More from Dr. April…My official job title is: cardiologist-scientist-mother of two-wife of a man who ate no vegetables until I met him. And yes I DO wear pearls with my scrubs! I became interested in educating folk about the link between food and heart disease when I became a cardiologist and was instantly bombarded with questions about “what can I eat?” Being a total geek, I went to the scientific literature to look for an answer and was struck by a plethora of papers with two contradictory conclusions: 1) people that eat a diet rich in vegetables, whole grains, and fish have less cardiovascular disease 2) feeding people specific vitamin/antioxidant/whatever that were extracted from those foods did NOTHING to reduce cardiovascular disease. At the same time I was teaching myself to cook these same foods-mostly from countries associated with the “Mediterranean diet”. This experience led me to conclude that food cannot be distilled into a pill-it is real food itself, eaten as our ancestors did that is the “magic bullet” against modern heart disease.
Of course that manifesto is all well and good as an academic. The real challenge is translating it into a real life with two working parents who get home after 6pm, an 11 yo who loves raw oysters but refuses pasta and a wild card 7 yo whose favorite word is “no.” To spread the word that “if I can do it so can you!” I’ve given lots of lectures locally with the American Heart Association and written recipes down for patients in clinic. I’m eager to spread the word further and share the science behind the food. Knowledge is power so prepare yourself when you children expound to their friends on the benefits of fatty fish. I also want to know about YOU and your challenges. Together, we can build a healthier life for ourselves and those we love.