Healthy Heart Diet

Healthy and Hearty

 

Healthy Heart Diet


                                                          20792c9c147ca1d Healthy Heart Diet                                            

 

Healthy Heart Diet web site is dedicated to sharing the knowledge I acquire with regards to finding myself foods that I like but will also either be beneficial to or at least do not harm to my heart. We will also be looking at exercise and anything I else I find that is relevant to keeping our hearts in excellent working order. I take medication for high blood pressure every morning and high cholesterol every evening. I recently found that I have late onset asthma too. I use a steroid inhaler twice a day for this. I do not like taking drugs as in my mind there is always the possibility of side effects that I will not like. Although I trust my doctor implicitly, she is not an expert on my heart. I have therefore decided that it is up to me to find a healthy heart diet that suits my needs and it is my intention to share my findings with anyone who is interested.

As I write this first article I am sixty years old and reasonably fit as I walk the three mile round trip to work and back most of my working days. My job is dubbed Cover Supervisor and I supervise the pupils if a teacher is off sick, on a course, in a meeting or whatever. As a retired policeman I find the job totally stress free as the students really are a wonderful bunch. My doctor used to say that I was obscenely healthy as I saw him on very rare occasions when I was younger. My Dad died when I was thirty four and it really frightened me because I thought that what had happened to him could happen to me too as his early demise may be hereditary. I went to see my doctor for a check up and that’s when it was discovered that my cholesterol level was a bit raised. Over the course of time it got worse and I ended up on medication to keep it in check. Several years ago I went to a regular check up appointment and he said “let’s take your blood pressure while you’re here.” It was above what is considered the normal range and we decided to monitor it more closely. The result of the monitoring put me on further medication. As I have got older I have had to take a second and different type of drug to keep my blood pressure under control. You can therefore hopefully see why I have started taking an interest in my heart’s health.

One of the things I have control over is what I shove down my gullet. To keep me on the straight and narrow I have decided to record what I eat and do some research into how I can improve my chances of living a long time.  I am a retired policeman and my long term goal is to be the longest serving police pensioner the world has ever seen. I know that I have some way to go as I have heard of one bloke near the Scottish border area who has been retired for fifty years. As it is possible for a British police officer to retire at the age of forty eight after thirty years service, he must be at least ninety eight. That means I must look after myself for over thirty eight years as a minimum.

What I already know about a healthy heart diet is that I need to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Five days a week, I have bran flakes and milk with grapes for breakfast. There are about a dozen grapes there, so I am fairly sure that is one portion. I work in the local grammar school and take a packed lunch with me. I have a starter of tomatoes because they contain antioxidants and I read somewhere that they are good for the skin (I want to look good as I get older!). Two slices of bread with butter as I prefer the taste to margarine, and some filling which is usually meat. For pudding I have an apple and a banana. I normally wash this down with a cup of tea, white but no sugar as my wife Eileen weaned me off sugar in my tea when we were first married thirty eight years ago. When I get home from school I will often have a “soup in a cup” which I know I must dispense with. I’ll have to go on to green tea I think, as I actually like the stuff. Eileen always cooks an evening meal for us that we take at about 5pm. I say about, it is almost always on the dot. We will have potatoes, and one or two vegetables and meat in some form. Pudding is yoghurt every day apart from Sunday when we have ice cream as a treat. We do the washing up straight after the evening meal and then I make us a cup of tea. We have chocolate with this drink. It is 70% cocoa solids and I consider this medicinal. OK, I admit that I eat a bit too much and I do like some alcohol. I will go round a friend’s on Friday evening and have a glass of wine or three. I will also have two glasses of wine with dinner on both Saturday and Sunday. It is almost exclusively red wine which is supposed to have more antioxidants than white wine. 

