Natural Compound From Magnolia Tree Can Protect Heart From Hypertrophy

Recent studies show that the natural compound isolated from the magnolia tree has the ability to help heart from hypertrophy. And the remedy has been applied by the people in Asia for centuries among a wide area, which has prompted the scientists inspiration to study the substances with the will to make it beneficial to more people out of Asia. The result presented by the researchers is surprisingly positive and proved that the wisdom of ancient people is of great power, as they knew the property of the substance without the help of advanced equipment.

Cardiac hypertrophy is usually caused by chronic blood pressure, and endanger the health of people by increasing the risk of heart failure and malignant arrhythmia. The natural compound extracted from the magnolia tree is honokiol, and it works in a way to increase the SIRT3 level and slow growth of cardiac muscle cells. SIRT3, a kind of protein, can help delay aging, resist stress, and regulate metabolism, which is important in reducing the thickness of heart wall.

After the injection of honokiol into mice, the growth of cardiac cells was reduced, and heart wall pre-thickness was decreed, besides, the muscle cells' ability of contracting is weakened. SIRT3 plays an important role in energy metabolism and in anti-acetylation, which introduces the function alteration of proteins. With no SIRT3, the cell's function may be impaired. It's also shown that honokiol, with functioning on SIRT3, can help mice to escape from a mature hypertrophy.

When the SIRT3 level was tested in the mice's heart muscle cells, it was found that the honokiol is impressively effective, and a very small amount of honokiol can make the level of SIRT3 double in a period of 24 hours. In addition, no appreciable toxicity was detected in the test.

To prove the honokiol's property on SIRT3, researchers did another experiment on mice, in which the SIRT3 gene was absent. It was found that the natural compound did not affect anything at all and no changes happened to the mice in the test. This may prove that honokiol can only directly increase the level of SIRT3. The natural compound honokiol is quite promising in the treatment of heart diseases, though its function is in single form according to the present studies.

Now honokiol is put into pharmaceutical use as a herbal remedy in the market. Still, researchers are working on to find out if it's still effective with oral use of the compound, as in the experiments that had done in the past, all mice were infected with honokiol, not by having it directly. If the answer is yes for this issue, it will be much more convenient for its application.

As honokiol has been proved very effective in the treatment of heart diseases in Asia, more researchers will be done to probe more unknown matters about the natural compound to make it fully contribute to the heart diseases therapy.

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Tips to Help Prevent Heart Disease

Life is so uncertain. Sometimes things affect us that we have no control over. However, there are an immune number of things that we can do to greatly improve our odds of achieving many of our goals, including good-health goals. As I get older, I witness more and more cases of heart attacks, cancer, and even broken bones that could, in part, be a result of osteoporosis. Heart disease is way at the top of the list of things that happened to older people, but it actually starts at a younger age.

In order to prevent heart disease, it is important to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle. The Mayo Clinic lists some very good tips that will benefit everyone.

  1. Do not smoke or use tobacco.
  2. Exercise for 30 minutes most days.
  3. Eat a heart-healthy diet.
  4. Maintain healthy weight.
  5. Get enough quality sleep.
  6. Get regular health screenings.

If you can, get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise most days. More benefits are reified by increasing the duration, frequency, and intensity of your exercise. However, even less exercise has its benefits and do what you can, even if it means dividing the 30 minutes into three 10-minute intervals.

What makes a “heart-healthy” diet? Here is where I think it is very easy to fail, even when you think you are eating healthy. Do you even think about whether you are eating saturated fats or trans fats? We should avoid or limit our saturated fats. Saturated fats are found in red meat, dairy products, and in coconut oil.

We should also avoid or limit our consumption of trans fats. Trans fats are found in deep-fried fast foods, bakery products, packaged snack foods, margarine, and crackers. The label “partially hydrogenated” means trans fat!

You should have some healthy fats. Some places healthy fats are found include avocado, nuts, olives, and olive oil.

In your healthy diet, you should be getting 5 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

Regarding alcohol, women should limit consumption to one drink a day, and men two drinks a day. In moderation, alcohol actually offers a protective effect. More is a health hazard.

Another tip for maintaining good heart health is to chill out! Relax and relieve your stress. You may do meditation, yoga, meet with friends, take a walk.

It is a good idea to know your family medical history if possible.

Something I have found that I really like are the Lifeline Screenings. With today's technology, they are able to check so many indicators of our health. It is a great way to find out how you are doing.

So, be wise, take charge of your health, eat a healthy diet, exercise, take vitamin and mineral supplements to help make up for what you do not get in your daily diet, and be thankful that you are doing some great things so that you will be more likely to live a good quality life!

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Vascular Stroke Screening Helps Indicate Early Stroke Detection Risks

Cardiovascular disease (heart and circulatory disease) causes more than one in four of all deaths in the UK – that's around 160,000 deaths a year. This figure includes deaths from stroke, heart attacks, heart failure, cardiomyopathy and atrial fibrillation.

How can vascular stroke screening help?

Because strokes and heart attacks are so-called 'silent killers' in that they rarely have any symptoms and strike without warning, it makes good sense to have your vascular health (that's the health of your arteries) checked. Vascular Stroke Screening is a comprehensive package of scans and ultrasound tests, which can you, give a representative snapshot of the state of your arms.

Finding out if you have a problem with your arms gives you the chance to lower your risk factors for a stroke or heart attack before it happens by making lifestyle changes such as taking more exercise, giving up smoking and losing weight, as well as taking medication to help lower you blood pressure and cholesterol and controlling your blood sugar.

What's included in vascular stroke screening ?

Our package of scans costs £ 179 and is available to men over 45, the purpose is to examine three key areas of the body to assess the state of your vascular system (arteries).

These examinations include:

  • An abdominal aorta scan: The aorta is the main blood vessel leading from the heart down to your abdomen and the rest of the body. It's usually about the width of a hosepipe (approximately 2cm), but if the wall weaknesses it can 'bulge' to (this is called aortic dilatation) double the size at 5.5cm and can be in danger of bursting. This is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm and is rare but very serious, because if it bursts it can cause fatal bleeding. A rupture accounts for one in 50 deaths in men aged over 65 and causes 6,000 deaths a year in England. Ultrasound Direct's scan of your aorta will examine the aorta to check for signs of an abdominal aortic aneurysm and also examine the iliac arteries, a network of arteries that supply a number of areas of the body including the lower limbs and pelvis. The scan will be checking for signs of narrowing caused by calcification (fatty deposits) or thrombus build-up (clotted blood) and can also monitor aortic dilatation (sliding of the aorta).

If an abdominal aortic aneurysm is detected, both kidney and renal arteries will be checked too.

