald Of Arizona Cardinals Always Watches His Health

As one of the best receivers in the NFL, Arizona Cardinals’ star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is serious when it comes to his health and well-being. Although he’s “very thankful” that heart disease and stroke don’t run in his family, Fitzgerald isn’t taking any chances. His “job,” as he calls it, requires him to stay fit and healthy at all times.

“I pride myself on eating right and exercising regularly. During the season, of course, exercising is a part of my job each day I go to work,” Fitzgerald says.

The 6-foot-3, 218-pound Pro Bowler has made wellness part of his daily routine.

“The team has ‘on field’ practices and we are also required to lift weights, as well. Breakfast and lunch are provided, and I choose to make healthy eating choices,” Fitzgerald says. “During the off season I try to stick to these same rules.”

His dedication to a healthy diet and daily exercise has paid off. Following an amazing career at the University of Pittsburgh, Fitzgerald was the third overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft by the Cardinals.  His best season came in 2008, when he caught 96 passes for 1,431 yards and 12 touchdowns. That was the same year the Cardinals went to the Super Bowl.

Fitzgerald says his formula for health is simple.

“First, everyone should be sure to take an active role in their health and well-being by making sure to regularly participate in some form of physical exercise,” he says. “There are many components to staying in shape, such as looking after your cardiovascular fitness level, increasing your strength ability, as well as working on your range of motion, otherwise known as flexibility.

“Second, you have to eat right,” Fitzgerald continues. “Portion control is the key, I think. Just watch what you eat and be sure to eat a variety of foods each day.”

Clearly the plays Fitzgerald makes off the field are as important as the ones he makes on the field.

Arizona Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

18th Annual Start! Phoenix Heart Walk Set To Break Attendance Record

Have a heart and take a walk on Saturday, Feb. 27, at Tempe Beach Park, at the Start! Phoenix Heart Walk, sponsored by Health Net of Arizona.

This fun, 5K and 1 mile, family fitness event energizes the Valley to step up in the fight against heart disease and stroke. The walk is sponsored in part by FOX 10 and My 45. Join Ron Hoon, anchor of FOX 10’s Arizona Morning, along with KEZ’s Marty Manning, and more than 15 thousand walkers to help eliminate cardiovascular disease. Top walkers and corporate sponsors will have exclusive access to this year’s VIP tent. The beautiful VIP area is created by local interior design guru Anita Lang, Allied Member ASID of Interior Motives Inc.

The American Heart Association’s signature event will feature entertainment, exercise and lots of fun. The event wouldn’t be possible without outstanding community partners that include Health Net of Arizona, Marketside by Walmart, Weight Watchers, Catholic Healthcare West, Maricopa Integrated Health Systems, Abrazo, Mayo Clinic, 99.9 KEZ, Clear Channel Outdoors and Movin 97.5.

Participants earn incentive prizes by collecting donations. Money raised helps to fund life-saving research and community education programs supported by the American Heart Association. After the walk, the Wellness Village is in full swing, packed with heart-healthy activities, presentations, screenings, games, a live band and celebrity appearances.

Survivors: The heart behind the walk
Heart disease and stroke survivors are a very important part of the Start! Heart and Stroke Walk. All heart disease survivors are recognized with a red cap, and all stroke survivors with a white cap. “In tribute to” stickers also are available for participants walking in celebration of a survivor or in memory of a loved one lost to heart disease or stroke. So mark your calendars. We hope to see you.

Start! Phoenix
February 27, 2010
Tempe Beach Park
Rio Salado Parkway and Mill Avenue

8 a.m. — Registration and Opening Ceremonies
9 a.m. — 5K Walk and 1-Mile Stroke Walk
10 a.m. — Wellness Village and Entertainment

Registration Information:
www.phoenixheartwalk.org
(602) 414-5320

 

Arizona Business Magazine

January 2010

Grand Canyon University Commits To Go Red For Women Campaign

Many in the Valley still don’t realize that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women. But with long-standing health care educator Grand Canyon University (GCU) putting its muscle behind the annual Go Red For Women campaign, you can bet the issue will become top of mind.

“With our penetration in the local health care market and our ability to advocate through our 30,000 students, faculty and staff, we can take the community education component of the Go Red For Women effort to a very grassroots, but also broad-based level,” says Fran Roberts, RN, PhD., vice president of strategic business alliances of the College of Nursing & Health Sciences at Grand Canyon University.

Roberts is chair of the annual Go Red For Women campaign and luncheon, and GCU has agreed to a three-year sponsorship of the program. The power of GCU’s reach through its campus students and faculty, as well as its online student population, will take the outreach well beyond the Valley’s borders.

“The multiplier effects of our partnership should really help drive home the message throughout our community that heart disease continues to be the No. 1 health threat to women,” says Roberts, who will lead a community speakers bureau of advocates within GCU to promote the heart-healthy message.

GCU already has plans underway to mark the importance of the cause, making an effort to integrate components of the program into every aspect of the university, from food choices in the student union to “going red” at sporting events, and bringing in Go Red messages to its community events that reach tens of thousands of residents each year.

“Red represents much more than a color on this campus,” Roberts says.

The university will wear red with pride as the Grand Canyon team participates in the Start! Phoenix Heart Walk on Feb. 27, and will celebrate National Heart Month with a variety of activities.

The entire campus plans to be immersed in red  — including faculty, staff, students and wrapped buildings — on a designated date in February when the university hosts a Wear Red fashion show on the campus promenade and an important basketball game takes place.

