(NAPSI)—When restaurateur, vineyard owner and “MasterChef” judge Joe Bastianich was diagnosed with high cholesterol, his doctor told him he needed to lower it. “At age 35, I was facing some pretty significant health issues, being overweight and having high cholesterol among them.” Bastianich’s professional and personal lives were heavily focused on food, and with his busy career, he wasn’t as active as he needed to be.
“After that day in my doctor’s office, I realized I was going to have to make some changes.” He worked with his doctor to develop a personal “battle plan” of diet and exercise to improve his health.
Bastianich found the process to be slow but gratifying. “I had to stop looking at food as a reward, and start thinking of it as fuel,” he says. “But I was still a restaurateur, and I still had the passion I’ve always had for food and flavor. I needed to integrate those things into my new lifestyle.”
While Bastianich’s professional life revolved around the beauty of a Mediterranean diet, he also knew that “Italian” could still apply to healthy eating. He worked on adding more produce to his diet and consuming less saturated fats and animal products, as well as eating smaller, more sensible portions.
“I also started walking, which gradually turned into running,” says Bastianich. “Eventually, I ran a 5K, a 10K and then a marathon. Five years into this lifestyle, I’ve lost 50 pounds and my cholesterol is where it should be.” But Bastianich wants to remind people they don’t have to run marathons—or even be runners—to be active. He recommends people talk with their doctor about finding an activity that is right for them.
Heart in the Kitchen
Bastianich has teamed up with Pfizer on “Heart in the Kitchen,” a program that provides support in managing cholesterol. “My transformation from a sedentary lifestyle to a more active one has inspired me to help others.”
Bastianich shares his favorite low-cholesterol recipes on www.HeartintheKitchen.com. There’s also information about cholesterol management and a prescription treatment option from Pfizer. “I would encourage people to check out the website and try some of the recipes I’ve created. Also, get your cholesterol checked, and if need be, work with your doctor to get it to a healthy level.”
A Medical Opinion
More than one in five adults over the age of 20 have high cholesterol, according to Dr. Dan Wilson, a cardiology specialist and nephrologist for Pfizer. “High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke, but it’s a modifiable risk factor-there are ways to help manage it. The first steps should be to make meaningful changes in your diet and to increase your physical activity, which ‘Heart in the Kitchen’ can help you achieve,” says Wilson . “However, for many, a cholesterol-lowering medicine may also be necessary.”
For Joe Bastianich’s low-cholesterol recipes and information about a prescription cholesterol-lowering treatment, go to www.HeartintheKitchen.com.
The “Heart in the Kitchen” program is sponsored by Pfizer. Joe Bastianich is a paid spokesperson.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate(NAPSI)