  • A carotid scan: The carotid arteries are in the front of your neck and carry oxygenated blood to the brain. When the carotid arteries narrow due to a build-up of plaque it raises the risk of you having a stroke. Carotid artery disease accounts for 20 in 100 of all strokes. Our Doppler ultrasound examination will check the size; condition and blood flow of your carotid arteries, from their origin to where they divide in two, to supply different areas of the brain / head. We will also check internal and external carotid arteries and vertebral arteries. The scan will check for plaque build-up and narrowing.
  • A scan for peripheral arterial disease: Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is where your arteries begin to narrow – it affects one in five men aged 50 to 75 and one in eight women in the same age group. It primarily affects the arteries supplying blood to the legs. The main symptom of PAD is pain in one leg or both on walking (this is called intermittent claudication), but only one in four people experience any symptoms – because why scanning is a good idea as it can help build up a picture of your arteries . Ultrasound Direct uses a Doppler scan to measure blood flow in the brachial arteries in both arms and also takes a blood pressure measurement in the arm and the ankle while a person is at rest called the ankle brachial index. The Doppler scan also checks the tibial arteries in both legs. The tests will help your sonographer determine whether you have signs of PAD, and can also help with on-going monitoring of aortic dilatation.

If you do have PAD, taking 30 minutes of exercise a day (walking is considered as the best form) has been shown to improve PAD symptoms, as it encourages a network of smaller blood vessels to grow and improve blood flow to the legs.

We will provide a sonographer's report at the time of the scan with a medical follow-up recommendation if needed.

Preparing for your vascular stroke screening

Prior to your appointment you'll be asked to fast for eight hours – so no breakfast if your appointment is in the morning and no lunch if it's in the afternoon. Stick to clear fluids (black tea or coffee are allowed). Diabetics are allowed to eat but must avoid fatty / dairy products.

We advise wearing a loose-fitting top, which is easy to get on and off, as you'll need to expose the upper and lower parts of your abdomen, neck, upper arms and ankles.

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Heart Health And Disease Statistics For Women

There is a common misconception that only men are susceptible to the risk of heart disease, but they are all sadly mistaken. In fact it is also the # 1 cause of death in women. In fact, since 1984, more women than men have died each year from heart disease.

Women and Heart Disease Facts

Cardiovascular disease, which includes heart disease and stroke, is the largest killer of women worldwide. Heart disease and stroke kills 8.6 million women each year, which is 1/3 of all deaths worldwide.

In the United States, the disease is the number 1 killer of women, and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease with a death approximately every one minute.

An estimated 43 million women in the US are affected by heart disease and 90% of all women have at least one or more risk factors for developing it.

Even though there's been an increase of awareness over the past 10 years or so, only 54% of women, that's 1 in 5, actually realize that their # 1 killer is disease of the heart.

For both white and African American women, it is the top cause of death in America, and for Hispanic women both cancer and heart disease cause nearly the same amount of deaths every year. For Alaskan Native, Pacific Islander, or American Indian women in the US, disease of the heart is 2nd to cancer as the leading cause of death.

7.6% of black women, 5.8% of white women and 5.6% of Mexican American women currently suffer from coronary heart disease.

Nearly 64% of women who end up suddenly dying of coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms at the time of their death. This proves that you can be at risk for heart disease even if you are not currently displaying any symptoms.

One of the contributory factors in the number of deaths is that the symptoms of heart disease can be different in women and men, and are often misunderstood.

While there are some women who do not display any symptoms whatsoever, there are others who experience angina, which is a dull chest pain and / or discomfort that can be heavy to sharp in nature, pain in their upper back or abdomen or pain in their neck / throat / jaw. These pains can occur while you are resting, when you begin any physical activity or they can also be triggered due to mental stress.

Women in general are more likely to describe their chest pain as sharp and burning, and they are more frequently prone to pain in their jaw, neck, throat, back, or abdomen.

The disease symptoms can sometimes be completely silent and the disease is not diagnosed until a woman begins experiencing signs and / or symptoms of a heart conditions such as heart failure, heart attack, a heart arrhythmia or a stroke. Symptoms Women May Experience

Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

Discomfort and / or pain in your chest

Pain in the upper back

Heartburn

Indigestion

Upper body discomfort

Nausea / vomiting

Extreme fatigue

Shortness of breath

Symptoms of an arrhythmia can include:

Fluttering feelings in your chest (heart palpitations)

Symptoms of heart failure can include:

Shortness of breath

Swelling of your ankles / feet / legs / abdomen

Fatigue

Symptoms of a stroke can include:

A sudden weakness, or paralysis (unable to move)

Numbness of the face / legs / arms especially on one particular side of your body

Confusion

Trouble speaking and / or understanding speech

Difficulty seeing out of either one or both eyes

Shortness of breath

Loss of balance or coordination

Dizziness

Loss of consciousness

Sudden, and severe headache

Key Risk Factors For Women

These are all significant risk factors for heart disease in women. Nearly half of all Americans (about 49%) have at least one of the three key risk factors, and 90% of women have at least one risk factor.

High blood pressure

Smoking

High levels of LDL cholesterol

A number of lifestyle choices and medical conditions can also increase the risk for disease o f the heart t in women, these include:

Diabetes

Excessive alcohol consumption

Physical inactivity

Poor diet

Overweight and / or obesity

Screening

Prevention

Regular screenings, blood tests, and healthy lifestyle choices can go a long way to prevent heart disease and its repercussions. Many times women fail to take care of themselves until it's almost too late. Take the time to take care of your health and ask your doctor about your heart health.

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The 25 Top Heart Healthy Foods Help Fight Heart Disease

Heart disease is the # 1 leading cause of death in the Unites States. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease, killing almost 380,000 people annually.

In the United States, a heart attack occurs every 34 seconds. Every 60 seconds, someone dies from a heart disease-related event. Heart disease kills 1 in 3 women, more than breast cancer and all forms of cancer combined.

71 million American adults, 33.5% of the population have high cholesterol; a major contributing risk factor for heart disease and only 1 out of every 3 adults have the condition under control.

The Role Of Diet In Heart Disease

Diet and exercise are the main ways to prevent heart disease, ensure long-term health, and prevent chronic disease. Heart healthy foods deliver power-packed phytonutrients that help to prevent and repair cellular damage and valuable macro and micronutrients to ensure optimal heart health.

Many foods also aid in preventing high cholesterol and clogging of heart arteries that can lead to the need for bypass surgery or premature death from heart attack.

Olive oil has been shown to reduce heart disease and is one of the main staples of the Mediterranean diet that a recent study showed to reduce heart disease by 30% in high-risk patients and by 9% in healthy individuals.

In addition, here are 25 more foods that are chock full of heart-healthy nutrients, which can aid in the protection of your cardiovascular system.

