How Women Can Avoid Heart Disease

New American Heart Association guidelines could help women lower their long-term risk of heart disease.

The guidelines, which are further-reaching than those released in 2004, focus on problems associated with aging rather than immediate risk.

Women are less likely to have heart attacks and strokes early in life, possibly due to the protective effects of estrogen. But while short-term risk is low for many women, over the course of a woman’s life, she will have a nearly one-in-three chance of dying of heart disease.

The guidelines reaffirmed the importance of diet, exercise, controlling weight and blood pressure, limiting salt intake and quitting smoking. They also recommended not relying on vitamins, not using hormone therapy or selective estrogen modulators as a heart attack prevention method, and not taking aspirin for heart attack prevention until after the age of 65.

These new recommendations come at a time when scientists estimate some 38 million American women are living with heart disease, and a growing number of health care professionals are coming around to the opinion they should be preventing and treating conditions that may happen over the course of a patient’s lifetime, and not just until the next diagnosis.

It’s important to remember that any diet you follow should be tailored according to the foods your body burns best, based on its unique metabolic type. High-fat and high-protein food choices could be the worst or the best choice for you, it all depends on your metabolic type.

Additionally, along with the many safe and effective lifestyle changes women can make to reduce their risks of heart problems, it’s also important to remind you the primary reason older women die from heart disease: After menopause, women stop menstruating and begin gaining excess iron. High iron levels will cause serious free radical damage. It is one of the easiest items to check for and FAR more of an important risk factor than cholesterol levels.

A simple blood test that measures ferritin levels can determine if your iron levels are dangerously elevated. It is strongly advised to have your doctor perform this simple and relatively inexpensive test for you.

The safest and most optimal way to eliminate any problems with iron: Donating your blood one to six times a year, depending on the amount of iron in your system.

Of course, normalizing your fasting insulin level is also another powerful and effective way to not only reduce your risk of heart disease, but also cancer. While you are getting your ferritin level done, please make sure you have a fasting insulin level done. If your level is above five you have some homework to do to lower it.

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