I will keep this article as the healthy heart diet front page so that new visitors can see what I am about and choose whether to come back for more information as I update the site. I intend to add something new every month or so. I hope that the knowledge I gain will help other people to live long and healthy lives too. I understand that the way I go about things will not suit a lot of people. But, I hope that my simple and honest approach to the subject will help many more. I will finish now with the wish that as I learn to gain benefits from the foods I eat, my sharing of what I learn will encourage more people to look at what they are eating and start to live more healthily. If we do this, I suspect that not only will we feel better but we will end up saving money on medical bills and prescription charges. 

 


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Medical Evidence

I have been trying ot find medical evidence for the best diet we can eat to keep our hearts and therefore ourselves healthy. I have put a link to another web site below. Dr Lundell has been poopooed by a large portion of the accepted medical community and a web site called Quackwatch. They say that his medical licence was revoked. This is true, but, it appears to have been revoked years after he retired. What would be the point of that? I can only surmise that it is because he advocates something that the medical establishment and drug companies do not like.

 

My own view is that what Dr Lundell says makes sense to me as I have been trying to eat less carbohydrates in the form of anything to do with grains. Just by doing this, I am losing about a pound weight per week, and, I feel better in myself. I shall be doing a bit more low impact exercise too in an effort to slightly increase my rate of weight loss.

 

I will let you make up your own minds as to whether you think what Dr Lundell says is valid. The article is HERE.

 

Quackwatch is HERE. Some opposition to Dr Barrett’s Quackwatch can be see HERE.

 

 

 

 

Verify

Beginning to See the Light?

 

 

I have been eating my own version of the Paleo Diet for some six or seven weeks now and I do believe it is having some beneficial effect.

 

4eb1142c2a6d68c Beginning to See the Light?

 

The picture is of a pretty typical lunch. There’s some ham for protein along with carrot, cucumber, olives, radishes, tomatoes and some mixed salad. I really dislike the taste of lettuce etc so I put mayonnaise on the salad. I also normally have an apple and banana too. The whole thing is reasonably filling even for a big eater like me.

Anyway, is this healthy heart diet that I am trialling on myself any good? Well, over the last six to seven weeks I have lost about seven punds in weight. I watched a TV programme several weeks ago where a doctor was suggesting that a High Intensity Training (HIT) form of exercise helps with Insulin levels and will likely help prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Before I started this regime my blood pressure was right at the top end of the normal range even though I am taking two different medications every morning to keep it in check. 

After I did today’s HIT and I had got my breath back I took my blood pressure using a monitor approved by my doctor. It was 129 over 74 which is quite an improvement on the 140 over 79 that it was at the start of this journey into health. 

I am hoping that as I lose more weight and do more exercise my blood pressure will come down enough so that I can dispense with the medication. I say this because as I am losing weight and not eating grains, I am feeling that I have more energy to actually do stuff.

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Four Tips to Keep Your Heart Healthy

You may apply various measures to increase your hgh and stay youthful and energetic but some diseases like cardiac problems can only be evaded only if you are proactive in your younger years.

Soon after the celebration of ‘American Heart Month’ in February, the shocking news that heart diseases are largely responsible for human death has left the doctors in a state of shock! Thus, the Heart Lung and Blood Institute and American Heart Association emphasized on improving the lifestyle and eating habits to fight back this deadly disease. Here are some tips provided by the experts to keep your heart healthy:

1.     Fitness: Fitness is essential for keeping the whole body healthy and especially keeps the stress level under strict control. Include walk, exercise or meditation for the strong ticking of the heart. Also having a routine lifestyle which includes a healthy and nutritional diet can also work wonders for your heart.

2.     Chocolates: We all love chocolates and the good news is, so does our heart! Enriched with anti-oxidants and excellent property of controlling the blood pressure, chocolates are a boon for your heart and for taste buds too. According to British Medical Journal, chocolates are really effective in bringing down the rate of heart attacks as well as strokes. Statistics prove that almost there is a decrease in the chances of heart diseases by almost 37% if you consume chocolates everyday and roughly a decrease of 29% is recorded in the case of strokes. So, get the biggest chocolate bar today and enjoy it.

