With the hearty-est of holidays soon upon us, I thought it might be fun to test our heart health knowledge. Here's a quick 7 question quiz to find out -- are you a Rock Steady Heart Health Expert? Or are you Still Pumping to Learn More?
The facts behind the answers:
Question 1 Answer: Heart Disease Kills More Women then Cancer
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading killer for both men and women. The most recent statistics, for 2013, show that heart disease was responsible for 22.4% of deaths in women, while cancer (all forms) was responsible for 21.5%. The rest of the top killers include Respiratory Disease, Stroke, and Alzheimer's.
Question 2 Answer: Men and Women Often Have Different Symptoms of a Heart Attack
“Although men and women can experience chest pressure that feels like an elephant sitting across the chest, women can experience a heart attack without chest pressure, ” says Nieca Goldberg, M.D., medical director for the Joan H. Tisch Center for Women's Health at NYU’s Langone Medical Center. Women are more likely to experience shortness of breath, nausea, and back or jaw pain - symptoms that are also all connected with indigestion or the flu. This is why it is common to hear women later say "I thought I had the flu".
Question 3 Answer: Risk Factors for Heart Disease Include:
- Overweight and obesity
- Poor diet
- Excessive alcohol use
- High Blood Pressure
- High Cholesterol
- Physical inactivity
Stressful Job, Low Income, and Genetics (on either side of your family) are not considered high risk factors, according to the CDC. About half (47%) of Americans have at least one of these risk factors.
Question 4 Answer: Eating a Diet Full of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables and Low in Saturated Fat can Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease by 73%
"The role of diet is crucial in the development and prevention of cardiovascular disease" says the the World Heart Federation. Because other risk factors like obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high levels of blood lipids are all tied to diet, embracing a healthy diet can have the biggest impact on reducing your risk of heart disease. When compared with a typical Western diet, adopting a diet full of healthy plants and low in saturated fats shows a 73% reduced risk of new major cardiac events.
Question 5 Answer: FALSE - Unlimited amounts of unsaturated "healthy" fats like Omega-3 are is NOT healthy
According to the World Heart Federation, if your fat intakes is more than 37% of your daily calories, you increase your risk of heart disease, even if it is "healthy" unsaturated fats like the Omega-3's and Omega-6's found in salmon. This is why low-carb, high-fat diets (like Atkins, Paleo, and Ketogenic) often do not correlate with reduced risk of heart disease. Increased fat means increased blood lipids means increased risk of heart disease.
Question 6 Answer: FALSE - Eating lots of soy will NOT increase your risk of heart disease
Eating soy has actually shown to be quite beneficial in reducing the risk of heart disease. A review of studies found that eating 31 - 47g of soy a day reduced cholesterol levels by 9%. For someone with high cholesterol over 240 mg/dL, this can mean dropping their cholesterol by nearly 22 points. One cup of soy milk (or 1/2 cup edamame or tofu) has about 8-10g of soy protein. You can swap out your dairy milk for soy milk, snack on some edamame, and eat Tofu Curry instead of shrimp to help increase your soy intake.
Question 7 Answer: TRUE - Heart Disease is Preventable
Yes, the leading killer of Americans is preventable.
Here are some delicious ways to help reduce your risk of Heart Disease:
For more delicious, plant-based vegan recipes, check out the Plants-Rule Recipes page.
Leading Causes of Death in Females United States, 2013 (current listing), CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/women/lcod/2013/index.htm
Heart Attack Symptoms in Women, American Heart Association: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/WarningSignsofaHeartAttack/Heart-Attack-Symptoms-in-Women_UCM_436448_Article.jsp#.VrZ5D1grLIV
Heart Disease Facts, CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/HeartDisease/facts.htm
Diet, World Heart Federation: http://www.world-heart-federation.org/cardiovascular-health/cardiovascular-disease-risk-factors/diet/
Soy University: University of Maryland Medical Center: https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/soy
About the Author:
Chicago Personal Chef Katie Simmons
Chef Katie Simmons
Katie is a Personal Chef based in Chicago. She specializes in creating delicious, healthy recipes for those with special dietary concerns like gluten-free, oil-free, plant-based, and low-residue. Outside of the kitchen, she is a Fitness Instructor for Equinox, with over 13 years experience in the fitness industry, and a blogger for Kuli Kuli Foods. For fun, she loves to travel, with her most recent travel involving 10 days of hiking in the Patagonia of Argentina and Chile.