Coronary Heart Disease (Atherosclerosis)

Coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease, also referred to as CHD or CAD, is a grave form of the condition called atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). It develops due to the deposits of LDL or the bad cholesterol on the wall of the artery. This extremely results in a buildup of faty deposits called plaque.

Due to this the artery becomes narrows and does not allow sufficient amount of blood to pass through to the heart causing the chest pain of angina. That's not all; if plaque breaks off, it triggers the formation of a blood clot on its surface, which in turn cuts off the blood supply to the heart muscles. The result is a heart attack because the blocked blood supply killed vital cells.

CHD affects several hundred million people across the world and is one of the leading causes of death in men and women. However, not everyone is vulnerable to the condition; for instance, men develop CHD about 10 years earlier than women.

Angina is one of the most common symptoms of CHD. It is often described as a mild uncomfortable feeling similar to indigestion. Although a severe angina attack can cause a feeling of heaviness or intensity, usually in the center of the chest, which may later radiate to the arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach.

Physical activity or stressful situations often trigger angina. The symptoms usually pass in less than 10 minutes and can be relieved by resting or using a nitrate tablet or spray.

Heart attack is another symptom of CHD, which can cause permanent damage to the heart muscle and, if not treated immediately, can be fatal. The feeling of discomfort and pain is quite similar to that of angina, but it's often more severe. These are some of the warning signals of a heart attack:

• Sweating

• Light-headedness

• Nausea

• Breathlessness

The symptoms of a heart attack are very similar to indigestion, for example heaviness in the chest, a stomach ache or heartburn. Heart attacks do not needlessly happen while you're moving; they can also happen while you're at rest. If there is a pain in your heart that lasts longer than 15 minutes, it might be the start of a heart attack.

Another common symptom of CHD is heart failure. It happens when the heart is too weak to pump blood to other parts of your body, which leads the fluids to build up in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Heart failure can happen suddenly (acute heart failure) or gradually, over time (chronic heart failure).

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The Healing Power of a Loving Touch Can Prevent And Cure Heart Disease

Every time someone Touches us with loving care or we do the same for someone else, an emotional exchange takes place that substantially nourishes the heart. The expressions “He touched my heart”, “I felt so touched by his words”, or “It was so touching to see my old friend again”, show that the sense of touch is closely related to our physical and emotional heart, which is also the center of our being. To touch and to be touched is as essential to health as a balanced diet, if not more.

When American researchers discovered that prematurely born babies who are stroked three times a day increased their weight by 49 percent, they had unintentionally discovered the loving touch. As it turned out, loving touch – the scientific expression is 'kinesthetic tactile stimulation' – became recognized as an effective method to reduce the time and cost of a baby's stay in hospital. Loving touch (I prefer to use the less sterile and more human term for this precious gift of God) stimulated the babies' production of growth hormones and theby improved utilization of nutrients from the daily food ratio. The researchers did not realize that they had stumbled upon a major technique of healing that could have applied successfully to the young and the old, the healthy and the sick, and not only for prevention, but also for cure.

In the human body, the sense of touch is so highly developed that it can detect or sense everything it comes into contact with, like radar. By unconsciously picking up other people's pheromones (chemicals produced by the body that signals its presence to others) and / or 'touching' their aura, your body can identify who is friendly, honest and loving or cold-hearted, deceitful, and aggressive.

The body may instantly translate all that information into powerful chemical responses that can make you either feel well or ill. These internal responses, however, also depend on your interpretation of the experience. Muscle testing can verify whether your interpretation is correct. You may think of a person and check with your muscles if this person has a positive impact on you or not. A weak muscle indicates that your relationship with this person may disturb your balance and energy field. Merely thinking of a person gives you enough physical responses to decide whether you want to be with that person or not.

There are multiple forms of touch that can have substantial healing effects. The Ayurvedic oil massage, for example, has been proved to open clogged arteries because of its deeply penetrating and detoxifying action. However, the purely physical part of this kind of touch is only partially responsible for this healing phenomenon. By touching your body with the intention to improve its health, it automatically senses that you love and appreciate yourself and your life; otherwise, you would not do it. Love carries the highest frequency of energy, and, when present in the depth of your heart, it triggers a strong healing response by releasing endorphins (hormones produced by the body that stop pain and make you feel good) and other healing drugs through the body , similar to the ones a breast-fed baby receives from its mother.

If you want to help a sick person, but do not know how, hold his / her hand in yours, or gently hold or massage his / her feet. This does more to help the person's condition than any amount of sympathetic words could do. The body remembers a loving touch more vividly than spoken words and it reproduces the same drugs whenever it links into the 'touching' feeling through remembering.

