Consume Lentils to Lower Cholesterol

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Do you include chickpeas, lentils or peas in your daily diet? If not, you may want to reconsider.

The Canadian Medial Association Journal suggests, “Daily consumption of non-oil-seed legumes can significantly reduce ‘bad cholesterol’ and cut the risk of heart disease.” The Huffington Post also reports, in 26 randomized-controlled studies of 1,037 people, researchers found LDL cholesterol levels decreased by 5 percent in those who consumed one daily serving of legumes. This change in cholesterol was seen after six weeks. A 5 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol can suggest a lower risk of heart disease according to research presented in HealthDay.

In general, researchers are finding legume consumption can prove beneficial to health. If lentils or peas are not part of your daily diet, consider adding a handful to your next salad or soup. Peas can also make a great side dish for dinner. Eat up!

 

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On April 11, 2014, posted in: News by

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Diet Drinks Can Increase Heart Disease Risk in Older Women

“Research presented at the American College of Cardiology” meeting suggests that diet drinks may increase heart risks in older women (NBC Nightly News).

According to NBC News, a decade long study involving almost 60,000 middle-aged women shows that “after just nine years…8.5 percent of the women who drank two or more diet drinks a day had some sort of heart disease.” The average age in this study was 62 years old.

The Huffington Post also reported “women who consumed two or more diet drinks daily were not only 30 percent more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes, they were 50 percent more likely to die from some sort of cardiovascular disease, when compared with women who never or rarely drank diet drinks.”

These are not the only sources that have spoken out about the danger of diet drinks for postmenopausal women. HealthDay recently released information about diet drinks being linked to blood clots (among other diseases), and articles about this study are published in both Reuters and MedPage Today.

While further research is still being conducted in the connection between diet drinks and heart risk in women, consider swapping out any artificially sweetened beverages for healthy alternatives such as water or tea.

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On April 4, 2014, posted in: News by

Studies Show Exercise Reduces Breast Cancer Risk for Women

Reduced breast cancer risk is now being added to the benefits of exercise, along with reduced risks for other forms of cancer and heart disease.

According to the NPR Health Blog, research presented at the European Breast Cancer Conference suggests, “exercise reduces women’s risk of breast cancer [regardless of] what kind of exercise they do, how old they are, how much they weigh, or when they get started.”  Data from numerous studies conducted between 1987 and 2013 involving more than 4 million women led researchers to agree “the more active a woman is, the better her odds of avoiding breast cancer.” Additionally, the most active women in the studies reduced the risk by 12 percent (HealthDay).

breast cancer risk

 

What does this mean? Stay Active!

If even the smallest amount of exercise can help reduce breast cancer risk, consider adding an evening walk to your daily routine or trying a new fitness class in town. And if you are already an active woman, keep up to good work-you are benefiting your health!

 

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On April 1, 2014, posted in: News by

Added Sugar: It’s Killing You.

Consumption of more than 10% of your calories from added sugar increases your chance of dying from cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke.

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Seven out of ten Americans consume at least that much sugar, if not more. The more you consume, the higher your chance of death becomes. Those with the highest consumption, more than 25% of calories from sugar, have a nearly 300% greater risk of cardiovascular death than those consuming less than 10% of calories from added sugar.

On February 3 an analysis of National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys data was published online in JAMA Internal Medicine. The analysis showed “that people in the study who consumed 17%-21% of their daily calories from sugar – the second-highest category of sugar consumption – showed a nearly 40% higher risk of cardiovascular disease death than did those who consumed less than 10% of their daily calories from sugar. People in the highest category of sugar consumption, who consumed 21% or more of daily calories from sugar, doubled their risk of cardiovascular disease death.”

Unfortunately, of the participants in the study, 72% consumed more than 10% or more of their daily calories in the form of sugar. One-tenth of the population consumed 25% or more.

These “added sugars” have been defined as all sugars used in processed or prepared foods such as sugar-sweetened drinks, grain-based desserts, dairy desserts, candy, processed cereals, and yeast breads. Natural sugars present in fruit are not a risk factor.

