Tag Archives: HDL cholesterol

The Many Health Benefits of Flaxseed

Flaxseed has been used for many years for making linen. It’s also known as linseed, one
of the ingredients in paint. The closest it came to being food was its use for livestock feed.
It’s only about a decade ago that science discovered the many health benefits of flaxseed.

Flaxseed is a rich plant source of omega-3 fatty acids. Apart from supporting good vision,
omega-3 also fight weight gain by increasing metabolic rate and they protect against
cancer growth. Flaxseed contains a different type of omega-3 than fish. This type reduces
the incidence of blood clotting, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
In addition, the omega-3 also appears to help prevent atherosclerosis, increase good HDL
cholesterol, lower levels of dangerous LDL cholesterol, and reduce inflammation.
They may also help to reduce depression.

Apart from omega-3, flaxseed is also a rich source of compounds called lignans.
While many plant foods contain lignans, flaxseed contains by far the most, at least 75 times
more than any other plant food. For example, you have to eat 60 cups of fresh broccoli
or 100 slices of whole-wheat bread to get the same amount of lignans in ¼ cup of flaxseed.
Lignans are important because of their powerful antioxidant properties to help blocking the cell-damaging effects of free radicals.
Food rich in lignans can lower the risk of heart disease. A Finnish study of almost 2,000 men found that those men with the highest lignan intake were significantly less likely to die from heart disease than those with the lowest intake.

Flaxseed also shows some potential of reversing kidney damage caused by lupus.
A condition by which the immune system produces harmful substances that attack and
damage healthy tissues.
When researchers at the University of Western Ontario gave flaxseed to nine people with
lupus related kidney disease, they discovered that several kidney functions, including
the ability to filter waste, quickly improved. The researchers believe that the lignans and
omega-3 in flaxseed fight inflammation in the tiny, very fragile arteries that supply blood
to the kidneys, helping reduce the artery-clogging process that can lead to kidney damage.

Apart from the health benefits of the lignans in flaxseeds to protect your heart, they also
fight cancer in your body. Lignans subdue cancerous changes once’s they have occurred,making them less likely to run out of control and develop into full-blown cancer.
Studies at the University of Toronto shows some promise for battling certain types of
cancer, in particular preventing typical female cancers, like breast- and ovarian cancer.

Two additional properties of the omega-3 in flaxseed, apart from its cancer-fighting power,
is the ability of limiting the body’s production of chemicals called prostaglandins.
The importance of prostaglandins is that they speed up tumor growth in large amounts.

To top it all up, flaxseed is also very high in fiber. Three table spoons of seeds contains
three grams of fiber, which is about twelve percent of the Daily Value.
The important role of fiber in your diet is the ability to block the harmful effects of
compounds that over time may cause changes in the intestine that can lead to cancer.

Whole flaxseed provide little benefit. Flaxseed is the one food that provide more
nutritional benefits when processed. So instead, buy the cracked or milled forms, which
readily give up the nutritious goodness packed inside.
Don’t buy the oil. Most of the lignans in flaxseed are found in the non-oil part of the seed.
While the oil may contain some lignans, it doesn’t provide as much as the other healthful
compounds found in the seeds, such as fiber, protein and minerals.

Healthy for Life with a Healthy Heart

Only about 50 years ago, doctors didn’t know what was good for our hearts.
Little attention was paid to diet and even smoking was acceptable by some.

But after almost 50 years, scientists came up with some simple and straight forward answers. Regular exercise is important, of course, and so is staying away from cigarettes.

But by far the most important factor is to have a healthy diet. Eating the right foods is
the most effective way to lower cholesterol and high blood pressure, two of the biggest enemies against a healthy heart.

The Bad Fats
Often we take the wrong foods, in particular fats. There are good fats and bad fats.
The bad fats are saturated fats, found in red meat, and butter, It’s incredible dangerous
for the heart. Study after study has shown that the more saturated fat people eat,
the higher their risks for heart disease.
Foods high in saturated fat raise levels of artery-clogging low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol. Foods high in saturated fat are often high in cholesterol as well.

