Does An Apple A Day Really Keep The Doctor Away?

Just as the age-old adage promises, it seems an apple a day really can keep the doctor away.

Apples (along with other fruits and veggies) pack a combination of vitamins and minerals that out-power supplements like artificially made vitamin capsules. These nutrients are critical for our bodies’ health—not only do they keep our immune system strong to fight off germs, but they also reduce our risk for heart disease and cancer.

Doctors believe the reason fruits and vegetables are so much better for our bodies than the bottled stuff is because supplements delve out nutrient one at a time, but the combination of many different nutrients found in natural sources like apples offers added benefits.

So while no amount of apple-eating can guarantee you’ll stay clear of the doctor’s office completely, it’s a great place to start.

Bread, Rice, Pasta: Why Brown is Better

Many people love pasta and rice. However, most of us prefer the white versions of these foods over the brown because they look much tastier. However, where nutrition is concerned, brown bread, rice and pasta are much better for you. If you want to include more brown bread, rice and pasta in your diet, or if you are just curious about the nutritional benefits, then read on. Also, bear in mind that white rice and pasta, before they were processed looked just like their brown counterparts.


Processing Out the Nutrients

When brown rice and the wheat that later will be processed into white flour for pasta and bread are processed, the grains are damaged. Their hulls and outer shells are stripped away. With the stripping away of their outer coatings, the nutrients in those coatings are lost. This may not seem like a big deal, but it really is. Along with the nutrients from the coatings, the grains lose the protection their coatings provided. This means that the bleaching that makes wheat and rice white will leech more nutrients out of the grains than the loss of the coatings did. By the time brown rice and wheat have been processed fully, much of their nutrient value and flavor are gone. Some manufacturers go through the trouble of adding vitamins back in, but these products are not as good as eating whole-grain foods in the first place.


Losing the Fiber

One of the nutrients commonly lost due to processing is fiber. Fiber is a very important nutrient, one that all of us need. Fiber helps keep the digestive tract clear. It is very difficult for the body to digest, so when it travels through our bowels, it gathers up other waste products along the way, carrying them out of the body. It also tends to regulate the function of the digestive tract. Brown rice, as well as unprocessed wheat, still contain all the fiber present in the raw grains and are an excellent way to get your daily allowance.


Lower the Risk of Chronic Diseases

Whole grain foods, like brown rice, pasta and bread can lower the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes when eaten as part of a healthy diet. The benefits of whole grain consumption are not only for diabetics. Eating whole grain cuts your risk of strokes thirty to thirty-six per cent. It can also cut the risk of heart disease, the number one killer in the United States by twenty to twenty-five per cent. That is an amazing drop in numbers for one simple dietary choice.


Whole grains such as brown rice and the wheat used to make the darker breads like whole wheat lose most of their nutrients when processed, leaving them mainly starch with no fiber, and even though some bread manufacturers put back some of the lost nutrients, it is still not enough. Therefore, eating whole grain foods is an important health decision. Processed grains also have a lack of fiber, which our bodies use to balance the digestive tract. Whole grains have a number of amazing chronic disease-reducing benefits. That is why looks are not everything and brown really is better than white when it comes to your health.

The Benefits of Paleo

As far as diets go, paleo is both very new and very old. At first, this may seem like a contradiction, but people have been eating in this fashion for millions of years, ever since the first hunter-gatherer tribes appeared on Earth. However, it was only just recently that we became aware of the health benefits of this historical way of eating. Whether you are planning on embracing the paleo lifestyle or just curious about the health benefits of this type of diet, then this article is for you. Here we will outline the health benefits of paleo so that you can decide whether it is for you.  Paleo, for this article’s purposes, is the act of eating as our hunter-gatherer ancestors did. This means that you are allowed to eat foods which could be gathered from the ground or pulled from trees as are free-range, grass-fed animals. Gluten is prohibited, as are all processed foods as much as possible. This more natural way of eating of course promotes a number of health benefits.


Real Food Vs. Processed Food

Processed foods contain a lot of additives, preservatives, colorings, sodium and hidden sugar. These chemicals are not good for our bodies, causing everything from allergic reactions to sluggishness to high blood pressure. If you eat a paleo diet, which contains only whole, organically produced foods and some natural but packaged sauces and ingredients, you eliminate a large number of toxins from your body as well as the salt which raises your blood pressure and the hidden sugar that can increase your risk of diabetes and becoming overweight. Eliminating additives, preservatives and other unnecessary chemicals from your food also helps you feel much better, both mentally and physically, helping your body work at peak performance.


