The new guidelines for heart disease were issued last week & though the new guidelines take other factors into consideration, the main focus remains on cholesterol.
Researchers have been studying inflammation and it's role in heart disease for more than a decade & suggesting tests like homocysteine, C reactive protein & Lipoprotein (a) to name a few.
Why are these tests still considered experimental or alternative when they are better predictors of heart disease than cholesterol.
The new guidelines for cholesterol will increase the number of people taking statins. Statins are known to cause muscle pain, memory loss, increase Hb A1C (elevated levels are associated with diabetes & insulin resistance) and cause demylenation of the myelin sheath (damage to the protective covering of the nerves & brain).
The new guidelines for cholesterol and statins are said to be based on solid evidence & the public should trust them.
I'm asking you to think. Learn more about the new guidelines. Learn more about inflammation & heart disease. Then decide what is right for you.
Below is a list of facts about cholesterol & statins courtesy of Dr Mark Hyman.
-If you lower bad cholesterol (LDL) but have a low HDL (good cholesterol) there is no benefit to statins.
-If you lower bad cholesterol (LDL) but don’t reduce inflammation (marked by a test called C-reactive protein), there is no benefit to statins.
-If you are a healthy woman with high cholesterol, there is no proof that taking statins reduces your risk of heart attack or death.
-If you are a man or a woman over 69 years old with high cholesterol, there is no proof that taking statins reduces your risk of heart attack or death.
-Aggressive cholesterol treatment with two medications (Zocor and Zetia) lowered cholesterol much more than one drug alone, but led to more plaque build up in the arties and no fewer heart attacks.
-75% of people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol
-Older patients with lower cholesterol have higher risks of death than those with higher cholesterol.
-Countries with higher average cholesterol than Americans such as the Swiss or Spanish have less heart disease.
-Recent evidence shows that it is likely statins’ ability to lower inflammation is what accounts for the benefits of statins, not their ability to lower cholesterol.
Halloween is the time of year when children and adults alike eat a lot of candy. After all who can eat just one or two of those bite sized 50 calorie candies? And 100 calories a day for a year equals 10 pounds. If that’s not enough to stop you, there’s more: chances are most of the candy you (& your children) are consuming contains high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) or corn sugar.
High fructose corn syrup(HFCS) is a man-made sweetener made from corn. There’s nothing natural about high fructose corn syrup. It contains mercury, it's addictive, it messes with your metabolism, its highly processed and it has been linked to cavities and obesity.
Obesity is not the primary concern with HFCS intake. Research has linked HFCS consumption to other health problems, including high levels of triglycerides, and cardiovascular disease. It also tends to take the place of eating more nutritious foods, meaning children might be missing out on important nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
What to do with all of that Halloween candy? Be creative.
1)Teach them - read the labels with your kids and make a game of it. Toss the candy with HFCS in one pile. Then separate the rest of the candy according to how much sugar it contains.
2)Trade them - there is a mom in BC who started an initiative called books for treats. The kids trade their candy for a special book.
3)Compromise - let your kids select a handful of favorite candy and leave the rest outside by their pumpkin before they go to bed. In the morning the great pumpkin has whisked away their treats and left a gift.
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These scrumptious healthy treats look and taste like soft serve ice cream but are made with ONLY frozen fruit.
There are many variations of the fruit whip but all begin with banana. As a matter of fact, the shop that sells the whips got their start making just banana whips and became very popular because the banana whip is 0 points with weight watchers.
When you get the banana whip from the shop they use a champion juicer but you can also use a vitamix or food processor and get the same result. And you can experiment with the types of fruit that you put into the whip.
This week I made a whip with banana, strawberry and blueberry.
To make fruit whips, first let your bananas sit out until they are nice and ripe. Then peel and put in the freezer overnight or until frozen. Do the same with any other fresh fruit that you would like to use.
If you are using a champion juicer, use the juicers blank plate instead of the screen and feed first the banana through the juicer using the tamper and then any other fruit that you are using. When it comes out it will have a smooth silky texture just like ice cream.
