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Confused about fats?

11 Nov

In the last decade we have been bombarded by so much information about fats and our growing obesity that is enough to turn one either off fats or eat it regardless out of the disgust of conflicting viewpoints.

According to Harvard School of  Public Health there are good fats and bad fats and the consumer should be aware of these to make informed choices of what you will included and the amount you need.

It is now common knowledge that saturated and trans fat are bad for our health.  What are these? These include: butter, cheese, coconut milk, coconut oil, fats in red meat, chocolate and icecream;

transfat are those fats that are reconstituted to form margarines,  vegetable shortening, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Fats and cholesterol

Cholesterol is a wax like substance which the liver makes and links it to carrier proteins called lipoprotiens.  The lipoproteins  helps cholesterol to dissolve in blood and not be transported to all parts of the body including the heart.

Low density lipopoproteins the dangerous one  – carry protein from the blood to all parts of the body where as high density lioproteins helps to carry  cholesterol from the blood back to the liver to be processed and eliminated from the body.

The equation therefore is the higher LDL in the body and the lower your HDL the greater your risk for heart or heart related disease.

Here are some tips:

choose liquid vegetable oils and soft margarine with less transfat than butter or lard;

reduce consumption of commercially baked goods;

avoid deep fried foods especially in restaurants

read the labels,  check the ingredients and the amount of fats in the products you buy

For adults 20 years and over the following guidelines for daily optimum level recommended are:

Total cholesterol less than 200 milligrams for deciliter

HDL cholesterol levels greater than 40 mg

LDL cholesterol less than 100 mg

The bottom line is reduce saturated fats from red meat, cheese, butters etc. replace those fats with olive oil and other oils with higher HDL

Time to go nuts

20 Sep

It’s the nutty season of the year and nutritionists, diet experts say we must nibble on nuts. It is better than a chocolate bar or a candy.  It is healthy with the right kind of fat to help our bodies function more efficiently.  Don’t go overboard – moderation is the key.

Nuts are low in cholesterol and saturated fat and high in good monounsaturated fat, protein, and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, including folic acid and niacin. While nuts used to be condemned for their high fat content, they’re actually a beneficial addition to your diet — because they contain the right fats. Numerous studies suggest they may offer protection against heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.

Nuts can be eaten raw (fresh from the shell) or roasted and can be used in cooking. Raw, unshelled nuts keep very well — six months to a year when stored in a cool, dry place. Shelled nuts can turn rancid more quickly and often require refrigeration or freezing, but some will keep for three to four months at room temperature in a cool, dry place.

Finally, while nuts are good for you, too many can undermine weight loss, so they should be enjoyed in healthy moderation (for instance, 15 walnuts, almonds, or pecans, or 30 pistachios at a time). Eggs raise cholesterol and other myths

2 Aug


Some common nutrition advice is frequently touted, but is it accurate?


Updated: 9:41 a.m. CT April 4, 2007

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NEW YORK – Avoid eggs. Drink 8 glasses of water a day. Eating carbs will make you fat. Nutritional advice such as this has been touted for years — but is it accurate?

Not necessarily, according to Wendy Repovich, an exercise physiologist at Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington, who did her best to dispel several common nutrition misconceptions during an American College of Sports Medicine-sponsored health and fitness summit held recently in Dallas.

“Eating eggs will raise your cholesterol.” This myth started because egg yolks have the most concentrated amount of cholesterol in any food, Repovich told Reuters Health. However, when eaten in moderation, eggs do not contain enough cholesterol to pose health risks, she said.

“Most people avoid eggs and probably if they have any kind of cardiovascular risk their physicians tell them to avoid eggs,” Repovich said. “But really, there aren’t a whole lot of studies that show that one or two eggs a day really make a difference to cholesterol levels.”

“Eating carbohydrates makes you fat” is another myth. Cutting carbs from the diet may help a person shed pounds due to water loss from a decrease in carbohydrate stores, Repovich said, but eating carbs in moderation does not directly lead to weight gain.

