Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reduce your blood cholesterol during National Cholesterol Week

Have you had your cholesterol checked recently? Now is the time. Cholesterol is the biggest single risk factor for heart disease, and cholesterol testing is a good way to highlight that risk.

This week in the United Kingdom has been designated National Cholesterol Week (13 – 19 September), and national charity HEART UK has organised activities and events to promote the importance of knowing your risk for cardiovascular disease.

"There is still a lot of work to be done in improving the nation's knowledge about cholesterol and also eradicating many misconceptions," says Jules Payne, Chief Executive of HEART UK. " Everyone should get their cholesterol checked, "even if you are fit, young and healthy and you don't think you are at risk," adds Payne. "It can be a silent killer with few visible symptoms and often the first sign could be a fatal heart attack."

Oily fish, such as mackerel pictured here, are among the richest sources of healthy omega-3 oils. Photo: Nazma Lakhani
Oily fish, such as mackerel pictured here, are among the richest sources of healthy omega-3 oils. Photo: Nazma Lakhani

One way to lower your cholesterol is to replace foods that are high in saturated fat (such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products or ghee) with foods that contain unsaturated fats (like oily fish, spreads made from olive or sunflower oils, and avocado). Saturated fat is one of the causes of high blood cholesterol levels. Having too much saturated fat can raise your bad cholesterol levels (LDL), increasing your risk of heart disease.

  • Choose lean varieties of meat and cut down on the amount of mutton and lamb served in a portion. Remove the skin from chicken and turkey as it is rich in saturated fats.
  • Choose fish twice a week and make sure that one portion is an oily fish, such as mackerel, salmon, trout, herring, tuna, sardines or pilchards. Oily fish are the richest sources of healthy omega-3 oils. Avoid frying fish — you can make delicious masala fish by smothering your favourite fish with spices and tomatoes and baking it in the oven.
  • Minimise the use of oils and fats used in cooking. When cooking meat-based dishes, try cooking onions and spices in the meat juices rather than frying them first.
  • Butter is rich in saturated fat; use a poly or mono-unsaturated spread instead. This simple swap can help to reduce your overall saturated fat intake.
  • Avoid using ghee or creamed coconut in cooking. Did you know that there are ten grams of saturated fat in just one tablespoon of ghee? Vegetable ghee is often rich in trans-fat — another bad fat — so choose oils made from rapeseed (canola), olives, corn or sunflowers instead.
  • Remember, fat is often hidden in foods, so you could be eating it without realising. Mithai, like burfi and penda, are often made with ingredients like ghee, butter, condensed milk and full cream milk powder.
  • Choose lower fat dairy products such as skimmed (1%) or semi-skimmed (2%) milk, low-fat yoghurt and reduced fat cheeses.
Have at least five fruits and vegetables every day, eat oily fish once or twice a week, use less salt, eat more whole grains and be more active. Photo: Nazma Lakhani
Have at least five fruits and vegetables every day, eat oily fish once or twice a week, use less salt, eat more whole grains and be more active. Photo: Nazma Lakhani

Here are some additional tips that will help you to keep your cholesterol level in check and your heart healthy:

  • Reduce sugar intake by choosing lower-sugar foods and drinks. Too much sugar can increase your blood triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood. People with high triglyceride levels are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
  • Include whole grain foods in your diet such as granary bread, and chapattis made from wholemeal flour. Increase your soluble fibre with oats, lentils (dhals), beans and fruit. Try lentil soup or warming porridge for breakfast topped with dried fruit. Whole grains have been shown to be heart-protective.
  • Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
  • Try taking a plant sterol or stanol drink daily. Some companies make yoghurts and spreads with plant sterols or stanols. You need two grams per day (check the label). Studies show that this amount can reduce your blood cholesterol by up to 15 per cent, when eaten regularly as part of a balanced diet.
  • To cut down on unhealthy fat and salt generally, eat fewer fried foods like samosas, and fewer processed foods, like burgers, pastries and pies.

Be wise with your fats. Have at least five fruits and vegetables every day, eat oily fish once or twice a week, use less salt, eat more whole grains and be more active. Most importantly, if you smoke — stop!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Food as Medicine


    I enjoy my food.  Do you??
Very   informative - spread  the  information    

Here is to your health, a good read.


