Reversing the telltale signs of heart disease

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The You Docs

 BY MICHAEL ROIZEN, M.D., AND MEHMET OZ, M.D.

Telltale signs of hard living are unmistakable: Think of 26-year-old Lindsay Lohan's once-unlined face. But those of you with less raucous lives also can display physical signs that you're older than your chronological age -- and are at risk for heart disease.

A new study identifies a receding hairline at the temples, baldness on the top of the head, horizontal earlobe creases and yellow, fatty deposits around the eyes as markers of aging associated with heart disease. Got any three? Your chance of a heart attack goes up 57 percent.

But you can slash your risk by up to 60 percent and look younger, too, if you adopt some heart-smart habits:

1. Eliminate the five food felons: trans fats, most saturated fats, added sugars, sugar syrups and all grains that are not 100 percent whole. Add heart-friendly food (salmon and trout), or take up to 900 milligrams a day of omega-3 DHA.

2. Exercise and sleep more: Your goal: 10,000 steps a day; strength training two to three times a week; seven to eight hours of nightly shuteye. (Thirty minutes of exercise a day boosts restorative REM sleep by 65 percent.)

3. Go by the numbers: Blood pressure -- 115/75; triglycerides -- 100 or less; HDL -- 60 or above; LDL under 100; blood glucose -- 85 upon waking up; and BMI -- 18.5 to 24.9.

4. Ask your doc about taking two baby aspirins a day (with warm water before and after).   

5. After all that, have more fun (including sex)!  People who are more satisfied with their life produce fewer stress hormones, which protects your heart, big-time.

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