Get Your Nutrients

Along with the benefit of removing preservatives, the paleo diet also removes nutrient-void carbs. People eating in this manner tend to replace the filler carbs with fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. In fact, a person eating a paleo diet can get all the required nutrients for a day from plant-based foods, meat and fish. They eliminate grains and legumes, which also leads to increased gut health. Increased gut health, in turn means that their bodies digest food much more efficiently.


Weight Loss

Paleo diets promote a long-lasting weight loss and muscle growth when paired with a healthy lifestyle. Better stress management techniques as well as an improvement in sleep and a good balance of Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids help to burn off stored fat. Also, eating a paleo diet will increase your energy, which will allow you to exercise longer without tiring.


Lose the Bloat

Many people eating a Western-style diet find themselves experiencing chronic bloat and gas which can be very uncomfortable. Eating a paleo diet reduces these symptoms, as paleo diets contain a lot of fiber. Fiber allows waste products in the body to be broken up more effectively and carried away, thereby eliminating constipation which can lead to much worse issues such as compaction. Those on paleo diets also drink an adequate amount of water and decrease their sodium intake. This both flushes out the waste and prevents water retention, which can lead to bloat.


Avoid Blood Sugar Crashes

If you have ever been in an important meeting at work and have suddenly found your mood plummeting as you got hungrier, then you have experienced a blood sugar crash. Eating a paleo diet can be very helpful in preventing these crashes and the accompanying spikes that occur when we eat because they are very rich in protein, fats, and slow-digesting carbs. Meals with a lot of protein and fat are very energy-dense and satisfying. This means you feel full sooner than if you were eating something like a bag of chips that was unbalanced. Carbs all raise your blood sugar a bit, but slow-digesting carbs do not raise it nearly as much. Nor do they let it drop as quickly. Slow-digesting carbs take a long time to be metabolized. This means that you will become hungry more slowly and without the irritabality and mood swings you might normally experience.


There are many benefits to a paleo diet. These are only a few. Paleo diets are rich in healthy fats, proteins, fruits, vegetables and slow-digesting carbs. This makes them the exact balance of the foods your body needs and people have been eating this way for millennia and still do in other parts of the world. These people are living happy, healthy lives, free from most of the health problems that face the Western world. Would it not be nice to live a life in which you had less of a risk of most of those problems? If you agree, then paleo just might be the right lifestyle choice for you.

A Guide to Vegetarianism

The choice to go vegetarian is a personal one. Sometimes it is for medical reasons, sometimes ethical, sometimes both and sometimes neither. Whatever the reasons for your choice to go vegetarian, you

The choice to go vegetarian is a personal one. Sometimes it is for medical reasons, sometimes ethical, sometimes both and sometimes neither. Whatever the reasons for your choice to go vegetarian, you will have to make some very large changes and to pay much more attention to the foods you eat. Would it not be great if there was a guide to help you through the change, a road map of sorts that you could use to point the way? Well, now there is. This article will serve as your tool kit and provide the information you need in order to make the transition to vegetarianism easier.


What Is A Vegetarian Anyhow?

Before you choose a vegetarian diet, you need to answer this simple question. What kind of vegetarian diet are you going to follow? In the broadest sense, a vegetarian is someone who does not eat meat, poultry or seafood. But in reality, that definition is not nearly so clear-cut as it seems to be. There are several types of vegetarian diets. Lacto-ovo vegetarians will not eat meat but will eat eggs and drink milk. They will also consume cheese and other dairy products. This is the most common type of vegetarian. Ovo vegetarians eat only eggs, but do not consume dairy products or eat any meat. Lacto vegetarians consume dairy products but do not eat eggs or any type of meat. Vegans will not consume any dairy, eggs or meat. They will not also wear leather or use any other animal products whatsoever. Research is the key here. Read up on the types of vegetarian diets. Pick the one that best fits your needs. Talk to your medical professionals. Your doctor may know of reasons that a vegetarian diet would not work well for you, and they will most assuredly have information on how to more effectively transition from your normal diet to a vegetarian one.


