FAT FACTS FOR A HEALTHIER HEART AND BRAIN

UNDERSTANDING FATS

Heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women.
Childhood obesity contributes to early high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Food choices and exercise beginning in childhood are important throughout life.
Changing behaviors over recent years has reduced heart disease but it remains the #1 killer.

The Mediterranean Diet is an excellent life diet that includes fruits, vegetables, fatty fish such as salmon, whole grains, foods rich in monounsaturated fatty acids such as avocados, olive oil and nuts.

Recent research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association reported testing a population of people ages 21-70 on each of three different diets. They found a reduction in bad (LDL) cholesterol levels when consuming one avocado/day.

Avocado heartFive million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease.
A study at Brigham & Women’s Hospital examined the relationship between healthy fat intake and memory retention. Over 4 years, women on higher amounts of monounsaturated fats had better memory.

Intake of healthy fats contributes to both heart and brain health.

Excerpt from:

Your Heart: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease in Women, Men and Children

The Science of Fats

Dietary fat is a primary component of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. When fat consumption is high, the tendency to develop the disease early in life is increased and progresses with age. This section will provide information on types of fat, why some are more harmful than others, and which dietary choices are beneficial.

Fat Structure
Monounsaturated, Polyunsaturated and Trans Fat
First of all, monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are healthier than trans fats. They begin as oil, liquid at room temperature. The process of hydrogenation raises the melting point making oil become solid at room temperature, and turns oil into stick margarine. The hydrogenation process makes them unhealthy.

If oil is “partially hydrogenated,” the reaction process is stopped at the point where the product is soft like some brands of margarine marketed in plastic containers. Adding hydrogen makes the oil more resistant to spoilage, prolonging shelf life.

Many commercial baked goods contain trans fats. You may already understand what trans fats are because they are frequently in the news. Trans fats are bad fats because when consumed, they raise cholesterol. Found naturally in the fat of meat and dairy products, trans fats also form during the hydrogenation of healthful plant-based oil.

(Molecular discussion follows. Please skip the next 2 paragraphs if you are not interested in the chemistry of fats.)

By definition, monounsaturated fats contain only one molecular double bond in the fatty acid chain; polyunsaturated fats have more than one double bond. Fats are called trans or cis depending on the position of the double bonds. In the hydrogenation process both cis and trans fats are formed. The trans fat configuration is a unique partially hydrogenated fat in which the molecular configuration is in the trans position producing a straighter molecule. This results in a higher melting point. Basically, the hydrogenation process turns healthy plant-based oils into unhealthy fats that will raise blood lipid levels when consumed.

Saturated fats (example: lard) are fully saturated with hydrogen; no more hydrogen can bond. However, they are not called trans fats because their bonds can rotate (not locked in the cis or trans molecular configuration). Saturated fats are solid at room temperature.

♥ Olive oil is a primary monounsaturated oil source. Olive oil contains oleic acid which has a single cis double bond. Therefore it is a mono–single unsaturated fatty acid. Olives, avocados, sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds, whole grains, popcorn and cashews are high oleic acid. Research shows an improvement in diabetic insulin levels and blood sugar control when olive oil is used. Remember oil is caloric. Even though it is healthier than butter, one tablespoonful of any fat equals 100 calories.

Polyunsaturated fat is divided into two types: omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. Primary sources of omega-6s are soy, corn and safflower oil. Omega-3s are found in canola oil, flaxseed, walnuts and cold water fish. Soybean oil contains both omega-3 and omega-6.
When you eat trans fats your LDL goes up. That results in more “lard” in your arteries. In addition, trans fats may also lower your good cholesterol. You need to keep your consumption of trans fats as low as possible. The American Heart Associations recommends limiting intake to less than 1% of your total daily calories.

Be sure to read labels. Many processed foods contain trans fats. If a serving has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat, the label may state zero. Some restaurants now advertise they are no longer using trans fats in deep frying. That is excellent news; however, any fried food contains significant amounts of oils and calories. Avoid all fried foods if you are on a calorie-restricted diet or have lipid abnormalities.