Heart patients especially need to feel that they are loved and cared for because their hearts have lost the sweetness of life that is mostly present in a committed and loving relationship where emotional exchange is most common. Many heart disease victims have isolated themselves from such intimate before they became ill, by overloading themselves with work, commitments, deadlines, and too many social engagements. By rediscovering the secrets of loving touch, they can once again connect to the circuit of love that supplies the only frequency the heart needs in order to function properly and efficiently, that is, the love frequency.

Loving touch opens the heart. It is the kind of touch that gives without expecting anything in return. It is the kind of touch that can create miracles. Each one of us has this healing gift; it is only a matter of acknowledging that you have it, which is a prerequisite for being able to use it. Give your touch freely and without reservations, for it is one of the few gifts that can make you truly happy, too. It may feel nice to be loved by someone, but it is most important to express love to others, in whatever form is possible. You always have the choice to touch someone with your kindness, generosity, and honesty, and feel so much better for it. This opens your heart. Only a closed heart can be broken or attacked.

Living your whole life without the danger of suffering a heart attack is more your choice than something that just happens to you. Take care of your heart and it will take care of you.

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What to Know About Good and Bad Cholesterol

The word “cholesterol” has become a popular term in these last few years. It is no longer an exclusive term used by medical professionals and old people. This is because we often hear and see it being discussed in normal conversations, in tv shows, in newspapers and magazines, and even in TV commercials. You may ask why, the only answer to that is the fact that thousands of people died or are suffering from coronary diseases because of high cholesterol.

But is Cholesterol really that evil? Believe it or not, Cholesterol has a special and beneficial function to our health system. In moderate levels, it is actually responsible for the maintenance of healthy cell walls and development of bile acids that help in fat digestion. It also helps the body produce its own vitamin D. Only when taken in excess does it become a bane to our body.

There are two (2) types of cholesterol: the good one is called the HDL or high density lipoprotein and the bad one known as LDL or low-density Lipoprotein. The latter is the one that causes the blood vessels to clog and eventually leads its sufferer to a heart disease or stroke.

The good type of cholesterol or HDL (High-density Lipoprotein) actually removes ldl from your blood. The most common sources for hdl are fatty fish like tuna and trout, all kinds of berries, nuts, cranberry extract juice, eggs.

Therefore, it is important that we are able to maintain a high level of HDL in our body so that it can counter the ill effects of LDL that is also present in our system. The best way to do it is by careful and picky of what we eat. If you want to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, you need to start with a healthy diet program.

Maintaining good and normal cholesterol levels is important but most people falter in this aspect. For one, it is a bit difficult to say NO to delicious foods that are easily available in the supermarkets. Unfortunately, most of these foods are packed with preservatives and dairy products. We all know that dairy products such as butter and cheese can cause our cholesterol levels to shoot up. However, there are also healthier alternatives such as low cholesterol dairy products or trans fat free foods. Trans fat is commonly found in canned goods, chips, sausages, and other commercially prepared food.

Keep in mind that it is always important to have any thing in moderation especially food. The excess cholesterol in our body are the ones that cause the clogging of the blood vessels that may ever lead to stroke or heart disease.

It is a really good thing though that there is an increasing awareness about cholesterol and the right diet to counter the evil consequences of high cholesterol in our body. As you age, having your cholesterol levels checked from time to time can really help manage and monitor a good health.

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Healthy Food Choices – How to Avoid Heart Disease, Diabetes and Obesity

There is now strong evidence that carbohydrates are the baddies in the war against obesity, heart disease and diabetes. So where does this leave the well established theory about saturated fat and how it not only increases our weight but is also responsible for heart disease?

In a nutshell research is now telling us to do the opposite to what we have been told to do in the past in order to stay healthy. Back in the 70's when the treatment of cholesterol became popular; doctors took a very simplistic view believing that dietary saturated fat led to body fat. You only have to look around you to see that the eating recommendations that occurred as a result of this theory have had devastating effects upon our health and the prevalence of diseases such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Saturated fat was once blamed for heart, cholesterol and obesity problems and we were encouraged to eat less meat and more carbohydrates (eg bread, cereals). But now multiple studies are revealing that this was all wrong! One such 2010 study reviewed the evidence around this subject (Astrup, A. et al, Am J Clin Nutr: 2011 Jan 26) and found that “replacing saturated fat with carbohydrates does not reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), and may even increase the risk “. (Dairy Nutrition News April 2011)

The fat that we do need to be concerned about is Trans fat that is found in margarine. The risk of coronary heart disease does is increased with the intake of trans fatty acids. Trans fats have been made by a heating process that changes the chemical structure of the fat to make it solid but soft. As mentioned in a previous article, Trans fats are commonly found in commercially manufactured products especially bakery items.