In addition, GCU will host a Hearts in the Arts competition in the spring, encouraging high school students to celebrate heart-healthy living in a competition to benefit the Heart Association.

The sixth annual Go Red For Women luncheon takes place on May 14, at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.

www.gcu.edu

 

Arizona Business Magazine

January 2010

AHA Profile: Nabil Dib

Nabil Dib, M.D., M.Sc., F.A.C.C.
Director of Cardiovascular Research
Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers

As with most of life’s troubles, the problem starts small. A tiny bit of fatty material settles in on the walls of a major artery. Over several years, more and more of this plaque collects, until there is little to no room left for blood to flow freely. Without the blood and the life-giving oxygen it brings, the heart seizes — and the muscle begins to die.

This scenario is the leading cause of death for both women and men. Approximately 1.2 million heart attacks occur in the U.S. every year, and more than 12 million people in the nation are suffering from some form of heart disease.

Efforts to reduce the occurrence of heart attacks through prevention are vital and remain our first priority. Clinical trials are currently underway at two Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) hospitals to determine whether adult stem cells can effectively improve cardiac health.

Using highly accurate 3D images of the heart, Dr. Nabil Dib and his team of interventional cardiologists at Chandler Regional and Mercy Gilbert Medical Centers are delivering adult stem cells directly into damaged heart tissue via a catheter. The goal of their series of clinical trial, is to determine if the adult stem cells will develop into new blood vessels that will prevent further damage to the heart.

Other treatments being conducted at the hospitals’ Cardiovascular Research Center are testing whether adult stem cells can re-convert scar tissue into live muscle, and whether specific genetic indicators can detect the early stages of heart disease.

“We’re researching whether these new treatments might help those who have exhausted all other options,” Dib says. “The aim of studies such as this is to see if adult stem cells will assist with cardiac regeneration and help repair damaged heart tissue. Cardiac regeneration is about trying to see if you can repair damaged heart tissue and hopefully provide people with a better quality of life.”

By integrating compassionate care with state-of-the-art technology and leading-edge clinical research, CHW is providing innovative treatments to those in need, and advancing the science of care worldwide.

www.chwhealth.org

Arizona Business Magazine

January 2010

AHA Profile: Pat Nevin

Pat Nevin
Vice President, General Manager
Fox 10 & My 45

Health and wellness has always played a significant role in Pat Nevin’s life. But today it takes on whole new meaning.

“In 2009, I competed in six triathlons in Phoenix, Payson, and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho,” he says. “I hope to compete in at least 10 events in 2010, starting (with) this year’s triathlon season with the Navy Seals 1/2 Ironman race in April in San Diego (1.2-mile ocean swim, 56-mile bike, 13.1-mile run).”

In addition to being an avid runner, Nevin serves as vice president and general manager for FOX 10 and My 45 in Phoenix. Since 2004, Nevin has been responsible for all departments within the television stations’ operations in the nation’s 12th largest television market. With more than two decades of television experience, Nevin has helped increase the top-rated station’s viewing audience by serving the interests of the community, and staying actively engaged with station clients and station viewers throughout the Valley.

“Heart disease and its complications impact many of our television station’s viewers, our employees and their families — plus heart disease runs in my family. Several years ago my grandfather passed away from heart complications,” Nevin says.

As a married father of two, Nevin’s family is a top priority and passion in his life. It’s for this reason, and many others, that he remains committed to a heart-healthy lifestyle and he is leading by example.  “Keeping my heart healthy is something I take seriously,” he says, “and it’s great because I’m actually managing to have a lot fun in the process!”

www.myfoxphoenix.com

 

Arizona Business Magazine

January 2010

AHA Profile: Peter Harper

Peter Harper
Vice President and Treasurer
Scottsdale Insurance Co.

As the American Heart Association’s board of directors chairman, Peter Harper brings nearly 25 years of finance leadership experience to the role of vice president and treasurer of Scottsdale Insurance Co.

Scottsdale Insurance is one of the largest excess and surplus, and specialty lines carriers in the nation, with more than 1,400 employees and annual premiums in excess of $2 billion.

Prior to his current role, Harper served as treasurer and chief financial officer of Suntron Corporation. Additionally, he has held senior leadership positions with Iomega Corporation and General Electric.

Harper uses his leadership skills to rally employees at Scottsdale Insurance when it comes to workplace wellness, and understands the benefits associated with a healthy work force.

“Heart disease costs U.S. businesses $24 billion a year in lost productivity. Through wellness programs, companies are able to attract exceptional employees, while enhancing productivity and morale at the same time,” Harper says.

In addition, recent studies have shown that for every dollar spent on health and wellness, companies can save between $3 and $15. Harper says those savings are almost immediately seen within 12 to 18 months of implementing a program.

Harper also spearheads efforts to get employees involved with the American Heart Association’s Start! Heart Walk each year. Scottsdale Insurance has sponsored the Lifestyle Change Award for the past three years.

“I am passionate about physical fitness and living a healthy lifestyle, which aligns with our Lifestyle Change Award sponsorship,” he says. “If we take the initiative to proactively reduce our risk of heart disease — including establishing a physical fitness regimen and adopting a healthier diet — not only will we improve the odds of not incurring life-threatening heart attacks or strokes, but we will be able to enjoy a happier, longer life with our family and friends who care most about us.”

www.scottsdaleins.com

 

Arizona Business Magazine

January 2010