Don’t Forget Your Potassium and Magnesium

Avacado healthy fruitIt is no big secret to researchers today that potassium plays a crucial role in staving off arterial calcification and related diseases. Various studies have made it quite clear that the association between low blood potassium levels and death from either kidney disease or metabolic syndrome, is elevated with low blood potassium levels. Studies have made something else clear: that “appropriate dietary potassium intake improves those pathological conditions.”

All the researchers had previously been unable to establish a link between dietary potassium intake and vascular calcification, this is no longer the case. For the first time, researchers have been able to produce evidence that potassium and magnesium are keys to preventing vascular calcification. While consuming too much of it can cause problems, too, such as nausea, diarrhea and/or stomachache, according to International Business (IB) Times, it’s clear that what you eat directly influences your risk of various cardiovascular diseases.

Banana heart healthFoods high in potassium are essential to cardiovascular health. Potassium is a mineral that is involved in regulating both body fluids and muscular function. It is also involved with waste removal and keeps our nerves properly functioning. Researchers are pointing out that people with low potassium levels are at higher risk for both hypertension various cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Two foods that stand out regarding magnesium and potassium are avocados and bananas. Including these 2 foods in your diet may possibly lower your risk for cardiovascular disease.

When it comes to maintaining a healthy heart, as well as healthy muscle tissues, nerves and kidneys and blood pressure, taking in foods high in magnesium and potassium could be the key.

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body, on which more than 600 functions hinge, getting the right amount to avoid a deficiency is critical.12 But there’s more to it than that. The National Academy of Sciences assessed the role of several nutrients, including magnesium, and observed:

“Magnesium has been called ‘nature’s physiological calcium channel blocker.’ During magnesium depletion, intracellular calcium rises. Since calcium plays an important role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, a state of magnesium depletion may result in muscle cramps, hypertension, and coronary and cerebral vasospasms.

Magnesium depletion is found in a number of diseases of cardiovascular and neuromuscular function, in malabsorption syndromes, in diabetes mellitus, in renal wasting syndromes, and in alcoholism.”

banana tree heart healthySymptoms of low magnesium include muscle spasms, unexplained fatigue, irregular heart rhythms, eye twitches and even anxiety, but those that can be difficult to spot until after it’s established that low magnesium levels are what’s causing the problems. Studies show that problems such as asthma and osteoporosis may also be involved, along with symptoms that indicate possible related deficiencies, including potassium.

In response, experts recommend that individuals with these symptoms assume that low levels are likely the problem and begin remedying it immediately by concentrating on higher magnesium intake, either through supplementation or food and maybe both.

If you are looking for supplements for heart health that work please look at the link!

Heart Healthy Supplements

Diabetes and Heart Disease

Blood glucose testSummary: Diabetes and cardiovascular disease victims are closely related.  Follow the very same program for a healthy way of life to help combat the risk of both of these major condition.

You may be wondering, what does diabetes and heart disease have in common?  And why are these two conditions major players in healthcare today?

Too much sugarOne major similarity between diabetes and cardiovascular heart disease is that people with diabetes are likely to be victims of cardiovascular disease!   When I found this out, I had to wonder why so many people are struggling with these two conditions.

Another question that quickly entered my mind was what is the cause of diabetes and cardiovascular disease?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that poor lifestyle habits can contribute to both of these major illnesses. What lifestyle habits are we talking about? The same ones that we always seem to be talking about, diet and exercise.

 

Poor diet and the lack of exercise can certainly contribute to the dangers of heart disease and diabetes. That being said, what are some healthy things that you can do to make sure you can safeguard your health from these ailments.

ArteriesKeeping your blood sugar under control.  This is the 1st step for those who are dealing with diabetic issues. People who already have diabetes want to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly. Monitoring your blood sugar levels can help you make sure that your medication diet and lifestyle changes are working for your benefit.

Another level to monitor is your cholesterol blood levels. Keeping cholesterol in a positive range is another good way to make sure you’re on the road to health. Your body uses cholesterol to repair tears in the arterial lining. It is believed that both sugar and salt in the bloodstream contribute to making and tearing the arteries. Improving your diet by lowering your sugar intake and salt intake may be beneficial for your cardiovascular system.