As well as containing damage Trans fats processed products such as bread, cereals, pastries, pasta etc. have other health related issues. Because these foods are nutrient poor, a person consuming these foods on a regular basis is likely to be deficient of the important antioxidants. We know that these antioxidants are important for overall health, but they are also significant in the fight against heart disease. This is because it is not the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol that is the problem, but the oxidation of the LDL cholesterol.

As evidence comes to light about the effects of oxidized LDL, and the problems associated with excess carbohydrates intake, we will no doubt see the list of ingredients in products such as bread, muesli bars and cereals, modified to ensure the continuing sales of these products . Some companies are already adding protein, vitamins and minerals to their products, in the hope that the public will perceive them as “a healthier food choice”. An example of this is new cereals that are coming out with added protein. Given that proteins primarily come from animal sources and that cereals are carbohydrates, the reality is that this will make little difference to our health.

For good health my advice is to:

  • Stick to a fresh, whole food diet. This means avoiding processed carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, processed Cereals, pastries and cakes.
  • Aim to achieve the ratios of 40% carbohydrates (including vegetables & some fruit), 30% protein and 30% good fats with each meal.
  • Good fats should include olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, rice bran oil to name but a few. Adequate fat will reduce inflammation in the body.
  • Protein sources should include eggs, meats, fish and small amounts of dairy and nuts. If you are vegetarian you may need to assess whatever you are getting adequate protein and consider using a protein shake.
  • Ensure you are getting adequate antioxidants such as vitamin E and C as this is another key to avoiding heart disease and the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
  • And if a product says “low fat” read the label carefully as you will more than likely find that it has had sugar added to enhance the flavor was lost when the fat was removed.

By adhering to a fresh, whole food diet, much like that ateen by our ancients, you will achieve better control of your weight and the marks of heart disease and diabetes.

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Top Tips For A Healthy Heart

Heart disease is the greatest killer in the western world today, but in the major of cases it can be avoided. Smoking, alcohol consumption, eating too much saturated fat, obesity and lack of exercise (among others) can all have a detrimental effect on our hearts. Let me show you how to take care of yourself and keep your heart in tip-top condition.

Top Tips For A Healthy Heart

Keeping your heart strong and healthy is in your hands, here are a few suggestions to help you look after your heart: –

1. Every Second Counts

As you get older, your heart muscles and vessels go through changes which can harden arteries and you are more at risk of developing other conditions. Things change more quickly as your body ages, do not put off that sensible diet or new exercise regime another day. Sometimes the damage you have done may not be repairable, so every second counts.

2. Keep Control Of Your Calorie Intake

Your diet can have such an impact on your heart, and obesity increases your chances of type 2 diabetes and heart conditions. Cut out all those empty calories (that have no nutritional value) that come from beer and soda. Practice portion control and never eat until you are stuffed again.

3. Eat Your Heart Healthy

Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as whole grain bread, cereal and pasta. Grill and steam meat, fish and vegetables to keep the goodness in. When it comes to a healthy diet, fresh is always best

4. Listen To Your Body

You need to recognize the warning signs, if your heart is developing problems. If you are suffering chest pains or heart palpitations, shortness of breath or reduced stamina, then get yourself checked out. It is also a good idea to have a cholesterol test, particularly if high cholesterol runs in the family.

5. Avoid A Full Fat Lifestyle

Lots of fatty food in your diet is bad news for your heart, all that planned fat will soon start blocking your arms. Start substituting your full-fat foods such as milk, cheese and butter for healthier low-fat alternatives. You should also cut out junk and processed foods in favor of fresh healthy alternatives.

6. Kick Out The Cigs

Smoking is one of the major causes of heart disease and blocks vital arteries to the heart. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your heart and overall health.

7. Get Active

The heart is just like any other muscle, it needs a good workout on a regular basis. Aerobic exercise that gets the heart beating faster for at least 20 minutes at a time is ideal, such as swimming, running and cycling.

8. Reduce Your Salt Intake

Too much salt is bad for your heart, but I do not think the majority of us realize just how much is contained in food. Avoid at all costs putting extra salt on your food or adding it during cooking, try using herbs and spices to add flavor. Start reading labels and look for foods that are low in salt,

Follow my top tips for a healthy heart, and make looking after your heart a priority in your life.

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Cholesterol: Are You a Type A or Type B?

Almost every blood test your doctor runs includes a lipid panel. That panel includes the “good” versus “bad” cholesterol ratio.

The ratio tells them if bad cholesterol (LDL) is too high. The reason is that high LDL is linked to heart disease. The cause of high LDL, they say, is saturated fat in the diet.