Make Menus and Find Recipes

Going vegetarian is not easy if you do not have a game plan. To these ends, making menus can be very helpful. A menu works as a road map of sorts. It provides a framework with which you can build the week’s meals. Be sure to check your grocery store to find out what vegetables and fruits are in season, as well as if they have vegetarian-friendly versions of your favorite products. For example, there are delicious tofu-based versions of many meat-based dishes, for example hamburgers, chicken nuggets and deli sliced turkey. These foods can make your adjustment to the vegetarian lifestyle far easier. Also, good recipes are a must-have. There are many vegetarian cookbooks out there. Chances are your local library or bookstore stocks these cookbooks. The Internet is also another good source of recipes. Aim to try a new recipe once weekly. That way your pool of vegetarian-friendly foods is always increasing and you will feel far less burned out.


Make Substitutions

Just because you are embracing a vegetarian lifestyle, it does not mean you have to give up your favorite foods. As mentioned above, there are a number of vegetarian options for dishes in most supermarkets. If your supermarket does not have these vegetarian options, they could very easily stock them for you. Many vegetarian versions of meat-based dishes are made with tofu. Tofu on its own is pretty flavorless. However, the lovely thing about it is that it soaks up the flavors of anything you cook with it. This means if you like spicy foods or sweet foods you can simply season the meat alternative you choose as you would normally and the tofu will suck up all the flavors. As a bonus, many of the vegetarian tofu products have almost the same consistency as meat. Chances are, you may not even miss meat at all.


Start Out Slowly

When adjusting to vegetarianism, it is important to start slowly. Cutting out red meat first is probably the best place to start. Of all the kinds of meat out there, red meats such as beef are the most unhealthy. Clearing these out of your diet will drastically improve your health as well as making the rest of the adjustment process easier. When you have grown accustomed to the lack of red meat, you can wean yourself off of other types of meats as well.

There are many reasons to become a vegetarian, some medical and some personal or ethical. Whatever your reasons are, a vegetarian diet can be much healthier than a diet which contains a lot of meat. No matter which vegetarian diet fits your needs best, there are still several steps you need to make to adjust to being a vegetarian. Now, with this article as your guide, you are fully ready to embrace your new, exciting lifestyle and all the challenges and rewards that come with it.



There are many reasons to become a vegetarian, some medical and some personal or ethical. Whatever your reasons are, a vegetarian diet can be much healthier than a diet which contains a lot of meat. No matter which vegetarian diet fits your needs best, there are still several steps you need to make to adjust to being a vegetarian. Now, with this article as your guide, you are fully ready to embrace your new, exciting lifestyle and all the challenges and rewards that come with it.

Fats: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Stop! Put down that donut. Unhand that candy bar. Before you take another bite, there are some things about fats you need to know. Did you realize that not all fats are bad for you? Some fats, eaten in the proper proportions can help keep your body healthy. If you did not know this small but important fact, do not worry. Many people do not know. It is far easier to think of all fat as evil that needs eradicating, but this article will disprove that notion. We will discuss the difference between good fats and bad fats, and the ways both affect your body, as well as steps to help you make better choices in what types of fats you eat. We will also clarify some of the tricky terminology surrounding the subject of fat, giving you a road map forward. If you are curious, then please keep reading. Oh, and you can pick up the donut now.


The Good

It is a common misconception that all fats are bad for you and go straight to your hips. This is completely untrue. Some fats, in healthy quantities pose a benefit to the body and are actually necessary for good heart health as well as other bodily functions. However, not all fats are created equal. Unsaturated fats are known as good fats, and they come in two types, mono unsaturated and poly unsaturated, based on their chemical composition. These types of fats help protect your heart, lower blood cholesterol and help insulin work more efficiently, which is particularly useful if you have Type II diabetes. As a bonus, unsaturated fats are really easy to add into your diet. Chances are good that you already get your recommended daily allotment of these fats, especially if you like any of the following foods: avocado, olives, peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, natural peanut butter, fatty fish such as tuna, salmon and mackerel and pumpkin seeds. There are also unsaturated oils. However, be careful with these. There are two types of unsaturated oils. The first type are cold-pressed oils such as peanut, sesamae and extra-virgin olive oil. These oils have been used in Asian cooking for hundreds of years and support your good health. The other type are more recently developed industrially manufactured oils such as soybean, corn, canola and safflower. These oils are manufactured generally using genetically modified crops and in a way that damages the fats, turning them into dangerous trans fats.