The same goes for a food processor. First feed the banana into the processor and then any other fruit that you are using and process 3-5 minutes. You may need to scrape down the sides periodically.
If you are using a vitamix, feed the banana through the hole in the lid using the tamper. Once the banana is completely blended, add other fruit on the high speed setting for 30 seconds.
Don’t miss out on this simple, healthy and delicious treat!
Caffeine is the most commonly used substance to help you wake up in the morning, give you energy in the afternoon and help push you into the evening without stopping.
The average person drinks 3 cups of coffee per day. Coffee, caffeinated soft drinks, tea and energy drinks all contain between 80 and 200 mg of caffeine per serving.
Caffeine’s main effect on your body is to make you feel more awake and alert but it can also cause problems. It can make you jittery and shaky, make it hard to fall asleep & stay asleep, or get a good night’s sleep, make your heart beat faster, cause an uneven heart rhythm, raise your blood pressure, cause headaches, nervousness, and/or dizziness, make you dehydrated, make you dependent on it so you need to take more of it and over time it depletes your adrenal glands which can lead to exhaustion and burnout.
So instead of reaching for that cup of coffee why not try something that will give you energy while helping you to stay healthy.
Try these healthy Alternatives:
1) Stretch first thing in the morning and then eat an apple. An apple can give you the same amount of energy as a cup of coffee.
2) Eat protein with every meal including breakfast. Protein will give you sustained energy throughout the day.
3) Try one of these energizing herbs: Eleuthero also known as Siberian Ginsen or Panax Ginseng also known as Korean Ginseng.
4) Make sure you are getting adequate amounts of Vitamin B complex. Foods that contain B vitamins include: berries, legumes, lean meats, Nuts, eggs, dark green vegetables, fish, mushrooms, Sunflower seeds, tuna, poultry, potato, cottage cheese, liver, Organ meats, avocados, broccoli, Green beans, spinach, fish, bananas, egg yolks, cheese, sweet potatoes, Green leafy vegetables, citrus juice, and shellfish.
"Celiac disease is a disease that simply requires a change of diet. No medicines, no surgeries – just a change of diet and you’re on your way to improved health."
--- Celeste Clevenger author of Celeste's Best Gluten-Free, Allergen Free Recipes
Her advice to those diagnosed with Celiac disease or other food allergies: "Instead of focusing on the few foods you can’t eat, change your focus to all the foods you can eat and live a happy and healthy gluten-free, allergen-free life!"
Celeste was kind enough to share the reasons that she wrote this book, her experiences with Celiac disease, other food allergies and sensitivities as well as her recipe for gluten free Breadsticks!
I often hear people say that they just don't have time to cook healthy meals. I understand that you are busy and cooking takes time.
Here are some tips to make eating homemade healthy meals a reality on a regular basis.
If you are pressed for time, there are some short cuts available at your local grocery store. These may include vegetables that you can steam in the microwave, pre-made pizza dough, rotisserie chicken and seasoned butter and olive oil saute starters. While these may be fast they may not necessarily be healthy.
These are my 3 Top Tips for making healthy meals.
1) When making any recipe, make double the amount you would normally cook for your family. Then freeze half of what you cook and plan to eat it in 2 weeks.
2) Use a Crock Pot. Crock pot meals require a small amount of prep time with a huge payoff - a home cooked meal when you arrive home.
3) Plan to Grill. Grilling is quick and easy. If your proteins need to marinate, place them in the marinade and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to grill. Make a salad to go with your grilled protein. And don't forget that while you are making that salad - make twice as much for another meal later in the week. Just omit the dressing.
With a bit of creativity it can be a cinch to make homemade healthy meals !
1. Use Real Eggs
Using organic free range eggs will not only mean that you are getting all of the health benefits of eggs but that you are avoiding the sugar and unnecessary toxins associated with artificial and alternative sugars like mercury associated with high fructose corn syrup in chocolate eggs.
Eggs are high in protein & low in calories. They are high in choline which is important for brain function and health. Eggs are known to reduce inflammation, are good for hearth health and contrary to popular belief do not raise cholesterol levels.