1. Salmon

According to the American Heart Association, omega-3 fatty acids are heart healthy fats that fall under the category of polyunsaturated fats. Regular intake of these healthy fats helps to lower the risk of heart arrhythmias that often result in sudden death, slow plaque buildup in the heart and lower triglyceride levels.

2. Flaxseed

Flaxseed provides omega-3 fatty acids, along with fiber and phytoestrogens that help to lower bad LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol.

Ground flaxseed can be added to cereals, yogurt, homemade muffins, and to steamed vegetables for a nutty flavor.

3. Oatmeal

Many studies have confirmed that soluble dietary fiber intake greatly reduces the risk for developing heart disease. A–cup serving of steel cut oats provides 15% of the US Department of Agriculture's recommended daily allowance of fiber. Hot oatmeal and fresh berries is a treat for you and your heart.

4. Beans

Beans are very high in both soluble and insoluble fiber that helps control cholesterol, and they are a great source of lean protein as opposed to animal protein that is much higher in saturated fat that can clog heart arteries.

Beans also provide:

Magnesium

B-complex vitamins

Niacin

Folate

Omega-3 fatty acids

Calcium

5. Blueberries

Blueberries are high in fiber and low in sugar and offer essential carotenoids, the flavonoid, anthocyanin, Ellagic acid, vitamin C, calcium, and potassium.

6. Tofu

Tofu is a great alternative to animal protein that is high in saturated fat and provides, Niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

7. Red Wine and Grapes

The catechin and resveratrol flavonoids in red wine are believed to reduce risk for heart disease. Red grapes are rich in flavonoids so there is no need to start drinking just for heart health. Raw fresh garlic and garlic supplements are also great sources of catechin.

8. Tuna

Tuna is a fatty fish that is rich in heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It also provides folate and niacin.

9. Walnuts

Like almonds, walnuts offer essential nutrients for heart health, including heart-preferred mono and polyunsaturated fats, magnesium, folate, fiber and vitamin E.

10. Brown Rice

Brown rice is a healthy whole grain that is much better for heart health than white processed rice. It gives you, B-complex vitamins, niacin, magnesium, and fiber.

11. Soy Milk

Soymilk is fortified with heart healthy nutrients, including: isoflavones, niacin, folate, calcium, magnesium and phytoestrogen, potassium and B-complex vitamins

12. Almonds

Almonds are nutrition powerhouses that provide heart friendly mono and polyunsaturated fats, and:

Magnesium

Vitamin E

Phytosterols

Choose raw nuts without added salty or sugary toppings. Cacao dusted almonds are a great option to get an added boost of antioxidants from the chocolate. Pure almond butter is a super food that provides healthy fats and makes a great snack as a dip for fruit to satisfy the sweet tooth or on whole grain toast for breakfast.

13. Carrots

Carrots offer beta-carotene and fiber. They are also beneficial for vision health. They make a great sweet snack.

14. Spinach, Kale, And All Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are nature's super foods and provide the best of what plant foods have to offer, including, lutein, B-complex vitamins, magnesium, potassium calcium, and fiber

Choose spinach instead of lettuce for nutrient-packed salads and sandwiches.

15. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are delicious and sweet, and while we often refer to them as vegetables, they are actually fruits.

For heart health, tomatoes offer lycopene, beta and alpha-carotene, lutein, vitamin C, folate, fiber and potassium.

Eat them in salads, as snacks, in smoothies, baked with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and in healthy sauces over whole grain pasta.

16. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a much better choice than white potatoes because they offer more nutrients, which are lower on the glycemic index, which makes them more effective for blood sugar control and offer these nutrients for heart health:

Beta-carotene

Vitamins A, C, and E

Fiber

17. Whole Grain Cereals

Whole grain cereals, like whole wheat and oat bran help to lower cholesterol.

18. Broccoli

Broccoli, like all green vegetables is low in calories, nutrient rich and can be ateen in abundance. Broccoli gives you many nutrients for heart health, including beta-carotene, vitamins C, E, A, B-6 and fiber.

Eat it steamed as a side dish, or chop fresh broccoli into soup. It also makes a great snack when dipped into nutrient rich hummus.

19. Oranges

Oranges are high in fiber and provide essential antioxidants to protect from free radicals. They also provide beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, flavonoids, and lots of vitamin C, folate, fiber, and potassium. Eat the whole fruit as juicing removes the pulp and eliminates the fiber.

20. Asparagus

Another awesome green vegetable that is low in calories and heart healthy offering essential nutrients, such as beta-carotene and lutein, B-complex vitamins, fiber and folate.

21. Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash is a vegetable rich in antioxidants, including, beta-carotene, lutein, B-complex and vitamin C. This tasty vegetable also provides folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and fiber.

22. Cantaloupe

This juicy sweet fruit is good for heart health due it's rich content of antioxidants, including, alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. It is also a high fiber fruit that can help prevent high cholesterol.

23. Papaya

Papaya is another sweet and delicious fruit that can help lower risks of heart disease by providing you with beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, vitamins E and C, lutein calcium, magnesium and potassium.

24. Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate that is at least 60% cacao contains resveratrol and cocoa phenol flavonoids that are effective antioxidants in preventing heart disease.

25. Green Tea

Green tea has many health benefits, some of which are rooted in its content of catechin and flavanols that help to reduce heart disease risks. It also helps with weight loss, which naturally improves health and significantly lowers the risks for heart disease.

Bottom Line

Incorporating these 25 heart-healthy foods into your daily diet can help to reduce your risk of developing heart conditions such as heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

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How Cardiac Symptoms Are Different for Women

Most people think of heart disease as the list of symptoms that they've grown up with, like discomfort in the center of the chest, squeezing in the chest, pressure, fullness, pain that goes away but then comes back. Those are the symptoms of men's heart disease. Symptoms of women's heart disease go barely noticed and it's become the number one killer of women because of that fact.

The first difference between men and women is that women do not usually get the chest pain that men do. In fact, lack of pain is the significant difference; one that also has women not bringing up the subject because they only feel a slight discomfort and do not want to be a bother to anyone. Even their doctors misdiagnose it to be more anxiety then sickness. So women chalk it up to getting the flu, acid reflux or just aging.

Another difference is how women feel angina pain. In men a squeezing in the chest is felt with great pain. Women experience it as a hot, burning sensation and not in the chest, but in shoulders, back, or jaw.

Women having heart attacks vomit or have dry heaves. They experience shortness of breath, nausea, acid reflux, or extreme, sudden fatigue. Or even NO symptoms at all. Men usually have chest pain and clutch at their chest.

Women minimize their symptoms and unless they go out of their way way to get the attention of a doctor, most doctors will not investigate further due to over demand on their own time and resources.

Many times a woman only knows she has had a heart attack is when a doctor examines a woman's heart and sees damage from a “silent heart attack”, meaning a heart attack that went untreated because the woman had little to no pain. A great deal of damage can happen this way and weakened the heart.