But not all MDs and researchers agree. In fact, numerous studies demonstrate that people who eat higher amounts of saturated fat do not have a higher risk of heart disease!

In other words there may be no link between planned fat intake and heart disease. At the same time, other research definitely shows a link. How can we explain this difference in results?

One possible explanation is that the studies linking the two did not account for the intake of other types of foods. For example, many studies did not look at sugar intake, refined carb intake or trans-fat intake. These were earlier studies that made the fat-heart disease link. The later studies that did correct for these foods showed no link.

Interesting, is not it? It shows that these other types of foods may contribute to heart disease. And they might be a larger factor than eating planned fat.

However there is also another factor that normal lipid panel tests do not show. That is the size and density of LDL particles. There are two main types of LDL. The two types of LDL are called pattern A and pattern B.

Pattern A LDL are large, fluffly particles. Pattern B are small, dense LDL particles. How each of these affect blood vessels and heart health is very different.

Pattern B LDL (small and weak) is the dangerous one. These small, dense particles can easily lodge between the cells lining blood vessels. Once there they oxidize (become rancid). They also cause inflammation. Over time they create artery clogging plaque.

By contrast, pattern A LDL (big and fluffy) does not lodge between cells. Some people speculate that this is the beneficial form of LDL because of this. In fact, LDL in its good form is essential for building muscle. It is also associated with low triglycerides.

So it turns out that both sets of researchers are right. LDL is linked to heart disease. But it is the pattern B LDL that is a problem. Pattern A LDL supports strong muscles and better health.

So how do you increase pattern A LDL? There are no definitive studies about this. But from what we do know, it seems that there are two important considerations.

First, reduce or eliminate foods that raise triglycerides. Two of the largest causes are sugar and refined carbs. Eat whole food forms of carbs like vegetables and whole grains.

Second, make sure to exercise. There is a positive link between exercise and healthy cholesterol.

Of course we can not say yet that these two steps will prevent heart disease. However based on what we know, they will support unhealthy LDL patterns.

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Lower Cholesterol Information To Help You Understand What It Is And How It Affects You

Before I start getting to deep into all of the lower cholesterol information let me first give you a basic description of what exactly is cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy fatty lipid found in the cells and tissues of our bodies. It not only comes from some of the foods that we eat but it also is manufactured by the liver and is needed as a natural function of the human body. Our bodies require a certain amount of fat and cholesterol is part of that requirement in order for us to exist.

Most people, including myself at on point in time, believed that all cholesterol was bad, but now after years of research it has been found that that is not completely true. In fact there are two types of cholesterol. One type is called LDL which is referred to as the bad cholesterol. The other is HDL which is the good cholesterol.

Let's first take a closer look at LDL or bad cholesterol. LDL can cause us problems because it tends to build up on the artery walls and over time this plaque build-up blocks blood flow. This plaque build-up reduces blood circulation which increases blood pressure, and usually leads to heart disease or even worse a heart attack.

On the other hand, HDL or good cholesterol helps to reduce plaque by returning excess LDL to the liver and aids in its excretion. So now that you have a better understanding of what cholesterol is and how it affects you, let's look at particular lower cholesterol information on how to lower the bad LDL and raise the good HDL.

As I mentioned earlier cholesterol comes from two sources. Your body produces it naturally and from the foods that we eat. Unfortunately for some of us our body because of our genetic tendencies to produce an excess of LDL cholesterol but do not worry because there are ways to lower your bad cholesterol naturally and safely.

For most of us when we found out that we had high cholesterol our doctor wanted us to start taking a prescription drug. I do not like and do not take prescription drugs because of the many dangerous side effects. Now do not misunderstand what I am trying to say because prescription drugs for lower cholesterol do work. I personally do not like taking them but if you do then that is okay.

Fortunately there are natural and safe alternatives to prescription drugs that can lower your bad cholesterol and raise the good. The very first thing you need to be aware of is your diet. Certain foods, that are high in saturated fat such as red meat and whole-fat dairy products all contain bad cholesterol. You should try to limit your intake of these foods and instead eat foods that include vegetables, whole grains and fruits. Also to increase your HDL or good cholesterol you can eat foods that are rich in essential good fats like certain fish and walnuts.

Another step to reversing the effects of high cholesterol is cardiovascular exercise but before you get started you should first consult with a physician. To start you might want to do something that is low impact such as walking, weight lifting or stretching. Exercise of course is very beneficial but does not directly lower cholesterol, instead it will strengthen the heart and entire circulatory system.

These are just a few of the things that you can do to help with your cholesterol levels. The main lower cholesterol information things to remember are to have your cholesterol checked on a regular basis and live a healthy lifestyle that includes a sensible diet and exercise plan.

