Cut cholesterol with fibre
Oatmeal, barley, and psyllium are rich sources of soluble fibre, which can help reduce your cholesterol.
New rule: add tomatoes, pour yourself a daily glass of tomate juice; it’s rich in lycopene, a nutrient that may cut your body’s production of LDL cholesterol. Make sure you opt for low-salt varieties of ketchup and tomato juice, since sodium can raise blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure Diet
High blood pressure is more common in people who are overweight or obese. But studies show that losing weight has benefits in lowering high blood pressure. Losing weight may also help reduce medications needed to control high blood pressure.
By changing a few simple dietary habits, including counting calories and watching portion sizes to boost weight loss, you may be able to lower your blood pressure -- a proven risk for heart disease.
The DASH diet's eating plan is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, nuts and legumes, and low-fat dairy. These foods are high in key nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, fiber, and protein.
To start the DASH diet, follow these food groups and serving amounts (based on 2,000-calories a day):
Grains: 7-8 daily servings (serving sizes: 1 slice of bread, 1/2 cup cooked rice/pasta, 1 ounce dry cereal)
Vegetables: 4-5 daily servings (serving sizes: 1 cup raw leafy greens, 1/2 cup cooked vegetable)
Fruits: 4-5 daily servings (serving sizes: 1 medium fruit, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen fruit, 1/4 cup dried fruit, 6 ounces fruit juice)
Low-fat or fat-free dairy products: 2-3 daily servings (serving sizes: 8 ounces milk, 1 cup yogurt, 1.5 ounces cheese)
Lean meat, poultry, and fish: 2 or fewer servings a day (serving sizes: 3 ounces cooked meat, poultry, or fish)
Nuts, seeds, and legumes: 4-5 servings per week (serving sizes: 1/3 cup nuts, 2 tablespoon seeds, 1/2 cup cooked dry beans or peas)
Fats and oils: 2-3 daily servings (serving sizes: 1 teaspoon vegetable oil or soft margarine, 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons light salad dressing)
Sweets: try to limit to less than 5 servings per week. (serving sizes: 1 tablespoon sugar or jelly/jam)
Which fruits and vegetables are natural sources of potassium, magnesium, and fiber?
To increase your intake of potassium, magnesium, and fiber naturally, select from the following:
apples, apricots, bananas, beet greens, broccoli, carrotsgreen beans, dates, grapefruit, green peas, mangoes,
melons, oranges, peaches, pineapples, potatoes, raisins, spinach, squash, strawberries, sweet potatoes......
If you have hypertension (high blood pressure), diet is likely a big part of your treatment. For hypertension, salt is a major dietary factor. Lowering salt intake may help lower blood pressure. Adding fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, lean meats, and other foods high in potassium and magnesium may also help lower blood pressure. The DASH diet is a popular diet plan for those with hypertension.
What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is naturally present in cell walls or membranes everywhere in the body. The body uses cholesterol to produce many hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids that help to digest fat. Too much cholesterol in your bloodstream can lead to narrowing of arteries in the body that cause heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral artery disease.
Total cholesterol is the sum of all the cholesterol in your blood. Your risk for heart attack and stroke increases with higher cholesterol levels. Other risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and family history of heart disease or stroke.
Less than 200 mg/dL ( 5.2 mmol/L ): desirable
200-239 mg/dL ( 5.2- 6.2 ) ): borderline high risk
240 and over: high risk ( Above 6.2 mmol/L )
HDL (high density lipoprotein) is considered the "good" cholesterol because it may help decrease the cholesterol buildup in the walls of arteries that causes narrowing of their openings.
HDL (high density lipoprotein)
Less than 40 mg/dL (men), less than 50 mg/dL (women): increased risk of heart disease
Greater than 60mg/dL: some protection against heart disease
LDL (low density lipoprotein) is considered "bad" cholesterol. The risk of heart disease goes up if you have a high level of LDL cholesterol in your blood because of increased potential for narrowing of blood vessels.