It is not yet known how sugar raises cardiovascular disease mortality however; there are several biologically plausible pathways. For instance, according to the study, sugar is known to raise blood pressure, increase hepatic fat, raise triglyceride levels, adversely affect cholesterol profiles, and increase circulating inflammatory markers.

According to the Los Angeles Times “Science Now” blog, the World Health Organization “adds that people would get additional benefits if they can keep their sugar consumption below 5% of daily calories.” In addition, “dropping sugar intake to that [5%] level will combat obesity and cavities” (Associated Press).

It does not help that sugar is added to a wide variety of foods. Even foods such as honey, syrups and fruit juices contain added sugars. In order for most Americans to drop their sugar intake to less than 10% of their total calories, approximately 2/3 of their added sugars would need to be eliminated. Sugary beverages and grain-based desserts can take much of the blame for sugar consumption, although beverages often account for three times more sugar in a person’s diet than desserts.

So what can you do?

Take action. Look at the Nutrition Facts label. “Sugars” is reported in grams under “total carbohydrate” about half way down on labels. CBS News website reports, “The Food and Drug Administration and the White House hope to make Americans more knowledgeable about how much added sugar they are taking in by updating the Nutrition Facts Labels to include total and added sugars.”

The American Heart Association suggests total calories from sugar should be less than 100 a day for women and less than 150 a day for men.

A person consuming 1500 calories would want to keep total intake to less than 38 grams daily. Start early in the day with your breakfast and take action to better your health now.

 

To learn more about this study and read a full report of the findings visit: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1819573

 

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On March 17, 2014, posted in: News by

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Weight Loss Can Help Treat Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea is a common disorder in which a person stops breathing for a brief moment while asleep. This condition often results in restless and sleepless nights.

While CPAP or APAP devices are typically prescribed to patients with sleep apnea, researchers are now finding a small percentage of weight loss can also help to combat the disorder.

sleep apnea

A report compiled by Finnish researchers and published in the Feb. 11 issue of Sleep Medicine, found that “losing as little as 5 percent of body weight leads to significant improvement” for sleep apnea patients, reports Health Magazine.

Dr. Henri Tuomilehto, an adjunct professor at the University of Eastern Finland’s Oivauni Sleep Clinic and the lead researcher on the project claims,“Being moderately overweight increases the risk for obstructive sleep apnea by 10 times.”

Additionally, “Dr. Harly Greenberg, head of sleep medicine at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y., [says] obesity is linked to sleep apnea because fatty tissue accumulates around the neck and narrows the airway, making it more susceptible to obstruction during sleep.”

As a result of this study, researchers now believe including a weight-loss program as part of the treatment plan for all overweight sleep apnea patients could have a very successful outcome. Although it is not suggested as the sole treatment for sleep apnea, it can help tremendously.

“We believe it represents the first-line treatment in the early phases of the disease and has a good chance of curing the disease or at least preventing the progression,” says Tuomilehto.

Dr. Lisa Liberatore, an otolaryngologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, agrees on treating sleep apnea by always tackling any weight issues. “We have many examples of when patients lose weight their snoring and apnea reduces significantly,” Liberatore said.

This sleep apnea study appeared in the Feb. 11 issue of the journal Sleep Medicine.

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On March 7, 2014, posted in: News by

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Costs for Obesity Treatment May Be Tax Deductible

Did you know, costs for obesity treatment may be tax deductible?

According to Section 213 of the Internal Revenue Code, amounts paid for the primary purpose of treating a disease are deductible as medical care. Obesity is medically accepted to be a disease in its own right.

Dr. James Hendrick of Medical Metabolic Specialists is the only obesity specialist in Northern Colorado certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

*We recommend seeking the counsel of a qualified tax expert to ensure that your specific situation is tax deductible. Additional information can be found here.

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On January 27, 2014, posted in: News by

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Insulin Resistance Linked to Weaker Bones

Overweight individuals are more susceptible to type 2 diabetes, which causes insulin resistance in the body and can lead to high blood pressure and other serious health complications. A new study shows that type 2 diabetes can also put individuals at greater risk of bone fractures. Learn More.

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On May 8, 2013, posted in: News by