How to Prevent Heart Failure

This week in my Web search, I found an interesting resource called the Mayo Clinic Health letter. The June 2011 topic was about heart failure. Because it is consistently related to heart problems and I feel your risk can be improved by following a heart healthy menu plan, I thought it would be a good topic to discuss in an article. So in general heart failure means your heart is not working quite right and can not get blood to where it needs to go. This is something that happens progressively over time, and is because people have high blood pressure or heart problems that are not taken care of and result in further injury to their heart. It's a very important topic as it can result in death – 5 years after diagnosis, the death rate is about 50% for both men and women.

Conditions that contribute to the risk of heart failure are things such as coronary artery disease, also known as heart disease, and high blood pressure. While having these conditions does not necessarily mean you'll develop heart failure, if not taken care of your risk is increased for developing heart failure.

What Should I Do Now?

If your doctor has prescribed medications for controlling your coronary artery disease or high blood pressure or other heart related illness, you should take them as prescribed and follow-up with your doctor regularly. Make sure if you have a family history of heart problems that you discuss with your doctor your needs and your risk.

In addition to following your doctor's advice, you should control your weight and stay near a healthy weight to reduce your risk for developing high blood pressure, type II diabetes and high cholesterol. If you're overweight, it's been proven that losing about 10% of your weight will lower your risk significantly as well as make you feel a lot better. How do you lose weight? When you follow a heart healthy diet and increase your intake of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and decrease the amount of fat and salt that you eat, you will see a marked improvement in your overall health. If you need a simple guide with weekly recipes you could try out our heart healthy meal plan. Exercising also lowers your risk as well as helps you lose weight, and you should discuss with your doctor the type of exercise that is appropriate.

How Does a Heart Healthy Menu Plan Fit in?

A heart healthy menu plan can help lower your risk. Even if you have not had a heart attack or have high blood pressure, following the guidelines of a heart healthy menu plan – eating lower sodium, lower fat food items – will help you with controlling your risk of developing those conditions. If you think about it is easier to adjust your lifestyle now by exercising and eating a better diet then recovering from a heart attack.

So start with eating more fruits and vegetables and make sure that your plate is really colorful. When I say colorful, I mean things like eating carrots and green beans instead of just yellow or white vegetables. Although potatoes can be healthy, even healthy is a sweet potato because it contains more beta-carotene and Vitamin A. Green beans, squash, carrots and tomatoes are all food items that are higher in fiber and lower in calories, resulting in you feeling fuller without adding weight. Now, it does depend what you add to these food items. When you are thinking about toppings, go for a light dressing or a light butter or even Greek yogurt instead of starting with butter and salt.

You should remove the salt shaker from your table and watch how much you add in your recipes. Realize that when you eat convenience foods such as frozen bagged meals or frozen dinners, those items can contain a larger amount of sodium than if you had prepared them from scratch. Consider taking a look at the frozen foods in your grocery store and finding a recipe that you can make at home. If you do not have a lot of time during the week to cook, try to find recipes that you can make double portions on and freeze part of the meal. Make sure when you freeze it, it's in a microwave-safe container and then when you come home instead of having to make a frozen frozen meal you can microwave the meal that you have already made that is lower in sodium.

Your heart and your brain are the two parts of your body that you can not live without! Start early taking care of them and they'll reward you for the rest of your life.

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How to Deal With Heart Valve Disease

Heart valve disease occurs when there is an existing problem with one of your heart valves. It is a necessity for the public to be aware of the consequences of this disease. In the worst case scenario, this condition may cause the untimely death of a person. Therefore, an early detection and a prompt treatment may avert further consequences taking place. The functions, causes, symptoms, diagnoses, and even the treatments are important information concerning heart valve diseases.

The heart consists of a few structures that are put together to pump blood to the entire body. There are several parts within the three layers of outer structures of the heart. The upper and lower chambers are commonly known as the atria and ventricles. They are the major parts of the heart. The lateral classifications of the heart, the right and the left portions, are not the only structures that comprise the heart. In-between these chambers there are heart valves.

The valves are also seen prior to the pulmonary vein and subsequent to the pulmonary artery before reaching the left atrium. The mitral valve can be found in-between the left atrium and the left ventricle. It has two leaflets that actually flail as the valves open and close. At the other side, the tricuspid valve is found between the right atrium and the right ventricle, and it has three leaflets. The basis for the names of the valves comes from their structure.

The function of these heart valves is to provide a one-way stream of blood inside the heart. The one-way stream of blood is very important to maintain the normal function of the heart. The valve provides the blood a passageway before leaving each chamber by opening its leaflets. Inversely, it brings the blood from flowing backwards by closing its flips to the flow of blood through it. The relaxation and the contracting of the heart tissue triggers the open-and-close mechanism of the valves which control the flow of blood.

When the purpose of the heart valves diminishes, due to bacteria or other conditions, the functions of the heart are also disrupted. The malfunctions are classified into two classifications: regurgitation and stenosis. Regurgitation is the flow of blood with a backward direction, and stenosis is the narrowing of the heart valves.

As the heart valve disease occurs, many manifestations can take place. The actual condition of the disease does not need to reflect on the manifestations. It can occur abruptly depending on the duration of the disease progression. The development of this condition may vary from one person to another. Some patients may have a longer disease process. The symptoms may mimic other conditions such as heart failure.

It is always easier to prevent a disease than to cure a disease. This is especially true for this disease because the treatment involves an expensive multifaceted approach that entails administration of medications and surgical procedures. Preventing the incidence of heart valve disease is the immediate treatment for a sore throat by using potent antibiotics. This intervention is performed to avert the occurrence of rheumatic fever that historically can lead to valvular heart diseases. Maintaining a healthy heart diet will also prevent the prevalence of this disease. The early recognition of the symptoms is a very good secondary preventive measure to avoid further complications.

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What Causes High Cholesterol – Some Other Major Causes

What causes high cholesterol is a question that many people ask but only few know the answer to. The answer is that it really depends on the individual. A man can be 30 lbs. overweight and have good cholesterol readings, while another man could be fit with 8% body fat and have poor cholesterol readings. There are many factors that go into cholesterol. While high cholesterol is often associated with obesity and poor nutrition there are several other factors that determine cholesterol levels. Some of these factors are listed below.