The American Heart Foundation recommends that we limit our intake of saturated fat
to less than 7% of our calories each day. For example, if you get 2,000 calories a day,
your upper daily limit for saturated fat is 14 grams.
That means: in addition to eating fruits, vegetables, and other low-fat foods, you could have 3 ounces of extra-lean ground beef which contains 5 grams of saturated fat), a serving
of macaroni and cheese (6 grams), and a half-cup of low-fat frozen yogurt (3 grams).

Another problem fat, called trans fatty acids, has been shown to dramatically increase
the amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Trans fatty acids are made when manufacturers add hydrogen to vegetable oils to turn the liquid oils into solid fats like margarine and shortening. Ironically, they meant to be a healthy alternative to the saturated fat in butter.
But it appears that trans fatty acids may be even more harmful than saturated fats.
Trans fats raise the bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower the good (HDL) cholesterol,
increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke.

It’s not only margarine and fried foods that may be a problem. Many cookies, cakes, and
other snack foods contain “partially hydrogenated oil,” which is also high in trans fatty acids.
Because of the health risk, the American Heart Association recommends you limit your
daily intake to less than 1% of your total calories.

Some Better Fats
Some fats are relatively healthful. You can easily recognize them by looking at the “un”
as in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. While theses type of fats are still high in
calories, in small amounts, they play several beneficial roles.
Polyunsaturated fats (found in soy, corn, safflower, sesame, and sunflower oils, as well as
nuts and seeds ) help your body to get rid of newly formed cholesterol, therefore, they
keep cholesterol levels down and reduce cholesterol deposits on artery walls.

Monounsaturated fats also appear to help lower cholesterol levels as long as the rest of
the diet is very low in saturated fats. Although they are a good substitute for saturated fats,
both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats should be used in moderation, because
their high calorie counts can lead to weight gain. No more than 30% of your calories
should come from fat.

Nuts are particularly good sources of these healthful fats. In a study of Seventh-Day
Adventists, researchers found that those who consumed nuts at least four times a week
had almost half the risk of fatal heart attacks of those who rately ate them.

Although the American Heart Association recommends less than 30% of calories from fat,
many health-care professionals, recommend even less.
They tell people to aim for getting about 20 to 25% of total calories from fat, most of which
should be in the form of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.

There is yet another kind of healthy fat, perhaps the king of healthy fats, called omega-3
fatty acids. This is found in most fish (but in particularly in oily, cold-water fish) and also
in flaxseed and certain dark greens. Omega-3 can help to prevent clots from forming in the
arteries. In addition, they help lower triglycerides, a type of blood fat that, in large amounts, may raise the risk for heart disease.

Studies show that eating fish twice a week, in particularly salmon, because it contains
high levels of omega-3, can help to keep your arteries clear and your heart working well.
In a stuy done at the Harvard School of Public Health, scientists found that the death rate
from heart disease was 36% lower among people who ate fish twice a week compared
with people who ate little or no seafood. The study, which was published in the American
Medical Association, also showed that overall mortality was 17% lower omong the regular
seafood eaters.

Cycling as Medicine

Cycling is healthy, convenient, cheap and also good for the environment.
I cycle often: to the train, the shops and the library, and this way I get my recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise.

Thirty minutes exercise a day is sufficient to stay healthy. It seems little, but yet a lot of people don’t get to it. They are often tempted to take the lift instead of the stairs, the car instead of the bicycle, the TV instead of the ball.

Movement takes care that less fat accumulate in the blood and prevent that HDL Cholesterol start to dominate.
Also the supply of oxygen takes care of better combustion of fat.With bodily exertion our blood starts to run better and waste products are quicker exposed.

Moving also helps in most cases to lower blood pressure, as a result that there will be less pressure on the artery walls. In other words: moving keeps your blood clean and your heart and veins in condition.

Another mechanism that plays a roll in the development of cardiovascular disease is stress.
The body produce hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones take care of uppermost readiness.That is okay for a short period of time, but ongoing stress cause problems.

