Americans tend to eat few but large-volume meals and often snack on unhealthy foods. "We would probably all benefit from smaller but more frequent meals and healthy snacks," Dr. Alagona suggests.
Many people think they should drink eight glasses of water a day -- but coffee, tea, juice and soft drinks are 95 percent water, and many foods also contain substantial amounts of water, so this belief is simply not true, according to Dr. Alagona. But don't skimp. "Inadequate hydration may lead to a number of symptoms and problems, including dehydration, decreased blood pressure, electrolyte disturbances and fatigue," the doctor notes.
We need fresh air and sunlight, especially in the northern and less sunny parts of the continent. Getting enough of both may help avoid vitamin D deficiency and the associated winter blues.
There is significant data that indicates moderate alcohol intake decreases the risk of heart attack and improves prognosis after it -- moderate intake being the equivalent of a shot of distilled spirits, 12 ounces of beer or a large glass (eight ounces) of wine a day. It's an important part of the diets of many regions such as France and other Mediterranean countries, that have populations with significantly lower heart disease rates.
It seems everyone is busy all day long — working, talking, texting, driving the kids from here to there and the list goes on. "Sit down in a quiet place, take some deep breaths or practice some modest relaxation exercises, and relieve your tension and stress. After all, even a well-tuned machine or athlete needs a little rest or re-conditioning," concludes Dr. Alagona.
Joining Shay Pausa is celebrity chef Gale Gand and Dr. Jennifer Mieres. They discuss how what we eat affects our heart.
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