Tag Archives: blood pressure

Pepsi’s New Designer Salt: Healthy or Health Hazard?

You may have heard in the news recently that PepsiCo created a salt for its Lay’s potato chips (and other Frito products) that will reduce salt content. At first glance, it seems like a gimmick. You might even think they are trying to make people think that their snack products are healthier. But, there’s actually more to it than that.

I talked with the Director of Public Relations and Marketing, Aurora Gonzalez, about the new salt and got some interesting health-related information.

Frito-Lay cares about making a good product. They were the first company to remove trans fats in favor of sunflower oil. They are thinking about sodium in terms of “if there is something we can do, we should do it.” They know people are concerned about salt intake. They also know that people like seasonings, and products with seasonings tend to have higher salt. So they’ve been looking into sodium and playing with the structure to reduce the total sodium content. They’re doing it because it’s the right thing to do. Frito-Lay realizes consumers struggle with salt intake. Basically, they are trying to make a small dent, while keeping up the integrity of the quality ingredients.


DASH Your Way to a Healthier Heart

February is American Heart Month. It’s a time to bring awareness to heart disease and stroke, the number one killer in the United States, so you and the people you love don’t become a statistic.dash diet

Many people are not aware of the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), recommended by the National Institutes of Health.

In recent DASH studies, adding fruits, vegetables and dairy products lowered blood pressure readings – even when the sodium was as high as 3000 mg per day! Every millimeter the blood pressure falls reduces the risk of heart attack and strokes for people with high blood pressure. So believe it, small changes will get you big results. Your everyday decisions matter. (more…)

Hot Tubs Not Safe After Workouts

Winter is here and so is hot tub season! Hot tubs are very popular this time of year, but they may not be all that they are cracked up to be. Hot tubs are a great way to spend time with friends and family, to relax after a long day, and to reduce stress levels. Hot tubs have also be proven to help heal injuries, improve joint flexibility, and sleep.man hottub

Although the benefits of soaking in a hot tub are plentiful, doing so after a long run or hard workout may be more harmful than good. After a long run or tough workout, your muscles and joints are typically inflamed and adding heat to the specific areas will increase blood flow and increase inflammation.

Also, after a long run or hard workout, your body may be a little dehydrated and adding warm water from the hot tub will more than likely dehydrate you more. Below are some more hot tub safety facts that you should keep in mind. (more…)

Can Road Noise Cause High Blood Pressure?

house on busy roadWhen I take long road trips, I always wonder when I see beautiful mansions on the side of the highway “why on Earth would anyone build such a beautiful home right there?” Well, there are more than aesthetic reasons for not building your home right next to a busy road. According to a team at Lund University in Sweden, people who live near a noisy road are at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure.

The health risk was even higher when the noise rose above an average daily exposure of 60 decibels. That accounts for about one in four people in western Europe. No comparable analysis was done on how many people would be affected in the U.S. (more…)

Tomato Pill for Heart Health

kids eating tomatoesIn recent years, the health benefits of tomatoes grabbed some headlines. What got particular attention was lycopene, a bright red carotenoid pigment and phytochemical found in tomatoes and other red fruits and vegetables.

Lycopene has antioxidant properties. Research has shown that it helps combat cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even male infertility. If tomatoes aren’t your thing, you can get lycopene from carrots, watermelons, papaya… or in a tomato pill. (more…)

Consume More Potassium for a Healthy Heart

orange-juiceWhat is Potassium?
It’s an element and an electrolyte.  Your body needs potassium for proper growth and maintenance; it helps keep water balance between cells and body fluids, plays an essential role in response of nerves to stimulation and contraction of muscles.  Potassium is crucial in proper heart function, put simply it triggers your heart to beat and pump blood through your body.  Lower levels of potassium have been linked to increased or high blood pressure. Research has shown that individuals that consume adequate amounts of potassium have a lower risk of having a stroke. Also, there has been no clear link between potassium and lower cholesterol, but cholesterol–lowering diets that contain high amounts of potassium have been shown to be beneficial.  (more…)

Beat High Blood Pressure with Beets

beetsThere’s a running joke in my family about my distaste for beets. It all started when, as a kid, my grandmother would whip out her canned beets, and I would turn up my nose. Granted, the source of the joke was from my adolescent years, and I’ve lightened up a little on the gag reflex (I don’t mind shredded beets on a salad), but that doesn’t stop the ribbing from my family members.

