High nutrient and whole foods: FOR THE WIN! A recent study was conducted to evaluate the effects of diet on cholesterol. It was observed that people who ate food such as nuts, soy, avocado, olive oil, and oats saw a greater drop in cholesterol than those who maintained a low-fat diet.
A 6-month study was conducted in four different locations in Canada. Two groups of participants were selected and all had elevated cholesterol levels. One group was put on a diet that included foods believed to improve heart health, yet were high in healthy fats. The other group was placed on a diet that emphasized low-fat foods, including whole grains and high-fiber options.
The first group obtained their food list from a US Food and Drug Administration list. This list contained approved suggestions for better heart health. Foods on that list included olive oil, avocado, oatmeal, soy, tofu, beans, lentils, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts. Many of these foods contain high fat levels. However, they are natural and healthy fats.
Many things come with age. Unfortunately, some of those are narrowed arteries and high cholesterol. These days, being prescribed medication for high cholesterol is almost a given, maybe even a right of passage from middle age to senior citizen-hood. But let’s face it, no one likes to take medication and many people would like to try supplements and lifestyle changes before they jump on the prescription bandwagon.
So first, let’s define a few things. When you get a lipid panel here are things you will see and what your target numbers are:
- HDL=good cholesterol Goal: Greater than 40 mg/dL for men, greater than 50 mg/dL for women
- Total cholesterol = combination of your LDL/HDL and other components Goal: Less than 200 mg/dL
- Triglycerides = Fat that your body stores Goal: Less than 150 mg/dL
When you envision a grilled steak, you typically imagine a huge, marbled cut of meat full of saturated fat and cholesterol. With the summer grilling season in full swing, it’s important to be able to enjoy your favorite foods in moderation.
Kari Underly of Range Partners is a third generation meat cutter and offered us some of her top tips on choosing and preparing the proper cuts of steak for your summer cookouts.
“It’s so important for grocery stores and chefs to know how to sell various cuts of steak,” said Underly. “The proper portion of steak is 3-4 ounces and a lot of cuts have multiple portions in one steak. The average consumer has know way of knowing any better.”
High in zinc, iron and protein, a moderately sized steak is nutritionally dense and can be very good for you if you choose the right cut and cook it well.
People who seem to eat what they want, when they want, and still stay thin are the bane of many people’s existence who struggle with weight (or at least they are responsible for some mild resentment). However, just because you’re skinny doesn’t mean you’re healthy.
Scientists are now sending out a warning to thin people that being lean doesn’t mean you can be carefree with your health. The concern centers around a so-called “lean gene.” This gene keeps people slim but also masks signs of heart disease and diabetes, particularly in men.
What the gene does is reduce levels of fat under the skin. However, what’s left is dangerous tissue that surrounds the heart and other organs.
“We’ve uncovered a truly fascinating genetic story and, when we found the effect of this gene, we were very intrigued by the unexpected finding,” said Professor Douglas Kiel of the Harvard Medical School. (more…)
By Delia Quigley for Care2.com
In drugged America (or is it drunk America? Hmm, that’s a toss up), Americans are blindly medicating, when really the answer is a simple change of diet and exercise. With 1 in 5 Americans testing high for cholesterol it’s no wonder cholesterol-fighting drugs are the most popular ones on the market. Lipitor is the most prescribed cholesterol lowering medicine world-wide; and though it is handed out like candy, there can be some nasty side effects when taking these kind of drugs including, aggression, hostility, headaches, muscle pain, and diarrhea.
On the other hand, eliminating high fat processed foods and eating whole grains and vegetables instead can easily lower high cholesterol. To help control high cholesterol levels due to genetic factors recent studies suggest that a more natural approach would be to take a red rice yeast extract along with eating a whole foods diet and adding exercise. However, when transitioning on to a higher quality diet make sure to have your medical practitioner monitor your statin levels, as you will need less and less until they become a distant memory.
