The Recorder – Lifestyle choices key to heart health, says Baystate doctor


Posted: 02/23/2021 13:19 PM

Baystate’s healthcare system, including its hospital in Greenfield, celebrated American Heart Month throughout February, and cardiologists hope people continue to learn how to take care of their hearts long after it has passed. arrival of March.

Dr Anahita Shahrrava, a member of the Hospital System Cardiology group, said everyone should focus on their heart health every day.

“People should focus on their lifestyle,” Shahrrava said. “They can celebrate Heart Month by setting goals for themselves, their friends and loved ones. Everyone should increase their physical activity; eat a healthy, complete and plant-based diet; stop smoking if they smoke; and find ways to reduce their stress. These are the things that prevent heart disease.

Shahrrava said poor diets are high in animal meat, dairy, processed foods and salt. She said people should also work on their weight, as being overweight or obese can lead to heart disease.

Shahrrava advises people to tell their friends and relatives about what they are doing to take care of their hearts.

“You can exercise together, diet together,” she said. “People need to motivate each other. “

Arteriosclerosis, the thickening and hardening of the walls of the arteries, can start in adolescence, which is why Shahrrava said people need to think about what they eat and how much exercise they are. make.

“It’s never too early to start prevention,” she said. “It’s better than a cure.”

The cardiologist said people should eat more fruits and vegetables and cook at home whenever possible, as takeout can be high in sodium and fat, among other things. She said heart disease is still the leading cause of death and most heart disease cannot be reversed, but can be prevented or controlled.

She added that the pandemic has affected everyone, for better and for worse.

“Some people stayed home and cooked healthy meals and really took care of themselves, while others ate a lot and made bad decisions about their health,” she said. “We encourage people to stay in their homes as much as possible, cook there and make sure they move. Once they have these good habits, they will keep them long after the pandemic is over. “

For more information on heart health, visit

Contact Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or [email protected]


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