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Posts Tagged ‘heart disease’

Breaking News on Heart Health- Fried Food is Fine for your Heart

Thursday, January 26th, 2012



If you’re following a heart-healthy diet, you can have your fries and eat them, too.  Say heart health experts, eating fried foods won’t give you a heart attack, as long as you use the right kind of cooking oil.  Whether you choose to sauté, pan fry, or deep-fry your potatoes, it’s all good.  But before you go ahead and splurge on a deep fryer, find out what doctors say is “the catch” in enjoying oily snacks while avoiding heart disease.


Vitamin B12 for Weight Loss- Why it Works

Spanish study follows fried-food lovers

Spanish scientists wanted to know if fried foods like French fries, doughnuts, or chicken nuggets are any less healthy for your heart than foods cooked without the frying method.  So, they conducted a study that was later published by the British Medical Journal.  Researchers focused their 11-year study of coronary heart disease on 40,757 Spanish test subjects, recording their eating habits and heart health.  Here are some details of that study:

  • Two-thirds of the test subjects were female.
  • BREAKING NEWS ON HEART HEALTH- FRIED FOOD IS FINE FOR YOUR HEART, B12 PATCHAll of the subjects used in this study were deemed free of heart disease.
  • Participants were divided into 4 categories, from people who don’t often indulge in fried foods to individuals who ate the most fried food.
  • Scientists also recorded incidents relating to heart disease, such as heart attacks, angina, or heart surgeries.
  • By the end of the study, scientists recorded 606 hospital visits and events resulting from coronary heart disease.
  • However, when scientists linked each of the heart disease cases with one of the four categories, they found that test subjects from one group weren’t any more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease than were individuals from another group.
  • So, even if you order a side of onion rings with your veggie burger, your chances of dying from heart disease aren’t any worse than they would be if you proclaimed all fried foods a banned substance.


The Best- and Worst- Cooking Oils for Heart Health

Must be something in the oil

What’s the catch, you ask?  It’s this:

  • First off, the typical Mediterranean chef uses only healthy oils that are low in saturated fats in his cooking.  Olive oils and sunflower oils both hold up well in high-heat cooking and both are exceptionally heart-healthy.
  • Also, it’s worth noting that the typical American fast-food franchise cooks its French fries in reused cooking oil that is high in trans fatty acids.
  • This doesn’t mean that fried foods are just as healthy, overall, as low-fat meal options.  Oily foods are higher in calories, more likely to contain too much sodium, and most likely lead to morbid obesity.


Heart health tips that still ring true

As far as treating yourself to a fried concoction every now and then, it all boils down to portion control.  You can have the home fries, as long as you log it into your food diary, and account for the calories and fat consumption.  A fat calorie is a fat calorie, any way you cook it.

  • *Choose heart-healthy oils like olive oil, canola oil, and sunflower oil over artery-clogging palm oil and hydrogenated fats.
  • *Keep your weight down by tracking calories and keeping your daily fat consumption to a minimum.
  • *Exercise at least ½ hour per day.
  • *Avoid eating salty foods.
  • *Take all your vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B12, which promotes cardiovascular health by maintaining already healthy homocysteine levels.

Tell us what you think! Can switching to a Mediterranean diet reduce the rate of heart disease in America?

Know anybody who struggles with heart disease? Don’t forget to send a link to this article!

Read more about vitamin B12 and your heart:

12 Healthy Heart Habits, Including Vitamin B12 Supplements

B Vitamins prevent Cardiovascular Disease- B6, B12 and Folate


Consumption of fried foods and risk of coronary heart disease: Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study

Images, from top:

bochalla, Darwin Bell, cogito ergo imago, stevendepolo

12 Healthy Heart Habits, Including Vitamin B12 Supplements

Monday, December 26th, 2011



Keeping your heart healthy requires making many lifestyle changes; most people don’t realize that avoiding vitamin B12 deficiency is just as essential for your heart as eating heart-healthy foods, exercising, and reducing stress.  Below are some pointers for promoting cardiovascular health, including reasons why extra vitamin B12 supplements are beneficial for a healthy heart.

1- Monitor your vitamin B12 levels

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, supports many necessary biochemical functions in your body.  Vitamin B12 helps you produce plenty of red blood cells, helps maintain your nervous system, assists in building DNA, and sustains normal metabolism, cognitive functioning, strength, and energy.

Vitamin B12 is also an essential nutrient for heart health, as it regulates homocysteine levels. In many studies, the hormone homocysteine has been found to increase your risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Vitamin B12 helps your body break down homocysteine, thus reducing your risk for heart disease.

The American Heart Association urges people to eat a healthy diet that includes folic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 for optimal heart health.