The Bad

As we have discussed before, not all fats are created equal. Just as there are good fats, there are also bad fats. These fats are saturated fats and trans-fats. These are the fats which do all the bad things that people have attributed to fats in general for so many years. They clog your arteries, add to your waistline and cause heart disease. Perhaps surprisingly, even a good fat can become a bad fat if it is damaged. Some fats, such as flax seed oil, must be stored in the refrigerator in an opaque container. If they are not properly stored, they will turn into saturated fats, and nobody wants that. Also, if you are going to use nuts and seeds, please be careful. Never eat or cook with nuts or seeds after they start smelling rank or tasting bitter.


The Ugly

We have briefly touched on the effects of bad fats, like the ones found in a lot of donuts, candy bars,  and potato chips, but we feel it is a good idea to discuss these effects in greater detail. Saturated fats and trans fats can cause plaques to build up in the arteries. These plaques are sticky like super glue, and they actively haul in proteins, more fats, and other types of molecules. Eventually, a plaque could even rupture, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke as the blood vessel holding the plaque will be blocked. These bad fats can also lead to fat deposits around the waistline. These fat deposits, in turn decrease the efficiency of insulin which may lead to Type II diabetes or worsen it in those who already have it. In short, saturated fats and trans fats can make your health vastly worse than it would otherwise be.


Fats are very important to your health. However, they are not equally healthy. Unsaturated fats can benefit the body in a number of ways such as improving the health of your heart as well as increasing insulin efficiency for Type II diabetics. Saturated fats, however, will damage your body in various ways and can undo your healthy choices. Think of that before you eat your next donut.

Nutrition 101: Getting Started

Going to the supermarket can feel like walking into a car dealership if you are trying to eat nutritiously. Every item on the shelves claims to be nutritious in one way or other, even things that you likely know blatantly are not, such as candy bars and potato chips. Every product is screaming at you from the shelves like a used car salesman hawking his wares, using all the buzz words. Every food claims to be low fat, low carb, high in protein, low in trans fat. If you do not know what these words mean, or the names of the chemicals you are shoving into your mouth, it will be hard to make the important, healthy choices you need to make. This article will serve as your guide through the labyrinth. We will discuss everything someone just starting out on this journey of healthy eating should need to know in order to not be duped by all the sales claims. This way you will know what nutrients you need, what quantities you need them in, and you will not overspend on the latest fad. If you are just beginning on the journey of healthy eating, just stick with us, and we will get you out the other side.


Too Much, Too Little

Multivitamins can be very useful in enhancing the amount of those nutrients you get too little of in your regular diet. However, taking more than one multivitamin can lead to overdoses of some of them. This overdose can lead to illness as your body attempts to cope with the excess. Furthermore, some vitamins are rendered useless if they are not in a harmonious balance with others. That is why it is so important to make sure that your nutrient intake is in balance as much as you can. There are many ways to insure a correct balance of nutrients. Do not take more than one multivitamin. Make sure to always pick foods from the five food groups at every meal. Check for your serving size based upon your height, weight and activity levels.


Balancing Act

There are five food groups. It is very important to eat a good balance of foods from each group to maintain good health. Many diets insist that you cut out or cut down on certain nutrients such as protein or carbs. However, this is not a good idea. If you cut down on carbs or protein or any other form of nutrition, then chances are likely that the only thing you will succeed in doing is unbalancing your metabolism. The key is balance and moderation. Each food group requires a person to eat different amounts of foods from that group.


Drink Water

The last helpful nutrient is water. Water is necessary for every single process within our bodies. It cools us off, carries nutrients throughout the body, is a major component in most of our organs and cells and helps flush out waste. Humans can live for a couple of weeks without food. However, it is impossible to live more than a few days without water. Some water comes from the foods we eat. However, that water is not nearly enough to power all your body’s processes. To gain the necessary water to maintain healthy, it is important to drink enough of it during a day. The average person needs six to eight glasses of water per day. Many of us, however, do not drink nearly that much and instead fill up the defecit with sugary soft drinks and coffee which can lead to dehydration, issues with blood sugar, and weight gain.


