One of my favorite health tips drives my friends nuts when I start preaching about juicing!
Do you have enough time in your day to eat all the recommended fruits and vegetables that will keep you healthy and happy???
It's not easy! But my personal solution is MY JUICE MACHINE!
Look into getting a juicer for your own health boost! A juice machine is the best investment you can make for your health and happiness!
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Cholesterol, a beginner's guide.
The purpose of this article is to give you an initial introduction to the meaning of cholesterol, what causes it and why does your body have it. Once you have this initial grounding and understanding, you can then move on to reading more complex articles such as those that can be found at http://www.cholesterolarterydisease.com
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat like substance that comes from certain foods, it is also produced by our own bodies. There are two types of cholesterol, commonly referred to as 'bad cholesterol" and 'good cholesterol" 'Bad cholesterol" delivers cholesterol to our bodies. 'Good cholesterol' takes cholesterol out of the bloodstream.
Do we need cholesterol in our bodies?
Cholesterol is a vital part of our bodies. It is needed for our brain to function and is a main component of our cells.
What are the risks of cholesterol?
This is due to cholesterol being deposited in the arteries.
Where does it come from?
Cholesterol is found naturally in the following foods. Eggs Milk Butter Cheese Fish Meat Poultry
Certain foods contain a high cholesterol content such as: Liver Dairy fats Egg yolks
How is cholesterol measured?
Your cholesterol level can be a guide to the condition of your health, in particular your life expectancy. The USA and UK have different ways of measuring cholesterol, so make sure you don't mix them up if do a comparison. If you are concerned about your cholesterol level you should visit your doctor to have it measured. This is done by taking a sample of your blood. Your doctor can then present you with a plan to help get your cholesterol level back to normal.
What if you have a high cholesterol count?
Generally, if you have a high cholesterol level, you will be told to go on to a diet of low cholesterol foods such as:
Whole grains Beans Fruit
Your doctor may also give you the option of medication to assist in reducing your cholesterol level. It is not possible for you to know if you have a high cholesterol level without having it measured. So as a precaution you should at least take steps to establish your current cholesterol level.
The content of this article is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Do not alter your diet or start taking medication without consulting with your doctor or health provider.
Colin Beach is a freelance writer for http://www.cholesterolarterydisease.com
Visit the following web site for more information: Low cholesterol You'll find several articles relating to specific aspects of cholesterol.
As always, before you attempt to self medicate or try a new health regimen or program we suggest you retain the services of a qualified health care professional.
Cholesterol...what is it?
We are being made more aware each and everyday of the possible problems that can be caused by cholesterol, it seems that cholesterol is a medical symptom of our modern day way of life.
The problem originates from our bodies requirement for a certain amount of fat intake, some for immediate use and some to be stored for use later on, and this fat intake requires a delivery system to the rest of the body as a whole.
But what is cholesterol and how can it affect our general state of health.
Well in fact cholesterol is a natural function of the human body and every one of us requires a certain amount of cholesterol to maintain a healthy state of being, the problem only begins when our bodies produce an imbalance. From the initial intake of fat the body starts its processing procedure by absorbing it into the intestines and from thereon into the liver. While in the liver the fat is split into two different types, one being triglycerides and the other cholesterol. After this transformation has taken place the triglycerides and cholesterol are packed into vehicles for moving them onwards into the fat cells throughout the body using the bloodstream. These vehicles are called lipoproteins.
There are three types of lipoproteins:
1.Very Low Density Lipoproteins (VLDL)
2.Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL)
3.High Density Lipoproteins (HDL)
Under normal circumstances, our bloodstream does a very efficient job of carrying the LDL and HDL Lipoproteins throughout the body. Cholesterol is a waxy; fat like substance that presents itself naturally in the cell walls and membranes everywhere in our bodies. Cholesterol is used by our bodies to produce many hormones and also uses it to produce vitamin D and the bile acids that help to digest fat. Where problems can arise is when there is an over abundance of cholesterol in our bloodstream. The cholesterol which is deposited by the LDL can lead to a narrowing of the blood vessels.
If this occurs, the excess can be deposited in the arteries of the heart, which could result in stroke or heart disease. This is called atherosclerosis. This is why LDL is known as "bad cholesterol." HDL usually collects the bad cholesterol and takes it back to the liver. That's why HDL is known as "good cholesterol." Cholesterol is not of course the only cause of heart disease, but it can be a contributing factor and this of course is why we should consult our doctors on a regular basis for a cholesterol check so that any required attention to this matter can be taken at the earliest possible time.
The aim of this article is to open your eyes to the hazards of increment in cholesterol level in our body, the causes that instigate it and few well -known medicines that are efficient in curtailing the adverse effects of this rising cholesterol.
So, a surge in the cholesterol level of the body chimes the alarm of risk to the most precious organ- heart. But cholesterol does not function only negatively. It has a positive task of building the cell walls of one's body cells and producing the essential hormone called estrogen or testosterone. Normal quantity of cholesterol that is less than 200 milligrams is not harmful to human body. However, the cholesterol level in the body increases due to many reasons. Some of the significant ones are-
Cholesterol is problematic for those whose bodies cannot secrete large amount of fatty substances.
Intake of cholesterol abounding food or what is known as a poor diet.
Lack of exercise with regular heavy eating.
Obesity due to food habits or hormonal imbalance . Hereditary or genetic transfer prevalent in instances where family has a history of heart ailments. On behalf of these origins doctors advise people to keep a check on their diet, other addictives like narcotics, alcohol etc. and to engage in work- outs like exercises and the like.
Symptoms- High cholesterol can be identified with the appearance of soft yellow skin close to your eyes and the lack of energy or weariness due to clogging of the arteries.
