DRS. OZ AND ROIZEN — Q & A
Nutrition post-heart attack
Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 4:57 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 4:57 p.m.
Q: My husband recently had a heart attack, followed by bypass surgery. Before he was released from the hospital, I asked the cardiologist about my husband's diet. The doctor said he could have anything he wants — in moderation. I don't want him eating steak and ice-cream sundaes! But now how will I convince him he shouldn't?
— Ellen B., Reno, Nev.
A: Dr. Oz is a cardiac surgeon and would never release a patient without making sure he or she knew the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise (bedroom included). But since you didn't get any nutrition counseling, we suggest you ask for a referral to a cardiac rehabilitation center where you both can go to learn about healthy eating and safe exercise. Dr. Oz has one on premises at New York Presbyterian, and Dr. Mike has one at the Cleveland Clinic.
Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for us to hear about cardiologists who rely on medications to do the job of protecting their patients from another heart attack. But we hope nutrition education soon becomes a requirement for board certification in cardiology — none is required now. Here's why that's important (get your husband to read this!):
A recent study of more than 30,000 people (average age 66) who had suffered a heart attack or stroke or had Type 2 diabetes and were thought to be getting the best medicine possible found that those who ate a heart-healthy diet cut their risk of cardiovascular death by 35 percent, the risk of another heart attack by 14 percent, and the risk of congestive heart failure by 28 percent. They ate lots of fish, vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes and not much saturated fat, dietary cholesterol or sodium. Lifestyle changes including diet and exercise, when added to surgery and meds, really do have good results. Join him in the adventure, and you both should be able to enjoy the coming years with vim and vigor.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. For more information, go to www.RealAge.com.