Smoking – Smoking plays a huge role on many diseases, but most people do not relapse smoking to high cholesterol. Smokers have a huge increase in strokes, cardiovascular disease and health issues over non-smokers. The harmful toxins in cigarettes enter the blood and cause plaque to build up on the walls. Quitting smoking can dramatically reduce your chance of cardiovascular diseases.

Genetics – A non-smoker who has low body fat can still have high cholesterol due to genetics. Cholesterol levels, like heart attacks, are often inherited. Anyone who has a family history of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks or strokes should get their cholesterol levels checked regularly. Often younger people who seem perfectly healthy will suffer from plaque in the arteries due to having a genetic disposition for this health problem.

Lack of exercise – Someone that eats perfect and does not smoke may still be at risk for high cholesterol. When they ask what causes high cholesterol, the reason is usually lack of exercise. Our bodies wear down with age and must be kept active. A prolonged stretch of activity will take a toll on the body inside and outside. Walking, lifting weights and playing any type of sport daily will help one keep active and maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Alcohol- Doctors do not know for sure whether alcohol also reduces the risk of heart disease. Drinking too much alcohol can damage the liver and heart muscle, lead to high blood pressure and raise triglyceride levels. Because of the risks, alcoholic beverages should not be used as a way to prevent heart disease.

Stress – Stress is a major contributor to a ton of different health issues; it can also contribute to an increase in bad cholesterol. Leading a life with little sleep and little free time causes major harm to the body. It is important for everyone to set aside some time daily to de-stress and do things that we enjoy.

What causes high cholesterol for one person might not cause it for another. While diet plays a major role in most cholesterol issues, it is not the only cause.

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The Nutrition of Ridding High Cholesterol

I'm glad that the drug companies have stopped trying to scare us into submission by suggesting all lifestyle diseases have a genetic root. It's simply this, our genetic system is far too complex to make general statements and provide a drug to fix it.

I'm not discounting genetics, but it's not the be-all end-all. Especially when it comes to high cholesterol. This disease is primarily caused by lifestyle choices.

High cholesterol does not occur because you eat too many fat or cholesterol. There are many people who eat high amounts of fats, including saturated fats, that have very low cholesterol. The French and Italians are prime examples of this.

So, what does cause high cholesterol? That's a question that has been plaguing nutritionists and scientists for a long time. At first, they thought it was all fats, and that sparked the low-fat revolution. Then they discovered cutting out all fats did not affect high cholesterol and caused many other diseases, not to mention brittle hair and nails.

The next big thing came about when they discovered the difference between high density lipoproteins and low-density lipoproteins. Certain foods could affect one but not the other, could raise one and lower the other or have no effect. Triglycerides confuse the matters more. The darling right now, that more doctors are now realizing the test for, are very low density lipoprotein. This is more of an indication of heart disease than all three combined.

The largest factor that affects cholesterol is actually not cholesterol or fats at all, but sugars and chemicals. A high amounts of sugar, generally over 100 ga day, lead to high triglycerides, a leading factor for high cholesterol and diabetes. Other chemicals like preservatives, trans fats and artificial sugars raise LDL cholesterol and can convert it into the vLDL, the most likely to form plaque.

Many studies have been associated with peoples who eat very low processed foods, in other words those who only eat whole vegetables, whole fruits and whole meats. They have found these cultures have a very low incidence of heart disease. They also found in immigrants, that when they are exposed to a Western diet, one that is high in grains and processed foods, heart disease skyrockets.

The best food you can possibly eat are whole fruits and vegetables and whole cuts of meat. This type of diet provides a great degree variety, delicious foods and is super packed with nutrients. Do not be afraid of the fats found in meat if it comes from an organic, naturally raised source. The fat profile is lower in saturated fats and you will find a high number of omega-3 fatty acids along with many other trace fats that helped raise good cholesterol.

Eating nuts and seeds will also help raise your good cholesterol and will provide you lots of nutrients and healthy fats.

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What Are the Symptoms of Rheumatic Heart Disease?

Rheumatic heart disease is often associated with rheumatic fever. It happens when the fever causes damage to the heart valves. We should learn more about its symptoms, classifications, preventions, treatments, and diagnoses. It is really important for people to know about this information because being familiar with it will give a person the advantage to prevent acquiring the disease. Prevention is always better than a cure.

The diseases related to the heart can be caused either by infectious origins and non-infectious origins. Rheumatic heart disease is originated from an infectious starting point. The heart may be an internal organ, but that does not exclude it from getting an infectious disease. It is a type of organ that consist of stripped, smooth muscles that signify the special features of the heart to contract and to expand according to its functions. This is the same reason why the kidneys are also affected.

The disease originated from a simple sore throat that is caused by GABHS or Group A Beta-Hemolytic Streptococcus bacteria. A person who experiences more than three sore throats per year may have a higher risk of having the disease. This is considered true even if there is no specific evidence that the sore throat of the patient came from a GABHS infection. A simple sore throat can progress to rheumatic fever that can further develop into rheumatic heart disease or acute glumerulonephritis (AGN).

Heart and kidneys are organs involved in rheumatic fever because of the fact that the GABHS bacteria are similar to the smooth muscle cells which the two affected organisms are made of. The immune system of the body, therefore, destroys the smooth muscles of normal cells of the heart and kidneys instead of destroying the pathogen. The mechanism of action on this condition is comparable to autoimmune diseases only in this case. There is a known trigger factor that causes the action to spread forth.

The signs of heart disease, such as rheumatic heart disease, are essential to the detection of the condition. One of the criteria to be able to confirm the existence of the rheumatic fever is the Jones' criteria. This criterion refers to the symptoms of heart disease that come about due to rheumatic fever. It combines several symptoms that are classified into major and minor criteria. The primary criteria include: carditis, polyarthritis, erythema marginatum, subcutaneous nodules, and chorea. The minor criteria involved various symptoms as well as such previous rheumatic fever, elevated temperature, high CRP and ESR levels, arthralgia, and extended repute of the PR intervals reflected in the results of the ECG test.

Classification of the disease, according to the manner of its occurrence, may be acute and chronic. Abrupt RHD obviously has a sudden incidence, and long-term RHD represents a long-standing complication. The diagnosis of this disease first focused to substantiate the incidence of a GABHS infection. Occasionally, the center of attention of the medical team is the damage or the complication that took place because of the disease. More often than not, the symptoms and the diagnosis will be the basis of the type of treatment the patient would receive. If the patient has minimal heart damage, it may be suggested to treat the condition with medicines. Neverheless, when the patient's condition is at stake, surgical interventions may be suggested by the physician.

