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080417 Spare tire risks associated with carrying fat around your stomach. (2/2)

080417 Spare tire risks associated with carrying fat around your stomach. (2/2)

Continued from 030417

The study by doctors in Seattle also noted that insulin resistant people with excess abdominal fat also appeared to show higher concentrations of a substance known as apolipoprotein B (apoB) and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, a “good” form of cholesterol. Previous studies have suggested that high levels of apoB may encourage the development of arteriosclerosis.

Study author Dr. Steven E. Kahn of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, Washington, states that he and his colleagues suspect that a potbelly likely precedes insulin resistance. Once both conditions have set in, he noted, people’s bodies are more likely to be primed to develop arteriosclerosis.”We think that the deposition of fat in the inside of the abdomen is the critical determinant of insulin resistance in the general population,” Kahn said. “We think that the fat begets the insulin resistance, which helps produce” risk factors for arteriosclerosis, he added.

Kahn’s is not the first study to identify health hazards of potbellies. Although body fat tends to relocate to the abdomen with age, past research has shown that excess belly fat, compared to fat elsewhere on the body, can increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, as well as up the chances of stroke in middle age.

In the current study, Kahn and his colleagues measured body fat distribution and screened for insulin resistance in 196 people. The authors also determined how much choesterol, fat, and apoB was present in each participant’s blood.

The average age of study participants was 53. They were all seemingly healthy, with no history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

Reporting in the January issue of Diabetes, Kahn and his colleagues discovered that people with bigger potbellies who were more resistant to insulin also had lower levels of HDL cholesterol and higher levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol–the “bad” form of cholesterol.

Risk factors for arteriosclerosis appeared to be linked more strongly to tummy size than to whether a person had insulin resistance, Kahn and his team note.

The current study findings suggest that even people who are not obese can be at risk of arteriosclerosis, the authors note. Seemingly slim people can carry excess tummy fat and be resistant to insulin, they write, and can therefore be at risk for the blood vessel disease.

In an interview, Kahn noted that abdominal fat could play an essential role in people’s risk of future disease. Specifically, he said having a pot belly “is a critical component of metabolic syndrome,” a condition marked by insulin resistance and high blood pressure, and which often precedes diabetes and cardiovascular disease. SOURCE: Diabetes 2003;52:172-179.

030417 Spare tire risks associated with carrying fat around your stomach. (1/2)

030417 Spare tire risks associated with carrying fat around your stomach.

By Danny M. O’Dell, MA. CSCS*D

According to recent research, those who have a large potbelly appear to have a higher risk of arteriosclerosis. This is the medical term for the fatty buildup on the lining of arteries that researchers now believe increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. SOURCE: Diabetes 2003;52:172-179

People who carried this “spare tire” of fat around their waists are more likely to have increased fat and cholesterol in their blood.

The study by doctors in Seattle also noted that insulin resistant people with excess abdominal fat also appeared to show higher concentrations of a substance known as apolipoprotein B (apoB) and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, a “good” form of cholesterol. Previous studies have suggested that high levels of apoB may encourage the development of arteriosclerosis.

Study author Dr. Steven E. Kahn of the VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, Washington, states that he and his colleagues suspect that a potbelly likely precedes insulin resistance. Once both conditions have set in, he noted, people’s bodies are more likely to be primed to develop arteriosclerosis.”We think that the deposition of fat in the inside of the abdomen is the critical determinant of insulin resistance in the general population,” Kahn said. “We think that the fat begets the insulin resistance, which helps produce” risk factors for arteriosclerosis, he added.

150816 The metabolic syndrome and what it means to your health

150816 The metabolic syndrome and what it means to your health

The metabolic syndrome is the name given by the medical profession to a group of health risks having a strong potential to increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. These unhealthy conditions are for the most part avoidable simply by eating less and getting more exercise.

The five components of the syndrome are:

  • A waist that is larger than 35 inches in women and 40 inches in men. Some men may be at risk even if their waist is greater than 37-39 inches.
  • Low cholesterol readings of the good HDL. Women should have numbers under 50 and men should have their numbers under 40.

Higher than normal, but not necessarily high numbers in the following categories:

  • Systolic blood pressure of 130 or higher and a diastolic reading of 85 or higher.
  • Fasting blood sugar count of 110 or higher
  • Tested triglycerides of 150 or above after fasting.

According to the doctors, a person with three or more of these five categories raises their risk of becoming diabetic and developing heart disease.

