Heart Risk Evaluations Recommended Reading List


      There is an abundance of excellent reading material available on various aspects of heart risk.  The list below mentions some of these, but is not intended to be all inclusive.

      Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease, Dean Ornish, M.D., Random House.  Dr. Ornish's world-renowned heart program.  A well-written, balanced, effective and comprehensive book.

      The McDougall Program For a Healthy Heart, John A. McDougall, M.D., Dutton.  Another excellent overall heart health book.  Very well laid out, easy to follow.  Comprehensive and authoritative.

      Good Fat, Bad Fat: Lower Your Cholesterol & Reduce Your Odds of a Heart Attack, William P. Castelli, M.D. and Glen C. Griffin, M.D., Fisher Books.  When William Castelli speaks the heart industry listens!  Dr. Castelli is the long-time medical director of the famed Framingham Heart Study.  This book contains many nuggets of insight, and has a very easy-to-grasp method for keeping cholesterol levels low.

      The Stanford Life Plan For a Healthy Heart, Helen Cassidy Page, John Speer Schroeder, M.D., Tara Coghlin Dickson, M.S., R.D., Chronicle Books.  Another excellent, comprehensive, well-rounded book.  The dietary plan is easy to grasp, balanced and reasonable.  

      Conquering Heart Disease, Harvey B. Simon, M.D, Little Brown and Company.  An excellent work from this Harvard Medical School doctor.  Provides a solid basic foundation in heart health, including causes of heart disease and a thorough breakdown of the major risk factors.  Dr. Simon's work is accurate, clear, straightforward and educational.

      Syndrome X, Jack Challem, Burt Berkson, M.D., Ph.D., Melissa Diane Smith, John Wiley & Sons. This book nicely describes the occurrence where insulin resistance or carbohydrate processing disorders cause many serious heart-related health problems.  Among these are high cholesterol, low "healthy" HDL, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, rising fasting glucose levels and a tendency to put on body fat, especially in the upper body.  These can all occur even in the presence of a low fat, low cholesterol diet, and especially where many refined carbohydrates are consumed.  Doctors are paying increasing attention to this syndrome now in the early 21st century.

      The Carbohydrate Addict's Healthy Heart Program, Richard Heller, Rachael F. Heller, Frederic J. Vagnini, Random House.  This book is one of a series by the Hellers concerning carbohydrate addiction, which is very closely related, if not identical, to the Syndrome X factor mentioned above.  The author's own web site describes this condition well: "Too much insulin results in too strong an impulse to eat, too often, and a body that too readily stores food in the form of fat."  If this sounds like you, both this book and Syndrome X may be very helpful.  The series of Carbohydrate Addict's books are well arranged and medically sound.

      The Glucose Revolution, Jennie Brand Miller, Thomas M.S. Wolever, Stephen Colagiuri.  Another book that well describes carbohydrate addiction and insulin resistance.  Contains glycemic index (how the body's sugar-handling system reacts to various foods) and many low-glycemic recipes.  Solid nutritional thinking.

      Eating Well for Optimum Health, Andrew Weil,  Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.  Dr. Weil's series of books, including this, his newest, offer excellent, well-balanced, medical and nutritional information.  Dr. Weil avoids extremes, and in doing so presents his nutritional ideas with wisdom.

      Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites, The Moosewood Collective, Random House.  Primarily a heart-healthy cookbook.  Many recipes in the book are both excellent and easy to prepare, each containing a nutritional breakdown for those on strict low-fat diets.

      Fitness For Dummies,  Suzanne Schloshberg, Liz Neporet, IDG Books Worldwide.  Very well organized and written.  One of the best all-around books on exercise and fitness.  Contrary to title, definitely not written for (or by) dummies.

      Prevention Magazine.  Prevention, a monthly periodical with wide distribution, does an excellent job educating the public concerning important health issues.  There is a heart-health related article in virtually every issue.  Prevention avoids fads and extremes, providing a wealth of the most current balanced research available.  Very readable.

      There are many excellent heart health books, such as those by authors Robert Kowalski, Harvey Simon, Julian Whitaker, Kenneth Cooper, Terry Shintani, and others.  You can find all of these publications in your local bookstore, library, or on the web.

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