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The Smart Woman's Guide to Heart Health: Dr. Sarah's Seven Steps to a Heart-Loving Lifestyle

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Sarah Samaan MD

Dr. Samaan attacks the myths and hype around women's cardiovascular health and lays out the fundamentals in an easy-to-digest format. Her seven steps are clear, straightforward, and supported by scientific data, as well as her own personal experiences … see full wiki

Author: Sarah Samaan MD
Genre: Nonfiction, Medicine
Publisher: Brown Books
1 review about The Smart Woman's Guide to Heart Health:...

Heart Health for a Healthier Lifestyle

  • Jul 12, 2010
The Smart Woman's Guide to Heart Health by
Dr. Sarah Samaan MD FACC Brown Books Publishers

Reviewed by Dr. Joseph S. Maresca

The book contains many details on how to maintain a good diet.
The author notes that 85% of heart disease is preventable.
A heart friendly diet reduces cardiac risk by 60%.

A 30 minute per day exercise regimen is recommended
along with limited dietary saturated fat, an increase in
omega 3 fatty acids, a diet of fruits/veggies, whole grains,
low fat dairy, fish and legumes. A BMI of circa 19-25 is ideal.
In addition, the waist line should be kept at 35 ".
Blood pressure readings should be 120/80.
Glucose monitoring is another important aspect.
The readings should be about 90 each morning prior to eating.

Big waists are associated with a thicker and less elastic heart.
Americans must cut out fast food, snacks and lack of exercise.
Perhaps, the best way to reduce these habits is to introduce
incremental consumption taxes to modulate behavior as is
done with cigarettes and alcohol. Food triggers can be
controlled by reducing stress and stressors. Another way
to control obesity is to enforce mandatory gymnastics at
every level of education. Certain junk foods like
soda should be kept at a safe distance from primary and
high schools. Consumption taxes are a means to reduce
unwanted behaviors at every age level.

The CRP is cited as a good marker for inflammation
and the likelihood of a future heart attack.
A high CRP can lead to a reduced ability of heart arteries
to dilate properly. Weight loss lowers CRP. Keeping stress
under control will assist in modulating the CRP level,
as well as weight loss and eliminating inflammatory foods.

Our bodies require 1600-2200 calories per day depending upon a
number of factors like height, body frame and the intensity
of our life style and activity. An outdoor construction worker
may require more calories than a sedentary person.

The author cautions us to control the intake of high glycemic
foods like white bread, white rice, pasta and potatoes.
The body breaks down high glycemic foods to sugar or glucose.
For optimal health, 8-10 servings of fruits and veggies
should be consumed each day . Soluble fiber reduces cholesterol.
My cholesterol hovers around 105 consistently. Fiber slows the
release of sugar into the bloodstream.

A 150# person requires approximately 55 grams of protein daily.
Fish should be consumed 2-4 times weekly to reduce heart
disease risk. Sometimes, protein needs to be reduced due to
a condition called proteinuria; wherein black spots
appear in the urine.

Olive oil is considered to be the best alternative to
butter or margarine. Coffee intake should be
controlled in cases where the blood pressure is too high.
Vitamin B6 is associated with healthy arteries
and Vit B12 is good for heart health, metabolism of fats
and the nervous system.

In my own experience, extensive diverticular pocket
imperfections can be aggravated by coffee, heavy creams,
heavy sauces and high content alcohol. These foods are
also contributors to inflammation within the body.
As we get older, diverticulitis and related issues
become more prominent . Resultingly, we need to pay more
attention to the inflammation markers, as well as stress
and food triggers.

The author presents no bibliography. Perhaps, the contents
of the work derive from experience mainly.
There are good sources of medical information in "The Lancet",
"The Townsend Letter for Physicians" and "The New England Journal
of Medicine". Overall, the work is excellent for patients
needing to achieve and maintain an optimal dietary protocol. The Paleolithic Diet of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, fish and water
is devoid of many of the classic health problems found in the

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July 30, 2010
Wow, this book sounds great! I'm now curious as to what the seven steps are. I always make an effort to eat healthy and exercise on a regular basis, but I'm still always looking for more advice, so I'll check this out. Thanks for sharing! :)
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