The research specialists believe the root cause of this syndrome is an inefficient insulin response.

The metabolic syndrome is the consequence of our body being ineffective in processing fats and sugars. The research shows that belly fat creates increased inflammation and a greater risk of heart disease in those with big bellies. These fat cells also release a product that can drive up blood pressure by reducing the blood vessels ability to relax between strokes. Additional problems with belly fat cells occur because they generate proteins that increase the process of insulin resistance.

In case you are wondering what the term insulin resistance means here is a brief explanation.

The hormone insulin makes it possible to remove glucose, also known as blood sugar, from the blood stream and put into the muscle tissues. The muscle uses this as energy for movement. If too much glucose is in the blood stream it is stored as fat. Therefore, the term insulin resistance means the body is having a hard time delivering the glucose to the muscle tissues (insulin resistance) so the amount of blood sugar rises in the blood stream.

The cause is the waist is too big! Our bellies are too fat, too large, too much over the belt, hanging out too far, you can call it whatever you want to, but the fact remains we are a nation of too much fat. And it is all in the wrong place.

300716 Aerobic Fitness

300716 Aerobic Fitness

Aerobic conditioning is your body’s adaptations to working continuously with oxygen or in other words with air. It is also known as cardiorespiratory endurance or aerobic power. The word power indicates a strong response to imposed conditions.

Cardio work is a continuous activity that puts an increased demand on the heart, lungs, and circulatory systems of the body. Generally, large muscle groups of the body are involved for extended periods without a break, thus the term, ‘with air’. The original term “aerobics” came from the father of cardiovascular training, Dr. Kenneth Cooper, of the famed Cooper Institute.

It is a recognized fact that aerobic conditioning accomplishes all of the following:

  • It has the potential to increase life expectancy
  • Improvements occur in the overall quality of life
  • Overall improvements in health and well being
  • Reduces fatigue and increases the adaptability to meet the challenges of each day as they arise
  • It can improve appearance, posture, self confidence and self concept
  • Positive body composition changes occur with regular aerobic exercise
  • Muscular endurance and muscle tone changes are positive in nature
  • Stress maybe reduced
  • Improvements in relaxation ability and decreased sleep pattern disruptions
  • Positive cardiovascular changes and improved sport performance result from aerobic exercise
  • Reductions in blood pressure and cholesterol may result-studies indicate this to be true
  • Increased bone density due to the impact of the jogging or running
  • Seniors may become more independent
  • Finally, the ability to physically meet and hopefully overcome emergency situations

In preparing to aerobically exercise, remember that aerobics are only a part of a full conditioning program. Other necessary components include flexibility, strength and power, muscle endurance and a safe healthy body composition. In other words, be able to do the task at hand without carrying excess body fat around.

The keys then would be to follow this sequence before exercising for the first time.

  1. Complete a Physical Activities Readiness Questionnaire aka a PAR-Q
  2. Speak to a doctor before beginning any exercise program
  3. Begin slowly in your program-consult with a National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) or a NSCA Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)
  4. Always warm-up prior to exercising, get the pulse up and the breathing rate increased to meet the demands of the upcoming exercise session. After exercising then cool down and stretch.
  5. Follow the fitness triad prescription of flexibility, strength and cardiovascular through out the week
  6. Don’t overexert but stay within the guidelines for your age and experience-see number three above for a CSCS or CPT recommendation
  7. If you are sick or injured, don’t exercise. You can however exercise common sense and prevent any further delays in getting better by taking it easy for a short time until you are well again.
  8. Select a NSCA certified trainer

Cardiovascular training

How hard should you exercise aerobically will be determined by your age and current physical condition. The Tanaka formula is the most precise for figuring out the target heart rate range.

Figure your target heart rate using the Tanaka formula.

  • 207 – 70% of your age = Maximum heart rate
  • MHR – Resting heart rate taken as soon as you awake = Heart rate reserve
  • Heart rate reserve X 70% + resting heart rate = Heart rate target range

So why are so many aerobically out of shape? Is it due to a lack of desire, lack of time, or a lack of motivation? The reasons are many but the truth of the matter is this; “in order to make changes change is necessary”.(1)

Research has clearly shown the benefits of increased cardiovascular health in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and other unhealthy heart and lung conditions. (2) Now is the time to make these positive life style changes.

