Do you want to prevent heart disease and quit smoking? Know how with Dietitian Samantha Joan Gerdy

Samantha Joan Gerdy: At Albi, we aim to help patients achieve a healthy lifestyle and prevent heart disease by becoming physically active, consuming a healthy diet, and quitting smoking
03 كانون ثاني 2019

1- When was “Albi” established and what are the main services that you provide?

After having my Master degree from London in preventive Cardiology, I decided in February 2017 to open “Albi” a diet center with focus on cardiac prevention and rehabilitation, after noticing that there is a big gap and need for this kind of services in the Lebanese market.

At “Albi” we provide 3 main programs and other services like:

Cardiac Rehabilitation program:  For people who are already heart patients we help them in their journey for recovery, because we believe that surgery alone is not enough and the patient needs extra treatments like healthy diet, sports and smoking cessation. This 12 weeks program includes:

- An Initial nutrition assessment
- Nutrition Counseling follow-ups
- An Initial Smoking status assessment
- Smoking cessation follow-ups for smokers
- An Initial physical activity assessment followed by an exercise prescription
- One or two supervised exercise classes per week
- Educational presentation about various related topics (ex: stress management, reading food labels, about heart disease …)

Health and Prevention Program: We help our clients to prevent risks of developing heart disease caused mainly by high level of cholesterol, triglyceride, blood pressure, obesity, smoking and diabetes.

For example, the AlbiFit program also includes physical activity classes, nutrition counseling, and smoking cessation.

Other Programs: We have also developed comprehensive programs for individuals with no cardiac disease or risk factors, who wish to gain and maintain a healthy life style.

Other services:

- Nutrition Consultation
- Food Allergy Testing
- Body Composition Analysis
- Blood Lipid, Glucose and HbA1C testing
- Breath Carbon Monoxide measurement for smoking cessation
- Personal training


2- What is Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)?

Researches show that an estimated 17.7 million people died from cardiovascular diseases (CVD) in 2015, representing 31% of all global deaths. In Lebanon 47% of deaths are caused by heart diseases. Which makes the CVD the number 1 cause of death in the world.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) refers to conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels. These conditions are usually caused by atherosclerosis, which is the development of fatty deposit (plaque) inside the arteries. It is usually the reason for most heart attacks and strokes.

Some people develop a Heart disease by following a wrong diet and lifestyle, while others have a genetic Heart Disease disorder and they both need to be very cautious and maintain a healthy lifestyle.


3- Are people today more aware about the importance of healthy diet and lifestyle for their shape and health?

Indeed. Recently we notice that the attention about health is increasing, while there is a lot of false information and misconception about sports and diets.  Noting that a healthy lifestyle protects us from many diseases like heart disease and cancer and other diseases.


4- Is our Mediterranean food considered healthy?

  • Mediterranean Diet is characterized by a high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, cereal, olive oil but a low intake of saturated lipids, a moderately high intake of fish, a low-to-moderate intake of dairy products a low intake of meat and poultry, and a regular but moderate intake of ethanol, primarily in the form of wine and generally during meals

- A two-point increase in the Mediterranean diet score (MDS) decreased mortality risk by 9%
- The PREDIMED study is one of the largest trials exploring the effects of Mediterranean diet on myocardial infarction, stroke, and death from cardiovascular causes in 7447 participants. it showed that the the group consuming a Mediterranean diet; one with extra olive oil had 30% lower risk of dying from a major cardiovascular event than the group that consumed a regular low fat diet.

  • Fruits and vegetables are usually rich in potassium, folate, vitamins, fiber, and other phenolic compounds which are protective. These nutrients can reduce antioxidant stress, improve lipoprotein profile, lower blood pressure, increase insulin sensitivity, and improve hemostasis regulation.

5 a day (portions of fruits and vegetables)

- 1 portion of fruits is equivalent to: 1 banana, 1 apple, 2 kiwis, 2 figs, 1 slice watermelon, 12 cherries, 15 grapes (small)….
- 1 portion of vegetables is equivalent to ½ cup of cooked vegetable or vegetable juice or 1 cup of raw vegetables.


5- What are the main side effects of smoking?

Women who continue to smoke throughout adult life are 3 times more likely to die prematurely and lose an average of 11 years of life
Stopping smoking at 30 means most of risk (97%) is avoided
Another study in men showed that cessation at 40 results in a 90% reduction in excess risk of death in continuing to smoke beyond this age

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