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Top 10 Foods That Naturally Lower Blood Pressure

Knowing the basic 10 foods to reduce blood pressure naturally helps a person suffering from the problem of blood pressure. In fact, an individual diagnosed with low BP should follow medical advice for an appropriate dietary pattern. This way, the problem can be managed at home level along with the application of helpful heart advice.

How to Lower Blood Pressure?

To lower BP, a doctor's prescription has to be strictly followed along with a balanced and a healthy diet. Besides this, practicing exercises regularly helps to keep a check on excess weight gain and regulates blood circulation in an individual's body.

10 Foods That Naturally Lower Blood Pressure

1) Low Down Salt Intake – Slat is the major food ingredient which is directly responsible for the problem of rise and fall in blood pressure of an individual. Therefore, whenever a person gets diagnosed with high BP, he / she should pay attention to the salt intake and reduce it considering to prevent further deterioration of the medical condition. Consumption of foods with less amount of slat or usage of non-salt spices in daily food helps to reduce the overall salt intake of an individual.

2) Add Balanced Proportion of Potassium in your Diet – To have a good percentage of potassium, a person diagnosed with low BP can eat fruits like bananas as they are rich in potassium. Besides this, consumption of other fruits like apples, strawberries, apricots, figs and vegetables like carrots, broccoli, spinach, potatoes, corn, etc. are god alternatives.

3) Olive Oil – Olive oil helps to lower blood pressure that can be used in cooking or can be sprinkled on salads or bread.

4) Fruit or Vegetable Juices – To lower BP, take of strong antioxidant juices like tomato juice or vegetable juices also help.

5) Red Wine – A glass of red wine that assures longevity does help to lower BP.

6) Eating Desserts – Once in a while, eating desserts like dark chocolates is good to lower down BP and cholesterol level.

7) Dark Leafy Vegetables – Eating vegetables like cauliflower, legumes, beets, onions, garlic, nuts, etc.

8) Eat Fish – Eat different varieties of fishes like Salmon, Tuna, etc.

9) Consumption of Supplements – To lower BO, a person can consume supplements of fish liver oil, hemp oil, cod liver oil, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin D3, vitamin E, probiotics, etc.

10) Green Tea – Intake of herbal tea, green tea or Basil tea.

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If You Want Good Health, Here Are Some Tips to Reduce Cholesterol

It's a fact, what we eat determines to a great extent how healthy we are. It's also a fact that there are many foods in the western diet that are increasing the rate of heart disease.

You have heard the standard comments about quitting smoking and exercising for at least twenty to thirty minutes a day, but now more than ever you need to know what the food you eat is doing to your health.

Reducing bad cholesterol tips include keeping note of what you eat for a given week. This is a great way to get a handle on how you stack up with regard to healthy nutrition versus life shortening foods that contain too many sugars, saturated fat, and to many carbohydrates that increase weight.

What are the natural ways to control cholesterol?

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease has become the number one killer in the western world! What many people fail to realize is that by not controlling healthy cholesterol ranges, we increase the chances of other diseases directly related to a sick heart.

Reducing bad cholesterol tips also include starting with having a complete lipid panel conducted to see where you are starting in this race against time. Why is this a race against time? Simply because there are very few warning signs of high cholesterol until it has done great damage to you.

Most heart attacks and strokes occur without any warning. Without warning of any kind, your chances of survival are greatly diminished. The only answer is to be pro-active and take action now. How often do we hear people say “if I had only known”? “If I could live my life over again, I'd do this differently!”

It's sad but true and the old adage applications; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Do not count on the fact that great grandma and grandpa lived to be ninety-five! The fact is that they most likely did not have a diet full of planned fat.

Once you have completed your first two reducing bad cholesterol tips, sometimes getting a blood check and tracking every meal for a few weeks, it's time to implement tip three.

Naturally reduce bad cholesterol by integrating foods into your diet that include Omega 3. Remember, Omega 3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy by fighting bad cholesterol!

The human body does not make these essential nutrients so it's incumbent upon you to take action in reducing saturated fats from dairy products and animal fat and augment these with healthy foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids.

What foods fall into the Omega 3 category?

You can go a long way to naturally reduce bad cholesterol by eating more green vegetables such as green beans, spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale and enjoy a good salad with every dinner.

Other foods that typically reduce bad cholesterol include items like fruit, whole grains like whole grain pasta, and snack items such as nuts in place of potato chips or candy.

Another food category that will naturally reduce bad cholesterol comes from sea food. In particular, cold water fish like salmon and mackerel. The fatty acids DHA and EPA come from the oils contained in these fish.

Clinical studies have demonstrated the efficiency of oily fish and the fatty acids contained within to figt LDLh cholesterol. Remember the root cause of heart disease is clogging of the arteries caused by high levels of bad cholesterol. Fight the cause and you negate the issue!

Conclusion

As you can see, reducing bad cholesterol tips are plentiful and fairly easy to integrate into your routine. A healthy diet including Omega 3 will take you a long way to a long and healthy live. What are you waiting for?

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Tips on Improving Heart Health

The heart is the hardest working muscle in the human body and every day it pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood. It never stops and is always working. Such a diligent muscle needs to be in the best condition it can be, and with a few changes in lifestyle, you and your heart can be feeling much better. Heart disease is one of the major killers of men and women in America, but most of the causes of heart attacks are preventable and are largely due to poor lifestyle and diet choices.

A build up of cholesterol and fat in the arteries is the main cause of heart disease and failure. This build up is known as plaque. Once built up to a certain level, the plaque can break open, causing blood clots to form. This can cause a complete blockage in the artery and stop oxygen rich blood from reaching the heart, resulting in heart failure.

Diet

Because the major cause of heart disease is the build up of cholesterol and fat in the arteries, this should be an indication that heart health and diet are directly related. Research has shown that a diet rich in olive oil, Omega-3, garlic, whole grains and fresh vegetable will significantly reduce heart complications. In fact it has been proven that people who consume a Mediterranean diet are at far less risk from heart disease.

Over-processed foods are a major diet concern. When food is over-processed it looses the majority of the essential nutrients. Processed grains found in white bread, and the sugars present in soda and the sodium in fast food greatly increase the risk of heart complications. Not only is unprocessed food better for your heart, it tastes better as well.