Some of the common commercial foods containing trans fats are: microwave popcorn, cake, cookies, pie, margarine, frosting and coffee creamers. If you buy commercial items, choose those containing zero trans fat. Specifically avoid partially hydrogenated oils and shortening.

Denmark was the first country to ban tans fats from foods. In 2008, California became the first state to ban restaurant chains from using trans fats for cooking; New York City and Chicago followed suit. More recently, five additional states have joined in, as have cruise ship lines and hotel chains. As a country, along with banning smoking in public places and the many Quit Smoking campaigns, we are now taking steps to change food choices to help overcome our heart disease crisis.

Cutting both trans fats and saturated fat from your diet is very important. Combine this modification with eating only lean meat and adding omega-3 fatty acids found in fish. Making these choices places you on the right track toward heart health.

♥ If you need to cook with oil, use mono-unsaturated products such as olive oil, peanut and canola oils or polyunsaturated oils. If your LDL and total cholesterol levels are high and you are overweight, avoid fatty meat, eat few egg yolks, avoid cheese and whole milk products. Consider eating veggie egg white only omelets.

* * *

For Heart Health and Weight Control Avoid Saturated Fat:
Animal fat contributes to heart disease and obesity. Eating fried foods and fatty meat including hamburger, steaks, prime rib, rib-eye and T-bone cuts all contain significant calories and fat. Even when grilled, these are not good choices if you are trying to reduce your fat and calorie intake.

Choose lean cuts such as sirloin, and remove all visible fat from all cuts of meat. Pork loin without fat and bone can be a healthy choice. Remove all skin and fat from poultry.

Broil, bake and boil meats. Frying and deep frying any food is not recommended for health reasons.

For Brain Health and General Health Choose to Eat Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fat:
Avocados are nutritious and contain monounsaturated healthy fat. A whole small avocado contains about 250 calories, less than most meat servings. Healthy monounsaturated fats are also found in olive oil, peanut oil, hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Healthy fats, the omega 3 and omega 6 (polyunsaturated fats) are found in:  walnuts, flax seedAvocado tree oil, chia seeds and marine algae oil.

Best wishes for healthy living.

Betty and Bev

See our women’s health blog lipsticklogic.com for addition health information.

Easy Mediterranean Breakfast

If you’d like a healthful low calorie breakfast, this is the recipe for you.

On low calorie days on the 5/2 eating plan this is a great addition and few calories.

Scrambled Mediterranean Muffin

Eggs.kiwiThese can be made using egg whites only. Each egg white is about 10 calories vs 80 calories with the yolk and the added cholesterol. After they are baked, you can store them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and microwave for a quick meal.

Calorie content varies with what you add but on average with added vegetables and using egg whites only, they are less than 50 calories each. Add fruit and a slice of Kavli and you have a meal less than 100 calories and very tasty.

Use non-stick muffin tin, grease lightly. Mix one egg per muffin in a blender with a splash of milk. Pour into tins and then add your chosen ingredients and seasoning.

Examples: Crumbles of Feta cheese, cilantro, 1/2 cherry tomato, snips of low fat ham, spinach, sweet pepper, etc. For those in the pictures I used 6 egg whites and 3 egg yolks, 1 Tbsp. milk, cilantro, feta, frozen peas, 1/2 cherry tomato, ham bits and  a little mozzarella cheese grated on top.       Cool before removing from pan.

Eggs.unbaked  Eggs.bakedEggs.sideview Kavli croppedBake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cool slightly and serve.

Kavli is 50 calories / 3 slices

Statin Treatment for Cardiovascular Disease

Primary Prevention and Treatment in Women

More women die of heart disease than of breast cancer.
Women are also more likely to die from a heart attack than men.

vitruvian-woman-sm1.jpgIf you have risk factors for, or have already had, a cardiovascular event such as a heart attack or stroke, taking a statin medication to alter abnormal cholesterol can be life-saving.

