5 Dietary Guidelines for a Healthy Heart

 

5 Dietary Guidelines for a Healthy Heart

It’s never too late or too early to adopt a fiber-packed, heart-healthful diet. Here’s how.

Variety of legumes in bowls and glasses, arranged on kitchen tableMake vegetables, beans, whole grains and fruit the center of your diet – all day, every day.

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You’ve likely read about former president Bill Clinton’s dramatic heart-health makeover and about superstar Beyoncé’s substantial weight loss with a vegan diet – but did you know a plant-based prescription can be 20 times more powerful than today’s leading drugs in treating and reversing heart disease? With 1 in 6 cases of heart disease that start in utero, and with a heart attack occurring every 45 seconds, it’s never too late or too early to adopt a fiber-packed, heart-healthful diet.

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Understand Your Risk for Diabetes

Understand Your Risk for Diabetes
Diabetes contributes to over 230,000 U.S. deaths per year. However, many people with type 2 diabetes are not aware they have the disease and may already have developed various health complications associated with it.

Non-Modifiable Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

There are a number of risk factors that increase a person’s risk for developing prediabetes and, ultimately, type 2 diabetes. Some of these characteristics are beyond a person’s control, such as:

Family history
If you have a blood relative with diabetes, your risk for developing it is significantly increased. Map out your family history tree (PDF) and take it to your doctor to find out what it means for you.
Race or ethnic background
If you are of African-American, Asian-American, Latino/Hispanic-American, Native American or Pacific Islander descent, you have a greater likelihood of developing diabetes.
Age
The older you are, the higher your risk. Generally, type 2 diabetes occurs in middle-aged adults, most frequently after age 45. However, health care providers are diagnosing more and more children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes.
History of gestational diabetes
If you developed diabetes during pregnancy or delivered a baby over 9 lbs., you are at increased risk.

Modifiable Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes

While some things that contribute to the development of diabetes are beyond a person’s control, there are also a number of modifiable risk factors. By making healthy changes in these areas, people can reduce their risks or delay the development of diabetes and improve their overall quality of life.

Overweight/obesity
About 50 percent of men and 70 percent of women who have diabetes are obese. If you are 20 percent or more over your optimal body weight, you have a higher risk of developing diabetes. Losing five to seven percent of your body weight can cut your risk of developing prediabetes in half, and your risk decreases even more as you lose more weight. Learn how to manage your weight.
Physical inactivity
Along with overweight/obesity, physical inactivity ranks among the top modifiable risk factors for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. By achieving 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity or 90 minutes per week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity or a combination of the two, you can improve your health and minimize risks for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
High blood pressure (hypertension)
In addition to causing damage to the cardiovascular system, untreated high blood pressure has been linked to the development of diabetes. Learn more about high blood pressure and how to control it.
Abnormal cholesterol (lipid) levels
Low HDL “good” cholesterol” and/or high triglycerides can increase the risk for Type 2 diabetes. Both of these abnormalities can also increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. A healthy eating plan, sufficient aerobic physical activity, and a healthy weight can help improve abnormal lipds. Sometimes medicinations are necessary.
By following our healthy living tips, you can take control of these modifiable risk factors, prevent or delay the development of diabetes, and improve your quality of life.

This content was last reviewed on 7/5/2012.

Yoga may improve cardiovascular and metabolic health

By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS

namasteYoga has been around for centuries, with writings extolling its virtues in producing serenity and transcendence – but world leaders, as well as a growing collection of scientific research, are pointing to how the ancient practice also can be good for your health.

The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution commemorating June 21 as International Day of Yoga. Cosponsored by more than 170 member states, representatives said yoga not only promotes “clarity of vision and action” but health.

“Yoga can contribute to resilience against non-communicable diseases. Yoga can bring communities together in an inclusive manner that generates respect,” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told the news agency Reuters at the time of the resolution in December. “Yoga is a sport that can contribute to development and peace. Yoga can even help people in emergency situations to find relief from stress.”

A recent review of 37 randomized controlled trials concluded that yoga may improve cardiovascular and metabolic health, according to researchers at Harvard University and its Schools of Medicine and Public Health and Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands. The study was published in December in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

The research paper said “yoga showed significant improvement” for body mass index, systolic blood pressure, low-density lipoprotein (also called “bad”) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (also called “good”) cholesterol compared to those who did not exercise. The study noted “significant changes” in heart rate, body weight and diastolic blood pressure, as well.

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Food and Stress? EVERYTHING is related!

April 30, 2015
Food and Stress? EVERYTHING is related!

Eat to beat stress. Is food related to stress?
Well, it´s actually a two-way street. You can stress your body from food and modern living or you can use nutrition to alleviate the damage from stressful living.

Eating in general causes a state that is known as oxidative stress. When we digest our food we form compound molecules called free radicals, these molecules may be harmful to DNA, protein and lipids in our bodies, which at the same time contribute to a state of physiological stress and premature aging.

Nutritional stress is a type of physical stress, more common for 21st century men and women because of the rapid change in the food industry and consumption of over processed filled foods. Our body in an effort to assimilate and metabolize foods filled with harmful artificial flavorings, colorings and additives causes the release of even more free radicals and additional oxidative stress. We also live at such a high pace that we half chew our foods while on the run adding strain to our digestive system.

Are we filling up with toxins, sugary, fat, and chemically loaded food and then expecting it to cope without any complaints?

If we are not properly nourished, we will not have the tools required to fight off diseases. Nutrition is essential to life, without it our systems can fail, starting with a weak immune system that cannot fight invaders leaving us susceptible to infections, diseases and even to overweight and obesity. Stress also has an additional effect on the immune system. A person who is stressed may engage in unhealthy behaviors to cope and try to reduce stress like drinking, smoking or eating comfort, but nutrient void foods. Stress is linked to many different ailments, such as, headaches, infectious illnesses, cardiovascular disease, chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer, asthma, gastric ulcers, you name it!
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