October 5th 2019 - Dr. Fred Buckhold, Dr. Stephanie White, Dr. Theresa Schwartz, & Jessica Stafford

Health Matters
Friday, October 4th
1.  Dr. FRED BUCKHOLD, SLU Care general internist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  Dr. Buckhold tackles four big issues this week.   New study shows Americans are not paying enough attention to what we eat.  We did cut down on added sugars and ate more whole grains...but we eat too many sweetened foods and artery clogging saturated fats.  Dr. Buckhold says there is no one great diet.  Many of his students like the Keto Diet.  The less processed foods, the better.  Fresh fruits and vegetables, leaner meats -- fish, chicken and turkey -- are better than red meat.  Eat bacon rarely.  Dr. Buckhold says we should shop around the edges of our local grocery store.  All the good stuff we need is in the outside aisles -- produce, meats, dairy.  Avoid the chips and processed and canned foods in the middle aisles.  A new controversial study says red meat consumption may not be that bad for us.  But not everyone agrees.  Dr. Buckhold suggests we stay the course in limiting our red meat intake -- instead eating leaner meats.  But all things in moderation.  Dr. Buckhold also addresses the danger of falls in the elderly and has tips on how to protect ourselves against falls in the future.   And when it comes to preventing the flu and the common cold, Dr. Buckhold says proper hand sanitation is the key -- with soap being more effective at fighting germs than hand sanitizer.

2.  Dr. STEPHANIE WHITE, cardiologist with SSM Health Medical Group.  A new study shows a gender gap when it comes to heart disease.  Doctors need to do a better job addressing heart disease risk in women in the earliest stages.  Women are not getting enough treatment for high cholesterol and other heart risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.  She says we need to do a better job identifying people at risk for heart attack and treating them before the heart attack comes.  What are the risk factors we can control?  Dr. White says know your numbers and talk with your doctor about them.  She also recommends the Mediterranean Diet as a good heart healthy diet. 2020 Democrat Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders suffered chest discomfort this week and ended up getting two stents put in.  How common are stents?  What are the risks and concerns?  And how good are fish oil supplements for preventing heart attacks and stroke?  Better for heart disease, not so good for strokes. 

3.  Dr. THERESA SCHWARTZ, SLU Care breast surgeon with SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital.  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  A new study shows the importance of exercise to preventing breast cancer.  Dr. Schwartz says even a little bit of exercise goes a long way.  Another new study shows despite more cases of breast cancer being identified every year, the mortality rate continues to fall.  Why are fewer women dying these days from breast cancer?  Dr. Schwartz says better screening and better treatments get a lot of the credit.  When do women need to start mammograms?  What are the current best breast cancer treatments out there? This week, we learned Beyonce's father has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  How common is breast cancer in men?  And breast cancer is no longer a death sentence.  Dr. Schwartz says we have made great strides in fighting breast cancer in just the last 40 years.

4.  ​JESSICA STAFFORD, registered dietician with SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital Lake St. Louis.  A new study suggests if we eat more nuts, we could slow our weight gain as we get older.  Stafford says eating nuts can help us keep one pound off every year.  About one fourth of a cup a day -- doesn't matter what kind of nuts but she says walnuts are the best -- highest in Omega 3 fatty acids.  She says nuts are high in fiber, protein, heart healthy fat, anti-oxidants and vitamins and minerals.  The more nuts we eat, the less highly processed foods we are eating.  Nuts take longer to chew and are slower to digest.  They are high in calories, but they have so many other benefits -- it's better to eat a handful of nuts than a handful of cheese puffs.  Nuts can also lower our risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and helps lower our cholesterol.