Tag Archives: lexington Medical Center

The Mediterranean Diet for Your Heart

If you’re looking for the best menu for your heart, check out the Mediterranean Diet. This plan incorporates a lot of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oil. It features fish and poultry—lean sources of protein—over red meat, which contains more saturated fat.

Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of heart disease. The diet has been associated with a lower level of bad cholesterol that’s more likely to build up deposits in your arteries.

Lexington Medical Center heart patient Thomas Harris learned all about the Mediterranean Diet while attending cardiac rehabilitation after open heart surgery last year. While Thomas has always led an active lifestyle, his old diet – high in saturated fat and processed foods – hurt his heart. After following the Mediterranean Diet for several months, his cholesterol is lower and he no longer has to take blood pressure medication. We introduce you to him in this WIS-TV news story.

 

“The typical American diet contains too many processed foods that are convenient and easy to eat on the go. They often contain too much sugar and processed flour,” said Lexington Medical Center cardiac rehabilitation dietitian Susan Wilkerson. “The more processed food is, the less nutritious. When we eat processed foods, we don’t get the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. We eat just to eat, not for our health. So we want to go back to eating whole foods.”

Mediterranean Diet Guidelines:
*Primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
*Replace butter with healthy fats such as olive oil and canola oil
*Use herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
*Limit red meat to no more than a few times a month
*Eat fish and poultry at least twice a week

Join Us For A Therapy Dog Stress Break

Dogs are affectionately called man’s best friend. But did you know their companionship also offers benefits for your heart health? Studies show a canine companion can help with everything from lowering blood pressure to reducing stress. That’s why Lexington Medical Center is hosting a “therapy dog stress break” where visitors and staff members can come to the hospital and spend time with furry friends on Valentine’s Day. The event is free and open to the public.

Community members are invited to the North Tower Atrium inside Lexington Medical Center from 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14 to shake off some stress by petting a dog. Lexington Medical Center clinicians will also be on hand to answer questions about how managing stress and finding relaxing activities can help our health.

According to the American Heart Association, pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, may help reduce a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease:
*Studies have found that pet owners have lower blood pressure and resting heart rates than people who do not have a pet, even when they had a similar body mass index (BMI) and socioeconomic profile.
*Research shows dog owners are more likely to be physically active than non-dog owners — tending to walk longer and more often.
*A study found that younger children whose families owned a dog were less likely to be overweight or obese compared with children in families without a dog.
*Additional research has found that pets lower stress and help heart patients live longer.

Each of the dogs participating in the event is a certified therapy dog that visits patients at Lexington Medical Center’s main campus in West Columbia and Extended Care, the hospital’s skilled nursing facility in Lexington. They are a popular and important part of Lexington Medical Center’s Volunteer Services department.

National Wear Red Day

Are you seeing red today? We are! Lexington Medical Center employees gathered for a group photo inside the hospital today for #NationalWearRedDay. We want our community to “Just Say Know” to heart disease by learning about risk factors.

Risk factors make you more likely to develop a disease. They can also increase the chances that a disease will get worse. The good news is that 80 percent of heart attacks and strokes can be prevented and treated if you learn about your risks and take action to control them.

Risk Factors You Can’t Control
*Age 45 or older (men), age 55 or older (women)
*Family history of early heart disease. If your father or brother had a heart attack before age 45, or if your mother or sister had a heart attack before age 55, you are more likely to develop heart disease.
*History of preeclampsia during pregnancy

Risk Factors You Can Control
*High blood pressure
*High blood cholesterol
*Diabetes and prediabetes
*Smoking
*Being overweight or obese
*Being physically inactive
*Eating an unhealthy diet

Other Risk Factors For Women
*Sleep apnea
*Stress
*Depression
*Too much alcohol
*Birth control pills (especially for women over 35 who smoke)
*Anemia

For more information, visit LexMed.com/Know

#LMCJustSayKnow