Even though beets don’t repulse me like they did as a child, I don’t think the following new research on its health benefits will change me that much, even if it’s good for me:

A new study has found that a serving of beet juice helps lower blood pressure in healthy people. While further confirmation is needed and the study was small, the initial results are promising. (more…)

Understanding Obesity Related Diseases: Hypertension and High Blood Pressure

As more of our population become obese and overweight, obesity diseases become much more prevalent. Hypertension is one such disease, and here I explain what it is, why it affects the overweight, symptoms and prevention.

blood-pressureWhat is it?
Hypertension is one word meaning elevated or high blood pressure.  Known as the “silent killer” due to it being asymptomatic (not showing significant signs or symptoms). It typically leads to having a fatal stroke or heart attack.  High blood pressure is defined as having a consistently elevated arterial blood pressure.  When a doctor or nurse takes your blood pressure, they measure the systolic and diastolic blood pressure.  Being hypertensive means you have a systolic blood pressure above 140mm Hg or diastolic blood pressure is above 90mm Hg (normal blood pressure = systolic of 130mm Hg and diastolic of 85mm Hg).  Untreated hypertension can result in heart failure, renal disease, and peripheral vascular disease. (more…)

A chat with Simon Lovell, creator of The Lunch Box Diet

He’s the hard-bodied fitness trainer from the UK who is telling the world to eat all day long and see noticeable weight loss. His pitch is proving successful as The Lunch Box Diet has been called the “slimming craze of 2008”, “revolutionary”, graced the cover of top-name magazines and has even found its way to Cameron Diaz. Simon Lovell battled being over weight himself, until one day a friend took him to the gym- and he pursued a degree in personal training. The rest is history, right? The Lunch Box Diet

Grab your favorite lunch box and a handful of fresh produce and hear what Simon has to say about his exciting new weight loss program, The Lunch Box Diet. His clients have used it for years, and some are losing a stone in 30 days (that’s 14 pounds for our friends on this side of the pond).

Would you call The Lunch Box Diet an overnight success? It rapidly spread from the UK to the U.S. and Australia with significant media coverage.

I’d say so, since the 5 Star Elle Magazine review in January 2008 where they called it ‘the best diet I’ve ever done’ and ‘a way of life’ it’s really been full steam ahead for the diet in the media. It got picked up quite quickly all over the world and has now been linked to some major celebrities so I’m thrilled. I think people find it hard to link healthy and sustainable with weight loss these days because of so many fad diets that leave people hungry and stressed. Now the diet has been featured on TV, on the cover of top magazines and continues to be THE eating plan in the spotlight at the moment. I’m just chuffed that so many people are getting on with it and losing weight, but of course, it’s nice to get the media attention.

Cameron Diaz in OK Magazine uses The Lunch Box DietWhen celebrities and Hollywood magazines start endorsing weight loss programs, it typically has that “fad diet” ring. What sets The Lunch Box Diet apart from fad diets, and places it in the crowd of real-life solutions?

Before the plan became ‘public’ it was road tested with myself and then my personal training clients. I knew it was different when they told me they never wanted to go back to eating how they normally did: a huge breakfast, lunch and evening meal, leaving them sluggish and irritable. Needless to say, my ‘guinea pigs’ are still loving the diet and continue to tell me their latest Lunch Box Diet combinations whenever they’ve found another exciting, tasty one. That’s enough for me to know that I’ve created something different, when someone has followed your plan for a year!

You say you’re supposed to eat whenever you feel hungry. Conflicting advice says that when you feel that hunger pang, you shouldn’t feed it because that’s a sign that your body is dipping into your fat stores. Tell us why we should feed the hunger.

When you feel that hunger pang, what’s the only thing you think about? Food! It will build and build, and as it builds you are more likely to grab anything that’s around so you don’t make informed choices. If we plan ahead and feed our bodies before its ‘asking’ then we again reduce stress levels and the chances of becoming irritable. Based on that alternative theory, it’s an epidemic waiting to happen because people will end up collapsing through dropping blood sugar levels and starvation. Plus when you do eat, your body will naturally take whatever food you give it and store it as fat because you’re body thinks ‘when will I get food next?’. Little and often is the way forward and it shows in the results I’ve gained through people on my plan who eat all day and lose weight.

The main idea of The Lunch Box Diet is to graze all day long to achieve weight loss. Explain how eating more creates weight loss.

It speeds up your body’s metabolic rate which means that you burn calories more efficiently. It also balances your blood sugar levels which reduces cravings for bad things. Because you’ve eaten little and often all day, you tend to naturally eat less for your evening meal which in tern also results in weight loss – it kind of just happens without thinking about it which is why I think it’s such a big success and a breakthrough in modern dieting techniques.

The Lunch Box Diet is a way in which to manage blood sugar. Is this a good plan for diabetics to follow? What have your diabetic customers said about The Lunch Box Diet?

There is obviously a big concern for diabetics when it comes to dieting and finding the right plan is essential to compliment treatment etc. The Lunch Box Diet is all about maintaining blood sugar levels in a healthy way, so I wasn’t surprised when I started getting emails from some diabetics who were happy that the plan fitted into their requirements and also assisted them with weight loss at the same time. Of course, if you’re overweight there is a chance you could develop diabetes so starting the plan helps prevent it as well as all of the other diseases associated with weight loss.

