Cholesterol Control: Food swaps to make your diet healthier

Nov 28 2012

Do you want to lower your cholesterol levels without sacrificing the taste of the foods that you eat? A lot of people see the start of healthy living means not being happy anymore with the food that they eat. This should not be the case since the low-cholesterol diet does not have to be all tofu and oat bran. You can try the substitutions below to make your diet better for your health:

Skip the croutons and go for walnuts

Carbohydrates tend to increase the levels of your bad cholesterol. If you want a healthier serving of your salad, sprinkle some walnuts instead of using croutons. The walnuts have high levels of polyunsaturated fat, a kind of good fat, that can help boost the levels of good cholesterol.

No to cocktails, yes to red wine

Experts say that moderate intake of alcohol can actually help boost the levels of HDL or good cholesterol in our body. The effect is opposite though if your notion of alcohol is servings of margaritas or fruit juice mixers. Instead of cocktails, go for red wine. Red wine contains a lot of antioxidants that lower the levels of bad cholesterol. Doctors recommend that you limit your intake though to a glass or two given the danger of too much alcohol intake.

Pick lemon juice or vinegar instead of the salad dressing

It is a common knowledge now that pouring some salad dressing high in fat is like jogging while smoking. Eating salad is senseless if you will use unhealthy salad dressings. Opt for healthier options like lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.

Push the butter aside for a margarine spread

A table spoon of butter means more saturated fats coming into our blood stream. In the long-run the bad cholesterol may lead to blockage of blood vessels and possibly heart attack. A good substitute for butter is margarine spread. When cooking, use olive oil instead greasing your pan with butter.

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Curry compound helps lower diabetes risk

Sep 17 2012

Supplements that contain a curry spice compound may help in lowering the risks for diabetes according to a study conducted by experts in Thailand.

curry-compoundThe study was published on Diabetes Care and detailed the findings of the nine-month research. The proponents found out that a daily curcumin dose seem to help in preventing new diabetes cases among individuals with prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition of very high levels of blood sugar that can later on lead to a full blown case of type 2 diabetes.

The compound called curcumin is a component of the turmeric spice. Previous studies have shown that it can combat inflammation and oxidative damage of the cells in the body. The two problems it addresses are processes that lead to a whole range of illness including diabetes.

The proponents suggests that the curcumin extract be ussed for prevention therapy for those people who have prediabetes.

The study involved 240 adults known to have prediabetes. The subjects were given curcumin capsules while other sujects received placebo treatment. Afetr 9 months, 16 subjects who received the placebo treatment developed diabetes. None from the group that received the supplement developed diabetes.

The supplement seemed to help boosting the function of the beta cells of the pancreas that release insulin, which regulates the level of blood sugar. They think that the anti-inflammotory effect of curcumin protect the beta cells from any damage.

Diabetes experts though say it is too early to say that we head to the food store for supplements made from curcumin. It is a promising study but there are still a lot of questions to be answered.

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Getting to know your Asian food takeout

Jun 07 2012

Let us spill the beans about Asian food and what is healthy and what is not.

Maybe you know that brown rice is a better option than white and that you should go for summer rolls than the egg rolls. Today though it can get pretty confusing when you have fusion restaurants that uses different ingredients. Things can be tougher for health conscious consumers and choosing can be as murky as that soup with a name that you cannot pronounce. You might not know the hidden fats and these factors can actually double the calories.

Edamame bean

Thinking that its green makes us believe that its automatically healthy. When ordering, ask first how the beans were prepared. If they were just steamed then go ahead. Just make sure that there will be no oil added in the preparation or the calories will go from 120 to 220 per half cup.

Lobster sauce

A lot of us might think that this sauce tastes so good and we might be gorging on a lot of calories. Lobster sauce is really not as bad with only fifty calories for every quarter-cup. It has a very rich flavor but it does not contain as much sugar as other sauces.

Shrimp chips

Do not be fooled. This very light, crunchy appetizer are not actually very light. A handful of this tasty goody can give you 200 calories to bur and about 14g of fat. While waiting for the main dish, a cup of tea will be better.


Now you ask what’s wrong with veggies? They are healthy on their own but a lot of restaurants deep fry them before stir frying them to give them a better texture. There are also veggies that absorb a lot of oil like sponge easily absorbing water.

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Foods that may help with your heartburn

Mar 09 2012

How you eat is very important when you have GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease or more commonly referred to as heartburn. You will benefit from slowing down, not hitting the sack right after the meal, and not eating snacks really late at night. Choosing the right food is also very important.

You can curb the occurrence of a heartburn when you eat right. Usually you need to eat maintain a high fiber and low fat meal diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and grains. Here are some foods which can help you with that GERD:


Let go of the doughnut unless you want a heartburn to start your day. If you usually suffer from a heartburn, a high fat meal is a good recipe to induce one. Go for something low fat and rich in fiber like a bowl of oatmeal which can really soothe your tummy. You can also slice some bananas to go with the oatmeal.


Ginger is known to be an a good remedy for problems with the tummy for its inflammatory components. You can make it into a ginger tea, chew a small piece of it, or use it for your recipes.


It is a no-no for someone with GERD to have heavy sauces and tomatoes so you need to cut down on the sauce if you want some pasta. You can still enjoy the dish though but you need to make thin sauces which are broth-like. You can also use pasta made from whole-wheat so it will be richer in fiber.


Beans is a good source of protein which you can substitute for fatty portions of meats like ground beef. If you suffer from GERD you can use a regular serving of beans.