Common Risk Factors:
High blood pressure
High LDL cholesterol
High triglycerides
Low HDL cholesterol
Family history of early heart disease
Diabetes
Obesity
Smoking
Sedentary life style

Lowering LDL cholesterol with statins can prevent cardiovascular disease.

A recent study analyzed the effects of 27 trials including 174,000 people and found women gain the same benefits from statins as men. Prior to this study the value of treating healthy women with risk factors to prevent heart disease was not clear.

We have known lowering cholesterol after a heart attack or stroke is beneficial in both men and women, but this new study confirms statin drugs are also valuable in preventing cardiovascular disease in women. Statin treatment improves overall survival by reducing the liver’s production of cholesterol.

Men develop heart disease at a younger age than women, likely because estrogen in women is protective. Following menopause, risk for heart disease in women climbs especially in those who smoke.

People with diabetes have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease affecting the coronary arteries in the heart, arteries in the brain, and small arteries in the eyes and kidneys. Last summer, another study important to women showed diabetic women had a 30% reduction in the risk of dying of heart attack or stroke when treated with another cholesterol modifying drug, fenofibrate.

Many scientific studies over decades have shown the benefit of lowering low-density lipoprotein LDL cholesterol to prevent heart attacks and strokes. LDL is the “bad” cholesterol, (think “L” for Lard as a way to remember LDL as the bad cholesterol) and that you want it Low. This is the cholesterol that clogs arteries similar to the way lard solidifies if poured down a drain.

Triglycerides, another form of cholesterol often elevated in diabetics, obesity, and as a familial disorder, contribute to heart and vascular disease. This must also be lowered to reduce risk.

The high-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the transport molecule that moves LDL out of the arteries. The HDL is the “good” cholesterol you want High.

Assess and lower risks for heart disease:
• See your doctor. Discuss risk factors and how to modify them.
• Have blood tests: lipid panel and hemoglobin A1c (check for diabetes)
• Assess your cholesterol levels and discuss treatment needs and options
• Reduce saturated fat intake, fried foods – no more than 35% of your daily calories should come from fat
• Attain ideal weight
• Exercise at least thirty minutes a day – If you’re healthy but not physically active, starting an aerobic exercise program could increase your good cholesterol by 5% in the first two months. Regular exercise also lowers bad cholesterol.

Remember, high cholesterol does not cause symptoms. It is a silent disease that slowly narrows arteries throughout your body.

For more information on modifying risk factors read additional posts on this site. At www.lipsticklogic.com you will also find articles on women’s health.

Best wishes for good health in 2015.

Betty Kuffel, MD and Bev Erickson

Actions to Improve Heart Health

Actions to Improve Heart Health

Vegetable heartLifestyle and diet impact health and longevity. This concept was once again substantiated by a medical study presented at the recent American Heart Association Scientific Sessions meeting. Researchers at Allina Health and the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation shared information from their ten year joint study based in New Ulm, MN. This study examined modifying cardiovascular disease risk factors in a rural community.

Interventions impacting improved health of participants in the study included:
♥Health coaching
♥Heart health screening
♥Work site health improvement
♥Better food choices in restaurants
♥Encouraging farmer market shopping
♥Increasing physical activity in the community

Researchers looked at changes in heart disease risk factors over the first five years. In an additional study, they examined whether short-term lifestyle changes had any effect on HDL, high density lipoprotein, often termed the “good cholesterol” – the one you want high. With the Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio, heart disease risk prediction can be calculated. (These tests are included on standard lipid blood panels.) Researchers found weight loss the strongest lifestyle predictor for increasing HDL.

Findings included improvements in:
Blood pressure control
Cholesterol levels

In the studies, improving lifestyle choices, health care access, and environment changes in the community and workplaces, resulted in overall reduction of cardiovascular risks. Lack of exercise increased heart risk.