Goal: Get tested! Elderly individuals, people diagnosed with pernicious anemia, patients of gastrointestinal disorders, or anybody who has had gastrointestinal surgery involving the removal of the ileum (gastric bypass) cannot absorb vitamin B12 in the stomach, and must take B12 supplements in order to avoid suffering B12 deficiency.  To find out if you are at risk, request a blood screening for vitamin B12 deficiency from your doctor.

Read more about vitamin B12 and heart disease-

B Vitamins prevent Cardiovascular Disease- B6, B12 and Folate

2- Get moving

All health experts agree that incorporating at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, at least 5 days per week, is the single most important lifestyle change you can make for your heart.  Conversely, increasing evidence indicates that living a sedentary lifestyle- watching several hours of television each day, sitting at a desk for long periods without breaks, and shunning exercise- is one of the biggest contributing factors to heart disease.

Goal: Break it down! If you’re daunted by the idea of spending 30 minutes on a treadmill, plan three 10-minute breaks in the day for exercise, instead.  Walk your dog or do a window-shopping run around the mall (without stopping!).  If you work at a desk, set your timer to alert you to get up and stretch at regular intervals.

Staying Fit with Fibromyalgia: 13 Pain-Free Workouts

3- Eat more heart-healthy foods

Prevent cardiovascular disease by following a low fat, low cholesterol diet.  Avoid saturated trans-fats, and opt instead for small doses of healthy monounsaturated fats, like olive or canola oils.  If you normally eat red meat, switch instead to lean poultry, which also contains plenty of vitamin B12.  In addition to cutting down on fats, you should also eat more vitamin-enriched foods that are low in salt and refined carbohydrates.

Goal: Spice it up! Train your tongue to like nutritious, low-fat foods that have fewer “empty” calories.  Go for high-fiber vegetables, grains, and legumes, lower-fat meats, cheeses, and spreads, and shake things up with dashes of cayenne pepper, ginger, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and granulated garlic.  By focusing on the spices, you’ll feel more satisfied, and less likely to miss that fatty mouth-feel of fried foods.

The Best- and Worst- Cooking Oils for Heart Health

4- Mind your weight

Numerous studies conclude that obesity is one of the greatest health risks that affect people today.  Being overweight overburdens your entire body, contributing to illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and other life threatening conditions.

Goal: Size it down! By cutting down the size of your plate, you alternatively cut down your dress size.  Try using smaller plates, include veggies, omit surgery drinks, eat slower, and resist the urge to go for seconds.

Vitamin B12 for Weight Loss- Why it Works

5- Don’t ignore the elephant in the living room

If you think you might be suffering some of the symptoms of heart disease, such as breathlessness, heart palpitations, increased sweating, call your doctor right away.  Ignoring even the smallest signs can be a matter of life or death.

Goal: See your doctor! Pay attention to bodily cues, and schedule a checkup, immediately.

6- Keep your emotions in check

Stress, anxiety, and depression are all taxing on your heart.  Succumbing to anger increases your chances for heart attack, as well.

Goal: Talk it out! When you feel nervous, sad, or stressed, confide in a friend or close family member.  If you’re uncomfortable asking others for help, schedule a meeting with a psychiatrist or social worker, instead.

Can Elevated Homocysteine (Low B12) cause Mental Illness?

7- Snuff out the cigarettes

At the very least, you should quit smoking in order to improve your heart health and your lungs.  Smoking is linked with asthma and chronic bronchitis.

Goal: Don’t give up! If you’ve tried to quit smoking in the past, then try again.  Research shows that the more times you attempt to quit smoking cigarette, the greater the chances of eventually reaching that smoke-free goal.  Ask your healthcare provider about quit-smoking programs, or try using a nicotine patch.

Smoking and Vitamin B12 Deficiency

8- Cut down on alcohol

If you drink more than two alcoholic beverages per day, then you need to cut it down.  Research shows that drinking too much alcohol is dangerous for the heart, as well as the liver.

Goal: Seek help! If the notion of keeping your alcohol drinking down to one or two beers each day sounds overwhelming, then you might require extra assistance from Alcoholics Anonymous.

B12 and Alcohol Consumption

9- Sleep soundly

If you snore, then you might be a candidate for heart failure or stroke, according to latest research on the heavy risks of snoring.  Obstructive sleep apnea is one of many factors that may lead to cardiovascular disease.

Goal: Wear your mask! So far, the best treatment for severe sleep apnea is wearing a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device (CPAP) while sleeping.

10- Take care of your choppers

Over time, your teeth develop a layer of plaque that contains bacteria.  Unless you brush and floss regularly, you can get gum disease, causing bacteria to seep into your blood supply and contributing to heart disease.

Goal: Floss it! Floss and brush morning and evening, and floss after meals.

What your Gums have to Say about your B12 Level

11- Set reasonable goals

Don’t fall victim to the “all or nothing” attitude.  You don’t have to become a health and fitness enthusiast, but nor should you throw up your hands in despair.  Accept that with every one success come numerous setbacks, and that lifestyle changes happen slowly, over a period of weeks, months, or even years.