Watch Out For Refined Sugar

Many foods contain refined sugar. It is very important to look out for this sugar in your diet as it can lead to a lot of problems in the long-term. Perhaps the biggest of these problems is diabetes which, if untreated can be fatal. There is no cure for diabetes, and treating it may involve several painful needle pricks a day on top of the needle pricks necessary to test your blood sugar. One would think refined sugar would be easy to spot if you avoid candy, soda, cakes and pies but that isn’t the case. Refined sugar exists in every sort of food from fried rice to potato chips.


Good nutrition is very important. If your nutrition is poor, your health will suffer. Poor nutrition also leads to several diseases, including heart attack, heart disease, stroke, various cancers and some forms of Diabetes. These conditions, though they can be managed are incurable. This means if you are diagnosed with one, you will have it for the rest of your life. Perhaps unsurprisingly, those whose health is bad  report symptoms as diverse as chronic fatigue, irritability and bloating. This is just scratching the surface. Now, however, you have the keys you need to unlock good nutrition and change this grim prognosis. It is never too late to make healthier choices. And you do not even have to make all the changes at once. Every small change you make has a cumulative effect on your health and can make you happier and less ill. With these simple keys, you might even shut up the used car sales talk of the choices at your local supermarket.

Fainting: When to Seek Medical Advice

If you have fainted before, you know that moment of blackout can be confusing, disorienting or even scary. But how do you know if you need to seek medical advice?

Fainting can be an indicator of a serious medial problem. Let’s take a closer look into what fainting is and what it means.

What is fainting?
Fainting is defined as a brief loss of consciousness due to temporary shortage of blood flow to the brain. The medical term for fainting is “syncope.”

It is serious?
Most of the time, a single fainting incident is not a serious concern. These non-serious fainting episodes can be caused by a couple of different things.

One is the vasovagal reflex. The vasovagal reflex can be triggered by everyday events like fear, pain, stress, holding your breath, coughing, or even urinating. Because of its link to a trigger, this cause for fainting is usually easy to identify.

Another non-serious cause of fainting is orthostatic hypotension. This refers to a sudden drop in blood pressure, triggered by a change of position. Common causes for this include standing up too fast, becoming dehydrated, or taking certain medications.

However, fainting can be a sign of very serious medical conditions, so experts advise that any fainting incident be treated as a medical emergency.

These conditions include heart or blood vessel issues like heart disease, a blood clot in the lungs, or a heart vale problem. It can also be a sign of a nervous system problem like a seizure, stroke or transient ischemic attack (or TIA—also known as a mini-stroke).

What to do
If you feel faint, lay down or sit and put your head between your knees. This can restore blood flow and prevent a blackout.

But if you do pass out, always get medical attention. Experts recommend that any loss of consciousness like fainting be treated as a medical emergency.

Always Seek Medical Advice

As many as 4 in 10 people will faint at least once in their lives, according to Patient. Though it’s usually nothing to be concerned about, fainting can be a sign of a serious medial problem, so you should always seek medical advice following an episode.

Eating for Heart Health

February is National Heart Month, and since it is just around the corner, more and more people have begun to think once again about their own heart health. It is no secret that heart health is very important, but many people often do not know where to get started when it comes to learning about their options. A lack of information and education is one of the biggest hurdles most people have to get over before they can begin to do something about their own heart health. Read on to get started on your first step toward a healthier, happier heart.


National Heart Month

What exactly does National Heart Month mean? This important annual event focuses on the causes, treatment, and prevention of heart disease in American adults. Unfortunately, 25% of all deaths in the United States are caused by heart disease. It is the goal of National Heart Month to educate individuals on their options and potential risk factors when it comes to this life threatening illness. Throughout the month of February, the American Heart Association sponsors various events around the country to help educate the population about heart disease and how to maintain a healthier heart. Through these events, doctors and nurses are encouraged to share their knowledge with local communities, and to teach individuals and families how to make a difference in their own lives. You can get started early by learning how to eat better to improve the health of your most vital organ.