3.     Laugh: Yes, you have heard it right. Laughter is really the best medicine, at least for heart problems. Negative thoughts, tension and stress all contract the blood vessels, which obstruct the blood flow. Whereas, laughing and other positive actions do the right opposite. The diameter of the blood vessels almost increases by 30% to 50%. When the blood vessels expand, it’s easier for the heart to pass blood and thus reduces the pressure on it. It has been proved at the European Society of Cardiology’s conference, that  

4.     Yoga: To bid adieu to the heart troubles yoga is a great exercise. It best to beat the troubles like problem of irregular heartbeats and abnormal heart rhythms and improves general functioning of the heart. This fact has been proved by American College of Cardiology’s at the 60th Annual Scientific Session.

Therefore, to make your heart healthy you don’t need to make a complete change in your lifestyle. If you follow these tips you can possible evade the chances of heart disease and stroked to a great deal.

 

Brenda Lyttle is a health expert and a freelance writer. In her free time, she loves exploring fashionable outfits. Recently, she came up with her own range of halloween costumes 2012 for couples.    

 

 

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Three Facts About Heart Disease

 

Today’s post is written by a guest. Brenda Lyttle is a person who has put a lot of effort into learning about health and fitness. 

 

More and more people are falling prey to heart diseases. You may blame it on a bad diet or a fitness regime, but the truth is that, even though these factors matter a lot, there are various other factors as well that affect your heart. It may be a bad diet or a family history of a heart condition. Given below are three facts that will help your protect your heart:-


1. You Can Suffer From Heart Diseases At Any Age

Unlike the depleting human growth hormone levels that are a surety with the growing age, heart diseases need not necessarily come with age. Movies are just movies and what they portray is not always right. They always show that the old man died of a heart attack. The major cause of any heart disease is, however, obesity and if you look around you, you will find that a number of people, including children, are obese. All of these are prone to heart disease. Although, it is true that your heart becomes weaker as your body grows older, that is no longer the only reason. When your body becomes obese, other factors such as enhanced blood pressure and cholesterol come into play. These affect the heart irrespective of the age. Therefore, if you are overweight, consult a doctor today and begin a workout and diet schedule so that you can begin to lose all those excess pounds.


2. Alcohol Is Not Good For Your Heart

There are so many studies that say that alcohol is good for your heart but the key word here is moderation. Anything in excess is not good. Don’t take advantage of what the studies say and twist their words to your benefit. So what does moderation mean? It means different things for men and women. For women, it means, only one drink in a day and for men, it is two drinks. One drink of beer is 12 ounces; for wine, it is 4 ounces and for hard liquor it is 1.5 ounces. When you drink in excess of these limits, you can suffer from various heart diseases. Red wine has been proven to be good and so it is an exception but don’t rely on it to keep your heart in good health. 


3. Being Fit Does Not Make You Immune To Heart Diseases

Exercising and a healthy diet is essential for a healthy heart but these are not the only two things that matter. There are other factors too, like your ethnicity, gender, female post menopause or heart disease in the family that affect your heart’s health. A Caucasian is less prone to heart diseases than an American Indian, Mexican American or African American. Other influences like stress, anger, high cholesterol and blood pressure, having personality Type A and diabetes matter too. 

All these facts are to be taken into consideration when you are looking into your heart’s health. The other factors are important but the only thing that is within your control is maintaining your exercise and diet. 

 

Jessica Gomes is a healthy living and an anti-aging expert.She recommends eating healthy food as much as possible to avoid obesity and heart diseases that accompanies it. What more? It also keeps signs of aging, like wrinkles, et al at bay, avoiding the need to use wrinkle cream.


 

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Grapefruit

5dfec023b26ccc2 Grapefruit

One wonders whether grapefruit should be part of our healthy heart diet diet ? Well I’ll tell you, there has been some research recently that shows that red grapefruit reduces triglycerides and cholesterol in people who already have some sort of heart disease. What we call the Western world has a very high incidence of coronary heart disease. One of the biggest causes of this is our Western diet that is full of fatty foods and has a lower intake of fruit and vegetables.