If you love baked products you will certainly have a hard time giving them up but oil and butter easily triggers heartburn. No need to let go of your favorites but you can substitute applesauce for oil and you will be lowering the fat content of your goodies.

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People suffering from low back pain may benefit from yoga and stretching

Nov 21 2011

Yoga workoutPeople affected by chronic pain of the low back reported improvements after attending stretching and yoga classes. The study was conducted in the United States recently and reported on the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

According to the proponents, attending yoga classes is better than just consulting a self-care book but it might equally be as effective as stretching classes. The results of the randomized trial surprised experts as they were expecting yoga to be more effective than stretching in easing low back pain.

The same group of experts also conducted a smaller research back in 2005 where they tapped 101 adult subjects. That study suggested that yoga is the best remedy for chronic low back pain since those who do yoga used lesser pain relievers and improved function of the back.

The latest study involves 228 individuals. The yoga classes had a slight advantage over stretching classes but it was insignificant. The subjects attended weekly classes for three months with each class lasting seventy-five minutes.

The subjects attended viniyoga classes that made use of poses specific to the condition of the individual. This was incorporated with breathing exercises and periods of deep relaxation.

The stretching classes were conducted by physiotherapists and focused on parts like the hips, hamstrings, legs, and trunk. They were also asked to do some strengthening exercises.

A third group of subjects were provided self care books.

The results revealed that both yoga and stretching are safe and effective options for people who are looking to improve their low back function and decrease the pain they are experiencing.

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High blood pressure tied with traffic noise

Oct 13 2010

Your blood pressure might temporarily shoot up when you are stuck in traffic. Living near an area where traffic noise is significant may increase your risk for long-term hypertension.

A Swedish study suggests that people living near noisier roads were more prone to suffer from high blood pressure that those in a more quiet environment.

traffic noiseThe middle-aged subjects of the research who were exposed to traffic noise levels of around 64 decibels on a regular basis are more likely to have high blood pressure compared to their counterparts living in the most quiet roads. A normal chit chat has around 60 decibels.

The recent study adds to the volume of findings connecting long-term noise exposure to more health worries. Other studies have found out that those working in a very noisy job environment or those living close to the airports have higher risks for hypertension and heart attacks.

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Black coffee with lunch decreases risk for diabetes

Sep 03 2010

A recent study claims that drinking coffee can lower one’s risk for diabetes. You may need to enjoy your cup of caffeine with lunch though to get the benefits.

black coffee diabetesWhether you drink a cup of caffeinated or decaf, sugar or without any sweetener it really does not matter. The research that involved around 70,000 women who enjoyed coffee with their lunch break proved that the subjects also had lower risks of developing type 2 diabetes. The experts suggests that only coffee taken with lunch is beneficial if you want to avoid developing diabetes over the years.

Previous studies have linked coffee in lowering the risks for the obesity related type 2 diabetes but no research linked the timing of the drinking of the coffee so you can get the full benefits of the habit.

The large population of French women was part of a nutritional study in Europe. The subjects were between 41 and 72 years old when they signed up for the study. These subjects were monitored for 11 years.

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Higher risk for stroke and heart attack for old people with less sleep

Jul 01 2010

Individuals in their 60’s or 70’s must make sure that they get enough sleep. A recent research concluded that if they have less than 7.5 hours of shuteye on a daily basis the higher the risk they have for heart attack, sudden cardiac death, and stroke.

sleepingThe scenario is even worse for those who have the riser pattern. Individuals who have a spike in their blood pressure at night and logs short hours of sleep is more dangerous. Normally, the blood pressure drops during bedtime. The University of Japan researchers had 1255 male and female hypertensive subjects or the study. They asked these individuals for the number of hours they slept and measured their blood pressure in a 24 hour period.

The experts found out that those who sleep for less than 7.5 hours have a 1.7 times higher risk of having a major cardiovascular problem in the next few years.  Those who have a riser pattern with their blood pressure have 4.43 times greater risk.

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Heavy drinkers tend to exercise more than non-drinkers

May 25 2010

The more bottles you lift and more beer you consume can actually be a good workout for your biceps. Not. But a recent study suggests that the more alcohol you consume the higher tendency for you to work out more.

Alcohol - BeerA professor from the University of Miami had the conclusion that heavy drinkers workout 19.9 minutes more every week than those who do not drink at all. The study established that moderate drinkers workout more than teetotalers but heavier drinker seem to do the same.

This is not a small study with data of 230,000 Americans evaluated to correlate booze with exercise. The researchers proved that those who drink have 10% higher chances of doing heavier or more exercise compared to those who do not drink.

Light drinkers also edge non drinkers by five to seven minutes more gym time every week. Moderate drinkers exercise 10.1 minutes more than alcohol abstainers.

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Higher risk for Alzheimer’s connected with higher level of cholesterol

Apr 13 2010

Experts found out that border line or higher levels of cholesterol during midlife may actually lead to a higher potential of having Alzheimer’s disease in the latter part of an individual’s life.

This study conducted by medical doctors is the first to connect borderline cholesterol in mid-age individuals to higher risk for dementia after 30 years.

They also found out that treating the high cholesterol level with doses of statin drugs may also decrease the risk for dementia. A healthier heart may actually lead to a healthier mind it seems.

The research involved 9844 individuals whose levels of cholesterol were measured between 1964 through 1973 when these male and female patients were on the range of 40 to 45 years of age.

The proponents of the study reviewed the medical records of the same subject group between 1994 through 2007 and found out that 469 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and about 127 showed affection with vascular dementia. Vascular dementia is second to Alzheimer’s as the most common form of dementia. It is casued by blocked blood vessels and other conditions which has something to do with the brain’s blood supply.

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