Cut Back On Fats

Trans fats and saturated fats are not good for your heart or for the rest of your body, either. Cutting back on both of these unhealthy types of fat can help lower your cholesterol, which in turn keeps blood flowing freely through your arteries and reduces your risk of artery disease. Saturated fats should make up less than 7% of your daily caloric intake, and trans fats should comprise less than 1% of what you eat in a day. Trans fats are much more dangerous, but you can cut them out by cooking with healthy oils instead of butter or shortening. In some cases, you might even be able to cut out fats and oils from your cooking altogether! If this is not possible, consider even healthier alternatives, such as avocado in place of butter in certain recipes.


Watch Your Portions

No matter what you eat, watching your portion control is a good way to help lose or maintain your weight and keep your heart operating as it should. Even if you’re eating a lot of salad or other healthy choices, it is possible to consume far too many calories in a day by piling your plate with too much food. Never eat until you feel too full. It is best to always stop before you feel uncomfortable, to allow yourself to digest fully without packing in even more calories you do not need. If you have trouble controlling how much food you take, consider using a smaller plate, like a salad plate, to help you feel like you are eating more. Learn what a serving size of grains looks like versus a serving size of meat or vegetables, and you will be well on your way to heart-healthy eating in no time.


Eat Your Vegetables

Of course, no item on the dinner menu is as healthy as a nice serving of vegetables (or sometimes fruit). Fruits and veggies both provide plenty of minerals and vitamins, and some have even been shown to help with weight loss by increasing the amount of fiber in your daily intake. When you eat more vegetables and fruits, you will be less likely to reach for high fat content foods, which will only make your heart that much healthier. Choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables as opposed to canned items that may be packed with sodium. If you do eat canned fruit, be sure it is packed in water or in its own juices, and never in syrup. Limit vegetables that have been fried, since the breading and oils used in their preparation will negate all the benefits of the veggie itself. Remember that raw and fresh is always better!


Focus On The Right Foods

There are several different foods that can make your heart healthy diet that much easier (and delicious). Fill up your plate with these tasty ingredients and you can be sure you are making a difference for your whole body.

Salmon: Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon and other similar fish are known for reducing plaque in the arteries and helping with irregular heart beats. Consume fatty fish like salmon two or three times a week. Do not eat too much fish in a week, however, due to the risk of mercury poisoning.

Citrus: Particularly in women, frequent consumption of citrus fruit can help reduce the risk of blood clots and associated problems such as clot-related stroke. Vitamin C and flavonoids are both present in citrus fruits, and they both help blood move properly and keep your heart beating evenly.

Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a fiber-filled breakfast treat that can help reduce cholesterol by soaking it up and moving it out of the body. Eat old-fashioned oatmeal that you prepare on the stove rather than the instant variety, which is usually full of sugar. Add a little honey and cinnamon instead of plain white sugar for healthy flavoring alternatives.

Tomatoes: Load up on tomatoes to enjoy the benefits of having plenty of potassium in your diet. Potassium is great for your body overall, and since tomatoes are high in antioxidants, they help move bad cholesterol out of your system while leaving the good. Best of all, they are a flavorful addition to just about any meal!

Blueberries: Fill up on blueberries to help reduce your risk of having a heart attack. When you consume blueberries at least three times a week, you receive tons of antioxidants that can help reduce your blood pressure and keep your heart pumping at a healthy r

Heart Attacks: Recognizing the Symptoms

Would you know if you were having a heart attack? Many people say that they would.

However, when it happens, they dismiss the very early warning symptoms as such innocuous things as indigestion, food poisoning, or even a harmless stomach bug. They find out only too late that what they mistook for harmless is actually much more serious and far less treatable than if they had gone to see a physician back when symptoms first presented themselves. As a further quandary, the symptoms of a heart attack differ depending on your sex, as well as other factors such as preexisting heart disease, age, and whether or not you are diabetic. Furthermore, not all those symptoms occur with every heart attack. This article will briefly discuss the symptoms of heart attack, so that you can be better informed and can detect the earliest warning signs in yourself or a loved one, and possibly even save a life.


Chest Pain and Discomfort

The most common symptoms of a heart attack are chest pain and discomfort. These are the ones that most people are familiar with, as they appear often on television and in movies. However, the chest pain and discomfort associated with a heart attack do not have to be the crushing, debilitating pain so often depicted. In fact, if you are a woman or a diabetic, the chest pain may be mild or even nonexistent. The pain, however, is usually concentrated in the center or left side of the chest and may not always feel like pain as most people think of it. Some people report fullness, pressure, squeezing or even indigestion. The feeling usually lasts for more than a few moments, or goes away and comes back.


