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What you do not know could hurt you

4 Nov

What would it be? Traditional food or fast food with toxins and poisons? I don’t know about you but I love to know what I am eating. I will not be a guinea pig for those who transform good food into something else. People who want to cook for you ought to take your health seriously and not cater to your taste bud. Our taste buds have been so messed up we no longer recognize real food but instead are addicted to foods that are laced with chemicals. It is up to you and me to turn the tide of nonfoods back to real food by using our dollars.

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!

Study Finds Dietary Link to Risk of Eye Disorder

23 Jul

July 17, 2007

Certain kinds of carbohydrates may play a role in the development of age-related macular degeneration, an incurable degenerative eye disease that is a leading cause of blindness in older adults. A new study has found that eating carbohydrate-rich food with a high glycemic index — a measure of a food’s potential to raise blood glucose levels — is associated with the development of the disorder.

The glycemic index is a measure of how fast carbohydrates are metabolized — the faster they are broken down into glucose, the higher the glycemic index. Simple carbohydrates, like those in cakes and cookies, cheese pizza, white bread or other foods sweetened with sugar or corn syrup, are quickly metabolized by the cells, while the complex carbohydrates in brown rice, barley and many other vegetables are broken down more slowly.

Heavy consumption of foods with a high glycemic index has been implicated in the development of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers, according to background information in the paper, which appears in the July issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers examined 4,099 people ages 55 to 80 enrolled in a larger long-term study of eye health. Each participant had 20/32 vision in at least one eye, and the lens of the eye had to be clear enough to allow good photographs that could be used to diagnose macular degeneration.

None of the participants had diabetes. Using these criteria, the scientists had 8,125 eyes to analyze. They graded the severity of macular degeneration on a scale of one to five, administered food frequency questionnaires and calculated the dietary glycemic index, a number indicating the quantity of high-glycemic foods consumed, for each participant.

After controlling for age, sex, education level, body mass index, alcohol consumption and other variables, they found that the higher the dietary glycemic index, the more likely a person was to have macular degeneration. Those in the highest one-fifth of the dietary glycemic index had more than a 40 percent increased risk of significant macular degeneration than those in the lowest one-fifth. The amount of carbohydrate consumed was not correlated with disease, suggesting that it is only carbohydrates with a high glycemic index that cause the effect.

“Sugar is fuel for the cells, but too much is destructive,” said Allen Taylor, the senior author of the paper and chief of the Laboratory for Nutrition and Vision Research at Tufts University. “It is known from laboratory and animal studies that carbohydrates can damage the proteins in cells and affect their function. The sugars actually modify things, modify the proteins, and it’s the accumulation of this modified stuff that is poisonous to cells.”

While the exact mechanism is unknown, the authors suggest that high glucose concentrations are harmful to the retina and the capillaries that supply the eyes, and that a diet of high glycemic index foods causes oxidative stress that increases inflammation.

It may also be that the sharp temporary increase in blood lipid levels that can follow consumption of simple carbohydrates plays a role in damaging the blood vessels.

Still, the researchers say, older age, lower education level and smoking are all more significant risk factors for age-related macular degeneration than diet. They also say that the study does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between a high glycemic diet and macular degeneration, that the study is based on observations made at a single point in time, and that long-term prospective studies will be needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn about the precise relationship between diet and macular degeneration.

Dr. Taylor does not advocate a carbohydrate-free diet.

“I’m not an advocate of any extreme diet,” he said. “But self-control and limiting exposure to simple sugars is not a bad idea.”

He added: “People are eating more simple sugar than they used to, and reverting to a diet that is more fruits and vegetables and less sweetened food would help. It doesn’t take a lot of change.”

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