Follow this sequence for a successful new beginning

  • Begin by seeing a doctor for an overall physical.
  • Set up your personal fitness goals
  • Dress for success. Wear good fitting walking, running or bicycling shoes. Dress in proper fitting clothing, layered in the winter and reflective in the summer.
  • Exercise EVERY SINGLE DAY by putting a check mark on the calendar to show yourself you CAN make the necessary changes to succeed.
  • Chart your progress everyday, write down how you did, how you felt. Make it your personal workout diary.
  • Drink enough to stay hydrated; your urine should be a pale yellow. If not and it is bright yellow and strong smelling then you are dehydrated unless you are taking in excessive vitamin B supplements
  • Progress slowly. Start out by walking, riding a bicycle and then finally by jogging and running. Vary the cardiovascular workout mode for added benefits.
  • Chart your target heart range and stay in it for the recommended amount of time for your age
  • Overload your body the correct way, i.e. don’t change any one variable by more than 10% each time. For example, if you are running for ten minutes add only 10% to the increase for the next level. In other words, add one minute. Gradually get used to the new time, or longer distance or faster pace, but only by 10% of the previous times, distance or pace.
  • Acclimatize your body to its new routine. Vary the load, intensity and frequency so your body does not become accustomed to these variables.
  • Make exercise a habit.

Safety cautions

  • Let someone know where you are going and for how long you will be gone
  • Exercise with a partner if you have a difficult time in remaining self motivated
  • Walk, run and ride in a safe legal manner, follow your state statues for engaging in these activities

Summary

Within the first SIX MONTHS, most people QUIT. Are you going to be one of them? Try these tricks of the trade to avoid dropping out of the exercise mode.

  • Make exercising FUN
  • Go at a comfortable yet challenging pace
  • Do more than just walk, run and bicycle. In other words, cross train.
  • Take music along with you. Just don’t have it blaring in your ears through an earplug. You cannot avoid danger if you can’t hear it coming.
  • Exercise the same time each day. Get it out of the way early or make it the last thing you treat yourself to at the end of the day. Make it natural and convenient. You will be better able to stick with it.
  • Keep records of your achievements each day

Follow the SMART goal setting method of:
S stands for specific
M stands for measurable
A is for achievable
R asks if it is a realistic goal
T indicates time ended.

In other words unless a goal is specific, measure able, achievable, realistic and time ended it is simply a dream with no starting or ending to it. Live your dream; don’t just dream of living it.

(1) Danny M. O’Dell, MA. CSCS,*D
(2) Research and resultant international conference presentation titled “The effects of exercise on blood pressure” by the author. Presentation made July 03 in Ottawa, Canada.

 

260616 Getting ready for a joint replacement-part four

260616 Getting ready for a joint replacement-part four

According to the National Institute of Arthritis Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, which is a part of the National Institute of Health, there are over 1 million Americans having a hip or knee replaced every year. Research, over the years, has found that even if you are older a joint replacement will increase your ability to move around with less pain.

Once you are home, you need to notify your doctor immediately if:

  • The area around the surgical site looks red or begins to drain fluids. Examples include, bruising or nosebleeds.

You recognize one or more of these common signs of an infection.

  • a fever,
  • increased redness or swelling,
  • your skin feels hot,
  • more drainage from the site,
  • color changes in the drainage, or
  • more pain than before

Notify your surgeon of any new symptom, such as a pain that gets worse or refuses to go away with medication

Moreover, call them immediately if you experience any pain or notice swelling in your calf or have shortness of breath because this can be a sign of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) which is a clot forming in your lower leg.

If you notice any of these symptoms of a DVT, don’t massage your calf. Immediately call your doctor. Don’t wait, even if it is after hours, call so you can be examined and if necessary treated. You may have to go to the Emergency Room.

This is a serious condition, don’t treat it lately.

Some of the symptoms include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the calf that gets worse when you pull your foot forward
  • Increased skin temperature in the area over your calf

Any pain or difficulty in walking after the joint replacement that has suddenly occurred should be a red flag. Your doctor needs to know about this especially if the recovery up to this time has been going smoothly.

It cannot be emphasized too much that you must listen to and follow your surgeon’s recommendations and guidelines.

190616 Getting ready for a joint replacement-part three

190616 Getting ready for a joint replacement-part three

According to the National Institute of Arthritis Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, which is a part of the National Institute of Health, there are over 1 million Americans having a hip or knee replaced every year. Research, over the years, has found that even if you are older a joint replacement will increase your ability to move around with less pain.