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It Pays To Know Your Cholesterol Levels

One often hears another saying “I have high cholesterol.”

What is cholesterol? It is a kind of fat found in our bodies and is needed for good health. However high levels of cholesterol can lead to heart disease.

There are two types of cholesterol, good cholesterol (HDL or High Density Lipoprotein) and bad cholesterol (LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein). Cholesterol is injected in our blood stream and is produced by our liver.

High levels of LDL cholesterol cause hardening of the arteries or arthrososclerosis. The blood vessels become narrower and inflexible, leading to risk of stroke and heart disease. Sometimes you get symptoms such as chest pain or pain in the leg when you exercise.

HDL cholesterol on the other hand, reduces the risk of heart disease as it can remove the excess cholesterol from the arteries.

The cholesterol levels in the body depends on what we eat and the amount that is produced by the liver. The natural production of cholesterol also depends on your genes. You could be genetically predisposed to higher levels of cholesterol. If the liver produces a lot of cholesterol, it can lead to the formation of gall stones. If we eat a lot of fatty food that contains saturated fats, trans fat and cholesterol, then the total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels in our body will rise. Being overweight also increases LDL cholesterol. High cholesterol levels are also associated with high blood levels of triglycerides (fats).

All said, having cholesterol is not a disease but the level of cholesterol is an indicator of the risk of developing heart disease. So we should know what levels of cholesterol we have. How can we know our level of cholesterol?

Levels of cholesterol are measured by a blood test, before which you have to fast overnight and have your blood drawn for testing early the next morning. After your blood has been taken, you can then eat your breakfast. It is pointless to take the blood test if you did not fast because the results would not be accurate.

How can cholesterol levels be reduced?

The first step is to change our eating habits. We must cut down consumption of meat and full-fat dairy products, pastries and pies which contain hidden fats.

We should eat more vegetables, fruit, whole grains and fish (do not fry the fish). Eating food that contains soluble fiber such as legumes, oats and psyllium will promote the excretion of cholesterol. Nuts, especially walnuts, seeds, onion, garlic and olive oil will also help to reduce cholesterol levels.

If you drink, you need to limit yourself to two standard size drinks a day and it is best to quit smoking because it increases the risk of heart disease, cancer and it also aggravates the effects of high cholesterol levels.

Exercise is very important as it can benefit those who have high cholesterol levels. Brisk walking every day for at least 40 minutes will promote better health as it strengthens your immune system and boosts your metabolic rate, thus helping you to lose weight and to keep fit. Maintaining a healthy weight will help to keep your cholesterol levels within normal range.

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Three Factors That Will Affect Your Cholesterol and Your Health

Three factors that will affect your cholesterol and your health

Cholesterol is as much a part of life as breathing itself. Our bodies make cholesterol in order to keep the entire system working. What most people are not aware of is that not only are there two types of cholesterol, but there are various factors that dictate the amount of good and bad cholesterol in our body. These levels of good cholesterol, (HDL) and bad cholesterol, (LDL) are affected by external factors that have a large impact on our ability to stay healthy and avoid disease.

Heredity and the cholesterol puzzle

Let's face it; there is not much a person can do about the genes in their family. Like the saying goes, “you can choose your friends, but not your family”. Unfortunately, with the family part, that includes your genes. It also means the propensity toward elevated levels of low density lipoprotein or (LDL) cholesterol. Because of genetic pre-disposition, many people struggle with this problem from a young age. The liver is also a contributor to high levels of (LDL). The liver works while we sleep and creates bad cholesterol into the blood stream. According to research, stress is a contributor to your livers production of bad cholesterol.

What can I do to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol?

Exercise has been proven to help to reduce high levels of bad cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, moderate exercise on a daily basis can reduce (LDL) by burning up calories. Here is the best part; moderate exercise is defined as an activity lasting up to twenty minutes a day that stimulates the cardio vascular system by increasing heart rate. Translated, this can be something as simple as a twenty to thirty minute walk with the dog. Not only are you supplementing good heart health by exercising the heart muscle, but exercise also helps foster higher levels of (HDL) known as high density lipoprotein. Our bodies need levels above 40mg / dl of (HDL) to counteract the bad cholesterol in our arteries. This good cholesterol actually helps remove particulates of bad cholesterol from the walls of the arteries.