Physical Activity

The heart is a muscle and like all muscles it needs to be exercised. When the heart is strengthened it will become more efficient at distributing the flow of blood around the body. The best exercise you can do for your heart is aerobic. This can include swimming, bicycling and walking.

If you are new to exercising, it is important that you take things gradually. The recommended daily amount of exercise is 20-30 minutes, 3-4 times per week. But do not feel that you need to do this amount straight away; the most important thing with exercise is consistency. Do what you can, but keep at it. Over time you will be able to go longer and do more.

Smoking

If you smoke, your chances of heart disease are greatly increased. Smoking increases the opportunities of your arteries becoming clogged because the smoke damages the cells that line the blood vessels and heart. A year after you quit smoking, your chances of heart disease are cut in half and 15 years after stopping smoking, you are at the same risk as a non-smoker. If you want to quit, your heart health care provider can offer support and recommend programs that will improve your chances of success.

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Diet, Exercise and Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the Western world and affects people increasingly as they get older. Being our number one killer, it gets a lot of attention in the media and from our health services. The received wisdom is that we should all stop smoking, drink less and avoid planned fat. Meanwhile those with established cardiovascular disease, and those thought at risk of future cardiovascular disease, are put on drugs to modify their blood cholesterol and blood pressure. While the advice to stop smoking and to drink less is unduly grounded on good evidence the other cornerstones of modern-day prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease are more controversial.

What is cardiovascular disease?

Cardiovascular disease covers a number of distinct conditions and there are there a a number of possible causes. The main cardiovascular conditions that can cause early death are:

  • Atherosclerosis, sometimes the best known, when arms clog up. This narrows the arteries and creates conditions in which the artery ultimately becomes blocked. If the artery is a coronary artery, one of those that provide oxygen for the muscles around the heart, then a heart attack follows. If the artery is a carotid artery supplying oxygen to the brain then a major stroke occurs. Heart attacks have a posh name, myocardial infarction. Basically myo stands for muscle, cardio for heart and infarction to tissue destruction due to lack of oxygen. Which neatly sums up what happens when a coronary artery is blocked.
  • Aneurysms, which are ballooning blood vessels that occur when the blood vessel walls becomes too weak to cope with the local blood pressure. If aneurysm bursts then a haemorrhage occurs and the lack of blood and the oxygen it carries to vital organs such as the heart and brain can be fatal. In the UK, according to NHS sources the incidence of death from burst aneurysms is about 4-5% that for the atherosclerosis related heart attacks and strokes. Roughly 9,500 per year versus 162,000 per year.
  • Heart failure occurs when the muscle that makes the heart beat becomes ineffective. This is due to a previous heart attack in about 2 out of every 3 cases. It can also be caused by failure of the valves in 4% of cases, very high blood pressure, also 4%, alcohol and viruses, again 4% of cases. The remaining 20% ​​have unknown causes. Using figures from the USA, I estimate that between 40-50,000 people die from this every year in the UK. In other words it is more common than aneurysm related death, but less common than death from heart attacks and strokes resulting from blocked arteries.
  • Arrhythmias are heart beats that become irregular, extremely fast or slow as a result of abnormal electrical activity in the heart. They are very common, but usually only prove fatal when a serious prior event such as a heart attack has already taken place.

So what causes cardiovascular disease?

The conditions described above are clearly worth avoiding. The main changes that occur in the body to cause the problems above are narrowing of arteries, weakening of blood vessels and damage to the heart muscle. Narrowing of arteries due to atherosclerosis is the most important factor in all of this, causing almost all heart attacks and about 85% of strokes (15% are caused by haemorrhage). What exactly are the causes of cardiovascular disease? Below I list and then examine those factors that are well-known, and those that have strong evidence to support them.

  • Blood Cholesterol levels, specifically cholesterol taken in the blood by low density lipoproteins
  • High blood pressure, specifically by causing damage to the lining of blood vessels. In some salt sensitive people, too much salt raises blood pressure.
  • Dietary cholesterol take from foods such as eggs and prawns.
  • Intake of saturated fats from foods such as red meats and cheese.
  • Intake of damaged fats such as artificial trans fats.
  • Ratios and overall intake of polyunsaturated fats.
  • Blood sugar levels.

Blood Cholesterol levels are rather more complex in their effects than most people are aware. While low cholesterol levels are associated with a reduced incidence of heart attacks they are also associated with a greater risk of death, with depression, cancer, stroke and atrial fibrillation. This should give us pause when considering the importance of lower cholesterol levels in people with anything other than established cardiovascular disease. For most of us a level that is classified as borderline-high such as between 200-240 dL / L (5.1-6.2 mmol / L) would probably be an optimum level. There is evidence that higher levels protect against many types of strokes, especially haemorrhagic stroke where bleeding from blood vessels causes death. The above should not be surprising if you consider the role of cholesterol in the body. It is an integral part of all our cell membranes, and is a precursor for many of our hormones, including vitamin D, which is increasingly being associated with reduced risk of many serious diseases.

High blood pressure is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However the risk from high blood pressure is also dependent on the quality of the blood vessels. Damage to blood vessels is normally repaired, and if we consume the right diet it is likely that our blood vessels will repair themselves more quickly.

Dietary cholesterol was the initial target of Government advice. However it turns out that cholesterol from foods such as prawns, liver and eggs do not raise cholesterol levels in most people and even if they did this may not be so bad a thing. In fact these high cholesterol foods are some of the most healthy in the diet containing a large amount of important micronutrients such as vitamins A, D and E as well as minerals such as iron (liver), iodine (prawns) and antioxidants (eggs and prawns).

Saturated fat has become increasingly the bad guy in Government campaigns of late, but is it so bad? Saturated fat has been in our diet ever since we evolved into human beings, you've got thought our bodies would have taught how to deal with it by now, and in fact there is plenty of evidence that just just that. A review in 2011 of 21 intervention studies carried out over the previous decade found no reduction in risk of death from cardio-vascular disease after interventions to reduce or replace saturated fat with carbohydrates or polyunsaturated fats. Clearly typical foods that contain saturated fat are no worse for us than those containing carbohydrates or polyunsaturated fat.

