Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You


Lean Beef is Shown to Help Lower Cholesterol Levels

By Kelsey Murray

According to the Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet study, including lean beef in your daily diet is as effective in reducing your total and bad cholesterol levels as the more commonly accepted DASH diet. The diet was conducted by researchers at the Pennsylvania State University and studied adults who have moderately elevated cholesterol levels. The adults’ cholesterol levels were then measured and evaluated, depending on how much lean beef they ate.

“This research sheds new light on evidence supporting lean beef’s role in a heart-healthy diet,” said Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, the principal investigator of the study and a nutrition professor at Pennsylvania State University. “Study participants ate lean beef every day and still met targets for saturated fat intake.”

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Lipitor Now Available as Generic Atorvastatin

The prayers of many who have high cholesterol have been answered: Lipitor has finally gone generic. Atorvastatin may be here but Lipitor’s maker Pfizer is not going quietly into the night- they would like to keep their 100 million dollar weekly sales in tact. So here’s what you should know if you want to jump on the number one’s statin band wagon.

Lipitor is a cholesterol lowering drug called a statin that mainly works on the LDL, or the “bad” cholesterol. As far as potency, Lipitor is more potent than simvastatin (Zocor) but not as potent as Crestor for reducing LDL after the first dose is taken. Here’s some downsides to statin, including an increase in liver enzymes. Elevated liver enzymes could affect liver function and cause myopathy or muscle pain. If this occurs stop taking the statin and call your doctor. The most dangerous and rare side effect is called rhabodomyolysis. This causes the breakdown of muscle and can eventually lead to kidney failure, but overall, statins are a great drug to lower LDL and help prevent heart disease and heart attacks.

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Smokers and Obese Workers Must Pay More for Health Coverage

By Kelsey Murray

If you are a smoker, overweight, or have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, you may end up paying more for health care as many employers are following a new trend: penalizing those employees who have unhealthy lifestyles instead of rewarding those who have healthy lifestyles.

In the past two years, the percent of American employers who impose some sort of financial penalty on their employees has doubled, making it now 19 percent. This number should double again in 2012, according to Towers Watson, a benefits consultant company.

So why are these people being penalized for their lifestyle choices? It is common knowledge that those who smoke or are obese usually have higher health risks, which in turn leads to increased health care costs. As a result, some companies are now requiring these employees to pay more for their health coverage because it makes sense that these people will end up costing the company more in health care coverage.
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Juvisync is the First Combination Drug for Cholesterol and Diabetes

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and with it comes the announcement of a new combination drug to help battle the growing disease. It’s called Juvisync, and it’s the first cholesterol and diabetes combination drug of its kind. Being that high cholesterol and diabetes tend to go hand in hand for those with Type 2 diabetes, this drug promises to eliminate two birds with one stone.

Type 2 diabetics often have many other conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. It is important that these areas are as closely managed as their blood sugar to prevent complications like stroke and heart attack.

Healthy goals for diabetic patients for blood pressure should be less than 130/80 and LDL cholesterol levels, a.k.a.  “bad cholesterol,” is less than 100 mg/dL and sometimes even less than 70 mg/dL. Juvisync’s aim is to help patients reach their goal and cut down on their daily pill count.

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Fat Tax Levied in Denmark

It’s finally happened: a fat tax is being implemented. Before you get hot under the collar, it’s not happening stateside. Yet. Denmark is the country bringing about the first tax to directly attack obesity.

“It’s the first ever fat tax,” said Mike Rayner, Director of Oxford University’s Health Promotion Research Group, who has advocated for quite some time the idea of taxes on unhealthy foods.

“It’s very interesting. We haven’t had any practical examples before. Now we will be able to see the effects for real.”
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