Food Network Star Carl Ruiz: How Can You Prevent Heart Disease?

Fans and celebrities were saddened when they heard about the passing of Food Network host Carl Ruiz. He reportedly died as a result of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. How can you prevent this disease? Showbiz Cheat Sheet reached out to health experts and medical professionals for some answers. Here’s their advice for keeping your heart healthy.

A memorial for Chef Carl Ruiz at the Blue Moon Burger Bash presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats and hosted by Rachael Ray on October 11, 2019 | Noam Galai/Getty Images for NYCWFF
A memorial for Chef Carl Ruiz at the Blue Moon Burger Bash presented by Pat LaFrieda Meats and hosted by Rachael Ray on October 11, 2019 | Noam Galai/Getty Images for NYCWFF

Eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise

The key to preventing cardiovascular diseases is in a healthy diet. Avoid food with saturated fats, processed sugars, and low nutritional value. Eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber– fruits and vegetables. Regular physical exercise is an essential way to keep your cardiovascular health in check and to prevent diseases. By practicing a cardio workout, you’re strengthening your heart, which pumps more blood and keeps the blood vessels free of build-up.

Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, MD, Medical Advisor,

Manage your emotions

Chronic distressing emotions such as depression, stress, anxiety, and most potently anger have been linked to heart disease. In addition to chronic distressing emotions, negative thinking has been linked to heart disease. Emotional and cognitive self-management is a key aspect of maintaining a healthy heart.

There are many strategies for cognitive and emotional self-management. The most common cognitive strategy is managing “self-talk,” which is one of the most important, as it works to reduce negative thinking. Negative thinking is the direct cause of most depression, anger, anxiety, and stress so mastering the ability to change negative thinking to realistic thinking is key in all emotional management and therefore key to prevention of heart issues.

Steven M. Sultanoff, Ph.D., psychologist, professor at Pepperdine University, and past president of the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor

Use food as medicine

Diet will always be the best way to prevent and treat heart disease. The diet can control hormones and gene expression that drugs cannot.  However, for diet to be effective, it must be treated as a drug to be taken at the right dose and the right time for a lifetime.  In particular, for heart disease, the correct diet will reduce the hormones known as eicosanoids that drive heart disease and increase the hormones known as resolvins that reverse heart disease.  Also, the diet can reduce the gene expression that causes inflammation and simultaneously increase the expression of the genes that repair the damage to the heart caused by inflammation.

Dr. Barry Sears, author of the Zone Diet book series, and president of the non-profit, Inflammation Research Foundation

Make a change today

If you haven’t been eating a healthy diet, don’t think it’s too late to start. Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet, says it’s never too late to start eating well. “It is vital to integrate dietary habits to prevent or reduce heart disease. It is never too late to begin eating a balanced diet focusing on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean or plant proteins, and absent of refined carbohydrates. This diet pattern will fuel your body with fiber and cardioprotective nutrients.”

Read more: Why Some Food Network Fans Stopped Watching ‘The Pioneer Woman’ Ree Drummond

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