To calculate your personal heart risks, complete the survey at the Harvard School of Public Health: https://healthyheartscore.sph.harvard.edu/

Ted Talk Thursday ~ Heart Healthy

bettykuffel:

Dr. Dean Ornish was way ahead of the times in recommending healthier food choices and exercise to combat heart disease. Thank you indacampo.wordpress.com for sharing.

Originally posted on In Da Campo :

There’s no point in giving up something you enjoy unless you get something back that’s even better, and quickly. ~ Dean Ornish ~

I had planned on a totally different talk for my Ted Talk Thursday but recent developments of heart issues with two members of my family within the last week changed my direction today.  I’ve just begun my research into what changes to make to improve heart health through lifestyle and diet, and so today I bring you two talks by Dr. Dean Ornish. 

For over 35 years, Dr. Ornish has directed clinical research demonstrating, for the first time, that lifestyle changes may begin to reverse even severe coronary heart disease, without drugs or surgery. Dr. Ornish is known for his lifestyle-driven approach to the control of coronary artery disease (CAD) and other chronic disease.  He is the author of six books and The Ornish Diet was rated #1 for heart health…

View original 79 more words

WEIGHT CONTROL THROUGH THE 5/2 EATING PLAN

The Five/Two Eating Plan

As a method of weight loss and weight control, this easy solution of five/two pertains to a 7 day eating plan. Once you have reached your ideal weight, you transition to healthy baseline calorie intake every day. If you gain a pound, then you can transition back to the 5/2 plan. This is how it works:

·         For 5 days a week, you eat a healthy diet based primarily on fruits, vegetables, a few nuts, a little olive oil, limiting pasta or rice to twice a week. Add limited whole grains tokabob veg the mix, with low-fat meat, including salmon or other similar fish. Mirror your food selections with the Mediterranean diet like people who live along the southern Italian coast and Greek islands. Eating primarily fresh fruits, vegetables, and little saturated fat, they tend to live longer, in better health and with lower heart disease.

·          For two days a week, eat very few calories, only 500-600. The two days must not be consecutive. Instead separate them such as Monday and Thursday.

 Why not do the low calorie days together? Harsh calorie restriction can trigger what researchers call the starvation response. With starvation, the body revs up to store calories by lowering the metabolic rate and packing on calories when food becomes available. It is a natural process to maintain life.

Even though the two low calorie days are not true fasting, if they are consecutive such as Monday and Tuesday, your metabolic rate may be affected. Separating the days, combined with daily exercise such as walking is known to increase metabolic rate and calorie burn. — And, with exercise, you are unlikely to stimulate a starvation response. In fact, with a marked reduction in calorie intake and consistent exercise, you will lose weight.

 British physician Michael Mosley, described the 5/2 diet in his book FastDiet in 2012. In a follow up study done at the Aston University in the UK, they found intermittent fasting (very low calorie days) more effective than daily calorie restriction and calorie counting. Favorable findings included:

  • Reduced weight
  • Reduced inflammation
  • Reduced blood glucose
  • Reduced lipids (cholesterol)
  • Reduced blood pressure

True fasting (consuming no nutrition) has been shown to lower weight, prolong life, lower blood glucose and lower cholesterol levels. However, fasting also lowers metabolic rate, something you do not want, because your body becomes very efficient at storing excess calories and weight returns.

Eating two low calorie days per week is usually safe for Type 2 diabetics. Those taking medications and insulin must consult their medical provider for advice and to help manage medication dosages when reducing calorie intake. In the end, with weight loss, some Type 2 diabetics can reduce or stop some of their medications. Or, for those with borderline glucose elevations, weight loss and the drug Metformin, may help ward off the development of full-blown Type 2 diabetes. Without interventions, most people with borderline elevation of blood glucose will evolve to Type 2 diabetes within ten years.