It seems to go without saying that smoking would not be healthy. Cigarette smoking does a lot of harm to your cardiovascular system. It is believed that cigarette smoking contributes to cardiovascular disease more so than it does cancer. If you smoke, get help to not smoke. If you do not smoke never engage in this unhealthy habit. Be aware that secondhand smoke can be as dangerous as smoking itself. Do yourself and your family a favor by never starting this habit.

healthy dietPeople who have diabetes are at a higher risk of having a cardiovascular event. When sugar rises in the bloodstream thickens the blood. This makes the heart work harder and can lead to elevated blood pressure. This may be part of the reason why diabetes and cardiovascular disease are connected.

Eating a healthy diet, getting the right exercise, and taking good nutritional supplements can be very beneficial when it comes to fighting off these 2 major killers. Research and scientists are getting better at understanding these 2 devastating diseases. Many now believe that nutritional supplements can play a vital role in supporting cardiovascular health and in combating diabetes.

 

Get in Shape and Ready for Christmas With Diet Chef

EDINBURGH, Scotland, October 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —

Diet Chef is encouraging people to begin their weight loss regime and get in shape for Christmas so they can feel fabulous over the festive season.

Many dieters start their weight loss plan in January because they feel as though they have over-indulged during the previous month. However, they could find their diet is far more effective if they put in the hard work now and start shedding the pounds before December 25th.

Christmas is a time for parties and meeting up with loved ones, so it makes sense that individuals will want to look and feel at their best at this time of year. With Diet Chef, individuals can find the extra motivation they need to stick to their healthy eating plan by setting themselves a goal, such as to fit into a fabulous party dress for the office Christmas party!

Dieting can often be difficult during winter because the cold weather and gloomy evenings make people want to tuck into comfort food instead of eating healthily. But the Diet Chef, diet food delivery makes dieting easy, as individuals can choose from deliciously warming dishes such as lasagne, lamb hotpot, macaroni cheese and chicken curry.

All of the meals are prepared by an expert chef and are portion controlled, which means people will begin to learn how little they actually need to eat to feel full. This means that when Christmas Day arrives, they can still enjoy a roast dinner and feel confident that they are not piling their plate too high.

Gillian Hope, Diet Chef Brand Manager, said: “The arrival of the colder autumn weather can get us all thinking about traditional comfort food dinners and warm soups. But losing weight with Diet Chef means you can still enjoy hearty soups and typical comfort food like beef in ale, sausage onion gravy, casseroles and cottage pie and still drop a dress size for the Christmas party season.”

People will find it much easier to shed the extra pounds in the new year if they put in the hard work before Christmas. With Diet Chef, individuals can still eat the foods they enjoy and enjoy losing weight, meaning they do not feel as though they are depriving themselves of anything and are less likely to fall off the weight loss wagon.

With almost 40 delicious main meals to choose from, as well as breakfasts, lunch and snacks, dieters are bound to find something they like on the Diet Chef weight loss plan.

Diet Chef carefully counts the calories of all meals so dieters on the plan will be averaging less than 1,200 calories per day. The daily menu allows you to get delicious home delivered food, as well as offering a tasty and varied, healthy balanced plan encouraging dieters to enjoy losing weight at a healthy pace.

Those on the diet looking to check their own progress can do so using the weight loss calculator and Free BMI calculator as well as sharing their weight loss success stories via the website or Diet Chef social media channels.

Visit the website: http://www.dietchef.co.uk

Become a fan: http://www.facebook.com/DietChef

Follow: http://www.twitter.com/dietchef

North Main ‘road diet’ work to begin tonight

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Work is scheduled to start tonight on a controversial “road diet” that will reduce North Main Street’s four car lanes to two lanes with a center turn lane.

The road diet will create room for bike lanes on a stretch of North Main Street on Ashland’s north side that runs from Helman Street out to Jackson Road, which is near a railroad overpass.

A crew from the Portland-area-based contracting company SPM will work nights from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on the project, said Ashland Public Works Director Mike Faught.