Damaged fats have increasingly come under the spotlight over the last two decades. They are fats that have been heated to very high temperatures in their manufacture (or during cooking). When heated above about 160C, the molecules that they formed from became changed into forms that the human body does not recognize. Foods such as margarines and most packaged goods containing vegetable fats contain these damaged fats. They are clearly linked with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Ratios of polyunsaturated fats to various other types of fat have been investigated by sufficient a number of studies. Most show that polyunsaturated fats when increased as a total proportion of calories reduce the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. Without boring you with the detail, this is most likely due to the presence of omega 3 fats such as those found in oily fish. Omega 3 fats have a potent effect on risk of cardiovascular disease and outperform statins in many studies.

Blood sugar levels get a lot of attention in those with diabetes, but very little in those without this condition. Basically if you wander around with blood sugar levels that are too high, your risk of cardiovascular disease is greatly increased. It is very important to make sure your diet does not lead to chronically elevated blood sugar levels. For many this will mean reducing what is called the glycaemic load of their diet. In short try to moderate your intake of sugary drinks, cakes, sweets and puddings as well as starchy items that break into sugars before being absorbed from your digestive tract. These include bread, rice and potatoes.

What does this mean for my diet and lifestyle?

A diet that reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and the damage it causes through heart attacks and strokes would follow the general principals below:

  • Reduce the amount of junk food you eat. This is a very general point, but junk food generally has too much salt, sugar, additives and trans-fats. All of these make cardiovascular disease more likely. Examples include foods from takeaway burger joints, ready meals from supermarkets and drinks of fizzy pop.
  • Eat more fruit and especially vegetables. Again this is a big food group, but many fruits and vegetable contain nutrients that help protect and repair your blood vessels from damage. Examples include tomatoes which when cooked provide a high dose of lycopene to quell oxidative damage to blood vessels, cooked beetroot which can release substances that relax your blood vessels and plants of the allium family, such as garlic, onions and leeks prevent blood clotting and narrowing of treaties.
  • Try and incorporate some omega 3 fats into your diet. The most effective way of doing this is through oily fish such as mackerel, herring, trout, sardines, pilchards, kippers and tuna (not the canned stuff). One issue with these fish is that they can accumulate high levels of toxic heavy metals and pesticides in their fatty tissues. This is the reason pregnant women are sometimes advised to moderate their take of them. One way to get round this is by using fish oils that have been processed to remove these contaminants. For vegetarians, omega 3 can be obtained from seaweed extracts. Linseed oils may also be effective in those with the ability to convert its omega 3 fat into a more potent form.
  • When it comes to cholesterol and saturated fats I would not worry too much. If they come from good sources such as past fed cows, free range organic chickens then you will probably derive more benefit than harm from them. As stated above the evidence linking cholesterol and saturated fat intakes with heart disease is not consistent and is skewed by the massive interest of the drug companies in funding studies that attempted to make the link to justify their drug sales.
  • I've not covered exercise in this article, but regular daily exercise is very effective at reducing cardiovascular disease risk. Any exercise will be beneficial if it builds progressively on your current capabilities. For some this may mean walking an increasing distance at increasing speeds each day. Some resistance training is helpful for those who are already at a basic standard of fitness. For those with existing cardiovascular disease care should be taken, but it will be very beneficial as long as your body responds to the training without a crisis event. Consult a doctor or other professional involved personally with your healthcare if this is the case. For those who are already fit and wondering what is best for their cardiovascular health, then the general rule is to build fitness steadily and recover well from hard sessions. Usually what makes you fitter will also be good for you, if training is wearing you down it is good for either your fitness or health.

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Healthy Levels of Cholesterol: The Key to Good Health

Let's face it, it's scary but most people do not realize what an important role healthy levels of cholesterol play in everyday life. Aside from the obvious, fried foods, greasy foods and meals based primarily on animal fat, the various health implications are very diverse and profound!

Healthy levels of cholesterol keep the body functioning at optimal levels. According to the medical community, healthy levels of cholesterol can be defined as a total cholesterol lipid panel of 199mg / dl or lower.

Additionally, bad cholesterol known as LDL should not exceed 99mg / dl. This is the most important variable in the cholesterol makeup because it causes the most damage to the body.

Secondly, triglycerides which account for fat build up in the cells of the body can be equally bad for your health. High levels of triglycerides contribute to excess weight around the mid section of the body. This weight gain is a contributor to high blood pressure and heart disease. This lipid panel measurement should not exceed 149mg / dl.

Good cholesterol known as HDL or high density lipoprotein, should ideally be measured at 39mg / dl or above and the higher the number the better. Why is HDL so important to healthy levels of cholesterol?

HDL particulates have a function in the blood stream that involves removing clumps of bad cholesterol that build up on the walls of the artery. HDL actually picks up the sticky LDL that has grabbed onto the artery walls and forms a blockage.

As the degree of blockage increases, the blood flow to the heart and brain as well as other vital organs in constricted. This condition is a major cause of cardiovascular disease.

What other problems can come from bad cholesterol?

Healthy levels of cholesterol can act as a deterrent to many of these health problems. Because the heart is the most important organ with the most important job; that is to pump blood to the rest of the body, cardiovascular disease reduces this vital pump from delivering oxygen and vital nutrients to the body.

Clinical studies have shown a correlation between bad cholesterol and high blood pressure, kidney damage as well as degeneration of the liver.

What natural ways can I work on healthy levels of cholesterol?

Today many studies have linked healthy levels of cholesterol directly to intake of Omega 3. The benefits of Omega 3 can be measured in lower levels of bad cholesterol and higher levels of vital HDL.

Proper nutrition that includes lean meats, fish and green vegetables supplements the many benefits of Omega 3. So, what is it that makes Omega 3 so powerful in fighting cholesterol?

The benefits of Omega 3 can be traced directly to the fatty acids that are found in foods that are high in Omega 3. Whole grains, green vegetables, fruit, and oat meal are all examples of healthy foods that contain fatty acids the body needs to boost HDL and fight LDL.

Some of the most powerful forms of fatty acids are those come from fish. The powerful fatty acids DHA and EPA contained in cold water fish like sardines and salmon typify the benefits of Omega 3 in fighting cholesterol and maintaining good health.

Your good health can also be augmented by maintaining a strict regimen of walking at least thirty minutes a day. By exercising the heart and getting the blood pumping, you burn fat and calories.

The combination of burning fat and calories through exercise combined with eating healthy foods that promote good cholesterol provides one of two punch for maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol in an all natural way!

Conclusion

Now that you know the facts, take action! Healthy levels of cholesterol will lead to a healthier live and help your body fight disease. You too can reward yourself with good health and a long and productive life. Why not start today?