Goal: Take baby steps! All successful weight-loss and fitness experts encourage you to set small, reachable short-term goals, in addition to the long-term goal of better health.  This allows you to feel a small measure of success, and gives you the motivation you need to stay on the wagon.  Congratulate yourself for losing 10% of your weight, losing a dress size, or every time you make a healthy food choice.

12- Respect your medications

Don’t think that just because you feel better, that you can stop taking your blood pressure medications.  Many heart patients make that common mistake.  If you are unhappy with a side effect of certain medications, then ask your doctor for an alternative.  Conversely, don’t rely on medications alone to keep you healthy. It is essential to follow a heart-healthy diet, in addition to exercising and reducing stress, for optimal cardiovascular health.

Goal: Get organized! Keep your meds somewhere where you won’t forget them.  If necessary, store a batch of precut tablets in a pill keeper.

Brain Drain Medications- Drugs that Drain the B12 out of you

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency. Are you at Risk?

Pernicious Anemia: Your 13 Most Frequently Asked Questions, Answered!

Why do my Arms and Legs often Fall Asleep? B12 and Paresthesia


5 Essential Heart Health Habits

17 Worst Habits for Your Heart

Homocysteine, Folic Acid and Cardiovascular Disease

‘Wake Up’ To Health Risks Of Heavy Snoring

It’s National Nutrition Month: Are You Eating Your 5 Colors a Day?

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

We all know we’re supposed to eat five servings of fruits and veggies a day, but are you getting all five colors?

Not all vegetables were created equal; the same goes for the wide variety of fruits. Some can prevent Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease and premature blindness. The only way to be sure you’re getting maximum vitamins is to include groups from all 5 hues.

  1. Seeing red? Fruits like tomatoes, watermelon, red peppers and pink grapefruit a phytochemical called lycopene, which many scientists believe is beneficial for preventing prostate and breast cancer.
  2. Orange foods are high in alpha and beta carotene, which your body needs to produce vitamin A.  Fruits like cantaloupe, tangerines and apricots have powerful antioxidants for killing  free radicals which threaten our immune system; yams, carrots and pumpkins are also good for your eyes and bones.  Now orange you glad you know that?
  3. Feeling yellow? Many yellow and green veggies  like wax beans, artichokes and corn contain lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals which prevent you from going blind in your old age.
  4. Go for the green when shopping for vegetables; broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and green cabbage help to rid your body of cancer-causing toxins.
  5. Berry-licious shades of  purple, red and blue mean the presence of brain-boosting and heart-healthy antioxidants; deep purple eggplants, berries, radishes and plums will keep your clock ticking.

Wanna read more about foods that are good for boosting memory?


Eating Well

Diabetics, Put On Your Walking Shoes

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

Jan 15, 2010- A study recently published in BMJ reveals that walking may be helpful in preventing type 2 diabetes.

An Australian study, in an attempt to research causes of diabetes and ways in which we might prevent diabetes’ symptoms, made the following discovery: walking ten thousand steps per day not only guarantees weight loss but also prevents the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Of the 592 middle-aged test subjects who were studied over a period of five years, it was the ones who had managed to incorporate at least 10,000 footsteps into their daily routine who demonstrated the lowest body mass index and optimal sensitivity to insulin out of all other volunteers.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is unable to utilize the hormone insulin efficiently.  Although age, stress and heredity may be factors in developing type 2 diabetes, obesity is the leading cause.  Over 80% of patients who have type 2 diabetes are clinically overweight.

How does walking help to prevent diabetes?

  • Exercise regulates glucose levels by helping your muscles absorb sugar more efficiently, thus avoiding a sudden excess of sugar in the bloodstream.
  • Walking induces weight loss, another important factor in avoiding diabetes. 
  • Light cardiovascular workouts such as walking are essential for avoiding heart disease, which has a high correlation to diabetes.
  • A Half-hour of walking per day is recommended for maximum benefit, as well as adherence to a strict low-fat diet.

Care to take the 10,000-step challenge?

Here are some necessary tools to get you on your way:

  • The Omron HJ-112 digital pedometer can be hooked onto your belt or underclothes and silently calculates steps, distance, burned calories and has a 7-day memory.
  • Sportline’s 344 Talking Safety Alarm tells you how you’re doing and will also send out an alert if medical assistance is needed.  Great for heart patients.
  • Yamax SW-200 Digiwalker pedometer is simple to use and does exactly what it was designed to do- count steps efficiently.
  • Many New Balance walking shoes for women feature an innovatively curved sole which is designed to help you achieve maximum performance during your walking workout.
  • Asics GEL running shoes for men provide cushioned support for greater comfort and reduced injury.
  • Many shoe stores offer diabetic walking shoes which are tailored to meet the medical needs of diabetics


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