The following list are specific foods known to help cleanse cholesterol build-up in the arteries and heart. This is due to their high levels of fiber, Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Lecithin, Vitamin E, C, Niacin and Rutin. (more…)
Carolyn Dean, MD, ND is a health pioneer with over 25 years of experience with women’s health issues. She’s authored 22 books including “Future Health Now Encyclopedia”, “The Complete Natural Guide to Women’s Health, “Hormone Balance”, “Menopause Naturally”, “The Yeast Connection and Women’s Health”, “IBS for Dummies” and “The Magnesium Miracle”. She is the medical director for the Nutritional Magnesium Association. For more info you can access a Free 32-page guide to the benefits of magnesium written by Dr. Dean at the non-profit www.nutritionalmagnesium.org.
Hormones have an important role to play in every woman’s health and well-being. When hormone levels fluctuate, this can cause weight gain and affect your ability to lose weight as well as affect mood, sexual desire, fertility and ovulation.
The female hormones estrogen and progesterone are produced by the female body in specific ratios every month. An imbalance of either can cause menopause and all the symptoms associated with it. These hormones are influenced by certain factors such as nutrition, diet, lifestyle, exercise, stress, emotions, age and ovulation. When estrogen and progesterone dance to the tune of stress and chemical disruption, they can fluctuate wildly and then gradually decline as we age.
Aging brings its own “blessings”—wisdom and memories—but also the possibility of weight gain and declining organ function—thyroid and adrenals, especially.
It’s no secret that people are often searching for the next diet miracle. From two-day diet pills to 24-hour diets, people are constantly searching for quick fixes to aid their weight loss efforts.
With summer swimsuit season fast-approaching, Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon and host of the daily medical talk show, The Dr. Oz Show, has presented a new way for people to drop pounds: with African Mango extract.
According to Dr. Oz, African Mango extract comes from a mango fruit that is grown naturally in African rainforests. African Mango, which is said to be one of the only weight management agents found in nature, is also rumored to have properties that help regulate cholesterol.
The experimental pill anacetrapib may help boost levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, and has been found to be safe in preliminary clinical studies. WebMD reports that researchers were surprised by how well the new drug performed. “Our jaws dropped when we saw the 138% increase in HDL [over placebo]. And our jaws dropped even more when LDL went down by 40%,” compared with placebo, says study leader Christopher P. Cannon, MD.
The study followed over 1,600 heart disease patients who were taking statin drugs. Anacetrapib did not appear to raise the risk of heart attacks or death related to heart disease, a major stumbling block for a similar drug, torcetrapib. However, studies of that drug also suggest that better HDL levels do not necessarily decrease heart disease.
You’ve probably all heard about the health benefits of eating a Mediterranean diet, right? This diet that’s high in nuts, fish, legumes, fruits and vegetables, has been shown to even prevent type II diabetes and lower heart disease risk. According to new research, this popular diet can also help reduce cholesterol levels.
A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that when researchers added monounsaturated fats (MUFAs, for short) to a low-cholesterol diet for patients with mild to moderate elevated cholesterol levels, the participants had an increase in their HDL (good cholesterol) and a decrease in their LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. MUFAs are found in nuts such as peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios. MUFAs are also high in olive oil, canola oil and avocados (holy guacamole!). (more…)
VO2 max (V-volume per time, O2-oxygen, max-maximum) is typically defined as the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to process oxygen during exercise. This number is useful because it is the most reliable way to determine the fitness level of the individual. By knowing your VO2 max, you can not only compare your fitness level to “standards”, but you can also objectively assess your progress while improving your current overall level of endurance and fitness.
Knowing your VO2 max is also great for setting goals and motivation. Most recreational exercisers really don’t need to know their VO2 max; although I recommend knowing it along with your weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, body fat, and BMI (Body Mass Index). By knowing these numbers, you are able to self- diagnose your current overall state of health and well-being (extremely important if you are over the age of 45). The more oxygen your muscles use, the more efficiently your body works, allowing you to do more work, with less stress on your body. VO2 max is one of those rare health numbers you want to go up, not down. (more…)