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5 Foods that Fight Heart Disease

1)    Beans
Soluble fiber-rich beans can help curb your appetite by helping you feel fuller sooner.  Beans can also replace higher calorie, higher saturated fat-containing meats and cheeses in entrees.

Tips: 

  • Replacing a ½ cup of cheddar cheese for the same amount of beans can shave off about 100 calories from your lunchtime salad.
  • Replacing ½ pound of ground beef with 1 cup of kidney beans will cut 190 calories from a chili recipe.

 

2)    Oats
Research suggests that consuming 3 grams or more per day of ß-glucan, soluble fiber, which is found in oats or barley can help lower total and LDL cholesterol levels as part of a heart-healthy diet.

Tips:  

  • Start your morning off with a bowl of oatmeal.

 

3.  Nuts
A small handful of nuts daily may manage your blood cholesterol levels.  Research suggests that nuts can help lower blood cholesterol levels and that eating 1.5 ounces per day of almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachio nuts, or walnuts along with a heart-healthy diet, may reduce you risk of heart disease.  (One ounce of nuts = 25 almonds, 9 whole walnuts, or 48 pistachio nuts.)

Tips: 

  • Sprinkle chopped nuts over your morning cereal or yogurt.
  • Eat a handful of nuts between meals if you get hungry.

 

4. Fish
While fish is low in heart-unhealthy saturated fat, it provides another healthy quality that makes it a ringer for your heart.   The omega-3 fatty acids in fish can help slow the plaque buildup in your arteries that contribute to heart disease as well as reduce your risk of  heart disease.   It is currently recommended that you eat two fish meals a weekl.   Salmon, sardines, and tuna are all good sources of omega 3.

Tips: 

  • When you eat out, order an 8-ounce grilled salmon.  Eat half and take the remainder home for dinner the next day.  Pesto:  You just met you weekly quota of two fish meals.
  • Add canned tuna or salmon to your salad bar lunch.

 

5.  Whole Grains
While research shows that whole grains can reduce your risk of heart disease, most Americans are falling short of the recommended minimum three servings of whole grains daily.  Make sure that at least half your grain choices are whole grains, such as oats, 100% whole wheat bread, brown rice, and popcorn to gain that heart-healthy benefit.

Tips: 

  • Eating oats in the morning provide the added benefit of being a whole grain.  You get two for the price of one when you eat oats.
  • When looking for something crunchy for a snack, pop up a 100-calorie pack of microwave popcorn.


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Study ties excess sitting to pericardial fat buildup


CT scans of more than 500 older Americans found that excess time spent sitting “was significantly related to pericardial fat around your heart,” said study lead author Britta Larsen, a postdoctoral researcher in the department of cardiovascular epidemiology at the University of California, San Diego.

There have been numerous large studies recently suggesting that when it comes to its deleterious health effects, sitting is not just the absence of physical activity — it has effects on the body that go beyond lack of exercise.

According to Larsen, that means that “even if you run every day but then you sit for eight hours a day, the sitting is still doing something bad for your health.” She also noted that studies have found sitting to be detrimental to health even after scientists factored out excess weight gain.

The study found that the more time spent sitting, the bigger the area of fat deposited around a person’s heart.  Those fat deposits are “strongly related to cardiovascular disease. It gets in the way of heart function, it clogs up your arteries — you don’t want it there.”

Source: http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=670500


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Low Levels of Vitamin D associated with Heart Attack and Early Death


Researchers at the University of Copenhagen said people with low levels of vitamin D were associated with a higher risk of heart attack and early death.

Dr. Peter Brondum-Jacobsen of Copenhagen University Hospital and the University of Copenhagen said the study involved more than 10,000 Danes. The study compared people with the 5 percent lowest levels of vitamin D with the 50 percent of the highest levels of vitamin D.

The study found the low levels of vitamin D compared to optimal levels were linked to a 40 percent higher risk of ischemic heart disease, 64 percent higher risk of heart attack, 57 percent higher risk of early death and no less than 81 percent higher risk of death from heart disease.

Healthy Tip: People with high levels of stress are more likely to be diagnosed with Heart Disease.