Heart Healthy Workshop Series to Provide Free Advice, Cooking Demo

heart healthRANDOLPH – Gifford Medical Center in Randolph will hold a free Heart Healthy Workshop Series this January.

The series includes talks from cardiologist Dr. Bruce Andrus and registered dietitian Stacy Pelletier. Gifford’s renowned chefs will complete the series with a cooking demonstration and discussion.

The schedule for the series is as follows:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 17, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Cardiologist Dr. Bruce Andrus talks about “How to Avoid the Cath Lab: Preventive Cardiology”.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 24, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Registered Dietitian Stacy Pelletier discusses “Taking Your Food to Heart”.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 31, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Gifford chefs lead a heart-healthy cooking demonstration and discussion on good fats, high fiber, portion control, and flavoring with spices rather than salt.

“Food can play a major role in heart health, and with heart disease leading the nation as a killer of both men and women, holding this series made sense. We’re hoping to help do our part to reduce heart disease and to improve the health of our community,” said Gifford Director of Hospitality Services Ed Striebe, of why the hospital is holding the event.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, totaled 26 percent of all U.S. deaths – more than one in four – in 2006, affects more than 27 million Americans, and, in 2010, was projected to cost the nation $316.4 billion in health care services, medications, and lost productivity.

Risk factors for heart disease include family history, older age, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, being overweight or obese, a poor diet, physical inactivity, and alcohol use.

“There’s not much we can do to alter our family history and age, but the remaining risk factors can be modified,” said Dr. Andrus, an experienced cardiologist, who also works at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. “What we hope to relay to participants in our series is why heart disease occurs and the steps you can take to reduce your risk.

“We aren’t expecting people to instantly start running five miles a day or cut out all of their favorite foods. Rather we’ll be sharing ideas – and we hope inspiration – to get started or build upon the steps they’re already taking.”

Pelletier’s talk will focus on building a healthy diet.

“Eating certain foods can increase your risk of heart disease. This series aims to help people, especially those living with or at risk for heart disease, learn what these foods are and how best to avoid them,” said Pelletier.

The Heart Healthy Workshop Series will be held in the hospital’s Conference Center in Randolph. It is free and participants may attend one or all events. All are welcome, but space is limited. Please RSVP to Striebe at (802) 728-2191 at least one week prior to the class date.

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