After your surgery

After the surgery, you may have to stay in the hospital for a few days. The length of stay depends on the type of surgery, your age, physical abilities, and your surgeon’s judgment. In some cases, this is dependent on your abilities; you may have to go to a rehab center, which can take several weeks of rehabilitation before you go home.

During the time you are in the hospital, you receive painkillers, antibiotics, and blood thinners to help the healing process. Blood thinners are there to reduce the risks of clots. Make use of the painkillers effects on your body by moving around and doing what you can to exercise that joint (within your doctors orders). Get as much range of motion as possible back as soon as possible without destroying the surgically repaired area.

Frequently, after surgery you are going to be encouraged to get out of bed and start moving. The first time you do this is going to be scary especially if you’re standing on a new hip or knee joint. However, this helps keep the blood moving and again reduces the risk of a blood clot forming.

Physical therapy normally begins the next day after the surgery. The exercises the physical therapist will be giving you help to strengthen the muscles around the new joint, assists in regaining your flexibility and motion.

If your surgeon is competent then joint replacement is a relatively safe surgery with overall low rates of complications and mortality. By following your doctor’s instructions and adhering to the physical therapists schedule of exercises you should come through this in much better health than when you went into it. However, there are possible problems that can happen.

In some instances, problems such as blood clotting, and/or infection, and/or a loosening of, and/or a dislocation of the new joint may occur. The latter occurs more frequently in a hip replacement rather than in the other joint replacements.

210516 PRISE method of training

210516 PRISE method of training- Quality, not quantity, makes all the difference when it comes to diet and exercise

According to the Duke Medicine Health News , the quality of the diet and exercise counts more than quantity. They preface the statement by saying that different modes of exercise including aerobics, resistance training, sprinting intervals, stretching, yoga, and Pilates when coupled up with moderate amounts of protein used during the day “has multiple health benefits… written in a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology May 16 2013.”

The study examined the PRISE program of multiple exercise methods and more daily protein intake.

As a side note, the protein intake of 20 to 30 g taken four six times a day is right in line with recent recommendations for the older population who have a reduced ability to absorb and utilize protein.

These multiple health benefits include lower abdominal fat as well as overall body fat, an increase in lean muscle mass along with optimal blood glucose, blood pressure, and insulin numbers.

A brief look the PRISE program

This program, designed to take advantage of the many exercise modes, provides an alternative to the many one-sided exercise and fitness routines now in vogue within the health clubs, studios, and hardcore gyms.

The concise definition of PRISE is:

P designates protein, R is resistance or strength training, I means interval training, S is for stretching, and the Eequates to endurance activities.

The authors of the study state the best outcome was the fact that all of the participants continued to be enthusiastic about the program, even four months after the study ended. The research scientists noted that none of the participants were bored, exhausted, or injured during the entire four months of their training.

The participants biographic details

This was a small group of fifty-seven men and women aged thirty-five to fifty-seven. Every one of them were either obese or overweight with an average BMI of 28.6 and average body fat percentage score of 36.6. Not only did they have unhealthy high body mass index and body fat numbers, they were exercising less than sixty minutes per week! Additionally, within the past ten years none of them had been doing any resistance training at all.

Each of the people in this study, now separated into three groups, ate 60 grams of whey protein daily. Group 1 was sedentary, group two did intense resistance training four days a week, and the third group did a multitude of different modes of exercise. The thirds ones exercise schedule included strength training, endurance training, Yoga instructor demonstrated and led stretching, and sprint intervals.

The outcome differences between the groups were significant. The people in the third group experienced the biggest health improvements. These included losing the most weight, large reductions in their abdominal fat and waist circumference, and better blood glucose numbers. Furthermore, they had the largest increase in lean muscle mass percentage when compared to the sedentary and intense resistance trained other two groups.

The other two groups also showed healthy improvements, even the sedentary ones taking the 60 grams of protein each day. One of the main doctors involved in this study, Dr. Paul J. Aciero, FACSM, FTOS, a professor at Skidmore Colleges Health and Exercise Sciences

Department and Director, Skidmore’s Human Nutrition and Metabolism Laboratory…. stated that “increasing the amount of protein in the diet to as much as 35% will tend to decrease total and abdominal fat
According to a recent article in the Duke Medicine Health News , the quality of the diet and exercise counts more than quantity. They preface the statement by saying that different modes of exercise including aerobics, resistance training, sprinting intervals, stretching, yoga, and Pilates when coupled up with moderate amounts of protein used during the day “has multiple health benefits… written in a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology May 16 2013.” The study examined the PRISE program of multiple exercise methods and more daily protein intake.

