Archive for category Heart Disease
While the liver produces cholesterol to aid in healthy bodily functions, we get way too much from food, which is why people should learn to plan healthy diets for high cholesterol levels. By planning a healthy diet that can keep cholesterol levels in check, you can steer clear of heart risks that are associated with a high cholesterol count in blood.
The biggest risk that results from high cholesterol levels is atherosclerosis or the blockage of arteries that can cause heart diseases or stroke. In many occasions, people only learn that their arteries are narrowing when it is already too late. It is not difficult to reverse the effects of high cholesterol in your blood vessels with diet alone, but you must be diligent and committed to achieving this goal. Planning and following a healthy diet will get you there and keep you very healthy.
Healthy diets for high cholesterol levels should be designed primarily to reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol in the body. These diets will often result in a decrease in blood pressure, blood sugar and body weight.
The following are some ideas that can be incorporated into your diets:
Fresh Fruits, Vegetables, Legumes, and Whole Grains
These are natural foods that are essential because they are a good source of dietary fiber and can help decrease LDL cholesterol, thereby lowering the risks of heart disease.
Low Fat Foods
Diets should have zero or minimum amounts of trans-fatty acids and saturated fats. It is recommended to use monounsaturated fats instead such as those found in peanut oil or olive oil.
Balance Your Protein Sources
Popular sources of protein like meat and dairy products are one of the biggest causes of heart disease. To reduce the risks of these diseases, it is best to plan healthy diets for high cholesterol levels with a variety of protein sources in mind, including vegetables and fish. Spinach and asparagus are excellent sources of high quality protein. Soy is believed by many reduce LDL cholesterol while eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, reduces the chances of heart disease.
Lower Cholesterol Intake
While your liver produces cholesterol, unhealthy eating habits can increase it to dangerous levels. Diets for high cholesterol levels should focus on food sources that have minimal or no cholesterol. This has multiple benefits because it can also limit the intake of unhealthy fat as well as increase your nutrition intake.
Choose Healthy Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a good source of energy. However, it is important to choose foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat, whole grain products and brown rice. Avoid simple carbohydrates such as those found in carbonated drinks, sugar and sweets because simple carbohydrates can increase the risk of heart disease.
Skipping meals to lower bad cholesterol is very bad advice. In fact, eating at least five small meals a day can help speed up metabolism and control blood sugar levels making it much easier to lose weight. When planning healthy diets for high cholesterol levels, each meal should be small enough to satisfy cravings but not to the point where you starve or feel hungry all the time.
Pasta lovers who are looking for healthy heart food are in for some great news… a team of scientists from Italy and Spain have developed a spaghetti made from barley flour that harnesses all the good-for-you power of barley in a tasty (not to mention curly) package.
Very soon you could be enjoying your favorite food without the worry that you’re risking your heart in the process.
If the researchers are correct, we may all soon be seeing pasta bearing labels with the words “may lower the risk of heart disease” or “good source of fiber” thanks to barley.
Barley is a first-rate fiber, full of antioxidants and even vitamin E, and is known to give beer its strong taste and distinctive flavor. It’s also been increasingly used in “functional foods”. These are foods that have been supplemented with good for you additives and marketed as healthier alternatives. The functional food industry is expected to be valued at $176 million by 2013.
Some examples of functional foods you may already have to hand include; calcium fortified orange juice or spreads with omega-3 fats added.
The U.S. FDA is charged with regulating claims that a manufacturer can make about content or effect on disease of their products. But, the FDA doesn’t call these items “functional foods” and is concerned by the many claims that are being made, while continuing to look for ways to make it easier for consumers to figure out what’s healthy and what’s not.
To see if the new type of healthier pasta could be created, the team of researchers tried to up the fiber and antioxidants by using barley. They produced barley flour that contained the most nutritious element of the grain, created using a healthy separation method.
As they hoped, the spaghetti that was made with this barley flour displayed increased fiber and antioxidant action than traditional pasta made with wheat flour. Adding gluten increased the cooked quality of barley pasta, but the cost was the power of the antioxidants.
Still the researchers say the barley spaghetti meets all FDA requirements to be able to make the heart healthy claims on the packaging.
If you’re trying to stick with a healthy eating plan, this latest development shouldn’t bring on any major changes – keep on enjoying a balanced and varied diet that includes lots of good for you choices and don’t rely on a single food for all benefits. Giving the new spaghetti a try, when it becomes available, can do no harm… just so long as you’re not expecting miracles from this food, or any other.
When it comes to heart disease, any healthcare professional will tell you that preventing this condition is the best way to avoid the many life altering and dangerous complications it can have. There are risk factors that you can control… things like smoking or having untreated high cholesterol, high blood pressure or peripheral artery disease, and of course if you are carrying more weight than your body, and your heart, can handle you need to take steps to change that as soon as possible. Eating a diet of healthy heart food is a good step that can take you closer to good heart health.