Seek immediate medical help or call 911 if you feel any of the following, even one of them:

Shortness of breath repeating more than 10 minutes
Sudden sweating with no reason
Sudden feelings of doom in a panicky way (this is a real symptom)
Loss of consciousness or false
Sudden severe vomiting or indigestion
Sudden severe fatigue

Women must start feeling that it is not alright to quietly suffer in silence. Get attention and seek help. Do not put it off, or it can have far reaching implications to your family and you.

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These Are Possibly The 10 Worst Foods For Heart Health

When it comes to keeping your heart healthy, there are certain foods that, depending on your level of heart health and risk levels for heart disease, you should either avoid, or eat in extreme moderation. Artery-clogging foods can be some of the worst food culprits and can have adverse effects on your overall heart health.

Heart disease is the # 1 cause of death in the Unites States alone. It includes a variety of conditions, including stroke, clogged arteries that may cause cardiac arrest or require bypass surgery, high cholesterol, heart attack, and premature death.

If the following ten foods are a part of your everyday diet, it could lead to some serious problems for your heart.

1.) Red Meat

Red meat is an animal protein that is high in saturated fat, and is not good for your heart when ate in excess. It's okay to have steak in moderation, but it should be something you treat yourself to a couple of times a week, and not a part of your daily meals.

Lean and / or extra-lean sirloins, round roasts and sirloin tips are some of your best once-in-a-while red meat choices for a healthy heart. It is also a good idea to trim the fat off your steak; this is the white marble portion of the steak or roast.

Broiling or cooking on an open flame are healthy cooking methods because they allow the fat to drip off the meat, as opposed to frying where the meat sits in its own fat in the pan.

2.) Processed Meat

Processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, sausage, and even deli meats are high in sodium, fat and may contain many preservatives. They often include added nitrates and nitrites, which have both been linked to causing certain heart problems. Processed meats also have more saturated fat and less protein than any self-prepared meats.

3.) Pizza

Doughy, cheese covered, pepperoni laced pizza pies contain about 2/3 of the maximum daily recommended saturated fat amount, and most pizza ingredients, especially take-out pizzas, are processed foods that are chock full of sodium.

It is much a healthier option to make your own pizza at home where you control the ingredients. Some options include, using, whole-wheat thin crust, fresh vegetables, lean chicken breast, fresh tomatoes or homemade tomato sauce and low-fat cheese.

These options greatly greatly improve the health factor of pizza so you can still enjoy it without it threatening the health of your heart.

4.) Fettuccine Alfredo

Alfredo sauce itself is full of saturated fat and calories, since it is a combination of butter, heavy cream, and cheese, then there is the white pasta, and none of the ingredients provides any impressive nutrients.

Most people eat this dish at a restaurant, and here is what you get with Olive Garden's Fettuccini Alfredo entrée, this is without chicken, which most people order:

1220 calories (675 from fat)

75 grams of total fat (115% daily value)

  • 47 of which grams are saturated fat (235% daily value)

1350 grams of sodium (56% daily value)

WOW! Look at those numbers! Can you never eat it again? No, of course, moderation is key, but if you love it, you can make a healthy version at home that you can enjoy more often.

Use whole grain pasta and make a homemade Alfredo sauce with either plain yogurt or low-fat milk and cheese, and add some fresh veggies to the mix for an added nutrition boost.

5.) Trans Fats

Trans fats are fatty acids that are created through the processes that make vegetable oils more solid (hydrogenated). They are cheap to create and they are often used in processed foods that are prepared and / or pre-packaged to have a longer shelf life. They can also be re-used for frying purposes.

Trans fats raise your bad LDL cholesterol levels and they lower your good HDL cholesterol levels. This is what puts your heart at risk. Read the trains and reduce trans fat intake, the American Heart Association recommends 1% or less of daily calorie intake from trans fats.

6. Fried Foods

Many restaurants tend to reuse their drying oils many times over again, causing the fat to become more and more planned. How you fry food makes a huge difference. Shortening is one of the worst, and a number of restaurants still fry with it.

Fried foods in general are never recommended for heart health; choose healthy cooking methods, like grilling with heart-healthy olive or canola oil.

7.) Soda

Heavy intake of refined sugar causes type 2 diabetes and obesity, both of which are huge risk factors for heart disease. Soda can spike your insulin levels by such a high amount that even if you drink only one can per day, you can increase your risk of suffering a heart attack by up to 20%.

Choose green tea, ice tea, plain or flavored water or seltzer instead.

8.) Ramen Noodles

The cheap meal of ramen noodles has up to 1500 milligrams or more of sodium in each serving. What you save in dollars, you pay for in cholesterol levels and heart disease risks.

9. Fast Foods

Many fast foods are full of trans fat; saturated fat, sodium and / or sugar, and the effects on your heart are almost immediate.

According to a 2012 study, after only one fast food meal, the density ability of your blood vessels drops by as much as 24%. A cheeseburger alone can have up to 1000 calories.

10.) Eggs Benedict

Eggs combined with the English muffin, butter and fat-filled Hollandaise sauce, not to mention the addition of Canadian bacon, delivers almost 700 calories and about 35 grams of fat, not heart-healthy at all.

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5 Ways To Eliminate Bad Fats From Your Diet With Healthier Substitutes

For many years scientists have known about a link between fat intake and heart disease, this discovery has led to many people erroneously cutting all fat from their diet. We now know that not all fat that is harmful, but rather specifically arranged and trans fats that should be limited. In fact, the body needs and greatly benefits from healthy fats, specifically the monosaturated and polyunsaturated varieties.

Benefits of Monosaturated Fat (MUFA)

Many studies have shown that healthy amounts of monounsaturated fats provide many health benefits, including:

  • Decreased risk for breast cancer in women, as one Swedish study found that women who had a diet higher in monounsaturated fats versus polyunsaturated fats had less incidence of breast cancer.
  • The American Heart Association recommends the consumption of MUFAs because they improve the body's lipid profile and lower cholesterol.
  • Lowers risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Healthy portions of monounsaturated fats support healthy weight loss.
  • Monounsaturated fat can help to reduce pain and stiffness for those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis.
  • The American Diabetes Association published a study that found diets that include monounsaturated fat helps reduce belly fat versus diets that are high in carbohydrates.

Benefits of Polyunsaturated Fats

According to the American Heart Association, polyunsaturated fats help to reduce bad LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, which lowers the risk for heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke. Polyunsaturated fats also give us essential nutrients to support cell health. Oils rich in polyunsaturated fats also provide the antioxidant vitamin E, something many Americans lack in their diet.

Additionally, oils rich in polyunsaturated fats provide us with important fats that the body does not produce on its own, such as omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids that can only be obtained from food, such as fatty fish and soybean, corn and sunflower oil.

