SOURCE: UltraWellness

December 20, 2007 15:12 ET

Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease in 5 Easy Steps

Mark Hyman, M.D of UltraWellness Explains Why Drugs Should Only Be Used as a Last Resort to Lower Cholesterol

LENOX, MA--(Marketwire - December 20, 2007) - Despite popular belief, cholesterol is actually only one of the many factors that can lead to cardiovascular disease. A healthy diet, supplements, exercise, and other lifestyle changes can have a dramatic positive impact on your health, cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease.

"If you are willing to make changes in your diet and lifestyle your cholesterol numbers could change dramatically -- and so will your life," said Mark Hyman, M.D. of UltraWellness. "Many of my patients have lowered their cholesterol over 100 points by following my comprehensive, yet easy to follow 5 step plan for lowering heart disease risk."

1. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Lower heart disease risk with a healthy diet that focuses on lean protein, foods high in fiber and low in saturated and hydrogenated fat, and eight to ten servings of colorful fruits and vegetables a day, which contain disease fighting vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients (plant molecules that give your body nutrients), antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules.

2. Take Supplements

Everyone can benefit from good multivitamins and minerals in addition to heart-healthy supplements to further lower cholesterol.

3. Exercise

Exercise is a necessity in preventing almost all chronic disease, from heart disease to cancer, from dementia to diabetes, from osteoporosis to osteoarthritis. 30 to 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise six times a week along with strength training to build muscle and reduce body fat composition will significantly help to prevent heart disease.

4. Reduce Stress

Stress alone is often the trigger that can lead to a fatal heart attack. Finding ways to manage stress and relax is essential for dealing with nearly all chronic health conditions, including high cholesterol. Learn to reduce stress with regular relaxation exercises such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, breathing, guided imagery or whatever it takes to engage the relaxation nervous system.

5. Medication

"I never start medication without trying an integrated approach to cholesterol management first," said Hyman. "To read about my recommendations for the rare occasions when I do recommend medications, as well as more ways to prevent heart disease with healthful eating, exercise and stress reduction visit The UltraWellness Blog. ("

About UltraWellness:

UltraWellness -- lifelong health and vitality -- is based on the emerging field of functional medicine, which addresses health problems not by treating the symptoms, but by balancing the 7 core underlying biological processes that govern health. This is done by finding imbalances, getting rid of the things that cause those imbalances, and providing the necessary things to restore balance, which then allows the body's natural intelligence to facilitate healing and take care of the rest. Co-founder of UltraWellness, Mark Hyman, M.D., is a respected medical consultant, New York Times bestselling author, lecturer, practicing physician and leader in the emerging field of functional medicine.