The job to blast off old road stripes and apply new ones will last an estimated five nights, although SPM has until Monday, Oct. 22, to finish the work, Faught said.

SPM will remove stripes and add new ones in sections, he said.

The new lane configuration will be tested for one year to see if it provides more room for bicyclists and pedestrians without causing major traffic woes.

Some residents have welcomed the chance to add bike lanes to North Main Street as it comes into Ashland, but others have said it will lead to traffic congestion.

Some neighbors also are concerned about plans to restrict left turns at three intersections along North Main Street, which they have said will cause more traffic in neighborhoods as drivers seek out intersections that allow left hand turns.

Faught said that car, bicycle and pedestrian data was analyzed before the road diet goes into effect. Various measurements will continue to be taken — including bicycle and pedestrian counts and the time it takes to drive through the reconfigured part of North Main Street.

“We feel confident that this will work, but at the same time, we’ll monitor it,” he said.

The total cost for engineering and on-the-ground work to remove old stripes and add new ones for the road diet is an estimated $174,000.

The city of Ashland is paying $15,000 for the road diet, with Oregon Department of Transportation grants covering the remaining $159,000, Faught said.

The Ashland City Council voted to approve the road diet in 2011, but first wanted a dangerous intersection fixed where Hersey Street and Wimer Street join North Main Street.

Work on that $1 million intersection fix wrapped up at the end of September. Federal funding paid for $682,696 of the cost, with the city delaying repaving projects in other parts of town to cover the rest.

Crews realigned Hersey Street and Wimer Street so that they would face each other directly as they join North Main Street.

The side streets had not lined up, which caused vehicle collisions when people tried to negotiate that intersection.

Faught said the intersection was the most problematic in town, and he thanked affected property owners, drivers and residents for their cooperation during the intersection realignment.

To make room for the intersection realignment, neighboring business Colwell Chiropractic had to have a new parking area built farther away from Hersey Street.

The project also included putting overhead power lines underground and building new bike lanes on Hersey Street, retaining walls and new alley access from Lori Lane to North Main Street, according to city officials.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com.

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3 Diets Worth Checking Out

Each year, dozens of new diet programs hit the market. Most of them are completely useless, as they focus on short-term weight loss at the expense of the dieter’s health.

However, dieting isn’t always a bad idea. Here are three scientifically valid diets that can help you cut weight if you follow them to the letter.

The Virgin Diet – This three-cycle diet removes inflammatory foods and replaces them with good fats such as olive oil.

Oddly enough, the “virgin” in the diet’s name has nothing to do with olive oil. The Virgin Diet was developed by J.J. Virgin, PhD, who believes that seven highly reactive foods cause the majority of weight instability issues. Those foods include eggs, gluten, soy, dairy, corn, peanuts and sugar.

The first phase involves completely removing these foods from your diet. Any amount of the food could trigger problematic inflammation. In the second phase, you find the foods that are causing digestive and weight-gain issues. The third phase involves weeding these foods out of your diet and re-introducing the non-problematic foods.

We like the Virgin Diet because it shows long-term results. It’s not a crash diet, and because every dieter customizes the program based on their own bodies’ reactions to problematic foods, it’s highly effective for all participants.

P90X Nutrition Plan – You’ve probably seen the infomercials for this workout system. It’s extreme, and it works–just as any everyday workout plan would help you lose weight–but the P90X nutrition plan is probably the most important aspect of the entire program. If you’re not ready for a hefty workout, you can still add some cardio to your everyday routine while following the nutrition plan for results.

This is a low-carb, high-protein diet that focuses on strict calorie counts that give you exactly what you need for high energy. It also cuts out a lot of harmful substances that could aggravate your body and make exercise more difficult, so if you’re already working out, this diet plan is worth a try.

Calorie Counting – There are several websites such as CalorieCount and MyFitnessPal that allow you to track your own calories. Cutting your calories safely takes a lot of work and some careful tracking, but online tools make it easier to keep track of what you’re putting into your body.