As we all know the best way to prevent coronary heart disease is to have a diet that’s rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds as well as carrying out regular exercise that gets our heart pumping and we get a little bit of breath. One of the fruits I like is grapefruit. I therefore did a little bit of online research and found that red grapefruit is actually very good for our heart. One recent study had only 57 participants but it is quite significant. I say this is because they found that red grapefruit is better for us than the average ordinarily yellow or blonde grapefruit. The reason for this was found to be the difference in participants’ triglyceride levels. These only dropped for the group that was eating the red grapefruit. During the study the researchers also found that red grapefruit had higher levels of antioxidants than what we will call ordinary grapefruit. And, the people who ate the red grapefruit had higher levels of antioxidants in their blood.

This study really was quite interesting because it was carried out on people that already have some serious form of heart disease. Further, their blood tests showed that they were not really benefiting from taking statins and some other medications. It was just the grapefruit that seem to help. We do not know if grapefruit can help prevent heart attacks but we do know that once a person has had some form of heart disease grapefruit in the diet can help.

On a personal note I take Avorvastatin as part of my daily routine because I do have high cholesterol if I do not do something about it. I went to one pharmacist and asked if it was all right to take grapefruit as part of my diet. That particular person said that it was fine. This is incorrect. Had I read the instructions on the packet of my Lipitor (atorvastatin) tablets I would have seen that grapefruit can have a detrimental effect on the drug. My wife went to another pharmacist and they affirmed that one should not eat grapefruit when taking statins and some other medications.

In conclusion then, it appears that eating red grapefruit as part of the normal diet can be beneficial for those of us not on any medication. And, it is always advisable to seek medical advice before going on any form of diet. Please be warned that grapefruit can affect some forms of medication and you really must seek guidance from a medical professional before you try eating grapefruit as part of your healthy heart diet.

 

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Blood Pressure and the Healthy Heart

 

e07b234e21a8c09 Blood Pressure and the Healthy Heart

Reasons Why You Should Measure Your Blood Pressure Regularly

Hypertension or high blood pressure can be a serious condition that can cause fatality if neglected. However, it can be treated effectively when detected at the onset of the condition. It is important to measure your blood pressure regularly so that you can monitor your heart’s condition. 

You do not need to go to the doctor’s clinic measure your blood pressure regularly. You can do it in the comfort of your own home and keep a record of your measurements in order to observe any significant changes in your blood pressure. Below are several other reasons why you should check your blood pressure on a regular basis. 


• Provide reliable information 

When you take your blood pressure regularly, you will be able to provide your doctor a comprehensive amount of information regarding the trend of your blood pressure within a specific period of time. This set of information will help your doctor determine the factors that affect your blood pressure and make more knowledgeable treatment decisions. 

Keeping an accurate record of your blood pressure also helps your doctor to diagnose and possibly prevent any health problems in the future. Your physician can also use your record to see if any medication you are taking effectively controls your high blood pressure. 


• Evidence 

Some people get stressed when visiting the doctor’s clinic, causing high blood pressure and patients with normal blood pressure are diagnosed with hypertension. Researchers recommend that you measure your blood pressure regularly at home so as to avoid this problem. 


• Responsibility 

When you measure your blood pressure regularly by yourself, it indicates that you are putting yourself in charge of managing your condition. It should be noted that hypertension is an illness that will significantly affect your lifestyle. Therefore you really ought to take responsibility in dealing with your condition. 


• Reassurance 

Studies show that hypertension can be fatal, causing death to the patient if left unchecked. When you measure your blood pressure regularly, you are showing yourself that everything is going well. Otherwise, you can take the next important measure when you are experiencing high blood pressure. 


