By now, everybody knows about those nasty trans fatty acids (commonly called trans fats) that, until recently, were ubiquitous in many of our favorite foods. Trans fats, we are assured, are killers - if anything, they're even worse than saturated fats in increasing our risk for heart attack and stroke.
But thanks to our ever-vigilant public health experts, who recently raised the alarm over trans fats, over the past few years food manufacturers have cut way back on their use of these toxic substances in our processed foods.
One would be tempted to say a hearty "thanks" to the public health experts and the various consumer groups whose loud outcries have now rid us of this scourge, if it were not for the fact that those same public health experts and those same consumer groups were largely responsible for having trans fats inserted into the American food chain in the first place. Both of these opposite actions were undertaken for the good of all of us.
The public health experts, of course, are congratulating themselves for saving us from the shark - and refuse to recall they're the ones who pushed us overboard in the first place. Far from being chastened, they are feeling quite heroic as they prepare to do it all again - that is, to launch a profound, population-wide dietary change whose overall effect on Americans may not be as clear-cut as the experts let on.
History is important, which is why you should read the sad history of trans fats.
Heart disease can cause numerous symptoms, including palpitations, chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath and more.
Here is a discussion of the key symptoms produced by heart disease, and what they might mean.
Atrial fibrillation is one of the most common of the cardiac arrhythmias - and unfortunately it can be one of the most frustrating to treat, for both the doctor and the patient. In fact, there is no "best" way to treat atrial fibrillation that can be applied to everyone. Instead, there are two very different general approaches to treating this arrhythmia - and with each approach, several potential treatment options are available. Things can get confusing very quickly for you and your doctor.
This means that if you have atrial fibrillation, to make sure you get the therapy that fits you best, you need to learn as much as you can about this arrhythmia, about the various therapies that are used for it, and which of these therapies are appropriate under which circumstances. Armed with this information, you can work with your doctor to choose the treatment path that's right for you.
Read about treating atrial fibrillation.
It has now been demonstrated by several clinical studies that people who have heart attacks in the month of December - really, from Thanksgiving through New Years Day - have a higher chance of dying than people whose heart attacks occur at any other time of the year.
While there are several potential reasons for this increase in deaths with December heart attacks, the most important reason probably has to do with human nature. Read about this "December phenomenon," and what you can do to avoid reinforcing this unpleasant statistic.