Many dietitians recommend keeping a diet journal, so even if you’re not ready to use an online tool, try tracking your foods and portions on a notepad. You’ll quickly identify your problem foods, and by substituting unsaturated fats for saturated fats and cutting your calories, you can quickly see results.

This article is an original contribution by Dane Thompson.

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Joe Biden Debate Prep Diet: Candy, Energy Drinks And Animal Crackers?

Paul Ryan may be a fitness and health nut, but it seems Joe Biden could have a somewhat opposing strategy: the Obama campaign released some light-hearted information about Vice President Joe Biden’s preparation this week in Wilmington, Del. It apparently included a steady diet of junk food. Reported Politicker’s Hunter Walker:

Apparently, Mr. Biden relied on a strict regimen of candy, sandwiches, energy drinks and caffeine to get him in shape for his matchup with Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

According to the White House pool report, the VP may have gotten his strength thanks to a steady stream of MMs, animal crackers, Gatorade, coffee, tea and subs from a popular sandwich shop called Capriotti’s.

So what’s with the carb-loading? Long, exhausting mock debates could have left everyone feeling tired and studies show that people crave junk food even more when they are sleepy. That’s Healthy Living’s pet theory anyway. While we’ll never know if there was a method behind all the added sugar or oversized sandwiches, it seemed to have little impact on the well-performing incumbent. While there obviously isn’t a study on junk food and presidential debate performance, studies in school children suggest that long-term junk diets affect academic performance, though there’s little evidence to suggest an occasional binge would do the same.

Want more about Joe Biden? Here’s photos of his reactions from last night:

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Western fast-food diet linked to strokes

CALGARY, Alberta, Oct. 12 (UPI) — The high-fat and sugar-rich Western diet typical of fast-food dramatically increases the risk of stroke or death at a younger age, Canadian researchers say.

Lead researcher Dr. Dale Corbett, scientific director of the Heart and Stroke Foundation Center for Stroke Recovery, and colleagues gave sedentary rats unlimited access to both nutritional food pellets and a daily selection of common junk food items including cookies, sausage and cupcakes.

The animals were given access to both water and a 30 percent sucrose solution designed to imitate soft drinks. Like humans, the rats greatly preferred to consume the treats.

The rats were at an age roughly equivalent to age 16-22 in humans.

The study found the high-sugar, high-sodium diet induced most symptoms of metabolic syndrome — a combination of high levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and obesity — in rats after only two months.

“I think we’ll soon start to see people in their 30s or 40s having strokes, having dementia, because of this junk food diet,” Corbett said in a statement. “Young people will have major, major problems much earlier in life.”

Corbett emphasized the importance of preventing metabolic syndrome with regular exercise and a balanced diet.

“We’re not sure whether metabolic syndrome can be reversed,” Corbett said. “If it can’t, and we continue to live and eat like this, then we’re each a ticking time bomb of health problems.”

The findings were presented at the Canadian Stroke Congress in Calgary, Alberta.

Mediterranean diets have great health benefits

Mediterranean and low-carbohydrate diets have long-lasting positive effects even with partial weight regain, according to a follow-up study by researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and Israel’s Nuclear Research Center.

The results were published as an update to the landmark study, the workplace-based Dietary Intervention Randomized Controlled Trial (DIRECT), a tightly controlled 24-month dietary intervention.

“Our follow-up subsequent data shows lasting, positive effects of Mediterranean and low-carbohydrate diets six years later,” said Dr. Dan Schwarzfuchs from the Nuclear Research Center Negev in Dimona, Israel,

The results suggest that the lipid profile (lower cholesterol, triglycerides and arteriosclerosis) improved for the long term, regardless of partial regain.

“Data from trials comparing the effectiveness of weight-loss diets are frequently limited to the intervention period,” explained BGU Prof. Iris Shai.

Overall six-year weight loss was significantly lower from baseline for Mediterranean and low-carbohydrate diets, but not for the low-fat group.

In the four-year post-intervention, participants regained nearly six pounds. Total weight change for the entire six-year period was approximately -7 lbs. for the Mediterranean diet and -3.7 lbs. for the low-carbohydrate diet.