Today we will give you 5 simple changes you can make to reduce your intake of bad fats with healthier substitutions.

Switch from butter to olive oil when cooking

Butter is predominately saturated fat, and for those worried about their cardiovascular health a simple switch to olive oil can make all the difference. Best of all olive oil has a high smoke point meaning that it can be used both at room temperature and in high heat situations such as grilling and pan-frying. However, just because it is a healthier choice does not mean you can splash it all over your food, as all fats and oils contain a massive 9 calories per gram, which can quickly result in weight gain when used in excess.

Watch out for trans fats

The American Heart Association recommends that trans fat intake does not exceed 1% of daily caloric intake. Trans fat clogs arteries, cause high cholesterol, and is the unhealthiest fat. The primary dietary source for trans fats in processed food is partially hydrogenated oil.

Almost everyone loves the occasional pastry or donut. However, what many people do not realize is these tasty trips are often high in trans fats. Awareness of the long-term health consequences of trans fat consumption has led to many manufacturers and bakeries modifying their recipes and using healthier fats such as those derived from vegetable oils. Next time you visit the bakery, be sure to ask if their products are free of trans fats.

Choose reduced fat dairy products

Consuming dairy products such as milk and cheese is a fantastic way to get the calcium your bones need to prevent fractures as you age. However, many dairy products such as full cream milk are high in saturated fat. Next time you visit the supermarket try making a switch to reduced fat dairy products, they have all the calcium you need and more moderate levels of scheduled fat.

Pass on the coconut oil and use canola oil

One of the largest health fads of 2014 was coconut oil, with social media sites such as Facebook plastered with posts singing its praises. However, what many people fail to realize is that coconut oil is extremely high in saturated fat and should only be used in limited quantities. Instead of using coconut oil when cooking, try using canola oil that like coconut oil can be used at high temperatures, but contains far less saturated fat and also provides you with heart healthy monosaturated fat.

Trim your meat

For many people, cutting into a juicy steak is one of the simple pleasures in life, but unfortunately, fatty cuts of meat can often lead to a saturated fat overload. To reduce your intake without passing on the steak, ask your local butcher for lean cuts of meat with minimal visible fat (white marble). In addition, if these are not available simply cut off any visible fat from your meat before placing it on the grill. This way you can have your steak and look after your health at the same time.

Extra Lean Cuts Of Steak And Roast:

  • Eye of round
  • Bottom round
  • Sirloin tip or top sirloin
  • Top round

Take home message

The science surrounding dietary fatty intake has evolved over time, with current research suggesting that eliminating all fat from our diets is simply not necessary. However, we do know that we should limit our consumption of scheduled and trans fats as these are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

To improve your health, be sure to switch from butter to olive oil, watch out for trans fats, choose reduced fat dairy products, pass on the coconut oil, and trim your meat.

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The Therapeutic Benefits Of Garlic For The Heart

There are about 20 different names for garlic as a supplement, and there are probably even more therapeutic uses for this popular herb. Although it is most widely known for its use in cooking, it has also been used in the prevention and treatment of a wide array of health conditions. Both the fresh clove itself and / or supplements created from the clove have been used for years.

How Garlic Works

The garlic herb produces allicin, a natural chemical that gives garlic its smell and is also what is thought to make it work therapeutically for certain health conditions. There are some garlic products that age garlic in order to make it odorless, however, the process of doing so can take away from its overall potency and lessen its therapeutic effects. Many experts recommend the use of garlic supplements with enteric coating because this ensures that the herb is dissected in the intestine instead of in the stomach.

Why Fresh Garlic Is Best For Your Heart

Since at least 1500 BC, garlic has been used by many Chinese and Indian healers for its blood thinning benefits. More recently, experts have confirmed that fresh garlic can help protect your heart because it releases a short-lived gas called hydrogen sulfide. Hydrogen sulfide in small amounts functions as “an intracellular signaling compound” which helps to protect your heart, but when garlic is cooked, processed, or dried, the hydrogen sulfide gas disappears.

The Heart Health Benefits Of Garlic

Prevention Of Heart Disease And Lowering Cholesterol

The garlic clove can play a significant role in the reduction of risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and even heart attacks. Cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, which causes more American deaths than any other medical condition. Because garlic is effective at lower cholesterol levels, it can help lower your risk of developing heart disease.

A study done by the Mayo Clinic revealed these benefits of garlic :

  • Decrease of LDL cholesterol levels by up to 10 mg / dL
  • Decrease of triglyceride levels can by up to 20 mg / dL.
  • HDL cholesterol levels are not significantly affected

Antioxidants

Other than cholesterol lowering benefits, garlic also contains powerful antioxidants that can further help heart health. Garlic naturally contains a number of powerful antioxidants, which are compounds that help prevent oxidation. Oxidation is a potential harmful process in your body.

One of the antioxidants contained in garlic is selenium. Selenium is mineral that is also a component of glutathione peroxidase. This powerful antioxidant is made by your body in order to defend itself. The glutathione peroxidase works with the vitamin E in your body to help form an “antioxidant defense system.” This helps to keep your blood clean.

Quercetin

Garlic also offers other antioxidants such as vitamin C, which can reduce damage caused by high cholesterol, and the phytochemical quercetin. Phytochemicals are important chemical substances found naturally in certain plants and hold significant health benefits for humans.

In 2004, British researchers found that subjects who took quercetin supplements had reduced platelet aggregation, which suggests that quercetin, could reduce the risk of blood clotting.

Greek cardiologists provided evidence that a polyphenol extract rich in quercetin improved endothelial health due to the quercetin's ability to increase flow-mediated dilation of major arteries, which is evidence of improved endothelial health.

A study conducted at the University of Utah in 2007 used 19 test subjects with pre-hypertension and 22 with stage 1 (early) hypertension. Some subjects received a placebo while the others took 730 mg quercetin per day for 28 days. No effect was seen with the pre-hypertensive patients, but those with hypertension had meaningful reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Another randomized study conducted in 2008 that included a randomized, placebo-controlled crossover trial of 12 healthy men showed biochemical evidence of improved endothelial function with the intake of as little as 200 mg per day of quercetin.

Garlic Usage Tips

A lot of evidence exists as to the therapeutic benefits of garlic for heart health. Remember that fresh garlic is the best form of garlic to use if you want to receive the maximum heart health benefits.

Consume garlic soon after peeling in raw form. Fresh raw garlic can be used and enjoyed in various recipes. It can be sprinkled over scrambled eggs, steamed vegetables or pasta. When ground to paste form it is even more versatile and can be spread on whole grain bread as a super healthy condiment.

Mushrooms and garlic go great together. Bake your mushrooms with a little olive oil and capers, and then once out of the oven sprinkle fresh garlic, chopped parsley and a dash of fresh lemon juice, mix it up and enjoy!