Chronic stress lead to the same kind of inflammation in the arteries as too much fat.
Activity takes care that we relax physically and spiritually.
The less stress, the better for your heart and veins.

If you think that it is useless to start moving when the process already fully started,
or if the blocking of arteries already caused a heart attack, got it wrong.
Cycling helps instantly, but if the artery walls are already attacked, half an hour cycling a day is not enough. It is better to cycle five to six hours a week vigorously, spread over the week.

People often say that they don’t have time to sport one hour a day.But what is one hour? If you build-in cycling in your daily schedule, is it a no brainer.

Make a record of all your activities during the week. Do you have to go by car to work,to the shop, or the cinema or can you take the bike as well? Could you bring the children to school on the bike? Could you take the stairs instead of the lift? People often think that cycling cost time, but is that really so? When you cycle, you get fitter physically and mentally.

When you are fitter, you can do more in your day and you can do more things.
Just start and see where your ship strand. There are plenty of changes to unhook.
To persevere is a much greater adventure!

Through the years we have arranged our environment very unhealthy. How can we bend the trend and tempt people to start moving?

I recommend cycling whole-hearted as a dope for life: to promote performance, a habit-forming drug, delicious! And you can get it everywhere without a recipe.
Free of charge!

Health & Nutrition #96 by Nutrobalance

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Plant-Based On a Budget: Food Guide to Eating Well & Loving It

By Vicki Brett-Gach October 5, 2016


Plant-Based On a Budget: How to Eat Well and Love Your Food

So, you are convinced. Eating a diet rich in whole plant-based foods makes brilliant sense for your personal health, the welfare of animals and for the future of our planet.

It’s time to dive in, but where do you start? How can you make meal preparation easy and delicious? And how in the world can you shop for groceries without straining your wallet?

It can be simpler than you may expect.

In fact, armed with a few clever strategies you might just be surprised that you can eat more delectably than ever on a very modest budget.   continue reading…..

Cardiovascular risk factor prevention should be addressed at all ages

September 29, 2016
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Older adults can develop cardiovascular risk factors later in life, according to a study. Investigators found that the development of risk factors including hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol remains high in adults over age 45, even extending up to ages over 75 years. In addition, the development of these risk factors was 25 to 100 percent higher in the black population than in the white population.       continue reading.……..


Michael Greger M.D. · Last Updated on September 2, 2016
Why do we need to lower our cholesterol? Because high levels may raise heart disease risk, the number one cause of death in the U.S.  Higher buildup of cholesterol in our blood appears to be linked to higher atherosclerosis in our coronary arteries. Cholesterol crystallization may be what causes atherosclerotic plaque rupture, the trigger for heart attacks. Regardless of total cholesterol level, LDL (low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol may be a risk factor for heart attacks.
Data suggests that cholesterol levels can never be too low. The average U.S. blood cholesterol level is so high that a large part of the “normal population” is at high risk of coronary heart disease. The safe level for total cholesterol is likely 150 or lower; the optimal LDL level may be 50-70.     continue reading……

Science Based Nutrition, Training and Fitness Resource, By Ed Clements

Medicine ball workout
YOUR SOURCE for cutting-edge, science based information on nutrition, strength and muscle building, sports and fitness improvement and supplementation.
Want To Become Lean And Muscular, And To Improve Your Fitness? Without Endless Gym Training??
Rather than committing hours of your week to fitness training and still be, ing unhappy with how your body looks, I’ll show you how to train hard, with heavy weights, once or twice a week to get you leaner than regular jogging ever made you.
continue reading….

Water: An Essential Nutrient
The  Function of  Enzymes
Understanding the Hazards of EMR

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Physical Activity makes you feel great!