After four years post-intervention, more than two-thirds (67 percent) of the DIRECT participants had continued with their original assigned diet, 11 percent switched to another diet and 22 percent were not dieting at all.

The researchers also found that after six years, the HDL/LDL ratio remained significantly lower only in the low-carbohydrate diet. Triglyceride levels remained significantly lower in the Mediterranean and low-carbohydrate diets. Overall, total cholesterol levels remained persistently and significantly lower in all diet groups as compared to baseline.

In the original study, 322 moderately obese subjects were randomly assigned to one of three diets: low-fat; restricted-calorie; Mediterranean; or low-carbohydrate, non-restricted-calorie, and were provided colour-labelled food per diet daily in the workplace cafeteria.

The two-year adherence rate was 85 percent. The results suggested beneficial metabolic effects to low-carb and Mediterranean diets. Moreover, the researchers found a significant diet-induced regression in the carotid vessel wall volume across all diet groups. This change was mainly dependent on diet-induced reduction of blood pressure.

“This breakthrough, even years later, continues to yield valuable information that can help every one of us make healthier diet choices,” said Doron Krakow, executive vice president of American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

“It is another example of BGU and Israeli researchers, thanks to generous funding by the Atkins foundation, improving the quality of our lives,” Krakow added.

The results were published in a peer-reviewed letter in the current New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Diet drink consumption increasing

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USA Today

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by Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY
Diet drink consumption has increased over the past decade, a trend that reinforces other research showing intake of calories from sugar in regular soda has decreased, government statistics out today show.

“The data suggest that diet drinks may have replaced sugar drinks during this time,” says the study’s lead author Tala Fakhouri, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new diet drink analysis shows that the change in diet drink consumption occurred for both women (up from 18% in 2000 to 21% in 2010) and men (up from 14% to 19% in the same period).

Still, only about 20% of people in the USA consume diet drinks on any given day with the majority (80%) not drinking them, the report finds. Diet drinks included calorie-free and low-calorie versions of soda, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and carbonated water. Diet drinks did not include unsweetened teas or coffees or 100% fruit juice.

Meanwhile, the consumption of sugar found in regular soda has dropped from roughly 150 calories a day in 2000 to 91 calories a day in 2008.

But when it comes to calories from all sugary drinks, including sodas, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and sweetened bottled waters, males consume an average of 178 calories a day; females consume 103 calories, according to other government data.

Overall, about half of the population, ages 2 and older, consume sugary drinks on any given day. Among boys 2 to 19, 70% consume these types of drinks while 40% of adult women consume them.

STORY: Study: Kids get more added sugar from foods than drinks

STORY: Sugary drinks add 300 calories a day to youths’ diets

The statistics from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics are based on interviews with thousands of people in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Food and beverage intake is based on in-person interviews about dietary habits.

Among the findings:

— Diet drink consumption was similar for females and males in 2010, except among adolescents, ages 12 to 19, with 17% girls consuming them on a given day compared with only 9.5% of boys the same age.

— 28% of white adults consume diet drinks compared with 10% of black adults and 14% of Hispanic adults.

“We know that Americans, mainly white Americans, are increasing significantly the consumption of low-calorie diet beverages,” says Barry Popkin, a nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and one of the nation’s top experts on beverage consumption. Research suggests that an increased intake of these diet beverages in replacement of sugary beverages reduces weight, he says.

Kelly Brownell, director of Yale University’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, says, “Diet products are controversial because it is unclear whether they are safe and help people control weight.

“We do not recommend diet drinks, particularly for children, but one can make a case for them if they do in fact displace caloric beverages and do no harm.”

Sugary drinks have been in the spotlight for years, and most recently because of news that they may magnify genetic risk

of obesity, according to one study. Other research showed that heavy teens who cut soft drink consumption slow weight gain.

New York City is putting a 16-ounce cap on sweetened bottled drinks and fountain beverages sold at city restaurants, delis, movie theaters, sports venues and street carts. The beverage ban, which goes into effect March 12, applies to drinks that have more than 25 calories per 8 ounces. It does not include 100% juice drinks or beverages with more than 50% milk.

USA TODAY