On Thursday, December 10th, I suffered a major heart attack while at work. My boss called 911 and an ambulance was dispatched. I was hauled off to Anaheim Memorial Hospital, where I spent the night attached to a heart monitor. Since I was back to full power the next morning, I went home against the doctor's better judgement. Since my health care provider is familiar with my medical history, I contacted her who set up an admission at Arcadia Methodist Hospital. I was admitted that night (Friday, December 11th).
On Monday, December 14th, I had an angiogram which found three blocked arteries. Since they were in areas where stents wouldn't work without causing additional problems, I was consoled about open heart surgery. On Thursday, December 17th, I underwent a tripple by-pass operation. On Mondy, December 21st, I was well enough to be discharged from the hospital.
But, that isn't what I wanted to write about. I wanted to write this as a warning. A warning to those of you who enjoy tobacco products; who enjoy foods high in sodium, cholestrol and other "nasty" stuff. Just because it tastes good doesn't mean it's good for you.
What does it mean to be at risk? You can be at risk of a heart attck or stroke because of your age, if you're a smoker, or have a family history of heart trouble. Any one or a combination of all three can put you at risk.
The wrong diet can put you at risk if you consume the wrong foods. I'm not advocating that you should quit going to your local supermarket and going to a health food store, because I'm not. You can find the wrong foods in a health food store too. The food may be low in fat and cholestrol; however, it's above the danger level with sodium. And sodium increases blood pressure.
SO, WHAT"S ALL THIS ABOUT SODIUM?
Sodium is a preservative used in packaged foods, especially meats and dinners. Look at the sodium content of a can of Spam to see what I mean. We humans need a small amount of sodium in our diets. It helps to regulate a few systems; however, we Americans have a bad habit of overdoing the amount of sodium that we consume. We salt our meats and vegies way too much; so we taste the salt more than what it's sprinkled on. I'm not advocating that we should eliminate salt from our diets; but, what I am saying is that we should cut bck on the amount of salt we use.
Sugar is another substance we use too much of. We sprinkle sugar on our breakfast cerial, which is already sugared by the manufacturer. We add sugar to our morning coffee; and drink sugared drinks throughout the day. Almost everything we consume contains sugar. Sugar isn't bad for you if you use moderation. The same goes for alcohol. It's OK to have a drink or two; however, we have a tendency to overdo the drinking. Alcohol has no nutritional value.
OK - SO WHAT AM I SAYING?
Believe it or not; but, I have more energy now than I have had in the past 25 years, and I'm on a "cardiac" diet. A cardiac diet conists of a major reduction in sodium, cholestrol, cafiene, and sugar. My cardio specialist suggested that it's OK to have a McDonald's burger every once in a while; however, don't make it part of your daily routine or diet. The same goes with the so-called health foods.
Lean beef is a must. The same with lamb, or any other red meat. Pork is OK as long as it hasn't been processed into ham, bacon or pork sausage. Foul (chicken, turkey, duck, etc) is lean to begin with; however, it must be thoroughly cooked to kill any lingering bacteria.
Stay away from packaged meats, meals, canned soups, deserts. Anything packaged is usually loaded with sodium, because it's a preservative. I used to joke about junk foods keeping me alive. Wow, was I wrong! Junk foods were part of the problem. My angiogram showed blockages in areas where stints would create more problems than they would fix; which is why the need for a tripple by-pass operation. All of which was brought on by a poor diet, smoking and a lack of sleep. I was stupid.