Supplementation is always an option, ask your doctor about its benefits for you.

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Heart Health And Disease Concerns For Men

A lot of the healthcare education these days is directed towards women's health issues, leaving some men to assume that they do not need to do anything to stay in good health. Unfortunately, the statistics around men's health tend to show that men need to pay as much attention to their health as women.

There are around 155 million men in the US today and of these, 12% are considered in fair or poor health. Men are more susceptible to heart disease, lung cancer, and, of course, prostate cancer, among other conditions. Men have as much trouble controlling their weight as women and suffer from poor eating habits and a lack of proper exercise and nutrition.

Areas for Improvement in Men's Health

Lack Of Physical Activity

Men still have a long way to go when it comes to getting enough exercise. Only about half of men over the age of 18 met federal physical activity requirements for aerobic activity through leisure activities. Men tend to have more active jobs, which add to their physical activity but many do not get enough true aerobic exercise for a sustained period, such as 30 minutes per day of sustained physical activity.

Excessive Alcohol Use

Men also have health issues related to alcohol use. In a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) poll, 31% of men over the age of 18 had at least five or more drinks in any given day in the past year. Some, of course, meet the requirements for alcoholism and can have health complications because of their drinking habits.

Smoking

About 21% of men older than age, 18 are smokers. Smoking leads to risks of getting heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer, among others. Even bladder cancer is thought to be triggered by the toxins produced in cigarettes.

Obesity

35% of men 20 years old or older are obese. Obesity is usually bought on by poor eating habits and a lack of exercise. Being obese means having a greater risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers. Obesity can only be eliminated over a long period by adopting permanent changes in eating habits and exercise, some things that men tend to let lapse over time.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a common condition among American men. About one in three men over the age of 20 is hypertensive and many more have what's called “prehypertension” or blood pressure ranges just under the line for hypertension (which is having consistent blood pressure readings of 140/90). Men with prehypertension have the chance to reverse their higher than acceptable numbers through better diet and exercise but many do not do this.

Men and Health Insurance

Men are more under-insured than women with 18% of men younger than 65 being without any health insurance coverage. This means that they get less preventive care and important screenings from healthcare professionals who could help them improve their quality of life and reduce complications of unchecked diseases.

Leading Causes of Death In Men

Heart Disease

In part because of lifestyles not conducive to good health, men die prematurely from several conditions. Some of the above risk factors can lead to heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in men. Many of these deaths can be preceded by adopting healthy habits in life and by avoiding things like cigarettes and high cholesterol-containing foods.

Cancer

Cancer is the number two cause of death among men. Some types of cancers simply can not be prevented or they might be preventable but scientists just do not know enough about them as of yet. What is known is that poor lifestyle choices such as smoking, eating a low fiber, nutrient deficient diet, and being obese contribute to risk of cancer and that all of these things can be changed.

Accidents

Accidents are the third leading cause of death in men. Men tend to engage in riskier behaviors than women that put them at a greater risk for accidents of all types. Even the workplaces of men tend to be more dangerous than for women, putting them at higher risk of accidents.

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Effective Ways To Prevent High Blood Pressure

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 70 million American adults or about 1 out of 3 have high blood pressure and only about 50% of all these people have their elevations in blood pressure under control.

High blood pressure is an expensive illness for this country. In fact, it costs our nation about $ 46 billion each year. This includes the cost of receiving healthcare for the disease, purchasing and making medicines to treat it and in missed days of work. Blood pressure that is too high or “hypertension” is a risk factor for several other diseases, including stroke and heart attacks. For these reasons, it pays to prevent it as much as possible.

Risk Factors for Hypertension

Unfortunately, family history plays a big role in who gets hypertension and who does not. If you have a parent or siblings with hypertension, you should be vigilant in having your blood pressure measured at the doctor's office or at the little blood pressure kiosks they have at many local pharmacies. If you are seeing signs that the blood pressure is approaching 140/90 or greater, see your doctor about getting on some type of treatment.

Eating a lot of salt in your diet can contribute to hypertension, particularly in persons already disposed to getting the disease. Try limiting the amount of salt you put on your food after it has been prepared and stay away from high salt processed foods.

Diabetes is a risk factor for hypertension. About 60% of diabetics also have high blood pressure for reasons that are not completely clear. What is known is that the combination of hypertension and diabetes are dangerous and can more easily lead to heart disease and stroke, more so than if a person just has one condition or the other.

Prehypertension is a risk factor for hypertension. Prehypertension is the state of having a blood pressure between 120/80 and 139/89. People can stay in the prehypertensive stage for many years before they slip into the hypertensive range. If you find yourself with a diagnosis of prehypertension, this is the time to watch the salt and caffeine in your diet so as to keep the pressure lower than 140/90 on a consistent basis.

Caffeine, found in coffee, some teas and in the numerous energy drinks on the market today, can contribute to temporary elevations of hypertension. Caffeine is not good for those who have prehypertension or who have hypertension already.

Age is a risk factor for hypertension, especially for what is known as systolic hypertension. As a person ages, the arteries of the heart become less elastic and the heart must pump harder to push the blood around the body. The systolic or “upper” number of a hypertensive reading represents the force required to push the blood through the body by the heart and it is often the number most elevated in older people. The diastolic hypertension number or “lower” number of the blood pressure reading is the pressure in the arteries of the body when the heart is not actively pumping. This number is normal in systolic hypertension.

Prevention of Hypertension

While you can not change your family history or age, there are things you can do to lessen the risk of hypertension. You can limit the amount of salt you take in on a daily basis. This means no added salt to already cooked food and cooking with about half the salt recommended in a recipe. Many canned vegetables and canned soups contain a great deal of salt in them and they should be avoided.

Keep your weight in the normal range and try to exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 times per week. Exercise raises the blood pressure while you are exercising but helps make fit the heart and blood vessels so that, overall, your blood pressure will be lower.

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Reducing Stress With Yoga Helps Lower Blood Pressure And Prevents Heart Disease

Yoga battles movement, breath awareness, and mental focus. This integrated approach to movement supports the health of the body and the mind. Some practitioners and teachers say that movement through various yoga poses makes yoga a moving meditation.

During a yoga session, each of the poses, asanas, are linked to the breath. Movement is guided with the inhales and exhales. As the practitioner takes open poses, where they extend or lengthen the body, they inhale. When a practitioner folds or contracts the body as in standing forward fold, they exhale.

Some asanas build strength and endurance. Other asanas allow muscles to lengthen and relax.

A complete yoga practice takes the spine in all six directions, forward, up, back, bending side to side and twisting to the left and right. A traditional yoga practice ends with complete relaxation, linging in Svasana, corpse pose, and includes breathing exercises as well as various forms of meditation.

