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Here you will find great tips for healthy living, nutritional advice, and the latest news on health studies and research.

Tag Archives: heart health

Low fat, high sugar diets…probably not good..!

Did you know that those diet products you eat are probably making you fat?  This may be why.  Keep in mind that this is a study about rats, however, those rats that were fed a low-fat, high-sugar diet, added the same amount of fat as the control rats who were fed a balanced diet. Unfortunately, they only needed HALF the amount of calories to add the same amount of body fat.  In other words, those rats on the low fat, high-sugar diets needed less than half the calories to generate the same amount of fat.  Scary eh!  This diet also resulted in chronic brain inflammation and intestinal tract inflammation as well as possibly contributing to non-alcoholic fatty liver.  Please take heed of this information. We know that inflammation is also a driver in cardiovascular disease..!!

Reduce the bad carbs, live longer?

I touched on a study published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine in which they concluded that we should rethink worrying about lowering saturated fat in our diets to prevent heart disease.  They conclude it is more important to focus on decreasing insulin resistance and inflammation in the body by targeting exercise, diet and reducing stress. During a review of previous studies the researchers found that even those people who lowered there LDL cholesterol and overall cholesterol and replaced their saturated fat with omega-6 fatty acids, still had a higher rate of death. Researchers went on to say that we should concentrate on a Mediterranean style diet.  The problem is that when people try low fat diets (to avoid saturated fats) they tend to eat more refined carbs which leads to insulin resistance, higher blood sugar, higher risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and obesity.  The bottom line is that we as a society must be more focused on lifestyle changes that prevents insulin resistance and reduces inflammation.

Eat the fat, not the sugar!

I am always amazed when I read health news. It seems as soon as one study comes out, the next research contradicts the previous one.  I read an interesting but controversial article where the researchers (three cardiologist from Britain) say that saturated fat does not clog your arteries and that the “clogged pipe” model of heart disease is “plain wrong.”  They go on to say that in people over 60, the number one risk factor for heart attacks is inulin resistance, driven by a number of dietary factors, especially increased sugar and other refined carbohydrates.  In other words, its not the saturated fat in your burger that causes the problem, it is the bun, fries and sugary drink that you wash it down with, that you should be concerned with. Remember inflammation is a driver of cardiovascular disease and pro-inflammatory ingredients are the sugars, refined carbs and industrial seed oils found in processed foods.  I will have a bit more on this next time!

Foods that fight inflammation..!!

We all know that what you eat greatly affects your health.  Inflammation is a big driver in cardiovascular disease and other diseases as well, such as Rheumatoid arthritis.  Foods that are high in simple sugars such as desserts or soda’s, can increase inflammation in our body.  This can then increase the pain in our joints and contribute to other problems that may appear mundane in nature, however might become serious over time. There are many foods that fight inflammation and here are a few; olive oil, spinach, kale, broccoli, almonds, walnuts, fatty fish such as salmon, strawberries, blueberries and cherries.  There are many more, but I haven’t enough time to list them all.  Finally, the Mediterranean diet is a good way of eating, as it is higher in monounsaturated fats such as olive oil.  These foods can literally reduce the inflammatory markers in your blood and keep you healthier and reduce pain symptoms.  Bon appetit…!!

Over the counter meds and heart attack

Do you take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Naproxen, Diclofenac, etc.) on a regular basis?  I just read a study that found taking these over-the-counter meds on a regular basis, may increase your risk of a heart attack by as much as 30 percent.  Apparently they can influence platelet aggregation, cause blood clots, cause arteries to constrict, increase fluid retention and raise blood pressure.  Even though they are readily available drugs, they are not necessarily without risk especially if you have cardiovascular disease. It is a stark reminder that these drugs are not harmless.  There are supplemental alternatives for these painkillers. Talk to your Chiropractor on how to get pain relief from safer and more natural resources.

Breakfast & Reducing Health Risks!!

Did you know that breakfast may be better for you than you may have previously known. The American Heart Association has recently released a scientific statement that breakfast is good for the heart.  The AHA guidelines recommend eating breakfast every day, eating more calories earlier in the day and eating less calories in the later day.  This can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.  If you are among the 30% of American adults who skip breakfast, now may be the time to start eating that morning meal.  Apparently, starting the day without those essential nutrients is not a good idea.  Eat smart, healthy and your body will appreciate it!!!

Fish Oil & Heart Risks

WOW…did the holidays sneak up on this year or what?  Now that the cholesterol laden season has finally passed, I wanted to give you some more good news about fish oil and heart health.  A recent study found more evidence that omega-3 oils reduce heart problems. Those that took omega-3 fish oils had an 18% less risk of having a heart problem.  Even those who were already at risk for developing heart problems seemed to benefit from fish oil.  Remember that bad lifestyle factors such as smoking, poor diet choices and no exercise all help increase the risk of cardiovascular events. For the New Year, analyze your eating habits, back off on some bad vices and increase your exercise, even a little bit, and add fish oil to your diet…!!

Inflammation and carbs may drive cardiovascular disease!

In a follow-up to my last blog, several years ago I talked about a very large study on statins (cholesterol meds) that showed being on them gave you about a 1-2% less chance of dying from a “cardiovascular incident” than those people not taking them.  I would never tell a patient or friend to not take their meds but I would ask them to take a close look at the scientific evidence in light of the current trend of physicians to load patients up with meds that barely work and have significant side effects.  The current thinking on cardiovascular disease is that cholesterol is not a significant driver of cardiovascular disease but bad carbohydrates and inflammation are.  This is evidenced by the newest statins that were discontinued from study because even though they lowered cholesterol, those taking them died more often, or as often, as the control group from a cardiovascular incident.  Take a good close look at your diet and eating habits and be proactive and look for foods that have anti-inflammatory properties and reduce the bad carbs.  It may save your life without the side effects!

Cholesterol…good, bad, or myth!

The Thanksgiving holiday is over and the cholesterol feast has ended.  Speaking of cholesterol, did you know that the latest and greatest cholesterol drugs have been incredible failures?  In fact, even though these drugs have actually lowered bad cholesterol and increased the good cholesterol, they have had literally NO effect on heart health.  The drugs in question are called statins. The most recent super, duper drug is called evacetrapib, however those study participants taking it had more heart attacks than the placebo group. Strokes and heart attacks killed almost as many on the drug as those in the placebo group. Many doctors now think the cholesterol debate is being blown out of proportion.  It seems cholesterol meds are drugs looking for a problem instead of a problem in need of a drug.  The trend now is looking at inflammation and carbohydrates as the main culprit in heart disease. More on this next time!!

Heart health & cooking temperature of oils

Did you know that the temperature at which we cook some foods may put us at risk for heart disease?  Scientist know that certain populations have higher risks for heart disease and now they believe there may be a correlation to the temperature at which they cook deep fried and oily foods and not the amount of oil that is used.  When temperature gets high enough it creates new compounds and some are harmful to health.  So if you like a well seared steak or a crisp fried samosa, you may want to think again. A study showed that heating and frying with healthy oils changed them into unhealthy oil at higher temperatures which means there is a creation of chemical byproducts such as trans fatty acids glycogen end products. It seems the longer and higher you cook a food in oil, the more unhealthy it becomes. Eating an occasional meal shouldn’t have an effect however eating foods cooked this way day in and day out, may be hazardous to our health..!!