Food as Medicine   

EAT   FISH!   
Eat   plenty of fish -- fish oil helps prevent  headaches.. 
So  does ginger, which  reduces inflammation and pain.   

Eat   lots of yogurt before pollen season..  
Also-eat honey from  your area (local  region) daily. 

   DRINK   TEA!   
Prevent   build-up of fatty deposits on artery walls  with regular  doses of tea.  
(actually,   tea suppresses appetite and keeps the  pounds from  invading....Green tea is great  for our immune  system)!  

Use honey as a tranquilizer and  sedative..  

EAT   ONIONS!!!!   
Eating   onions helps ease constriction of  bronchial tubes.  
(onion   packs place   on chest  helped   the respiratory ailments and actually made   breathing   better).

   EAT   FISH, TOO!!   
Salmon, tuna, mackerel and sardines  actually  prevent arthritis.  
(fish   has omega oils, good for our immune   system)  

    BANANAS   - GINGER!!!!!   
Bananas   will settle an upset stomach. 
Ginger  will cure morning  sickness and nausea..  

High-acid   cranberry juice controls harmful bacteria.   

   EAT   PINEAPPLE!!!   
Bone fractures and osteoporosis can be  prevented by the  manganese in pineapple.  

   EAT   OYSTERS!   
Oysters   help improve your mental functioning by  supplying  much-needed zinc.  

   EAT   GARLIC!   
Clear   up that stuffy head with garlic.  
(remember,   garlic lowers cholesterol,  too.)

A substance similar to that found in  the cough syrups is  found in hot red  pepper. Use red (cayenne) pepper  with  caution-it can irritate your tummy.   

    EAT   Wheat, bran and  cabbage   
Helps to maintain estrogen at healthy  levels.  

A   good antidote is beta carotene, a form of  Vitamin A found in  dark green and orange  vegetables.  

Cabbage contains chemicals that help  heal both gastric  and duodenal ulcers.  

Grate   an apple with its skin, let it turn brown  and eat it to cure  this condition.  
(Bananas   are good for this  ailment)

   EAT   AVOCADO!   
Mono   unsaturated fat in avocados lowers  cholesterol.   

Olive oil has been shown to lower  blood pressure.  
Celery contains a  chemical that lowers pressure too.   

The   chromium in broccoli and peanuts helps  regulate insulin and  blood sugar.  

   Tiny but mighty. This is a good source of  potassium,  magnesium, Vitamin E &  fibre. It's Vitamin C content is  twice  that of an orange.  

   An apple a day keeps the doctor away?  Although an apple has  a low Vitamin C  content, it has antioxidants &   flavonoids which enhances the activity of  Vitamin C thereby  helping to lower the  risks of colon cancer, heart  attack &  stroke.. 

   Protective fruit. Strawberries have the  highest total  antioxidant power among  major fruits & protects the body  from  cancer causing, blood vessels clogging   free radicals.(Actually,   any berry is good for you..they're high in  anti-oxidants and  they actually keep us  young...........blueberries are the best  and  very versatile in the health field........they  get rid  of all the free-radicals that  invade our  bodies)

Orange :
   Sweetest medicine. Taking 2 - 4 oranges a  day may help  keep colds away, lower  cholesterol, prevent  & dissolve kidney  stones as well as lessen the risk  of colon  cancer.. 

   Coolest Thirst Quencher. Composed of 92%  water, it is also  packed with a giant dose  of glutathione which helps boost  our  immune system..  They are also a key source  of  lycopene - the cancer fighting oxidant.   Other  nutrients    
Found in watermelon are Vitamin  C  & Potassium. 
(watermelon   also has natural substances [natural SPF  sources] that keep  our skin healthy,  protecting our skin from those darn UV   rays)

Guava   & Papaya:
   Top awards for Vitamin C. They are the  clear winners for  their high Vitamin C  content. Guava is also rich in fibre  which  helps prevent constipation.   

   is rich in carotene, this is good for your  eyes.  (also   good for gas and  indigestion)  

are   very good as a preventative measure for  men, keeps those  prostrate problems from  invading their  bodies......GOOD   AS MEDICINE..

Very   informative - spread  the  information