1. What's your favorite way to unwind?
2. What supplements and/or foods are essential to your daily regimen?
3. What are your favorite foods?
4. Do you have a guilty pleasure food?
5. What motivates you?
Mark C. Houston, MD, has spent more than 20 years researching and treating heart disease. “I realized many years ago that the medical community hasn't been doing a good job at reducing heart disease,” says Houston, author of What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Heart Disease: The Revolutionary Book that Reveals the Truth Behind Coronary Illnesses—and How You Can Fight Them. Here, he sheds light on overlooked heart saboteurs.
BN: Why did you want to write What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Heart Disease?
MH: There are several hundred risk factors for heart disease that aren't being evaluated or treated. Addressing only blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, and smoking still leaves more than 50 percent of patients at risk for heart disease. I want to educate physicians and the public about all of the risk factors.
BN: What are the most shocking myths about heart disease?
MH: For decades, we’ve been told that if the five major risk factors for heart disease are kept under control, you’re practically guaranteed not to have a heart attack. And, frankly, that’s a lie. The truth is, abnormal cholesterol levels are not the primary causes or indicators of heart disease. More things you may not know:
BN: What are some of your recommendations for people who want to prevent heart disease (or even reverse it)?
MH: Omega 3 fatty acids are number one. I also strongly recommend vitamin K2 (use the MK-7 form), garlic, resveratrol, CoQ10, alpha lipoic acid, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin E (gamma delta tocotrienols), D-ribose, L-carnitine, curcumin, N-acetyl cysteine, and glutathione. I find that a low-sodium/high-potassium and high-magnesium diet is beneficial. As outlined in my book, it’s a compilation of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, focusing on fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, lean meat, fish, and wild game. And it limits refined carbohydrates and grains (even whole grains). This may come as a shock to those who are used to the “6-11” servings of grains recommended by the USDA, but grains are simply not foods that we have evolved to consume.