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Prevent a Second Heart Attack: 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease Paperback – February 1, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Cholesterol Down, nutrition and fitness expert Brill simplified lowering blood cholesterol levels to four weeks and 10 steps. Here, she reduces confusing dietary guidelines typically given to post–heart attack patients to a two-month regime aiming to minimize risk factors ("good" and "bad" cholesterol ratios; blood pressure levels; inflammation; weight; etc.). Brill's focus is dual: preventing a second heart attack and creating a lifestyle that works in tandem with prescribed medications. Contending that low-fat diets and most supplements are ineffective and programs touted in bestsellers and the media (Pritikin, Ornish) prove too restrictive for many patients, Brill offers a Mediterranean-style diet incorporating liberal daily servings of eight "superfood" groups: healthy fats, vegetables, fruit, legumes, seafood, walnuts and flaxseeds, whole grains, and moderate amounts of red wine. Brill's primer on plaque, which she states can begin to build up before birth, is alarming, but her confidence in reversing cardiovascular disease will encourage readers to make significant lifestyle changes. To ensure they do so, Brill throws in a bonus superfood: dark chocolate, a treat, she advises, to be consumed daily. (Feb.)
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Review

...Brill's confidence in reversing heart disease will encourage readers to make significant lifestyle changes. To ensure they do so, Brill throws in a bonus superfood: dark chocolate, a treat, she advises, to be consumed daily. --Publisher's Weekly

“This is an important book. Dr. Brill has managed to combine an enormous body of scientific literature [that] establishes the profound links between heart health and nutrition with a highly practical, motivational, and user-friendly approach. If every American followed the principles found in this book, we could substantially reduce the burden of heart disease in our country.”
—James M. Rippe, MD, cardiologist, founder and director of the Rippe Lifestyle Institute

“Dr. Brill provides an engaging and informative book for patients and providers alike. This exceptional book provides easy-to-read information on nutrition and heart disease, practical approaches to heart healthy living, and tools to help patients successfully reduce heart-disease risk. I will recommend this book most highly to all my patients.”
—JoAnne M. Foody, M.D., FACC, FAHA, medical director of Cardiovascular Wellness at Brigham and Women’s Hospital

“For the thirteen million Americans who have survived a heart attack or are diagnosed with heart disease, this book is a MUST read! In [a] thorough, thoughtful, evidence-based, user-friendly approach, Dr. Brill presents the eight key foods and lifestyle changes needed to CONQUER heart disease. This book provides the roadmap to successfully navigating the way to a long healthy life after a heart attack.”
—Jennifer H. Mieres, M.D., FACC, FAHA, cardiologist, coauthor of Heart Smart for Black Women and Latinas

“A superb resource for health professionals and consumers! Dr. Brill covers it all! I will recommend her book wholeheartedly to my patients who want science-based guidelines to keep their hearts healthy naturally with nutritious foods and exercise.”
—Georgia Kostas, MPH, RD, LD, author of The Cooper Clinic Solution to the Diet Revolution
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 366 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; 1 Original edition (February 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030746525X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307465252
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My review is written from the perspective of a physician and clinical epidemiologist and researcher.

This is a well researched and written book with generally mainstream conclusions regarding secondary dietary prevention of heart disease based on current research. Her book will provide sound practical advice and hope to individuals with newly diagnosed coronary artery disease and their families. Readers would be well advised however, to supplement this book with resources from other sources such as the American Heart Association regarding other risk factors and lifestyle interventions not emphasized in this book.

Ms. Brill, as a registered dietician, focuses primarily on diet. Most authorities have adopted the basic principles she advocates such as a Mediterranean diet, exercise, and moderate alcohol intake. Furthermore, she makes a good effort to summarize complex biochemical principles and epidemiological research into an accessible format for lay readers.

Readers should be cautioned, however, that such conclusions are largely based on non-experimental, epidemiological research. Such research can only show a statistical association; it cannot prove causation and, thus, conclusions based on it are likely to change over time (as it has in the past) as the scientific database grows. I was concerned that she repeatedly makes claims of causation based on such epidemiological data.

My other major concern is that her recommended diet is relatively high in fat. If one were to follow her advice literally regarding liberal consumption of olive oil and nuts in the quantities she recommends, these two items alone amount to nearly 500 calories per day. It would be difficult to do this and not gain weight over time, which would obviously have an unintended and adverse effect on one's lipid (cholesterol) profile.
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Format: Paperback
When I was released from the hospital in June 2010, I was wheeled out to the parking lot to await my taxi ride from Victoria Texas to my home in Port Lavaca, Texas, with a fistful of prescriptions, a one-page advisory on maintaining the right diet and exercising -- and two coronary arterial stents.

If you have to have a heart attack, my board certified cardiologist told me, the kind I had was the best. I had no chest pains, but I was sweating much more than usual and I was experiencing nausea to a horrific degree.

With the stents, proper medication and exercise -- and the right diet -- I'm feeling great now.

My diet before the June 19, 2010 heart incident (I hesitate to call it an "attack") wasn't bad and I'm a non-smoker, so only a few modifications were necessary. I don't eat much red meat; I love veggies and fruit and use soy milk in my oatmeal and other whole grain cereal, rather than cow's milk, which my wife loves. I can't stand eggs or chicken (the result of growing up on a Michigan farm where we raised chickens for their meat and their eggs). I do love cheese, but I try to eat it sparingly and an occasional (very occasional) French bread pizza in the microwave is just what I need with my glass or two of red wine in the evening. I like an occasional bite of chocolate, which Brill recommends, in moderation. Plus I love nuts, including the walnuts that Brill says are great for heart health, as is the oatmeal that I regularly consumed.

Instead of the cheat-sheet on diet and exercise, which I already followed, a copy of Janet Bond Brill's "Prevent A Second Heart Attack: 8 Foods, 8 Weeks to Reverse Heart Disease" (Three Rivers Press, 336 pages, $15.00) would have been most welcome.
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This was the best of 6 books on preventing or reversing heart disease I read to help a friend who had a heart attack. I am an MD who practiced Internal Medicine. I found much of the data in this book invaluable and new to me. It is quite readable, practical, science based and thoroughly referenced (267 references) with data from about 200 individual studies. As a prior reviewer noted, many of the studies are based on epidemiologically based research which show association but cannot prove causation. I agree that the author would have done well to emphasize this more frequently. None the less, the kind of tightly controlled studies we might wish for are expensive, very difficult to arrange and often unethical in human populations. The type of study Brill cites are currently the only thing we have. Another plus for this book is that it is based on data relevant to survival rather than an ideology about plant based food. Brill explains the physiology and pathology of heart disease in a thorough manner which contributes to understanding the rationale of the suggested dietary choices.

There is so much good and current information in the book that I am on my third reading. A goodie I missed that first two times: Among 23,000 Greeks studied prospectively for an average of 8.5 years the dietary items most associated with longevity were in order: 1) moderate red wine intake, 2) low consumption of meat, 3) high consumption of vegetables, 4) high consumption of fruits and nuts, 5) high consumption of olive oil and 6) high consumption of legumes. I woud never have guessed that moderate red wine intake would be the most highly predictive factor for longevity.

She makes a good case for including fish in your diet.
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