Pay attention to these seven action items, and you just may find that you don’t need to worry quite so much about cholesterol after all.

1. Eat an anti-inflammatory diet. The fruit and vegetable kingdom is teeming with natural anti-inflammatories like quercetin (apples and onions) and curcumin (turmeric). Drink green tea and pomegranate juice. Balance your protein and fat with tons of vegetables. And eat dark chocolate—it’s cocoa flavanols help lower blood pressure and keep the cardiovascular system healthy.

2. Reduce grains, starches, sugar and omega-6’s (vegetable oils).  Every one of these has the power to increase inflammation—a lot!

3. Manage Your Stress. Stress is an enormous risk factor for heart disease, and is inflammatory as well. Find a way to manage it. Anything from regular walks in the park to deep breathing exercises to warm baths can help.
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4. Exercise. It’s probably the best anti-aging (and heart protective) drug on the planet.

5. Drink only in moderation. And if, like me, you don’t process the word “moderation” very well, don’t drink at all.

6. Don’t smoke. Probably the number one recommendation for heart disease prevention.

7. Supplement wisely.. Antioxidants like vitamin C protect against oxidative damage (one of the promoters of heart disease) while omega-3’s (particularly EPA and DHA from fish oil) are among the most anti-inflammatory molecule on earth. And curcumin does just about everything—it’s an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.

No program in the world will eliminate risk. Wearing seat belts doesn’t guarantee a bolder won’t fall off the overpass and crush your car. But that doesn’t mean wearing seat belts is a bad idea. If an action can considerably reduce the risk of something bad happening, that’s really all we can ask from it.

The 7 recommended actions above will do that.

To me, that’s smart medicine.

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