Series: The South Beach Diet
Paperback: 295 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (December 26, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #364,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #39 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diets & Weight Loss > South Beach Diet #226 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diseases & Physical Ailments > Heart Disease #310 in Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diets & Weight Loss > Low Carb
Several years ago, my doctor put me on the South Beach Diet after tests showed high cholesterol. Having a roll of fat around my belly didn't help either. I was hesitant to go on a diet, because everything I heard had led me to believe that they don't work, and that I'd just end up putting the weight back on, and adding several pounds beyond that. But the diet said that I could eat normal portions, and indeed did not have to limit how much I ate of most things, so long as I stuck with healthful foods. Since getting my blood chemistry right was the issue, not losing weight, I figured I'd give it a try. And I figured that if my love handles went away, so much the better.As it turned out, following the South Beach Diet book, by the same author, not only got my cholesterol into the normal range, where it has stayed for years, but had a side effect of my waist size dropping by five inches. Although the diet worked well, I thought that the diet book could have been written better.This new book represents a focus and maturity that his earlier books lacked. It deals with the broader area of heart health, not just diet and exercise. Although it is still repetitive in some places, it does a good job driving home the points that it sets out to make. Just as his earlier book showed me that most of what I learned about diet while growing up was just plain wrong, Agatston shows that what most people knew about heart attacks and related conditions, including what cardiologists knew, was wrong.What was lacking in the earlier book was a clear path for the dieter whose goal was to improve health more than lose weight. This new book gives a better framework in that respect.
I've been overweight my entire life but my blood chemistry tests have always been excellent so I took good heart health for granted. That is, until my dad had quintuple bypass surgery last summer. That was a major wake-up call for me and my search for information led me to Dr. Agatson's book.Dr. Agatson explains that we have the knowledge and technology to almost eliminate heart attacks and strokes. In the book, he outlines a four-part program to protect yourself from heart disase. The four parts, in no particular order, are as follows:Part One: Diet. Not surprisingly, Dr. Agatston recommends his South Beach Diet to prevent cardiovascular disease.Part Two: Exercise. Again, no surprise here. A sensible program of cardiovascular and strength training is included in the book.Part Three: Diagnostic tests. This was the most surprising part of the book for me. Dr. Agatston describes several critical but rarely used tests that can give your physician a great deal of information about your chances of having a heart attack. He also discusses some more commonly used tests, such as the new calcium scoring heart scans (which, incidentally, Dr. Agatston developed...it rates your calcium as an "Agatston score").Part Four: Medication and supplements. Dr. Agatson discusses over-the-counter supplements that are beneficial as well as prescription medications. Several of the prescription medications are used based on the results of the diagnostic tests described in part three.Perhaps the most eye-opening part of the book is the explantion of how a heart attack occurs. The notion of plaque gradually building up in your arteries until it blocks the blood flow is incorrect.
This book is essential reading.Have you ever been to a cardiologist? I've been to lots. The South Beach Heart Program will teach you more valuable lessons about what you can do to improve your health than if you consulted every cardiologist you could find.Why do you need to learn those lessons? Most of what you've been told about heart health is wrong. For example, most people have been told that the higher your cholesterol level the more likely you are to have a heart attack. Yet, more people with low cholesterol have heart attacks than those with high cholesterol. Like most things, the answer is more complicated. It all depends on what kind of cholesterol you have: And you probably don't know how to interpret or ask for the right kinds of lab tests. This book will cure those kinds of misunderstandings.Basically, there's been a shift in what we understand about heart disease in the last few years. The older (and incorrect) view is that you need to sluice out the arteries and all will be well (much like what a plumber does). The newer (and more correct) view is that arteries become damaged and need to be healed. This book explores the implications of the newer view.How can you tell what kind of cardiologist you have? If they favor heart bypass surgery, balloon catheterization, and stents, you've got a plumber. If they oppose those methods, you've got a healer.Long before he was taking dozens of pounds off millions of people with his South Beach Diet, Dr. Agatston was a well-respected cardiologist. In this book, you see the four elements that he prescribes for his patients to virtually eliminate heart disease:1. Follow the South Beach Diet.2. Exercise according to the South Beach Heart Workout.
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