The third factor to watch for is diet

This third factor relating to healthy cholesterol levels has to do with the foods we consume. More evidence is emerging from clinical studies that show the efficiency of Omega 3 fish oil in contributing to fighting bad cholesterol. Omega 3 comes in various forms but the fatty acids found in cold water fish contain high concentrations of EPA and DHA. These fatty acids, according to the American Heart Association, have shown the ability to increase the good cholesterol by up to eight percent over a period of a few months. In addition to increasing your intake of Omega 3, a heart healthy diet includes eating less red meat, daling back on the animal fats in general and eating more fruit, nuts, and more green vegetables. The Greek diet is one that has shown to be the most heart healthy. The Mediterranean diet includes lots of leafy green vegetables, lintels, beans and plenty oily fish dishes.

Why is Omega 3 so helpful to any diet?

The fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid and Eicosapentaenoic acid have been clinically proven to fight inflammation in the body as well as flush the coronary arteries through the benefit of elevating (HDL). Cholesterol management has an inverse relationship, in that as the good cholesterol increases, the bad cholesterol diminishes in most cases. Omega 3 is credited with delivering heart healthy benefits to native Eskimos as well as other populations around the globe that have a regular intake of cold water fish in their diets. For those that do not care for sea food per se, quality fish oil gels are available in most health food stores and pharmacies. One thing to always look for however is the level of the EPA and DHA included. The best fish oil products will always contain high levels of these essential fatty acids.

Now that you know the facts about Omega 3 fish oil, you can augment your regimen of eating healthy, while using moderate exercise on a regular basis to ensure a more healthy cholesterol level, and a healthy heart. Here's to your health.

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What a Diet That Lowers Cholesterol Can Do For You?

Following a lower cholesterol diet may be helpful in improving your heart's health, as this essential component of any cell is known to be involved in the fat's storage process. Still, cholesterol is not as guilty as most people think, simply because this element is not the main nor the only responsible for fat deposits found inside the blood vessels walls.

A person with healthy diet habits, who avoids saturated fats, acid drinks, greasy products and sugar-rich foods, is less sooner to heart diseases than someone who bases his or her foods on junk foods. Cholesterol does nothing else by transporting these harmful elements, so its contribution to atherosclerotic plaque formation or heart diseases is not as great as most people think.

So if your heart's health and functioning are not exactly the best, you should concentrate less on finding a diet that lowers cholesterol and more on improving your cardiovascular system of health by reducing the amount of trans fats you eat. Many researchers believe that you should also reduce the amount of scheduled fat.

But be careful, reducing does not mean eliminating, so do not exclude saturated fats from your diet completely! This will lead to important imbalances in your organism, affecting not only your heart's health, but your overall physical and psychological condition as well. Your body needs fats just like it requires proteins and carbs in order to work properly.

The key here is to choose the right fats, the ones that are considered good and called unsaturated. These can be found in various oils, such as olive, flaxseed or fish oils, and they're considered good because they have an important contribution in preventing blood from clotting.

You may be surprised but this is a proven fact. Fats can be good for your body and contrary to the general opinion they decrease the risk of atherosclerosis and other heart issues. So remember, if you really are concerned about your heart's health and want to improve it, you should not cut off the fat consumption, but choose the friendly ones.

Feeding your body properly is extremely important in maintaining your energy level, your concentration and good mood, your working ability, skills, muscular tone and psychological comfort. If your diet habits are rather unhealthy and cookies and fast foods are your best friends, there's no surprise your blood cholesterol levels are high and your heart's not functioning as well as it used to.

But the problem is not the so called bad cholesterol and the key is not adopting a diet that lowers cholesterol! Try changing your diet habits for a while and you'll see the difference! Include more fibers in your menu, start your day with some oats cereals and fruits and replace the unhealthy, rich in sugars snacks with nuts, carrots or light yogurts. Opt for fresh salads made of pulses, lentils, tomatoes and other healthy vegetables and replace the greasy burgers with grilled chicken or oven cooked fish.

Once you do these simple diet changes you'll feel your overall health improving and you'll reduce the risks associated with heart diseases, by protecting your cardiovascular system from atherosclerosis. The sooner you do it, the sooner the results will come.

So if you really want to strengthen your heart and improve your stamina, start eating healthy and smarter and do regular physical exercises – this is by far the best recipe for a healthy heart!

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How To Read A Blood Cholesterol Report

It seems like everyone these days is concerned about cholesterol. Whether it is the marketing of the food industry or because it is something we really need to be thinking about, cholesterol levels are now becoming more popular than blood pressure numbers. Now that everyone is considering their cholesterol levels it is important to understand what those numbers mean.

When you get your cholesterol tested, which is normally part of a standard blood test during a physical, the report you get back will often have three numbers. These numbers are for total cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein), and HDL (high-density lipoprotein). What do each of these numbers mean and which ones should you be concerned about?

In the past, most people were just concerned about the total cholesterol number. If you asked someone what their cholesterol was they would often just repeat the total number, leaving out the other numbers. Total cholesterol for a healthy adult should be 200mg / dL or lower. However, in recent years it has become known that the total number is not always very important. It is the other two numbers that are important.

