Leading Cause of Preventable Death

January 17, 2020

What is the leading cause of death in America?

Cardiovascular or heart disease.

The leading cause of death in the United States is also the most PREVENTABLE.

Doesn’t make sense, right?

Unfortunately we are not actively working to prevent heart disease. The great news is, we can start taking action now.


About 25% of Americans die of heart disease every year.

Heart failure is responsible for 11 million physician visits each year and more hospitalizations than all forms of cancer COMBINED.

Risk factors of cardiovascular diseases include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, uncontrolled diabetes, heavy metal toxicity, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and chronic stress.

Here’s 4 things you can start working on NOW to reduce your risk of heart disease.

1. Diet

Let’s be real… You knew this was going to be here.

Removing processed foods and replacing them with real whole foods is going to significantly reduce your risk of heart disease.

Consuming more dark leafy greens, eating more antioxidant rich fruits like berries, consuming healthy fats, and consuming foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are all going to help decrease your risk of heart disease.

Inflammation is extremely prevalent among patients with cardiovascular disease and all of these foods will reduce inflammation in your body.

2. Exercise

And you know this too…

Now you just have another reminder to get up and move today!

Dance, walk, run, box, row, bike, weight lift, do high intensity interval training; it really doesn’t matter as long as you’re doing something. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes a week which is about 30 minutes a day. Though doing some variation of cardio with weight lifting has been shown to be the most effective in preventing the risk of heart disease.

We’re more sedentary today than ever before. Our primal ancestors were not sitting behind a computer at a desk indoors all day. They were constantly moving and those conditions are what our primal bodies crave and thrive under.

3. Stress management


Chronic stress is becoming a factor in almost every condition today.

Most people have probably noticed your heart rate and blood pressure increase when you’re stressed out. This is because when you’re in that sympathetic (fight or flight) state, your blood vessels constrict and your heart starts working harder because you need to either run from that lion or be prepared to fight it.

Now, imagine being in this state all the time but now it’s not a lion you are trying to fight, it’s your boss or your teenage child. Those stressors don’t go away easily.

This is why it is so important to have healthy stress relieving techniques.

Alcohol, smoking anything (marijuana, cigarettes, hookah, juuls, whatever else the kids are doing these days), and watching TV are all unfortunately unhealthy stress relieving techniques, most of which lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Some of my favorite healthy stress relievers are forest bathing (spending time in nature), journaling, meditating, painting, yoga, and dancing.

4. Detoxification

Heavy metal toxins such as cadmium, lead, arsenic, and mercury increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Cadmium is generally found in tobacco. Lead is still ubiquitous in our world today from children’s toys to our water. Arsenic is found in chicken, rice, and groundwater. And mercury is found in fish and dental fillings.

These are all things most of us are exposed to quite frequently. This is why regularly supporting your detoxification pathways is so important.

The best ways to excrete these specific toxins is via sweat. This can be done by exercise and/or sauna therapy.

A number of randomized controlled studies (mostly in Japan) on patients dealing with cardiovascular disease found the group that went through 15 minutes of sauna therapy three times a week for six weeks had decreased risk of cardiovascular events.

Check out the research review I authored on sauna therapy for cardiovascular disease due to heavy metal accumulation in the May issue of the Townsend Letter to get more detail on these studies!

There you have it. Time to start taking some action! Some of these things you probably already knew but needed an additional reminder. Some of these things may be new, so you can add them to your routine. Even if you make just one change from each of these categories, you’re already reducing your risk of heart disease.

If you are currently struggling with or would like to prevent high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, uncontrolled diabetes, and any of the other risk factors: and would like additional guidance, schedule a complimentary consult with me TODAY to see how we can work together!

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1. Sobajima, M., Nozawa, T., Fukui, Y., Ihori, H., Ohori, T., Fujii, N., & Inoue, H. (2015). Waon Therapy Improves Quality of Life as Well as Cardiac Function and Exercise Capacity in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure. International Heart Journal, 56(2), 203–208. http://doi.org/10.1536/ihj.14-266

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