St. Petersburg, Florida -- It's the number killer in the U.S., but 90-percent of heart disease can be prevented.
Just in time for American Heart Month, a Bay area doctor focused on preventative care says it's time for a heart tune-up.
Dr. Steven Masley of the Masley Optimal Health Center in St. Petersburg is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of South Florida and fellow with the American Heart Association. He told 10 News Anchor Heather Van Nest there are four key factors for shrinking plaque in your arteries and reducing your risk for a heart attack: fiber, fit, body fat and nutrients.
Dr. Masley's 30-Day Heart Tune-up is hitting shelves February 4th. Dr. Masley will give you a chance to preview a chapter on his website.
Dr. Masley pointed out these commonly believed Cholesterol Myths:
• High cholesterol is the leading cause of heart disease.
• If your HDL is normal or if your total cholesterol/HDL ratio is good, you are safe from heart disease.
• The amount of cholesterol in your food determines your blood cholesterol level.
• Moderate egg and shrimp consumption causes your cholesterol level to jump.
• LDL cholesterol is your enemy and should be as low as possible.
• A high body mass index (BMI) is a major risk factor for heart disease.
• Once you start medications for high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you will need to take them the rest of your life.
• Your family history determines if you are at high or low risk for cardiovascular disease.
• If you take a statin cholesterol-lowering medication, you can eat whatever you want.
You can learn more about the steps to getting a 30 day heart tune up in our extended video interview.
Click here for the medical testing your doctor may not be ordering but Dr. Masley recommends. (PDF)
Click here to see Dr. Masley prepare one of his six favorite recipes-- Gumbo.