Physical activity is one of the four aspects of lifestyle, which have a major influence
on our health and well being. The other three are: nutrition, stress, and synthetic chemicals.
Nevertheless, half the Australian population doesn’t have adequate exercise and one in eight adult is totally sedentary. I refer to my article: Benefits of Exercise

Being fit does wonders for the working of our bodies and minds, for our attitudes and moods and for the prevention of degenerative diseases and early aging.
The evidence for benefits in relation to heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure are
overwhelming. More recent evidence confirms that there are benefits also for the prevention of adult-onset diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer, anxiety and depression.

In contrast to these benefits, sedentary living may be responsible for as much as one-third
of the fatal cases of heart disease, colon cancer and diabetes.

When we analyze the large number of benefits which are responsible for being fit, it’s easy
to get motivated to get started with activity, or to keep it up, whatever the case may be.

We have to keep in mind that it is important for any physical activity that it should be
enjoyable, otherwise there is a big change that we discontinue sooner or later.
It is important to think of fitness as part of normal health and part of our normal life,
not just an eccentric hobby. It may surprise you that only a small amount of regular
physical activity can make the difference between a body which is sluggish, lethargic,
lacks tone and is overweight and one which is energetic, fit, trim and good looking.

Walking is the best exercise you can have, because it’s natural.
Good long brisk walks give a lot of benefits- the whole body begins to respond.
You breath properly, your circulation and heart benefits, and it’s good for the mind
and positive thinking.

It’s only in recent years that fitness gurus have recognized the supremacy of brisk walking.
In contrary to jogging, brisk walking provides a lot of benefits without any problems.
Walking is almost as important as the right food.  You need to eat properly and exercise
properly, the two together gives you the best results.

The internal organs of the body need tone and for this most of them depend almost entirely on physical activity. As we breathe deeply, the diafragm – which separates the chest from the abdomen – rises and falls repeatedly, massaging all the internal organs, particularly the stomach, small intestine, bowel, lungs and liver.
The stretching and relaxing of the intestines is vital in preventing that widespread form of
‘self poisoning’ : constipation. Exercise does keep you regular!

The heart is a much more powerful and efficient organ than is commonly thought and
is capable of meeting all the emergencies of life. The fear that exercise will damage a
healthy heart appears to be entirely wrong. Muscle fatigue occurs long before heart strain.

In preventing heart disease and stroke, regular physical activity is a major factor in raising
the beneficial HDL form of blood cholesterol, while leaving the level of harmful LDL
cholesterol unchanged. As far as fat is concerned, studies have shown that even a high-fat
diet coupled with exercise is safer than a low fat diet with no activity at all.
For protection against heart disease I refer to an article in Nutrition Studies.:
exercise & cardiovascular health.

At its peak during intense physical activity, a healthy heart might level off at a pulse of 190
or less without strain, whereas in an unfit person the heart might be pushed to 220 or more, which is dangerously high.

The fitter you are, the slower will be your resting pulse rate.
The typical rate at rest is about 72 beats per minute, but for a fit person,
this may fall to 65, 55 or even 45, if you are very fit.

The brain works at a great rate, for which it needs abundant nutrients and oxygen.
Without oxygen we become tired and yawn. Increased circulation clears the brain and
sharpens the senses.

Because the nervous system also steps up its rate of functioning, repetitive exercise makes
nerve control more efficient and more automatic. The more efficiently we walk or run,
the less energy is needed.

Active muscles receive increased nerve impulses, blood supply and greater nutrition.
Development of the whole area takes place. Even the bones that are involved become
tougher, denser and less liable to breakage.

Some people will tell us – possibly to try to convince us or themselves that exercise
is unnatural or unnecessary – that they don’t care for big, bulky muscles.
Women sometimes believe that exercise will make them over-muscled and unfeminine.
While it is true that exercise can be used to build big bulging muscles, the amount of
exercise required for body building is far more than for normal fitness.

The physical beauty of a man or a woman is due largely to the quality and shapeliness
of the muscles. Properly developed muscles which in repose do not  bulge, but are
smooth in contour and firm in appearance, giving a pleasing and attractive outline,
which was obviously part of nature’s plan!
Only physical activity  and good health can achieve and maintain the body beautiful!