In all matters of the heart, Brooklyn’s NYU Langone Hospital has never skipped a beat. It’s ranked among the top hospitals in the country for cardiology and heart surgery by U.S. News & World Report and its Brooklyn location boasts world-class surgeons that have been at the forefront of cardiovascular care for over 35 years.
On Tuesday, Feb. 25, NYU Langone launched the second season of its popular series of lunch-and-learn lectures revolving around topics such as heart health, men’s health, pulmonary issues and weight loss, with all talks taking place at the Gallery at the Landing at 220 36th St. in Industry City.
The informative inaugural 2020 session, “New Buzz on Heart Health,” attracted about 25 people who came to hear NYU Langone cardiologist Dr. Archana Saxena and registered dietician and nutritionist Sarah Galanis discuss the best ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet, exercise and medicine.
“Last fall, we launched our educational series here at Industry City,” Paulina Koudellou, assistant vice president for hospital operations, told this paper. “We targeted women’s health and it went really well for us, so we decided to start off the new year with heart health,” added Koudellou.
Saxena began by explaining that the goal was to talk about cardiovascular disease prevention. She broke the topics down into four sections: cholesterol management, the benefits of fish oil, the negative effects of vaping and calcium scoring.
She emphasized the importance of knowing the components of cholesterol. “For your total cholesterol there’s the HDL, which I term the good or ‘happy’ cholesterol and the LDL, which is the bad cholesterol or what I call ‘lousy’ cholesterol to make it easy to remember,” said Saxena.
“The LDL is the one linked to causing atherosclerosis. It can damage the arteries, and that’s how atherosclerosis starts. And that is what causes a heart attack, and the thing about plaque is that it builds up and can cause a narrowing of the arteries, with shortness of breath being one of the signs,” she added.
Saxena explained that fish oil, recently approved by the FDA for people who have had heart attacks, can be a beneficial supplement along with a diet consisting of two weekly servings of fish.
She also emphasized the dangers related to vaping with respect to maintaining heart health and the importance of having a calcium screen which allows doctors to picture the heart and see how much plaque is present.
Galanis picked up the thread and focused on the benefits of eating a healthy diet in order to maintain heart health. “The Mediterranean diet has been around forever,” said Galanis. “It’s mainly a bunch of leafy green vegetables, fruits, nuts, seafood and olive oil. Another good choice is the vegetarian and vegan diet which eliminates meat products by substituting more fruits and vegetables,” she added.
Galanis also stressed the importance of being able to maintain a diet once you’ve started it and explained that the keto and Atkins diets are harder to maintain and offer risks, especially to those with high cholesterol.
Also speaking at the forum was Jason Sherwin, associate director of virtual health at NYU Langone. “Our virtual urgent care is available to adults as well as children ages five or above for simple preventative measures for coughs for example, especially now during flu season,” explained Sherwin. “You can book an appointment online in minutes to schedule a virtual visit with one of our doctors.”
Upcoming lectures in the lunch-and-learn health series include “Men’s Health” on Tuesday, March 17; “Vaping, Cigarettes, and Your Lungs” on Tuesday, April 21; and “What You Need to do to Maintain a Weight Loss,” on Tuesday, May 19.