 Pay special attention to your daily intake:

  • Choose fruits over sweets for desserts.
  • Exercise portion control. Avoid second helpings. Wait 30 minutes and see if you are really still hungry.
  • Do your best to prepare low calorie meals such as turkey breast instead of hot wings or steak.
  • Forget potatoes, pasta, gravy, cheese sauce and fattening salad dressing.
  • If you are preparing meals, serve light calorie recipes and fruit for dessert.
  • Take time to exercise

 Note: If you are, pregnant, breast feeding or a Type 1 diabetic, following a Mediterranean-type cuisine is healthy but do not follow the very low calorie day recommendations. However, this is a heart-healthy approach for those with high blood pressure and heart disease, even those who have had bypass and stent procedures.

 Betty Kuffel, MD

Follow: yourheartbook.com blog for additional updates

*****February 28th is the last day of the Sale*****

Your Heart – Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease in

Women, Men and Children

Kindle e-book $2.99   http://tinyurl.com/kindle-heart-sale     Your Heart Book Cover- Finalwfontchg.2 (Small)

Paperback $9.99   https://www.createspace.com/4330606

AMERICAN HEART MONTH

National Wear Red Day on February 7th

 In support of American Heart Month, we are providing excerpts from our book

and have reduced prices for the entire month of February.

 Your Heart – Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease in

Women, Men and Children

Kindle e-book $2.99   http://tinyurl.com/kindle-heart-sale     Your Heart Book Cover- Finalwfontchg.2 (Small)

Paperback $9.99   https://www.createspace.com/4330606

Excerpt:    Cardiovascular Disease

Coronary arteries carry blood, nutrients and oxygen to the heart muscle. When waxy cholesterol accumulates within the inner artery wall, it stiffens the artery and begins blocking the flow of blood. The artery disease is called atherosclerosis. The word describes what is happening: athero means fat; sclerosis means hardening. Many people call atherosclerosis “hardening of the arteries.”

Because this destructive process occurs not only in the heart arteries, but in arteries throughout the body, it is called cardiovascular disease. When blood flow is decreased to other organs, such as the kidneys and brain, kidney failure and dementia occur.

Many other forms of heart disease are the result of infection, toxins, hereditary factors and congenital abnormalities over which you have little control. But with the right information, you can take control and treat atherosclerosis. The sooner you make good decisions to improve your health, the more likely you are to add years to your life. Food choices play a huge role. Both men and women are developing coronary artery disease at younger ages. Early evidence of coronary artery disease is even seen in children.

Beginning at a young age, what you eat makes a huge difference. Arteries are more likely to become narrowed throughout the entire body if predominant food choices are:

● High in salt, fat and calories — such as potato chips and French fries

● High in sugar — such as sweet-rolls, pancakes and candy

● High in saturated fats — such as bacon cheese-burgers

Many factors contribute to coronary artery disease; smoking and uncontrolled high blood pressure are two of the most harmful. In the US each year, these two factors are responsible for one-in-five heart related deaths. Next are obesity and inactivity, accounting for approximately one-in-ten heart deaths per year.

Experts agree inflammation is the likely trigger for atherosclerosis. Diabetes, obesity and inactivity are directly related to developing atherosclerosis. Other factors include: high LDL-cholesterol, stress, excessive alcohol intake, and illicit drug use. All of them increase inflammation in the body. Blood tests can measure inflammatory markers that correlate with coronary artery disease.

Daily stress levels rise with holding a job while juggling household responsibilities and securing childcare. Job burn-out, job loss, depression, sleeplessness and anxiety, all raise blood pressure and add to heart disease risks. Additionally, working the night shift adds to serious health problems including heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

Gender makes a difference. Men tend to develop coronary artery disease years earlier than women. Younger, premenopausal estrogen-producing women are typically at lower coronary disease risk than men the same age because estrogen is protective. As postmenopausal women age, their risks soon equal those in men.

This guide will take you through body processes contributing to the coronary artery disease epidemic and provide accurate science-based information about actions to improve your health. Even if you already have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease, you have the ability to stop its progression. Aggressive treatment can reverse changes inside the artery wall.

Remember — prevention is always the best medicine.

More life-saving information like this can be found in Your Heart: Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease in Women, Men & Children

Betty Kuffel, MD

Bev Erickson co-author/artist/cover design