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Lowering High Blood Pressure The Natural Way

High blood pressure (Hypertension) is also known as the “silent killer”. Hypertension gets the name silent killer because most people do not feel any warning signs or symptoms. Hypertension often will develop slowly and can cause serious damage to other organs without any experiencing any symptoms. Recent, new guidelines from the Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure recommended more stringent measures and created a new category of called pre-hypertension for those with borderline high (130-139 / 85-89 mm Hg) or normal (120/80). This all came about because new research is showing that the risk of heart disease and stroke can occur at lower blood pressures than we originally believed. Personally, I think this is “overkill” and another reason to medicate America. I believe that having regular checks and monitoring Blood pressure is a wise choice, but if this recommendation leads to more people being medicated-count me out. Too often we are alarmists and medicate as opposed to being alarmist and changing our lifestyle (s).

Understanding your blood pressure reading
We often hear that normal blood pressure is 120/80 or below. Now with pre-hypertension being 120-139 / 80-89 or hypertension being 140/90 or above we need to understand the numbers. The top number (systolic) is the pressure of your blood in your veins and arteries just as your heart pumps. The bottom number (diastolic) is the pressure when your heart is at rest. As we age and the elasticity of your veins and treaties decreases, the top number often will climb while the lower number remains in check. As your arms become smaller (like your garden hose that gets blocked), it takes more force to get the blood (water) moving. This need for increased force is what I like to call high blood pressure. If you had a squirt gun with a large hole, it would be easy to pull the trigger. If the whole was very tiny, it would take a lot more force to pull the trigger and shoot the water out. Your body is the same way. By relaxing (opening the hole) the arteries your heart will not have to work so hard and you will have lower blood pressure. This is the mechanism of how blood pressure medications work. Of course there are several categories of BP medications (ACE inhibitors, Beta Blockers, Calcium Channel blockers etc.), but the final result is the same-reduced pressure on the walls of the artillery.

Factors that contribute to having Hypertension

Being overweight
Age
Alcohol consumption
Genetics
Learned behavior (My term for genetic links)
Diet (salt intake, caffeine)
Aging
Stress
Insulin Resistance
Mineral Deficiencies (Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium)
Race

What can you do about it?
My belief is that with proper lifestyle, the majority of the cases of Hypertension can be avoided. I am going to use myself as an example. Ten years ago I owned a very successful pharmacy in Virginia. Life was great-my son was just born, it was Christmas and as far as most people would know, I had it great. What most people did not know is 3 days before Christmas my blood pressure was 165/110. That is way too high for anyone-especially someone 32 years of age. This did not make sense-I ate right, exercised and took great care of my health. So WHY? After a few more days monitoring of my blood pressure (it was still high) I realized there had to be another cause-STRESS! Yes even with everything going great, the stress of owning my pharmacy was taking its toll on my health. I had a choice, take medication or get rid of the stress. So, on December 27th 1997 I decided to get rid of the stress-my pharmacy. I understand that many of you can not just up and leave your jobs, but my example is one that many need to understand-Lifestyle plays a HUGE roll in your health.

Until you can learn modify your lifestyle, there are several supplements which can help. My new focus is to guide you to combination products that support your health needs. Combining products are designed to give you a synergistic blend of nutrients which target your specific challenge. Synergy is like adding 1 + 1 + 1 and getting 5 not 3. There is something to be said for the power in numbers. Using just one ingredient like Garlic to lower your blood pressure might work for some of you, but not all of you. The following are some of the more popular “single” ingredients you may find in Blood Pressure formulas:

CoQ10
Fish Oil
Calcium
Magnesium
Potassium
Garlic
Fiber
L-Arginine
Hawthorn
Hibiscus
Olive Leaf
Vitamin E
Vitamin C
Taurine
Cayenne

Of all of these single ingredients, two of them stick out as extra beneficial- CoQ10 and Fish Oil. Research with CoQ10 has shown it can significantly decrease blood pressure in about 10+ weeks. Most research uses about 100mg per day. I recommend 60mg chewable tablets and take them two times daily. CoQ10 is naturally occurring in the body and considered a powerful heart healthy antioxidant. As discussed in earlier newsletters, antioxidants can help reduce the potential damage caused by free radicals.

Eating Fish (cold water) is a dietary recommendation from the American Heart Association and the US Government as a preventive for heart disease. I prefer using supplements to guarantee I am getting the benefit (s) of Fish but without the toxins found in fish. I use Coromega® packs daily as my source of Omega-3's from fish oil. Coromega® is not only free of toxins, but is emulsified to prevent burping and aid digestion. I prefer its unique packaging (no light or air touches the product) because it guarantees me the freshest product every dose. There are other great brands like Nordic Naturals and Barlean's will also give you purified contaminant free fish oil. Dosing for hypertension variants in the research, but most are at levels of 3grams or more of Omega-3s. If you are taking a capsule, it may require 6 or more capsules per day depending on the concentration.

Since I mentioned that synergy is the way to go, let's take a look at a few combination products I would consider using; BP Manager (Enzymatic Therapy), Blood Pressure Control (Twin Labs), Blood Pressure Factors (Michael's Health Products), and Heart Response (Source Naturals). Each one of these formulas is unique yet combines similar ingredients that are designed to support health blood pressure levels. There are many other great products designed to help those with Blood Pressure control issues. Consult with your health care provider and / or a store associate for the product that is best for you.

If you plan to lower your blood pressure with lifestyle changes and the use of supplements, remember to work closely with your health care provider. I also recommend home monitoring of your blood pressure. Monitoring your BP is a critical part of your health care. Buying a blood pressure monitor does not have to be expensive and can guide you to a healthier you. Remember, dietary supplements do not work overnight and therefore your blood pressure will decrease slowly. Using supplements with your medications is not usually recommended and special care should be taken. For those of you using multiple medications to lower your blood pressure, your first goal should be either dosage reduction or medication elimination. You did not get High Blood Pressure over night and you will not eliminate it either way either. Be practical-Natural Medicine works only if you are committed to the program and use commonsense.

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Want to Have Healthy Cholesterol Levels? Here’s What You Need to Know

It may surprise you but one in six people suffer from bad cholesterol. It may further surprise you, but there are no obvious symptoms. That is the most alarming point, because without having your blood checked, you could have on the road to a stroke or heart disease without even knowing it.