What are the Benefits of Yoga?

Yoga exercises increase strength and flexibility. They also have a calming effect on the mind and nervous system. Yoga provides numerous health benefits.

Physical benefits associated with Yoga

  • Improves and maintains flexibility
  • Builds muscle strength and endurance
  • Elevates the heart rate (depending on the style of yoga)
  • Keeps the strain supple
  • Improves posture
  • Increases circulation
  • Maintains the cartilage and joints
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Improves functional fitness
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Boosts heart health
  • And many other health benefits for the body

Mental benefits associated with Yoga

  1. Improves depression and increases serotonin (mood nerotransimetters in the brain) levels
  2. Improves ability to focus and concentration
  3. Alleviates stress, and anxiety
  4. Decreases the body's fight or flight response and increases the relaxation response
  5. Builds confidence
  6. Fosters an increased sense of well-being
  7. Develops mindfulness which results in better body awareness to meet its needs

What Is Blood Pressure?

A blood pressure reading measures the level of force applied on the walls of the body's blood vessels as blood passes through them. With each beat, the heart moves blood through the blood vessels to every part of the body. A high hypertension reading indicates the heart must work harder to do this.

Blood pressure readings measure two components, the systolic and diastolic readings. Systolic and diastolic pressure references the two stages of a heartbeat. The reading is most often notated like a fraction with the systolic reading on the top and the diastolic reading on the bottom.

A blood pressure reading of less than 120/80 falls within the normal range. High blood pressure or hypertension becomes a concern when a reading exceeds this range.

  • Normal: Less than 120 over 80 (120/80)
  • Prehypertension: 120-139 over 80-89
  • Stage 1 high blood pressure: 140-159 over 90-99
  • Stage 2 high blood pressure: 160 and above over 100 and above
  • High blood pressure in people over age 60: 150 and above over 90 and above

Consequences of High Blood Pressure

Untreated hypertension can lead to various health problems, including:

Damage to the heart and coronary arteries that can lead to heart attack, heart disease, congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis and aortic dissection.

  • Stroke
  • Vision loss
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Memory loss
  • Fluid in the lungs
  • Kidney damage
  • Angina
  • Peripheral artery disease

Yoga and Blood Pressure

Stress, obesity, and poor diet adversely affect hypertension. Stress causes a consistent pattern of adrenal stimulation and increased heart rate, essentially causing the body to remain in fight or flight mode. The heart works harder raising blood pressure.

An obese person's heart must multiply its efforts to send oxygenated blood throughout the body. A poor diet, especially one high in processed foods, sodium, and fat contributes to hardening of the arteries. As the arteries narrow, more force is required to move blood through them, which increase probability of developing hypertension, heart disease, and possibly heart failure.

Yoga addresses each of these issues and is recommended as a complementary therapy to manage and prevent high blood pressure.

  • The physical postures build muscle and bone density, which helps people, manage and lose weight.
  • They also allow the heart to grow stronger by improving circulation.
  • The mindfulness component allows people to build thought patterns, which lend themselves to making mindful choices across the board. According to Yoga Journal, this includes building a healthy diet.
  • Yoga also lowers hypertension. A recent study attributes yoga's effect on blood pressure to its mindfulness and relaxation components.
  • According to researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine, yoga may provide excellent benefits to people seeking to heal anxiety and overall improvement in their mood. Yoga eases the stress and anxiety, which contribute to depression, poor dietary choices, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Yoga provides an accessible and effective way to prevent and manage high blood pressure. In this sense, it is a complementary therapy and professional guidance is necessary. People who have hypertension need to consult with their doctor and a knowledgeable yoga instructor before beginning a yoga program; some poses may increase hypertension if unmodified.

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10 Harmful Habits That Can Prove Deadly To Your Heart

The heart is arguably the hub of life. It is the singular, central body organ on which every other organ or tissue depends for nourishment and survival. Why? Because it is the powerhouse that keeps pumping blood through which oxygen and other essential nutrients are distributed around the body.

Despite this cardinal role, the heart is usually the focus of several bad habits that tend to compromise its functions. Furthermore, while some of these habits are obviously deadly and many try to avoid them, others appear seemingly harmless. However, the bitter truth is they can all prove deadly to your heart.

Smoking

For all intents and purposes, smoking has a damaging effect on not only the heart, but also every body organ. Cigarettes contain a substance, nicotine which increases the heart rate, elevates the blood pressure and damages the inner lining (endothelium) of blood vessels supplying the heart, thereby impairing blood flow to the organ.

Research has shown that about 20% of deaths from heart disease are directly related to smoking. Also, it has been found that people who smoke have 2-4 times higher risk of coming down with heart disease than nonsmokers. Sadly, secondhand or passive smokers (Ie people around smokers) are not exempted.

My candid advice to you is to avoid smoking of any form because it kills faster than you think.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Research has shown that moderate consumption of alcohol (especially red wine containing flavonoids) can be cardioprotective. In excess, however, the reverse is the case as alcohol increases your blood pressure, blood fats and weight. Here, it is an important risk factor for cardiovascular problems like heart failure, heart attack and stroke.

If you must drink at all, the American Heart Association recommends a maximum of 1-2 bottles per day for men and 1 bottle per day for women. In larger quantities, alcohol does more harm than good to your body.

Sitting for long

Prolonged periods of sitting (> 5hrs a day) either at a desk or in front of TV could prove dangerous to the heart. Folks who sit for long periods without getting up are said to have a double risk of developing heart disease since a sedentary lifestyle can promote obesity, high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol levels. A 2014 study done at Indiana University recommends taking a five-minute walk every hour if your job is such that you must sit all day. This simple routine will keep your blood vessels flexible and enhance a smooth blood flow.

Overzealous Exercise

What overzealous exercise does is to stimulate the body to release stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol which increase the heart rate and shoot up the blood pressure, thereby increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart attack, heart failure and stroke. It's a good habit to indulge in 30min of moderate-intensity exercise about 5 times in a week because it improves the condition of your heart and blood vessels while also helping you to burn some fat.

Not Flossing

Flossing is important not just for your teeth but also for your heart. Studies have shown that bacteria associated with gum disease can cause inflammation and get into the bloodstream, leading to plaque formation and temporary narrowing of the arteries that supply the heart. This may predispose to coronary artery disease and heart attack.

Excessive Salt Intake

It is no more news that table salt has high quantities of sodium which can raise the blood pressure and increase the risk of cardiovascular events. But what about the hidden sodium content in most processed foods including sardines, canned vegetables, chips and salty snacks? The American Heart Association recommends a maximum daily sodium intake of 1500mg. Here be sure to read the nutritional labels of the products you consume and avoid those with very high sodium content.

