An Apple a Day Keeps a Doctor Away

An Apple a Day Keeps a Doctor Away

In the manner of the old phrase, which is always halfway between a joke and a mild provocation that should move us, we can say: If you want to be healthy, do not go to the doctor. It is a well-known fact that the highest concentration of virus is around doctors. You can get infected easily!

Instead, a modern phrase would be to consult a doctor when we are healthy, which is the best way to maintain health, reduce the number of patients and allow the health system and health workers to develop prospectively, leaving more and more room for prevention. Well-known cardiologist, Prof. Dr. Milica Dekleva responded to our call and to bring us closer to the need to create our cardiovascular health in the present and in the future, and all in the phase of disease prevention.

It has been known, long ago, that diet is one of the best methods of prevention. Prof. Dr. Dekleva is not a nutritionist, but as a cardiologist with extensive research and clinical practice, she has valuable knowledge about the importance of diet and lifestyle that affect cardiovascular disease. From the existing European and American medical recommendations, we will conclude that the basis of prevention is not neglecting the way of life, which we all know, but which we stick to only when it is usually late and when the first symptoms of chronic or acute diseases appear. But an orderly life can help the body. How?

If we want to make a comparison at the level of everyday life, we could say: every car owner occasionally goes to a car mechanic to change the oil or inspect other parts that are subject to wear, repair what is necessary and do everything so that the car can go. It's called service. We all know that!

But is it possible to "service our organism", which is called prevention in the medical profession? Here we come to the second proverb: "A stitch in time saves nine". The truth of this proverb depends equally on the service technician, but also on the way the car is maintained, driving conditions and roads conditions.

By applying a proper diet, our body can certainly last much longer and keep us in a good mood.

After the short introduction, let's talk to our Prof. Milica Dekleva MD, PhD, FACC

Chief of Staff for Noninvasive Cardiac Diagnostics

Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade

Cardiology Department of the Clinical Hospital Zvezdara

What is a healthy diet?

The incidence and severity of the clinical picture of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (ASKVB) are significantly reduced in many European countries, but these diseases still remain the leading cause of death. How to prevent them by changing habits and lifestyle, with a few recipes for a healthy diet?

The incidence and severity of the clinical picture of atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (ASKVB) are significantly reduced in many European countries, but these diseases still remain the leading cause of death. Over the past few decades, Low Density (LDL) cholesterol, high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and obesity have been shown to cause ASKVB and are therefore called risk factors. In addition to traditional risk factors, there are risk modifiers such as socioeconomic living conditions and stress, and certain clinical conditions and comorbidities that increase the developing Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) such as:

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • chronic renal failure
  • sleep disorders
  • chronic degenerative diseases
  • malignant diseases
  • migraine
  • mental disorders

A novelty in risk stratification and treatment is the stepwise algorithm and it also applies to completely healthy people who have risk factors for the development of ASKVB. This algorithm involves the gradual intensification of treatment to reach the target values ​​of LDL cholesterol, glycemia and blood pressure with fewer side effects and greater patient satisfaction. In all patients, it is first necessary to achieve preventive goals, namely, to stop smoking and change life habits, especially if it is a sedentary lifestyle and work.

Photo: Creation of vegetables and eatable flowers, Jasmina Marković, Brussels

The basic recommendations for diet and alcohol intake that have been proven on a large sample in numerous studies, published and accepted, are contained in the following instructions:

  1. A healthy diet is a basis for the prevention of CVD in all people
  2. The Mediterranean diet (diet) reduces the risk of developing CVD
  3. It is necessary to replace products with a higher percentage of fat with those with a lower one
  4. Reduction of salt in everyday life (less than 5 g / day) significantly reduces the risk of CVD
  5. It is recommended to eat food of predominantly fruits, vegetables, fish, fibrous foods and nuts
  6. Restriction of alcohol to a maximum of 100 g per week
  7. It is recommended to eat fish from the deep seas at least once a week and to reduce the use of fried and stewed red meat
  8. Reduce sugar consumption to about 10% of daily energy intake.

We can give a detailed explanation of each of these individual recommendations, because it has been shown how much each of the recommendations reduces the incidence of CVD, but also mortality from them. The notion of functional nutrition and its impact on cardio metabolic status can also be briefly explained. The impact of other risk factors as well as the differences between men and women in the prevention and clinical development of CVD has already been adopted in many segments today.

To refresh the menu in these gloomy winter days, and as part of the Mediterranean diet, I suggest two recipes.


Cyprus salad


3 cucumbers

3 tomatoes

1 larger red onion

60 g feta cheese

9 kalamata olives

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon red pepper

  • Mix the chopped vegetables, cut the olives in half, pour over the spices with olive oil and sprinkle the feta cheese in pieces over the salad before serving.


Lemon souffle


4 sheets of gelatin

1-2 lemons

200 g of yogurt with fat reduction

Sweetener (instead of sugar)

1 tablespoon vanilla sugar

6 egg whites

¾ cups of creamy Greek yogurt or sour cream with a little milk fat

  • Leave the gelatin in cold water for 10 minutes
  • Wash the lemon and carefully grate the rind
  • Squeeze the lemon so that you get 4 tablespoons of juice
  • Whisk the yogurt sweetener vanilla and lemon zest with a mixer
  • Whisk the egg whites firmly
  • Whisk in Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Drain the gelatin from the water and drain the rest of the liquid
  • Dissolve the gelatin in hot water, stir gently while there is liquid, then gently pour the lemon juice
  • Slowly pour the egg whites and Greek yogurt into the mixture
  • Pour the souffle into wider glasses and refrigerate for 2 hours, then serve with fresh mint leaves.


Bon appetit!

Prof. Dr. Milica Dekleva


Prepared by LJ. J.

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