LDL is considered the 'bad' cholesterol. While you do need some LDL, having too much is a bad thing that may lead to a higher risk of heart disease. Cholesterol is actually needed for many functions of the body, including the building of hormones as well as for the structure of the brain, and it is the LDL molecules that delivers cholesterol around in the blood to where it is needed. However, if you have too much LDL this can lead to a process that ends with plaque buildup in the walls of your arms. This then causes a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.

Ideally, LDL levels should be below 100mg / dL. Though, levels of 100-129mg / dL are just fine. You do not want a level higher than 129mg / dL. If you do have high levels of LDL your doctor will discuss options you can do to lower the amount of LDL in your blood.

On the other hand, HDL is considered the 'good' cholesterol. You actually want this number to be high. HDL also carries cholesterol, but it carries it out of the blood stream and into the liver, where it is used to create bile. If you have more HDL this means that more cholesterol is taken out of your blood stream, lessening the chance for heart disease.

Your HDL level should be 40mg / dL or higher. Any number higher than 60mg / dL is great.

The next time you see the report from your latest cholesterol test you should now recognize the different numbers. You can focus less on the total cholesterol number and more on what actually makes up that total number.

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An Apple A Day May Lower Cholesterol

It seems that more and more people are trying to live healthier lives without depending on medication. This is especially true when you consider the management of cholesterol levels. There are many cholesterol drugs that do work well, but they also come with many possible side effects. It is because of these side effects, besides the dependency of being on drugs, that many people are trying to control their cholesterol levels by changing their diet.

It has been known that eating certain foods can have an effect on the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Although regular observation and conduct by careful studies, doctors are becoming aware that some certain foods effective lower cholesterol. One of these foods is the apple. There is still research being done to provide more proof and to find out how much difference can be made by eating apples, but what has been shown so far indicates that apples do help control cholesterol.

What is it about apples that may help lower and control cholesterol? The first thing to consider is all of the pectin that can be found in an apple, mainly in the skin of the apple. Pectin is a soluble fiber. Dietary fiber, specifically soluble fiber, is known to help combat high cholesterol. Along with apples, you can get soluble fiber from whole grains and nuts, as well as several other foods.

Apples also contain a compound called polyphenol. This is a type of antioxidant that is found in plants. These polyphenols help to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL) by disabling the production of VLDL, which eventually turns into LDL.

Should you now fill your kitchen with apples so you can eat them all day long? Well, it is important to focus on a well-rounded diet so just 1-2 apples per day will provide you with enough benefits that apples can offer you. If eating 1-2 per day seems like a lot, you can consume them as dried apples. This is a fast and easy snack that is easier to eat than a whole fresh apple but still still contains all of the nutrients. Essentially, only the water is removed.

One thing you should be careful about is consuming apple juice. Most apple juice has added sugars which can really increase the amount of calories you consume. Trading the benefits of apples with the negatives of added calories and weight gain is not a good thing.

While there are still studies being performed to confirm the effectiveness of apples on cholesterol levels, it is starting to appear that they may make an impact. Be sure to discuss any changes of your diet with your doctor, though as they old saying your doctor very much if you start eating an apple a day.

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Why Are Almonds Good At Lowering Cholesterol Levels?

If you look at all of the different options of nuts that are available on the shelves of your grocery store you will quickly notice that many of them have a statement that is often depicted with a big red heart symbol. This statement reads, “Scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.” This comes from the FDA. For the FDA to make a statement like that it must mean that there is some strong research to back it up.

While many nuts are included as being good for your heart, one nut stands above the rest. That nut is the almond – though, almonds are technically seeds and not nuts. What makes almonds so good for you?

Almonds are high in dietary fiber. In one serving you can get 3mg of fiber, which is a lot. Including fiber in your diet is known to help reduce cholesterol levels and to decrease the risk of heart disease.

Almonds are full of Vitamin E. This is very important for fighting plaque buildup in the walls of your arms. Plaque is created when bad cholesterol (LDL) is broken down through a process called oxidation. Vitamin E interactions with LDL molecules in a way that it prevails this breakdown process. In a study at Harvard it was discovered that the most dangerous type of cholesterol has very low levels of Vitamin E.

Almonds are high in monounsaturated fat. In recent years fat's role as being enemy number one has decreed and doctors are becoming aware that some fats are very good for the body. One 'good' fat is monounsaturated fat. In several studies it has shown that monounsaturated fats help to decrease the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood. It is thought that this link is due to monounsaturated fat changing the LDL molecules so they're 'stick' to the liver, thus reducing the amount flowing in your blood.