Inadequate Sleep

The need to make ends meet and earn a good living compels a lot of people to sacrifice their sleep. They often find themselves going to bed very late and getting up very early in the morning. This kind of habit deprives the overworked cardiovascular system of the needed rest and you may just be setting yourself up for high blood pressure and its dreaded complications. Studies have shown that 7-8 hrs of sleep every night is optimal for the body.

Anger and Anxiety

Research has shown that emotional outbursts in form of anger and anxiety can raise the blood pressure, disrupt the normal rhythm of the heart and promote atherosclerosis (a build-up of fatty plaques on the inner lining of blood vessels). Understandably, all these can set the stage for cardiovascular complications.

Avoiding Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are high-fiber, low-calorie diets that can facilitate weight loss and help burn fat. In fact, some fruits like bananas are rich in potassium which has been shown to protect the heart.
Studies have shown a 20% lower risk of heart disease and stroke in individuals who consume more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, compared to those who consume less than 3 servings.

Poor Compliance with Medication and Clinical Attendance

High blood pressure is often aptly referred to as 'silent killer' because the majority of people may not feel any symptoms of the disease until they come down with complications. Here is very dangerous to stop taking your anti-hypertensive pills or ignore clinical appointments just because you no longer feel any symptoms.

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Hidden Causes Of Heart Disease Among Maori And Polynesian People

Although many of us do the right thing by going for yearly check ups and full blood counts, there could be an underlining heart problem we are not aware we have. It does not mean that because we appear to be fit and on the go that our hearts themselves are necessarily functioning properly. Neither does having an ECG always give us the guarantee that our heart is healthy. I experienced a medium to severe heart attack two days after having my last ECG. This had caused me to look into why this had occurred as I showed none of the typical signs such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or being over weight. What I did have was an overload of stress and one other interesting factor that I thought would not affect me, was the fact that the cardiologists had confirmed that my heart attack had been caused through stress and the other interesting factor was that I had inherited a gene from my father side of the family which I thought would not have affected me the way it did.

My father had never exhibited any symptoms of heart disease, yet they were there lying dormant and had been easily overlooked. He was a very heavy smoker and a drinker and passed away at the age of seventy five due to lung cancer. He was also of Maori / Polynesian descent and interestingly, this does play a role in the overall health of an individual if they have descended from a Polynesian background. With my mother being Caucasian, I thought I had gotten away with any heart problems which related back to my hereditary gene pool on my fathers side. The most common forms of disease we often see in Maori and Polynesian Pacific people are …

  • Respiratory problems
  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes

Maori and Pacific people are considered to have one of the highest rates of heart disease in the industrialized world, along with some third world countries, especially “rheumatic fever” which is more prevalent in those under the age of twenty. This can lead to heart disease in later life. It has also been noted that One hundred years ago, it was expected that the Maori race would die out and be replaced by the white man. Rheumatic fever was intended to kill off the Maori population which had originally been introduced by the white man.

In New Zealand after the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 there was a noticeable derogation of the Maori population which continued declining. Europeans had already spent countless years building up a resistance to such diseases through their lifestyle and more so with the food they had been used to consuming such as processed foods like cream, butter, milk, bread, cake and of course that was how we ended up with the scrumptious icon, the “Devonshire Tea,” which was something the native people had never been accredited to eating. Their diet consist of mainly fish and other seafood along with watercress and other natural non processed foods. This is where the gene to low resistance to heart disease came about among the native peoples along with diabetes and respiratory problems, it had been the sudden changes in the consumption of their natural food.

Although it appears many caucasian people suffer from different types of coronary heart disease, Maori and Pacific Island people are at a greater risk because of the changes in diet they made when the white man had settled. South East Asians and Indians are also known to carry this type of gene. They come into the western world and consume western foods which are processed which makes them much higher in toxins, sugar and fat. The safest and sure way to find out about your heart health is to speak to your doctor about having an “angiogram.” This where a camera tube is inserted into a main artery at the top of the leg.

The tube runs the full length of the artery until it reaches the heart itself, where the complete condition of the heart can be assed and viewed on a monitor. You can watch the whole procedure taking place. This is how they found my blocked artery, an ECG will not pick that up. The procedure is painless, and in removing the tube a clamp is then placed over the top part of the leg for round twenty minutes or a little longer to ensure that the boring has stopped. The only painful bit about having this done is the cost of it. I think it is a great way to ensure that you have peace of mind, and the cost of it is something I think everyone should consider, regardless of their hereditary background.

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Cholesterol: Facts and Statistics

Cholesterol is a very prevalent health problem in America today. Having a high cholesterol increases your risk of developing heart related problems later in life. Cholesterol problems can occur in people of all ages and backgrounds so it is important that we are aware of the issue at hand. In this article I am going to touch on some facts and statistics that are directly related with elevated cholesterol levels.

Many Americans currently have issues with high cholesterol. About 71 million American adults have high LDL levels. This number comes out to around 33.5% of our entire population. Even further, only 1 in every 3 adults with high cholesterol problems are effectively managing and controlling their cholesterol. Less than 50% percent of adults with these health issues seek out treatment options for their condition. People who have been diagnosed with high cholesterol are at approximately double the risk of heart related diseases as people with optimal levels. Doctors state that a desirable level is 200mg / dl or lower. On average, Americans have a total cholesterol of about 200mg / dl which is on the border of being at high risk.

Cholesterol levels can vary between different genders and ethnicities. Mexican American men have the highest LDL cholesterol levels as far as race and gender are concerned at 41.9%. There is not much of a noticeable difference between men and women with men at 32.5% and women at 31%. African American women have the lowest rate at only 27.7% and are the only group of people who are below the 30% threshold.

With that being said, Americans are making steady progress in reducing our nation's cholesterol levels. From the years 1999-2010 the overall percentage of American adults with high total cholesterol levels has significantly decreased from 18.3% to 13.4%. Even with this improvement, the percentage of Americans with high LDL cholesterol has remained around 34% over the past decade, but treatment of high LDL cholesterol has increased from 28.4% in 1999 to 48.1% in 2008 which shows that Americans are beginning to understand the risks of high cholesterol and that it is important to take an active role in reducing their cholesterol.

Even with all this new information out about cholesterol and its harmful effects many Americans do not seek out advice or treatment for managing their high cholesterol levels. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends that all adults have their cholesterol levels checked for once every five years. From the years 2009-10 bout 68% of Americans over the age of 20 had reported that they had their cholesterol checked within the previous five years. However, less than 50% of Hispanic men were screened for high cholesterol which provides evidence for why Hispanic men have the highest cholesterol levels when compared to other races and genders. Statistics also show that less than 10 percent of all doctor's office visits include a cholesterol test.

All in all, it is important that Americans effectively control and manage their cholesterol to avoid the potential life threatening risks that a high cholesterol can cause.

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