The first thing I found out from my doctor about healthy levels of cholesterol is that it's easy to get off track and eat foods high in saturated fat that are the primary contributor to higher levels of LDL cholesterol.

Low density lipoproteins are the fat molecules that make up bad cholesterol when food is broken down in the digestive process. Healthy levels of cholesterol as defined as total cholesterol at or below 199mg / dl according to the American Heart Association.

What causes health problems related to cholesterol?

Healthy levels of cholesterol are thrown out of sync when LDL as part of the total cholesterol mix is ​​above 99mg / dl. There are several contributing factors including sedentary life style with little exercise, smoking, and eating too many foods with saturated fat and Omega 6.

The primary culprits are foods containing rich gravy, animal fat like red meat, and heavy reliance on dairy products like eggs and butter or milk. There is a work a round to these issues that include eating less meat and choosing lean cuts with no fat, along with using egg beaters and eliminating the yoke when making eggs.

What role does Omega 3 play?

In order to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol, it's necessary to integrate high levels of omega 3 into your diet to counter the bad LDL causing foods. The benefits of omega 3 in foods are the fatty acids that fight bad cholesterol.

These fatty acids are found in healthy foods like nuts, green vegetables, lentils, fruit and sea food including cold water fish. Fish in particular with high levels of DHA and EPA fatty acids promote good cholesterol known as HDL that helps to cleanse the body of heart disease- causing LDL. Benefits of omega 3 also include reducing triglycerides that build up in cells and cause gain gain which in turn tends to increase blood pressure and the incidence of stroke as well as heart disease.

Is it any wonder that certain populations around the globe like the Eskimos have very low rates of heart disease among the population? The same can be said of people who consume a diet such as those in Mediterranean. The common component is the benefits of omega 3, especially the fatty acids found in fish.

The benefits of omega 3 will come from the healthy diet part of the puzzle, but there is no substitute to exercising you heart by walking for at least thirty minutes three to five times per week. This will burn calories, reduce bad cholesterol and give you more energy.

Conclusion

Now that you know the facts, exercising on a moderate but consistent level, along with the benefits of omega 3, will go a long way to sustaining your good health while maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol. Now, take care of business!

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The BEST Ways to Lower Cholesterol Without Drugs

Has your cholesterol level risen drastically as you have aged yet you are still desperate to lower cholesterol without drugs? Not only is it possible, it is less expensive to lower your cholesterol without drugs, naturally, that you can assimilate into your life. Before you consent to take prescription drugs to lower your cholesterol levels you must try some or all of the following methods and see if you can keep your numbers low enough to avoid drugs altogether.

If you have high cholesterol, your doctor will unduly recommend that you embark on a course of statin drugs; such as, Statins like Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor.

Firstly, you must set yourself some achievable goals by understanding cholesterol levels and what they mean. You should be aiming for a total cholesterol level less than 200 mg / dL, LDL less than 130 mg / dL and HDL higher than 40 mg / dL. If your total cholesterol level is higher than 240 mg / dL, LDL higher than 160 mg and HDL below 40 mg / dL you are placing yourself at significant risk for cardiovascular diseases.

Religiously embark a low fat nutritional campaign. In an ideal world, you should not be consuming more than one-third of your diet as fat and even more preferred would be for that fat to come from only vegetables or fish. Stay away from foods that are made up of lots of saturated fats, such as meat, dairy or eggs and trans fats, like in potato chips. Devour as much fruit and veg as you can, within reason. Vegetables and fruits possess significant amounts of fiber and several studies have shown that diets consist of at least 15 g of soluble fiber can bring reduce your LDL levels cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by as much as 10 percent.

Try taking multivitamins in addition to your diet as regular intake of multivitamins has been proven to reduce the risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Furthermore, try following a course of supplements. Garlic and others that feature omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found at your local pharmacy or health food store, are great for reducing cholesterol. Do not bother with garlic pills as nowdays they make ones without odor so you will not smell like you're escaping from a vampire movie. Ensure you buy covered supplements as they keep supplements from irritating your stomach as they are absorbed in the small intestine.

All these natural ways to lower cholesterol without drugs will unquestionably work if you can remain well motivated and stick to these methods. Without doubt, your Doctor will prove a terrific source of information about cholesterol so use him / her and let them know you wish to your lower cholesterol without drugs. You may well find that they have other useful tips to divulge.

Most of all, you must eat healthily. There are hundreds of food groups that will raise your cholesterol and some that will make you unhealthy or even sick. Most notably these include processed foods that are very high in saturated fat such as cookies, cakes other similar items as well packaged meals and meat high in fat. It is essential to stay away from these types of food to naturally lower cholesterol without drugs. You will also want to include foods that positively reduce cholesterol, such as garlic and omega-3 fatty acids which you will find in fish, fish oil and soy. And again I emphasize that you must eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, beans and whole grain foods.

Remember to consult your Doctor before concluding a course of supplements to improve your cholesterol levels.

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How to Lower Cholesterol Naturally – Seven Proven Steps

There are thousands of individuals in this world that have been diagnosed with high cholesterol. Many of them wonder what they can do to lower it. Of course, they can always take the prescriptions that were prescribed to them by their doctor, but medications can cause side effects. There are various things you can do that will naturally lower those levels. In the paragraphs below, we are going to tell you how. Lower cholesterol naturally with a few simple steps.

First of all, if you are overweight, it would be a good idea to lose weight. You can easily look up your BMI online and see exactly what your healthy weight should be. Once you have your healthy weight in mind, you should work towards that goal. There are many weight loss diets you can go on that work. However, it is important that you also exercise. You should be physically active for at least thirty minutes out of your day, every day.

Secondly, we know that garlic may not taste so great to you, but it is definitely something you should try to add to your diet. There are many good garlic recipes that you can use. We urge you to look online and find some good recipes containing garlic.

Third, you need to make sure you have healthy foods in your diet. Healthy foods consist of oats, fiber, fruits and vegetables. You also need to get rid of the bad fats – in fact, do away with trans-fats in your diet all together. A good cereal in the morning time would be oatmeal, which helps keep your heart healthy. You should also add some soy products to your diet. The soy products can be milk or any other thing that has soy in it. This has been proven to reduce cholesterol by around ten percent. Red yeast rice is another thing that you should add to your diet because it contains what is called lovastatin, which has been proven to reduce those levels by up to fifteen percent.