• Motivation 

It is the character of human beings that when we see good results in something that we do, we become more determined to go on or improve it. Similarly, when you measure your blood pressure regularly and observe development on trend of your blood pressure, it acts as a strong motivating factor to keep the necessary changes you make to your lifestyle. 


• Control 

When you measure your blood pressure regularly, you will be regularly reminded to take your medicine and heed to the doctor’s advice. It can also be your deciding factor when it is the right time to pay your doctor a visit. Similarly, you can immediately take the necessary action when your blood pressure is high.


• Savings 

A lot of patients who have been diagnosed with hypertension often visit the doctor’s clinic for a single reason and that is to have their blood pressure measured. This may cause inconvenience because you need to drive a few blocks. At the same time, it may also cost you money since you have to pay for the gas or fare as well as the doctor’s fee. When you measure your blood pressure at home, you can save time and money. At the same time, it helps avoid inconvenience because you do not need to drive around town. 


Even if you are at home, you can measure your blood pressure regularly, you simply need to purchase your own sphygmomanometer. There are a lot of accurate yet affordable sphygmomanometers on the market. You can ask your doctor for a brand that he can recommend. When you have your own sphygmomanometer, life becomes easier and you are able to manage your hypertension more effectively. 

 

 

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Eggs and Our Healthy Heart

 

89835a9f0af3c67 Eggs and Our Healthy Heart

Several years ago, it was learned that eggs contain a high level of cholesterol. Therefore people believed that eating eggs will cause hardening or narrowing of the arteries, a disease known as atherosclerosis. As a result, health experts advised against overconsumption of eggs to protect the coronary arteries and the heart. 


However, recent studies have indicated that there is no connection between egg consumption and atherosclerosis. It was also revealed that blood cholesterol level is not determined by eating the cholesterol from food. 


Consequently, health organizations such as the British Heart Foundation, American Heart Association, and Food Standards Agency do not recommend a limit to the number of eggs an individual should eat in a day as long as they do not have any health condition related to high cholesterol and the healthy fats in their bloodstream are normal. 


Eggs can now be eaten every day as a part of a healthy, balanced diet. Further research shows that it is better to avoid eating the egg yolks but only the egg whites instead, because egg whites contain zero cholesterol and are low in fat but rich in protein and minerals. It is also healthier to boil the eggs, rather than frying them, because it does not use any oil or fat. 


Moreover, other studies indicated that it is necessary to consider the saturated fat content of eggs rather than its cholesterol content to keep normal level of blood cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. 


It is a common knowledge that LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, is related to increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, while HDL cholesterol, more popularly known as the good cholesterol, helps lessen the possibility of any threatening heart disease. 


Because cholesterol and saturated fats are frequently seen together in the same type of foods, people got confused which among them is responsible for increasing the blood cholesterol level. After conducting several studies, it was proven the high saturated fats cause LDL cholesterol to rise, whereas dietary cholesterol has very little effect. Surprisingly, eggs contain high level of cholesterol but very low saturated fat. Hence, eggs have negligible effect on building up blood cholesterol. As a matter of fact, eating eggs may help increase HDL (good) cholesterol, which offsets the effects of LDL cholesterol on reducing the risk of heart disease.  



Health Benefits of Eggs 

Eggs are known as excellent sources of proteins and unsaturated fats as well as vitamin D, vitamin B12, and minerals like folate and riboflavin. Additionally, egg yolks are found to have tryptophan and tyrosine, two different amino acids that have high level of antioxidant properties. 


Additionally, eggs are found to have lutein, zeaxanthin, and choline. Lutein and zeaxanthin help prevent vision problems such as blurry eyesight, macular degeneration, and cataract, while choline aids in improving memory, mental alertness, and body metabolism as well as brain development of babies during pregnancy. Choline also assists in the reduction of fat buildup in liver and repairs certain types of neurological damage. 