Upper Body Discomfort

People who are having a heart attack may also feel pain in other areas of the upper body as well, such as the back and shoulders. Other areas of discomfort have also been reported. These include one or both arms, the jaw, neck, and stomach above the belly button. If you are a woman having a heart attack, pain is more likely to be in your neck, jaw and shoulders than if you are a man.


Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is another common symptom of a heart attack. It actually may be your only warning sign or occur along with chest pain and discomfort. It can occur when you are resting, or if you are doing a bit of light physical activity that would not normally cause you to become winded. All shortness of breath and chest pain that are out of the ordinary should be checked out by your physician as a safety measure. It is much better to be safe than sorry in this situation. This way, you may prevent a heart attack or get help in the early stages when it is treatable. And if it is not a heart attack, at least you will know what is really going on.


Other Symptoms

Though the three symptoms listed above are the most common symptoms of heart attack, they are most certainly not the only ones. For example, if you break out in a sudden cold sweat, it could be a warning sign of a heart attack. If you are concerned, please call your physician or a hospital, especially if the cold sweat is accompanied by chest pain. Feeling tired for no reason is another reason to contact a physician, especially if it lasts for days and you are a woman. Some heart attacks  have symptoms that can seem totally innocuous. These include light-headedness, nausea, vomiting and changes in severity of symptoms that you already have, if you have another heart condition.


Heart attacks are a real risk they take many lives every day, and most people do not know all the symptoms.  Fortunately, now that you have read this article, you do. This knowledge will allow you to detect a heart attack much more quickly as you will not take the signs and symptoms for granted. Who knows? Your new-found knowledge may even save a life. That life you save might even be your own.

Heart Glossary

When it comes to your body, nothing is more important than keeping your heart healthy. However, understanding heart health can be more than a little difficult, especially if you are a beginner to this important topic. Check out this list of heart-related terms to help you get started.


ACE Inhibitors – Medicines that are used to dilate blood vessels, lower blood pressure and fight other problems. These are also called angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors.


Angina – Severe pain in the chest, arm, neck, and jaw related to blocked arteries and a lack of oxygen in the heart and blood.


Arrhythmia – An irregular heartbeat which may or may not be related to something more serious.


Blood Pressure – The force exerted by the blood on the walls of the arteries. It is measured by two numbers, the diastolic pressure and the resting pressure. Traditionally, 120/80 has been considered the ideal blood pressure, but diet, stress, pain, and medication can always affect this reading.


Cardiac Arrest – A condition in which the heart has either stopped or slowed down so much that it cannot function properly. This condition leads to death within a few minutes after the victim falls unconscious.


Coronary Heart Disease –  A condition related to blockages in the coronary arteries, which causes a lack of blood flow to the heart.


EKG – The short term for electrocardiograms, which are tests performed on the heart’s electrical activity. This test is a great way to find out if your heart is too large, too irregular, or if you have had a heart attack in the past. This is a painless procedure that does not take very long and can often be performed in the doctor’s office instead of at a hospital.


HDL – High density lipoproteins, or good lipoproteins. These fat and protein molecules move cholesterol through the body to the liver. When you have a lot of HDLs, your risk for heart disease decreases.


LDL – Low density lipoproteins, or bad lipoproteins. These fat and protein molecules work in the opposite direction as HDLs, and instead move cholesterol into the body’s tissues. They can cause cholesterol and plaque buildup in the heart and arteries.


Plaque – Any mass in an artery that is made of fat, cholesterol, or calcium. Plaque in the arteries can be very dangerous, and can result in severe heart disease. These blockages must be cleared away and are often replaced with a stent, which is a tube that widens the artery to allow blood flow to increase.


Tachycardia – A fast heartbeat that is natural and not caused by other factors such as caffeine intake. By itself, tachycardia is not necessarily dangerous, but it could be an indicator of a larger problem.


Troponin – A type of protein that is found in the heart and can be used to monitor heart injuries and illness in blood tests.


Vasodilator – A type of medicine used to lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.


Vasopressor – A type of medicine used to raise blood pressure when it has dropped dangerously low.