This is a deceptively simple program.

  • The first step is to start increasing your daily intake of protein, in small 20-30g amounts, 4-6 times spaced throughout your day. Naturally speaking, if you are very active and larger, this amount could be even higher as long as you don’t have kidney issues. Overall, it works out to about 1.2-1.6 g/kg of bodyweight or .6-.8g/lb of body weight.

Resistance training 2-3 times per week doing:

  • Push ups, bicep curls, front side and rear raises, triceps extensions, squats, lunges, Bulgarian split squats, floor presses, rows and curl ups (not crunches) using a basic set of barbells, dumbbells, elastic material such as tubes, bands, medicine balls, or bodyweight calisthenics for 3-4 sets of 8-12 repetitions for each exercise.

Interval exercises

  • Fast to slow walking to fast, sprint intervals, rope skipping fast to slow to fast, bicycle riding, jogging, stationary bike, elliptical riding…just warmup, hit it hard and then back off until your heart rate returns to a more normal state and then hit it hard again for several bursts at a session.

Stretching

  • Follow the advice in these good stretching books such as those in Bob Andersons’ Stretching and Brad Walkers’Ultimate Guide to Stretching & Flexibility – Handbook or enlist the aid of a qualified fitness professional, or physical therapist to guide you through the many available stretches.

Endurance

  • Keep your heart rate around 60-80% of your max heart rate (220-age=MHR) for 60 minutes several times a week. Work up to the minutes if you are not used to exercising for long periods.

This also works well for those of us who have beat our bodies in the gym for a long time and need a break from the high intensity training. Try it for 2-3 weeks and then get back into the heavy strength training again after this rejuvenation period is finished.

Quantity still has a huge influence on the outcome as it has been demonstrated time after time that more exercise, certainly above the minimum recommended daily amounts, invariably leads to better results. As long as exercise is not over done to the point of developing into a body dysmorphic disorder. Read more here:http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/body-dysmorphic-disorder/basics/definition/con-20029953

Duke Medicine Health News September 2014 Vol. 20, No.9

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Duke Medicine Health News September 2014 Vol. 20, No.9

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150516 Running and losing weight

Running and losing weight

The following is my answer to a question regarding the inability to lose weight even though this person was running an average of three miles per day.

Stay with your exercise programs and don’t use the fact that you are exercising to eat or drink more than necessary. Just because you are running 3 miles and lifting weights does not mean you can pig out at the Golden Corral or drink a large Starbucks as a reward. Instead, the reward is a healthier body free of excess body fat and more lean muscle mass.

You will not be able overcome poor eating with exercise. Think how long it will take to exercise off one doughnut, milkshake, or whatever else you may have a hankering for that may not be healthy or nutritious.

Start a written log of all you eat and drink. Keep at it for at least 3-4 four days and then look at what you are ingesting. There will be areas that are not that healthy, nutritious, or simply extra stuff that you could stop eating or drinking.

Weigh yourself every morning after getting up and after going to the bathroom in the same clothing.

Reset your ability to interpret the hunger signals and those that alert you to being fed enough without going overboard on the eating and drinking. Contrary to what your parents and other adults may have told you growing up, you do not have to or need to finish everything on your plate to help the starving children somewhere else in  the world.

Keep up with your water and if you feel like eating something start with an apple or a glass of water, wait for ten minutes and reexamine the need to eat or drink.

Some studies have shown a complete day of fasting tends to drive the weight down followed by moderate eating and drinking as before the fast began.

As for the calories, some have found that by adding a zero to the end of your current weight (142+0=1420) you arrive at a minimalist calorie figure divided up into 4-5 meals per day. This may be too severe but by keeping track of your weight and how you feel, it could work well for you.

You can safely lose 10% of your current body weight per week without tapping into your muscle stores. Therefore, in your case, at 142, you could be losing about 1.4 pounds per week. Of course, there is some point where this will stop working because there won’t be any more fat to cut. This is a ways down the road. When you get to around 134-136 simply stabilize and decide if this is a good weight for you without torturing yourself to maintain it. Once you find the way for you to lose weight, cutting for the contest will be a piece of the proverbial cake and can be accomplished within 2-3 weeks prior to the meet in March.