Fourth on our list is fish oil. If you do not like the taste of fish oil, that is okay, because there are fish oil supplies that you can purchase in your local store. These are good oils that work by flushing your body of those bad fats.

Fifth on our list is beta glucan. Beta glucan can actually be found in many cereal grains, such as barley and oats. It can also be found in algae.

Sixth is Vitamin B3. Vitamin B3 is great for raising the HDL, which is the good cholesterol. However, it is also known for lowering the bad choelsterol. The side effect of Vitamin B3 is flushing.

Seventh on our list is stress. If you have stress, you need to try to eliminate it as much as you can.

These are seven ways to lower your cholesterol level naturally. There are many other herbs and techniques out there that you can use in order to naturally lower those levels, and I encourage you to learn everything you can about improving your cholesterol.

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Reduce Risk of Heart Disease – Eight Benefits of Saturated Fat

If you would like to reduce your risk of heart disease, you would do well to consider the benefits of eating planned fats. Getting sufficient amounts of saturated fat in your diet will help you to avoid the 'bugs' and the flu's that go around, and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer. Let's take a look at some of them.

1. HEART HEALTHY

Saturated fat is what your heart is encased in! It thrives on it! Contrary to popular opinion, saturated fat has proven in studies that it lowers a 'bad' cholesterol in your body known as Lp (a), while raising the levels of good HDL cholesterol. Researchers in Canada found that replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat in the diets of animals caused heart lesions.When saturated fat was fed, there was NO tissue damage.

In Sri Lanka, where residents consume an average of about 120 coconuts a year, their death rate due to heart disease is the lowest in the world – estimated to be 1 / 100,000. Compare that to people in America who eat essentially no coconut oil (saturated fat) and near 1 out of 2 deaths is heart related.

In 1948 a study in Framingham, MA was initiated to research heart health, and is still ongoing. In 1992, Dr. William Castelli reported: “In Framingham, Massachusetts … the people who ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.”

2- ENHANCES OUR IMMUNITY AGAINST DISEASE

As I mentioned in an earlier article, our cell walls are composed of approximately 50% saturated fat – or at least they're assumed to. When the proper amount of saturated fat is present, the cell walls are able to maintain their firmness, thereby protecting our cells from virus attacks.

On the flip side of that coin, saturated fat also destroys the cell walls of many harmful microorganisms, including virus, bacteria, fungi and parasites. They do this by merly dissolving the cell walls of the invaders, without causing any harmful side effects.

Caprylic acid, found in coconut oil, has been shown to be effective in combating candida, and lauric acid, found in breast milk and coconut oil, has proven effective in destroying the HIV virus.

3. PROTECTS AGAINST OSTEOPOROSIS

Effective assimilation of calcium into the bone requires saturated fat. According to Dr. Mary Enig, one of the foremost research experts in dietary fats and human health, at least 50% of a person's daily intake of fat should be scheduled for this reason.

Have you ever wondered why calcium rich foods, like milk, in their natural form come with cream? We would be wise to drink the milk with the fat, instead of trying to take it out. We are defeating our purpose – the fat is necessary for utilizing the calcium!

Vitamin D is also necessary for bone health.Saturated fats are the needed carriers for not only Vitamin D, but Vitamins A, E, and K as well.

4. NEEDED BY OMEGA 3

Much attention has been given recently to the importance of Omega 3, and rightfully so. Omega 3, a fatty acid not produced in the body, helps prevent heart disease, as well as other diseases. Studies have shown that saturated fat aids in proper utilization of Omega 3, and also helps tissues retain it.

Omega 3 needs to be in proper balance with Omega 6 to be effective. The body does well when Omega 3's are predominate, or at least in a 50/50 ratio. Most people take in too much Omega 6 because of the recent emphasis on using vegetable oils, which are rich in Omega 6.

5- PROTECTS AGAINST ALLERGIES

In 2001, a study in Finland showed that children who developed allergies ate more margarine and less butter. It is believed that trans fats such as margarine promote the formation of a substance that promotes inflammation and causes the immune system to release a protein that triggers allergic reactions. This does not happen when eating butter.

6- IMPORTANT IN CELL MESSAGING

Communication between cells is very important. When there is insufficient saturated fat in the cells, messaging no longer works. Some of the areas needed for communication are in metabolism and the appropriate release of insulin. Coconut oil, one of the few plant oils that are planned, has been shown to improve insulin secretion and utilization of blood glucose. There is good evidence that healthy fat in coconut slows down any rise in blood sugar and helps to reduce hypoglycemic cravings.

7- 'FOOD' FOR YOUR BRAIN AND LUNGS

Your brain and the linings of your lungs are composed largely of saturated fats. They need raw materials to maintain their composition and service to your body.

8- CAN HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT

A recent study took 40 women and divided them into two groups. One half consumed approximately two tbsp. of soybean oil a day for a supplement; the other half two tbsp. of coconut oil.

Otherwise their diets were the same, as well as the exercise they performed. After two weeks, the group taking the coconut oil had lost consideration belly fat, and their LDL / HDL cholesterol levels decreased, while their HDL (good cholesterol) levels increased. Those on soybean oil had increased LDL ('bad') cholesterol, and an increase in their LDL / HDL levels.

Dr. Enig and Sally Fallon in their book Nourishing Traditions maintain that saturated fat will make you feel full longer and increase your metabolism.

Saturated fats have been lumped together with trans fats in studies taken on the effects of fats on the body. The fact is, studies JUST on Saturated fats have shown that they are only GOOD for you.

So – how can we implement getting saturated fat in our diet? Several ways –

First, if you're using margarine instead of butter, quit it, and use butter instead!

Secondly, try to wean yourself from baking and cooking with polyunsaturated oils, and use coconut oil instead. It's a bit more expensive, but worth every penny.

Coconut oil can also be taken as a supplement – I've taken it alone (it does not have a greasy taste), and sometimes I mix it into natural peanut butter – it makes it really creamy!

Third – If you have access to it, try drinking farm fresh milk! I know some of you will cringe at this, but it's nature's way of drinking milk.

Fourth – Do not worry about getting every last bit of fat off your meat. It's there for a reason – to help digest the protein. It will not hurt you -the Eskimos lived on whale blubber, and it never hurt them!

And what can you expect if you make these changes?

You'll begin to feel better! Your body was made to be nourished with saturated fats, and it will thank you for them!

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