How does one determine the right portions to fit the the secret combination of vegetables, proteins and fats?

I’ve kept it very basic so that there’s little to think about. Once you’ve got your box, you take a bit of each and throw it all in together – as long as it’s colourful and you’ve roughly hit the right amount you’re on the right path. If you had to count every tomato and piece of meat and measure each bit of dressing that would cause stress and my whole idea was to make this something that was doable, quick and didn’t involve calorie counting. Strict and stringent diets cause stress and being overweight is stressful as it is!

What are 10 foods you consider “musts” in a person’s lunch box?

Here’s one of my super combos: Spinach, Avocado, Tomatoes, Baby Sweet-corn, Beans, Chicken, Hot Sauce, Herbs and Black Pepper but you’ll find how to make your own delicious boxes in the e-book with ease.

Are there foods that people consider healthy choices for their lunch box that they should probably avoid?

If you stick to the diet’s specifications you can’t go wrong. What’s more, you can have your normal breakfast and evening meal so those other choices can consumed there as well as on ‘reward days’ if you exercise.

What is your advice to individuals who can’t afford expensive organic fruits and vegetables or those who don’t have organic foods available in their area?

Organic is recommended but of course you can use your standard fruits and vegetables. Also, head to the discount isles and use those foods for your box the next day.

Alcohol is allowed on the Lunch Box Diet plan. How does this fit in when alcoholic drinks are generally carbohydrate power houses?

Again it’s about moderation. The diet works in a way so that it will develop your mind and body into a better way of thinking. We all know that if we consume 20 units we will put on more weight than if we consume 5. Results are optimised when consuming less, but I didn’t want to eradicate it completely because that’s not sustainable. The user will gradually learn how their body functions after a short time on the diet, so more informed choices when it comes to alcohol will be a natural development. I don’t want people to rebel against the system because that’s where most diets will fail you.

Is there a right and wrong way to handle your “reward day”?

Be sensible. The great thing is, when you’ve been on the diet for even 7 days, because your energy will be up and your skin will feel better etc, you’ll really notice a difference when you come to eating large meals or treating yourself. So, enjoy a take-away or something you know is a bit bad for you, but just eat it until it’s satisfies you, not so you’re bursting at the seams and feeling sick!

Simon Lovell, creator of The Lunch Box DietThe Lunch Box Diet does not provide any exercise guidance, other than to follow your usual regimen. As a fitness trainer, what do you advise as a healthy amount of exercise?

The more the better! I wanted to touch on exercise in other projects and purposely rationed the content in the e-book just to get people performing simple tasks and really concentrating on the nutrition side of things. Three times a week is a good place to start. Do things you enjoy, get out with friends and make it a social thing – set yourself small targets and build on them over time so you can notice improvements.

Any plans to include exercise in future editions of The Lunch Box Diet, or publish a fitness program?

There will be more on both fronts, and I aim to use www.thelunchboxdiet.com in the future to offer multimedia assistance too via a members area. As well as the diet, users are loving my free newsletter where I’m providing free weekly weight loss and exercise tips that people can implement straight away!

What’s next for The Lunch Box Diet? Will you publish a traditional book or expand on the current program?

Let’s just say six of the biggest book publishers have finished fighting over the rights to the book worldwide and I’ll be able to announce who’s grabbed it soon. But if people can’t wait for the book, the original e-book can be downloaded via the site.

Thank you, Simon, for taking the time to visit with us.

Ready to download the ebook right now- just click here to order The Lunch Box Diet.

Weight of your words

I’m forever being accused of being too “positive”. Some people have gone so far as to question whether or not my sunny outlook is “genuine”. I suppose in a negative world, someone who is always happy go-lucky can be a bit disarming. However, I am proof positive that positive self-talk is a learned habit; and one that can help you shed those unwanted pounds.

As a child in the 60s, divorce was rampant and my situation was no exception. My mom and I didn’t have much, but I never knew it, because my Mom always focused on the positive. She always told me we were going to make it, and be successful, and you know what? We did it. She just recently retired from a very successful 40 year career in the mortgage industry, and I am principal of my second company, each started with little or no capital investment.

I have a friend who calls herself a “fat little girl”. No doubt, she heard this from her caretakers, and has made it part of her vocabulary. She is now dealing with Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, and Arthritis in her knees, and while she is an extremely successful businesswoman in a cut-throat industry, she has always been overweight, and most likely, always will be.

Psychologists assert that positive self-talk can be taught through “cognitive restructuring”. For a free “mind tool” resource, click here, and join the positive self-talk club!

You can also learn more about emotional eating at the mental ties to weight with Shrink Yourself.