In my experience, the best thing that worked for me was to weigh daily, log, pay attention to what I was eating, use smaller plates, tune into my hunger and pre-satiation signals, and ask what the food or drink was doing to help me reach my goal of 200 pounds.

Start with these first and see where they take you. Stay with it for at least a month. By the end of the month, I suspect your weight will be into the mid 130’s.

 

 

050815 Men and women truly are different in their respective display of heart attack symptoms

Men and women truly are different in their respective display of heart attack symptoms.

It doesn’t take much of an expert to notice the differences between a man and a woman. However, there are subtle differences that can mean the difference between life and death when it comes to a heart attack. The Cleveland clinic has listed a number of symptoms that men and women tend to experience during a heart attack.

In non-alphabetical order, we begin with the signs of a heart attack in women. These symptoms are “less dramatic and are frequently mistaken for less serious medical conditions. Not only are these symptoms subtle they will vary widely, especially in women, diabetics, and older people.

Women with the following symptoms should seek immediate medical attention, these are quoted verbatim from the Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor information sheet.

  1. Upper back or shoulder pain
  2. Jaw pain or pain that radiates to the jaw
  3. Pain that radiates to the arm
  4. Pressure or pain in the center of the chest
  5. Nausea or queasiness and indigestion
  6. Shortness of breath or feeling “winded”
  7. Unusual fatigue for several days
  8. Lightheadedness

Men tend to experience the following during a heart attack:

  1. Chest pressure growing in frequency and intensity or one to three days (unstable angina). This is often described as a squeezing sensation
  2. Pain in the left arm, shoulder, neck or jaw that may or may not stem from pain in the center of the chest. It also may occur in the right arm
  3. Pain in the abdomen that may be mistaken for indigestion
  4. Sweating, restlessness and anxiety
  5. Dizziness, faintness and heavy pounding in the chest
  6. Shortness of breath
  7. Disorientation (more common in the elderly)
  8. Nausea or queasiness (more common in women)

The final piece of important information the Cleveland Clinic heart advisor makes it very plain is when they say quote if you think you’re having a heart attack – for any reason – don’t wait. Call 911 or have someone take you to the nearest emergency room.

Lifestyle changes that help protect you from a heart attack

  1. If you smoke, stop. Eliminate all smoking and use of any type of tobacco products from your life. The chemicals in the tobacco and the carbon monoxide in the smoke damage the heart and blood vessels. There is absolutely nothing good about using tobacco.
  2. Regular exercise is a defense against an assorted array of health issues. Work up to a minimum of thirty minutes of exercise each day.
  3. Watch your diet. By eating a heart healthy diet consisting of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats (not saturated fats or trans fats), cutting back on the amount of red meat and processed foods in your daily meals your helping your body to heal itself.
  4. Stay at a healthy weight. Older adults may have a slightly higher BMI than younger adults and still be healthy.

181013 Helping your heart with small changes in your eating habits

Helping your heart with small changes in your eating habits

You can lower the fat, saturated fats, cholesterol, and calories in your diet with a few minor adjustments to your meal preparations.

Some of these suggestions may take a while to get used to but once there, your heart will love you longer for taking care of it. Of course, it still needs exercise because no amount of exercise will overcome a poor diet.

Try a few of these substitutions and see what happens with your tests the next time you see your doctor.

• Instead of using barbecue sauce, salt, or soy sauce try herbs, lemon, or other spices on your food or when you prepare it.
• Mix 1 cup of fat free or low fat milk plus one tablespoon of liquid vegetable oil to replace 1 cup of whole milk.
• When making hamburgers or anything with hamburger in it use ground turkey or lean beef. If you insist on using hamburger start adding more ground turkey or lean beef to the mix rather than all hamburger.
• Substitute 1 cup of evaporated skim milk or ½ cup of low fat yogurt and ½ plain low fat unsalted cup of cottage cheese for 1 cup of heavy cream.
• Use fat free sour cream in place of sour cream.
• Blend 4 tablespoons of soft margarine with 1 cup dry unsalted cottage cheese and little fat free milk if the consistency isn’t what you consider your cream cheese should be like.
• Mix 1 tablespoon of soft margarine and ¾ tablespoon of vegetable oil as a substitute for 1 tablespoon of butter.
• For one egg, use two egg whites or a commercial brand of cholesterol free egg substitute.
• During your baking, if you need 1 cup of oil use ½ cup of applesauce and ¼ cup of oil.

Each of these substitutes will help you make healthier recipes for your heart.

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