However, it is wise to be aware that almonds do contain a lot of calories in even small amounts. A serving of almonds, which is typically 20-30 almonds, can contain 200 or more calories. Therefore, it is best to use some restraint when eating almonds. Gaining weight will counteract any positive effects you may achieve by eating these nuts.

People who face the reality of high cholesterol may not also want to go the route of prescription drugs. By changing your diet, even in the slightest ways, it is possible to manage cholesterol levels without facing the possible side effects of medication. Nuts, and more specifically almonds, are a great way to start.

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Eating Right for a Healthy Heart

The healthy heart diet is an important diet to consider nowdays with so many people struggling high cholesterol, high blood pressure and the rates of deaths from things like heart attack and stroke remaining fairly high. In order to protect your heart, a healthy heart diet should be used, consisting of foods that are good to eat and good for you. What kinds of foods will help you to have a healthy lifestyle and heart without making you too bored with it?

Fruits and Vegetables

Any fruits and vegetables can have a positive impact on your health, though dark leafy green veggies and bananas are probably the best because they lower sodium levels and contain enzymes that strengthen the heart. But any fruit or vegetable carries health benefits such as fiber which helps keep you fuller longer and vitamins that strengthen the immune system and help your body function better. Adding fruits and veggies to all of your meals can really help your heart reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are another important part of a healthy heart. Whole grains contain fiber which helps keep you from feeling snacky and binging and can help to regulate blood pressure. An easy way to get more whole grains is to add flax seeds to your recipes to replace some of the flour. Your food will not taste too different, but your body will certainly notice and appreciate the change. You should also try to eat more oatmeal and then add things like fruit and honey to it for a good breakfast.

Lean Protein

You need protein to build muscle mass and stay healthy, but not all proteins are created equal. If you want a healthy heart, opt for proteins from low fat sources such as legumes, soy and lean cuts of meat like turkey, chicken and lean ground beef. Cut the fat off your steaks and beef and try to cut down on your intake of things like bacon and sausages. And watch your serving sizes; you only need about 2 servings of meat a day-that's 4-6oz a day, no more, though if you get your protein from things like beans, you can of course eat more.

Fish and Nuts

You should try to add at least a serving of nuts (walnuts, almonds, etc. unsalted and uncoated) and a couple servings of fish a month. Why? Foods like these are not only healthy, but are incredibly heart friendly because they lower the count of 'bad' cholesterol and fats in your body and increase the levels of good fats. These good fats protect your heart as well as help the rest of your body to function better.

There are a wide range of foods available that can be eaten instead of the high fat, high sodium, high sugar diet which many people live on. Eating more wholesome foods will lead to a healthy heart as well as weight loss, clear skin, and fewer problems, so it's well worth doing. Want a healthy heart? Start by eating healthy!

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Why Eggs Are Not As Bad As We Have Been Taught

For decades eggs have gotten a bad rap. They have been blamed for high cholesterol and have been placed on the 'do not eat' list for anyone wanting to control cholesterol levels. However, recent studies and a better understanding of cholesterol is making many experts and doctors question this old way of thinking.

When considering a whole egg, it is relatively high in cholesterol. The total amount of cholesterol in an egg is around 200mg. This is considering a large egg, since that is what most people in the US consume. This is also an estimated, since the size can vary a little. While this number may seem high to some people, it is around 60mg lower than what was previously thought. Even so, the recommended amount of cholesterol that should be in your diet every day is 300mg or less. This recommendation comes from the American Heart Association (AMA). Therefore, at 200mg per egg, you are already close to your daily maximum.

This may not be as bad as it looks, though. Many other notifiable organizations and doctors suggest that the AMA recommendation is quite restrictive and that most people can consume more than 300mg of cholesterol every day and still maintain healthy levels and a low risk of heart disease. Not only that, but you need to consider that the cholesterol in an egg is not even spread out.

It is important to note that all of the cholesterol in an egg is found in the yolk. This changes things quite a bit since you can eat as many egg whites as you want and not take any dietary cholesterol. Therefore, it is possible to create meals with several egg whites. You can even add in a whole egg or two if you want to add the texture and taste of the yolks. Another option is to purchase prepared egg substitutes. These are just egg whites that are fortified with nutrients and have some flavoring and color added. When prepared properly many people are not able to distinguish between cooked whole eggs and egg substitutes.

While the bad rap of eggs is starting to erode, it is still important to consider what you eat. You may now safely eat an egg or two a day, but you will add more problems if you cook them in butter or add a pile of bacon to your breakfast plate. As with most things related to your diet, it is best to stick to moderation. Enjoy the occasional egg and try to eat more egg whites or egg substitutes instead of whole eggs.

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