Happy Heart Health Month – Part One

OMGoodness there are so many mixed messages about heart health. Read on tho make sense of sugar and saturated fat as it pertains to our heart health. Lets prevent Cardiovascular Disease (aka CVD).

Q) There are experts who are now saying that the evidence between saturated fat and CVD may have been biased because research didn’t take into account the sugar content of the diet.  Is sugar the real culprit?

Added sugar is associated with increased TG levels and increased LDL cholesterol (hyperlipidemia being a risk factor for CVD). However, there is an inverse relationship with increased intake of healthier carbohydrates such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains, meaning the more you eat these foods, the less likely you are to increase your risk for CVD.  Saturated fat remains a part of the picture. Now the question is which type of SFA may be more closely associated with the increased cholesterol-raising effect of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. More research is needed to clarify. Most importantly focus on including fruits, veggies and whole grains and limit added sugars.

 

Q) What is the role of saturated fat in CVD risk?

Saturated fat is associated with CVD. Studies show an increase in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol after eating a meal high in saturated fat. However, recent studies are examining the different roles of the specific types of saturated fats: Short chain, medium chain and long chain SFA.  This means continue to minimize your intake of saturated fat like the visual lard on a steak until more research is available. A simple guide: choose products with < 2 grams/ saturated fat per serving. Rather focus on including monounsaturated fats like olives and avocado. 

 

Q)  There are studies that show total blood cholesterol is not a reliable indicator of CVD. If it’s not, what are the indicators then?

Total Cholesterol is not a biomarker of CVD rather one’s ratio of Total Cholesterol to HDL ratio.  HDL also known as high density lipoprotein is the good cholesterol (h for helper) and LDL, low density lipoprotein (l for want less of) the bad cholesterol. The greater your HDL and the lower your LDL, the more favorable your cholesterol profile will be and the decreased chance of cardiovascular disease. Studies indicate a Low HDL, High LDL and High TG are associated with risk for CVD. You must ask the doctor for your cholesterol breakdown and the ratio with a goal < 5.  Always ask for a copy of your blood work.

 

Q)  If a higher sugar intake may be dangerous, why aren’t  triglycerides (blood levels) more important when assessing the risk of CVD, since this marker has a good correlation with simple carbohydrates intake?

TG’s are a good indicator of risk for CVD and it should be included in the lipid profile to assess for CVD risk. However, the ATP III report issued by the NIH, encourages using TG’s as a marker for other lipid and nonlipid risk factors that ultimately raise the risk for CVD. Ask Your medical doctor for your TG level and aim for < 150 mg/dl. 

 

Check back for Happy Heart Health Month Part 2 or like Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services on Facebook to get weekly nutrition updates.

Picture compliments of <p><a href=”http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=905″>Image: Pixomar / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>

Michelle Obama says Let's Move!

Laura’s Take on the Let’s Move! Campaign. Listen to Laura talk with Rita Cosby on wor710.com on 2/1/2012 or via podcast.

As a leader Michelle Obama is in a unique and powerful position to empower Americans to live healthier lives. She can influence food companies to provide less processed, higher quality foods to schools and to our supermarket shelves. She can raise the energy and spirit of health by advocating for health awareness and encouraging physical activity. Her celebrity status can help bring the USDA’s “MyPlate” to more families’ tables.  She can help spread the message to fill your plate with fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy. Thankfully, Michelle Obama also stresses moderation and admits to eating her burgers and fries.

Let’s Move! is taking information that is already out there and bringing a greater awareness on how to access such health education. Many of the materials and guidelines are those developed by the USDA.

Michelle Obama has companies like Goya and California Fresh Work Funds trying to help initiative change.

Is this the right campaign?

At the end of the day, bringing awareness to health promotion and disease prevention needs to be the ultimate goal of someone like Michelle Obama. However, rather than fight obesity, the campaign may want to rephrase their negative spin and create a new positive tone to Let’s Move!

How about let’s move more, let’s move towards eating real wholesome foods and let’s move towards eating less processed food. Let’s move to building self esteem!!!

Can one person create change?

Yes, Jaime Oliver’s Food Revolution and The Biggest Loser are just two examples of how change happens. Even, the presidential chef is making change. In the Washington Post today, the presidential chef Cristeta Comerford reports losing 15 pounds and eating healthier with her own home garden. She was influenced by her boss, Michelle Obama!! That’s right, the White House has their own garden and serves seasonal garden veggies to their guests. Comerford now has her own garden too.

