Are you at risk for heart disease? Apple versus Pear.....

When it comes to heart health, where you carry your weight is just as important as how much weight you carry.

Your waist circumference is a good predictor of your risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type II diabetes

If you are close or are above the following cut-offs, work with your naturopathic doctor or chiropractor to lower your disease risk.

Caucasian/European, Sub-Saharan African, Eastern Mediterranean, Middle Eastern 102 cm (40 inches) 88 cm (35 inches)
South Asian, Malaysian, Chinese, Japanese, Ethnic South and Central Americans 90 cm (35 inches) 80 cm (32 inches)

*Reference: The Heart & Stroke Foundation

How to Check Your Waist Circumference

Find the top of the hip bone (the true top will be at the sides of the body, in line with your navel). Starting there, bring the tape measure all the way around. Make sure it’s not too tight and that it is parallel with the floor. Remember, don’t hold your breath and keep your abdomen relaxed.

Food as Medicine: Top 3 Heart Healthy Choices

  1. Almonds and walnuts- raw and unsalted. A handful of these little nutrient power-houses (approx. 12-16 nuts) provide ample amounts of mono- and poly-unsaturated fat that help to lower cholesterol (including the “bad” kind) and prevent diabetes. They are also a decent source of protein, vitamin E, copper and manganese. Sprinkle on your oatmeal or keep some at your desk for a quick snack.
  2. Oatmeal. The kind your mother used to make, not the instant stuff. Oats are chock-full of soluble fibre. When mixed with water, this type of fibre becomes gel-like which helps to regulate blood sugar levels, make you feel full longer and lowers cholesterol. Other major sources of soluble fibre include legumes, peas, psyllium, flax seeds and some fruits and vegetables
  3. Olive Oil. Eat it raw and never heat it. The best kind to look for is certified extra-virgin olive oil that guarantees polyphenolic content (check the label) in small, dark-coloured bottles. It’s pricer but the health benefits and taste can’t be beaten! Olive oil is unique for it’s high mono-unsaturated fat content (oleic acid) and polyphenols which help prevent blood vessel damage that leads to coronary artery disease and balances our cholesterol. Two tablespoons per day in replacement of other fat may help lower your heart disease risk.