Researchers discovered that eggs contain antioxidant properties that encourage the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Two raw egg yolks are found to have almost twice antioxidant properties as those found in a piece of apple. However, these antioxidant properties are reduced to half when the eggs are fried, boiled, or microwaved. Therefore, researchers suggest eating egg yolks in their raw form. 


Eggs are one of the very few foods that have natural vitamin D. Eggs are also excellent source of vitamin B12, which is important for proper functioning of the nerve cells.  


Furthermore, eggs are found to prevent breast cancer. A study conducted observed that women who ate six eggs for a week had less possibility of breast cancer. 

 

 

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Dates to Keep the Heart Healthy

 

 Dates to Keep the Heart Healthy

 

 

The date palm, Phoenix dactylifera, is a medium-sized palm that grows from 15 to 35 meters. The leaves of a date palm are 3 to 5 meters in length, with spines on its petiole and pinnate. It has approximately 150 leaflets, where each leaflet is around 30 cm long and 2 cm wide. The date palm is cultivated for its edible sweet fruit called dates. 

Dactylifera, the species name of the date palm, means date-bearing. It was derived from the Greek word daktulos, which means finger, and the Latin verb feros, which means “I bear”. Dates are fruits with elongated shapes that resemble human fingers. Dates are normally 3 cm to 7 cm long with oval-cylindrical shapes.  

Believed to have originated in Mesopotamia, dates have been the staple food in Middle East countries for thousands of years. In Ancient Egypt, dates were made into wine. Nowadays, dates are eaten either whole or added in different Mediterranean and Middle East dishes. Dates are served as desserts, chopped into small slices and sprinkled in puddings and cakes to enhance their flavor. The seeds are also removed and stuffed with various fillings, such as nuts, apricots, lemon or orange peel, and other tasty fillings. 


Health Benefits of Dates 

Dates contain dietary fibers and natural sugars such as fructose, sucrose, and glucose. Fructose and similar sugars are naturally produced in the body so they are safe to health. These sugars are easily digested to produce energy for the body. 

Similarly, dates are found to have high content of several B vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, and vitamin B9 (folic acid). Riboflavin and thiamin help process food and convert them to energy to perform different activities while niacin aid in maintaining nerve cells to work normally. 

Dates are rich sources of various essential vitamin, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. They also provide other essential nutrients to the body, such as amino acids, fats, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur. 

Studies have also shown that date fruits prevent abdominal cancer by working as a stimulant and providing energy to the body. Dates aid in fighting digestive problems as well, such as constipation, diarrhea, and intestinal disorders as they encourage the growth of pathological organisms and increase the good bacteria in the intestines. Dates are beneficial for a healthy diet in controlling weight gain, increasing sexual stamina, and providing quick relief due to alcoholic intoxication. 


Dates for a Healthy Heart 

Dates are not only delicious, sweet and chewy but also fully loaded with nutrition that is good for the heart. The high potassium content of dates can contribute significantly as part of a healthy heart diet. Researchers revealed in their studies that consuming 400mg of potassium each day reduces the possibility of stroke by 40%. Potassium stimulates muscle contraction, relaxes blood vessels and regulates blood pressure, preventing hypertension. 

Furthermore, dates have been found to be low in sodium, thereby preventing high high blood pressure. Soak the dates overnight and crush them in the morning after they have plumped up. Delicious. Dates are also recognized to be beneficial for weak hearts when consumed twice a week. 

Dates are excellent sources of fiber, and have been proven to be healthy for the heart as they help lower blood cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar level. Studies show that eating 100 grams of dates each day aids in regulating blood cholesterol by preventing the absorption of fat and cholesterol.

Despite its sweet taste and honey-like flavor, dates are considered heart-friendly fruits because they are free from cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fats. Dates also contain a very low amount of calories, reducing the risk of heart disease. 

Dates contain antioxidants, too. Antioxidants are powerful substances found in different foods that help fight off cancer, diabetes, macular degeneration, heart diseases and other diseases  caused by oxidative damage. 

 

 

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