LDL (low density lipoprotein)
Less than 100 mg/dL: optimal
100-129 mg/dL: near optimal/above optimal
130-159 mg/dL: borderline high
160- 189 mg/dL: high
190 mg/dL and above: very high
Triglycerides are another type of fat in the bloodstream. High levels are a risk factor for narrowing arteries in the body.
Less than n150 mg/dL: normal
150-199 mg/dL: borderline to high
Above 500 mg/dL: very high
Other risk factors associated with heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and family history.
Diabetes is a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood.
Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to control blood sugar. Diabetes can be caused by too little insulin, resistance to insulin, or both.
Their pancreas does not make enough insulin
Their cells do not respond to insulin normally
High blood sugar levels can cause several symptoms, including:
Normal: Less than 5.7%
Pre-diabetes: 5.7% - 6.4%
Diabetes: 6.5% or higher
GRAINS, BEANS, AND STARCHY VEGETABLES
(6 or more servings a day)
Foods like bread, grains, beans, rice, pasta, and starchy vegetables are at the bottom of the pyramid because they should serve as the foundation of your diet. As a group, these foods are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy carbohydrates.
It is important, however, to eat foods with plenty of fiber. Choose whole-grain foods such as whole-grain bread or crackers, tortillas, bran cereal, brown rice, or beans. Use whole-wheat or other whole-grain flours in cooking and baking. Choose low-fat breads, such as bagels, tortillas, English muffins, and pita bread.
(3 - 5 servings a day)
Choose fresh or frozen vegetables without added sauces, fats, or salt. You should opt for more dark green and deep yellow vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, romaine, carrots, and peppers.
(2 - 4 servings a day)
Choose whole fruits more often than juices. Fruits have more fiber. Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines, are best. Drink fruit juices that do NOT have added sweeteners or syrups.
(2 - 3 servings a day)
Choose low-fat or nonfat milk or yogurt. Yogurt has natural sugar in it, but it can also contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Yogurt with artificial sweeteners has fewer calories than yogurt with added sugar.
MEAT AND FISH
(2 - 3 servings a day)
Eat fish and poultry more often. Remove the skin from chicken and turkey. Select lean cuts of beef, veal, pork, or wild game. Trim all visible fat from meat. Bake, roast, broil, grill, or boil instead of frying.
FATS, ALCOHOL, AND SWEETS
In general, you should limit your intake of fatty foods, especially those high in saturated fat, such as hamburger, cheese, bacon, and butter.
If you choose to drink alcohol, limit the amount and have it with a meal.
Eat sweets that are sugar-free.
Health benefits of water
Functions of water in the body
Water is your body's principal chemical component and makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Every system in your body depends on water. For example, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.
Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired.
How much water do you need?
Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.
So how much fluid does the average, healthy adult living in a temperate climate need? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
The Benefits of Sauna
The effects of the sauna are numerous and varied. Proponents of dry heat bath mention a feeling of psychological peace and contentment as well as physical rejuvenation. Many people claim that the sauna relieves the symptoms of minor illnesses such as colds, revives the muscles after tough physical exertion, and clears the complexion. The sauna experience will often leave you feeling very much alive. Your senses will be sharpened, and your tactile sensitivity heightened.
Another aspect of the sauna that needs to be considered is your mental state prior to taking one. Many people attest to the healing powers of the sauna concerning mental depression and anxiety. They say that after leaving the sauna, the mind is in a relaxed, lucid state, free of the worries of the everyday world. Also, when the body feels soothed and energized, the mind and emotions often follow suit.
Some basic tips before entering the sauna:
• Don't drink alcohol, as it works as a depressant, where the blood is moving slowly and the nerve endings are literally shutting down, and counteracts the benefits of the sauna.
• Older people need to avoid or limit their time in the sauna.
• People with heart ailments or respiratory diseases need to avoid the sauna, and anyone with chronic ailments needs to check first with his or her doctor.
• Don't eat prior to the sauna.
• Avoid drug use and the sauna — tranquilizers, stimulants, and other prescribed drugs alter the body's metabolism and could produce dour effects in the heat.
• If you experience dizziness, problems with breathing, or a general feeling of ill health, leave the sauna immediately.
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