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Blog author, Solai Buchanan is an experienced Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with an MS from Columbia Teachers College. She specializes in treating heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, polycystic ovarian syndrome,and other chronic diseases. She is a provider at a full-service cardiology practice accepting most insurance and staffed with a primary care MD, pediatrician, and cardiologist. Call: 718.894.7907. NYCC is lead by Interventional Cardiologist Sanjeev Palta, MD, FSCAI, FACC. He trained at Cornell-Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and the State University Hospital of Brooklyn. He currently is an Attending Cardiologist at New York Methodist Hospital and Maimonides Medical Center. He is also an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Having performed over 2000 invasive cardiac procedures Dr. Palta’s patients know they are in trusted hands.

Friday, January 30, 2015


A new analysis has concluded that a sedentary lifestyle is two times more likely than obesity to lead to early death.  And, that adding even a very moderate amount of activity such as a 20-minute brisk walk each day helps to reduce the risk of premature death by as much as 30%.  The analysis revealed regardless of whether a person is at a healthy weight or obese, going from inactive to active substantially reduces the risk of premature death.
To measure the link between physical inactivity and premature death, and its interaction with obesity, researchers analyzed data from 334,161 men and women across Europe participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study. Participants were tracked for 12 years during which their weight, waist circumference, and level of physical activity were recorded.  Over that  period there were more than 21,000 deaths.  Twice as many of the deaths were attributed to inactivity than to extra weight.

Why is exercise so linked to longevity?  Aerobic exercise exerts a potent effect on one's overall health.  It has been shown to strengthen the cardiovascular system, support the body's immune system, boost mental function, mood & energy, bolster the musculoskeletal system, and reduce the risk of most chronic diseases including heart and vascular disease, cancer and diabetes.

What to do:  This study points out that regardless of weight, even modest amounts of daily activity can make a big difference to our longevity.  And this is a good thing because, often levels of activity are easier to change than bodyweight.  So, get moving anyway you can.  Healthy exercise need not be high impact.  Swimming, stationary bicycling, elliptical, brisk walking, and seated aerobics are all excellent activity options that spare the knees.

Adapted from articles available at:

Ekelund U, Ward HA, Norat T et al.  Physical activity and all-cause mortality across levels of overall and abdominal adiposity in European men and women: the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Study (EPIC). American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  First published January 14, 2015. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.114.100065

Saturday, January 17, 2015


Here's one more reason to top that morning cereal with blueberries.  A new trial has found  daily consumption of blueberries helps to reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness.  Researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial of 40 postmenopausal women ages 45-65 with high blood pressure. Half ate 22 grams of freeze-dried blueberry powder, equivalent to a cup of blueberries, daily for eight weeks. The other half consumed an identical-looking and tasting placebo.

At the end of the eight weeks, participants receiving the blueberry powder had an average 7 mmHg (5.1%) decrease in systolic blood pressure (the top number in the blood pressure reading which measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats) and a 5 mmHg (6.3%) reduction in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number that measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats).  Levels of nitric oxide, known to be involved in relaxing and widening blood vessels, increased 68% in the blueberry eaters. There were no significant changes in blood pressure in the placebo group.

What to do:  Include more blueberries and other dark purple fruits and vegetables in your diet.  Beets, cherries, pomegranates, cranberries, grapes, acai, and others have been found to have positive effects on blood pressure and heart health.  Blueberries have long been championed for their high antioxidant potential and anti-inflammatory properties. They’re only 80 calories a cup and are high in fiber, vitamin C, and manganese.   Put fresh, frozen, or dried blueberries in hot and cold cereals, smoothies, and yogurt, or have them as a stand alone snack. 

Adapted from articles available at:


Johnson SA, Figueroa A, et al. Daily blueberry consumption improves blood pressure and arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women with pre­ and stage 1­hypertension: A randomized, double­blind, placebo­controlled clinical trial.  Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2015.   Published online ahead of print, DOI:10.1016/j.jand.2014.11.001