Here’s another myth. “Drink 8 glasses of water a day.” Repovich said people need to replace water lost through breathing, urinating, sweating each day — but that doesn’t necessarily total 64 ounces of water.

“I see an awful lot of people carrying bottled water around,” Repovich said. “I think people are still under the impression that they have to drink 8 glasses of water a day, but most people don’t realize they get water from other sources in the diet.”

And too much water can be harmful, Repovich warned, leading possibly to an imbalance in the body of sodium, a condition called hyponatremia.

It’s also a myth, Repovich said, that everyone needs vitamin supplements, although she admits to popping a multivitamin each morning. People who eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, along with moderate amounts of a variety of low-fat dairy and protein and the right quantity of calories, probably don’t need a vitamin supplement, she said.

“But for the most part, we don’t eat the way we should so probably a simple multivitamin is good for most people,” Repovich said.

Cholesterol-busting tips

25 Jul

Everyday Tips for Living With High Cholesterol

If you’re trying to bring down high cholesterol, make a few dietary changes at a time.

Lower Your Cholesterol With Small Changes
If you’re trying to bring down high blood cholesterol, make a few dietary changes at a time. Start with the groceries you buy and the way in which you prepare them. It may take time, but these little adjustments will ultimately pay off.

To lower blood cholesterol, go easy on these foods:

  • two percent milk
  • oils and margarine
  • avocados, olives, and coconuts
  • nuts

Cut back on these foods:

  • whole milk
  • creams and ice creams
  • high-fat cheeses
  • butter
  • fatty cuts of meat and refried pork
  • sausages, hot dogs, bologna
  • liver, kidneys, and other organ meats
  • egg yolks
  • lard, coconut, palm, or palm kernel oil

Take the Weight off Your Heart!

Slimming down can help you control high cholesterol.

Losing weight does help you feel better and makes it easier to be more active, but one of the most important reasons to maintain a healthy weight is to help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.Here are a few things you can do every day to support your weight-loss efforts — your heart will thank you for it.

  • Choose lower-fat, lower-calorie foods more often.
  • Eat more slowly.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables for snacks.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Drink water instead of soft drinks with sugar.
  • Use less high-fat cheeses, cream, shortening, and butter when cooking.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages.

Try to meet one or two of these challenges every day, while eventually adding more of these goals to your daily routine. You will begin to notice a difference — and so will your heart!

Link between Cholesterol levels and Cancer

24 Jul

zLowering your cholesterol levels with statin drugs may slightly increase your risk of cancer, say U.S. researchers.Millions of North Americans take statin drugs to lower their cholesterol because it is widely considered one of the most important ways to prevent heart attacks and strokes.But an examination of the records of more than 41,000 patients in 23 different trials of statins, researchers found one extra case of cancer for every 1,000 patients with the lowest levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL), known more informally as bad cholesterol. The cancers were not of any specific type.Writing in the July 31 edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, the authors stress that the benefits of statins still outweigh the risks.“The demonstrated benefits of statins in lowering the risk of heart disease remain clear; however, certain aspects of lowering LDL with statins remain controversial and merit further research,” Dr. Richard Karas of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston said in a statement.The findings don’t directly implicate statins in increasing cancer risk, but they do raise important questions, said Karas, such as whether cancer risk is a possible side effect of statins or just low LDL. Statins such as Lipitor, Pravachol, Crestor, and Zocor lower LDL levels by blocking an enzyme in the liver responsible for making cholesterol.Previous anecdotal reports linked intensive LDL lowering with a higher incidence of health problems, including liver and muscle toxicity and cancer.The researchers concluded that moderate-dose therapy with multiple medications including statins may be better than high-dose therapy with statins alone.Dr. Karas emphasized that patients are advised to consult their doctor before discontinuing use of any medication.In an accompanying commentary published in the journal, Dr. John LaRosa of the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn wrote that the research needs to be seen in perspective.“These current findings provide insufficient evidence that there is any problem with LDL lowering that outweighs its significant benefits on vascular disease,” he wrote.He suggested the higher cancer risk in patients with low LDL may be linked to the fact they live longer and are more likely to get cancer.

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