 

What can you do to make a difference? Can you change your language about health or perhaps just add a half cup of veggies to your dinner plate?

 

 

The Hollywood Image

The Hollywood image that’s plastered everywhere—online, on TV, in magazines– is simply not realistic and can be harmful. Yet, it’s what some women and men strive for. They may see how skinny Demi Moore or LeAnn Rimes have gotten and think this is the ideal. I want to remind everyone that most people do not have such bodies naturally!  Most people do not have the time or money to focus on their bodies the way the Hollywood stars do. Most people can’t afford a full staff of a dietitian, a trainer, an esthetician, a chef, and a dermatologist…. Plus, celebrities are getting paid A LOT of money to look this way and if they don’t meet the criteria there is always editing and airbrushing to attain the super skinny, youthful look. To meet the Hollywood ideal, most men and women need to restrict their intake to a caloric level that is equivalent with that of an eating disorder. Most stars don’t acknowledge that they have an issue, although Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima openly admitted recently that she simply stopped eating solid food 12 whole days before the Angel runway show!

Remember, beauty is from the inside and shines when one is confident from their inner core. There is a great new web site promoting a new definition of beauty – check it out at www.BeautyRedefiend.net/.

 

Beauty Redefined Sticky-Notes

 

Surviving the Holidays with Diabetes

Surviving the Holidays with Diabetes is a Family Affair

Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE – Dietitian, Diabetes Educator, and Mom

www.EatingandLivingModerately.com & www.MomDishesItOut.com

 

 

Make peace with carbs: Just because you or your loved one has Diabetes, it doesn’t mean carbohydrates are the enemy.

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  1. Plan ahead by counting carbohydrates and spreading them out throughout the day.
  2. Make carbohydrates like pasta and rice, a side dish rather than the entrée.

Designate Dessert: If you love sweets, include them in your intake.

  1. Rather than feel deprived and end up binging, plan your piece of cake. Eat protein and veggies for your entrée and use your carbs for dessert.
  2. The family chef can make mini desserts or just make less dessert, avoiding temptation.

Walk Your Sugar Down: Moving after a meal is helpful to reduce blood glucose.

  1. After the holiday meal, get your entire family up and out to see holiday decorations or have a snowball fight.
  2. Walking and or light exercise helps to lower your blood glucose and consequently your insulin.

It’s a Family Affair: If you or your loved one has Diabetes, have the entire family engaged and have everyone eat as if they had Diabetes.

  1. It’s sabotage to offer the rest of the guests food that someone else can’t have. If the family eats the same foods, pasta as the side rather than the entrée, no one will feel left out and no one will be tempted to overload on carbohydrates.
  2. Family member are genetically at risk for Diabetes. If the whole family eats in a balanced manner, you will be helping to prevent their chances of Diabetes later in life.

Mix Your Meals: Eat carbohydrates, proteins and fat together.

  1. Protein and fat take longer to digest. If you eat your carbohydrates with these foods, the carbs will be digested slowly and your blood sugar less likely to spike.
  2. Mixing meals and snacks help to regulate blood sugar and hormones and consequently help to keep you feeling satiated longer.
    1. Shrimp Cocktail with cocktail sauce
    2. Greek yogurt with fresh fruit
    3. Hummus with veggies and warm whole wheat pita
    4. Mini turkey meatballs with marinara
    5. Veggie and low fat cheese napoleons

Exercise Tips from APMA

4 Important Exercise Tips from the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Target Heart Rate: “As you work out, monitor your heart rate to stay near the target heart range (start with 220, subtract your age, then multiply by 0.8 to find target heart range). You should be within five of the target range. Monitor pulse at peak and after final cool-off and compare. The difference is known as your cardiac reserve.”

Hydration: “Drink adequate water to avoid dehydration during workouts which can cause nausea, dizziness, muscle fatigue, and cramping.”

Cool Down: “Don’t under estimate the importance of the cool-off period. It burns off lactic acid (which makes muscles feel tired) and adrenalin, while keeping blood from pooling in the extremities.”

Pace Yourself: “While fitness professionals exercise vigorously six times a week, it’s best to start slower. Although it varies by the individual, it’s safe to start exercising twice a week for several weeks, then gradually increase to a maximum of five times a week. Remember to pace yourself, and listen to your body. If you feel pain, stop. Don’t attempt to exercise through pain, or you may aggravate an acute injury into a chronic or even permanent one. If you continue to be bothered by pain more than 24 hours after exercising, see a physician.”

The above is taken directly from http://www.aapsm.org/aerobics.html.