Medication- Few medicines that are deemed to be considerably efficient in case of cholesterol management are-
Advicor is prescribed when the LDL i.e. the low-density lipoprotein and HDL- high-density lipoprotein are inadequate in body. Advicor are Lovastatin and Niacin. These help in plummeting the cholesterol level. This medicine should never be eaten empty stomach. A combo of exercise, rich diet (where nutrition supersedes fats and cholesterol) and Advicor can produce wonderful effects. However, the medicine should be avoided in case the person is allergic to Niacin and Lovastatin, is suffering from liver or any such disease and in case of pregnancy, breast feeding etc. It is best to take Advicor on advice your physician. Like other medicines, Advicor too has its own side effects.
Zocor is another name in the list of cholesterol regulating medicines. It is most often prescribed when the LDL reaches 130 and there is a huge threat of a heart attack. Zocor reduces the possibility or peril of bypass surgery, angioplasty etc. to a great extent.
Lescol is mostly recommended in cases where the individual is liable or has already undergone a cardiac arrest or blocking of arteries and other such problems. The drug is meant for those patients who are impotent in reducing their cholesterol with low fats and poor cholesterol food. Lescol too should not be taken in situation of pregnancy and breast feed for it can have drastic repercussions on the fetus.
Lipitor is also a suggested medicine when the LDL scales to 130 or more. It too functions as a drug helpful in lowering the blood cholesterol and so the threat of a heart disorder.
Along with these and many other noteworthy prescriptive drugs what should be borne in mind is the regularity that is required in taking them and the exercises and diet prescribed to accentuate their effect. Recklessness in any of these measures can be fatal to your life
Mansi gupta writes about high cholesterol topics.
Six Quick Steps to Reducing Cholesterol
6 QUICK STEPS TO REDUCING CHOLESTEROL
The number of Americans diagnosed with high cholesterol has reached alarming numbers. Over 105 million American adults have total cholesterol levels of 200 (new standard) milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) and higher. Of these, 42 million have levels of 240 (old standard) mg/dL or higher, which doubles the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Cholesterol is a fat like substance produced in the body and plays many important roles. A few of its many functions include: an essential structural component of the cellular membrane and as a precursor to the hormones testosterone and estrogen. Total blood cholesterol levels are dictated by the amount produced by the body and the amount consumed in our diets. Problems arise when cholesterol levels are high and the excess is deposited, leading to narrowing of arteries and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Unfortunately we can't control the amount of cholesterol produced by the body. However, there are a few factors under your control that can help reduce your risk.
1. Reduce the amount of cholesterol in your diet The first thing do is familiarize yourself with foods high in cholesterol. Cholesterol is found in animal products only, such as egg yolk, meat, poultry, seafood and dairy products. Below is a list of commonly eaten sources of cholesterol.
FoodCholesterol (mg) Whole egg213 Chicken, white meat (1oz) 25 Cheese :american,blue,brie,cheddar,colby monterey,parmesean,swiss (1oz) 30 Ground beef, extra lean (1oz) 30 Turkey, light meat (1oz) 25 Pork, center loin (1oz) 30 Shrimp (1oz) 55 Most other fish (1oz) 15 - 25
The American Heart Association recommends a three-step approach to lowering cholesterol.
Cholesterol - Step One - less than 300 mg/day Step Two - between 200 - 250 mg/day Step Three - less than 150 mg/day ***
To realize the most dramatic reduction, step three is recommended.
2. Reduce saturated fat intake Saturated fat should be around 5 - 7% of caloric intake. On a 1200 kcal/day diet you would be allowed 5-9 grams of saturated fat / day. The reduction of saturated fat in the diet has been one of the most successful strategies for lowering cholesterol. Saturated fats are most abundant in animal products, but can be found in large amounts in certain plant oils, such as palm & coconut oils.
Don't be fooled by products claiming to be "cholesterol free", they may contain coconut or palm oil, which are still high in saturated fats.
Foods high in saturated fat are as follows and should be consumed sparingly: Animal sources ButterCheeseWhole Milk CreamIce CreamFat in BEEF, PORK & LAMB
Plant sources Cocoa ButterCoconutCoconut Oil Palm OilPalm Kernel Oil
3. Reduce sodium intake Americans average from 4,000 to 5,800 per day. The American Heart Association recommends 2000 milligrams of sodium or less per day. To put this into perspective for you, one teaspoon of salt has 2,196 mg of sodium. Therefore practices such as salting your food contribute to about 18 percent of the average American diet. The other major source of sodium (67 percent) is in processed foods.
You were not born with the taste for salt - you acquired it. It will take about a month of eating less salt and high sodium foods to reduce your desire for it.
4. Increase fiber intake Eating fiber can help lower cholesterol levels. Fiber binds to lipids such as cholesterol and carries them out of the body, therefore lowering blood concentrations and possibly the risk of artery and heart disease. Oat bran, oatmeal, rice bran, beans, and fiber from fruits, vegetables, seeds and legumes are the most beneficial. You should eat between 30-40 grams of fiber per day.
5. Exercise Aerobic exercise can increase high-density lipoprotein HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease triglycerides (circulating fat in bloodstream). There is a dose related response between the amount of calories expended an increase in HDL. The threshold value to effect HDL levels is a weekly caloric expenditure is between 1000-1200 calories. Where expending between 2000-3500 calories / week has an optimal effect.
How much aerobic exercise is that? Put in terms of just walking, that means 10 - 12 miles / week to attain the threshold level or 20 miles to reach optimal value of exercise. If you are exercising 5 days / week, this means 2 miles per workout. This may seem like a lot, however if one were to walk at 3.5 miles / hr, 2 miles could be completed in approximately 34 minutes. Plus, walking is not the only form of aerobic activity one can perform to achieve a benefit. Activities such as cycling, swimming, elliptical training and stair climbing are also appropriate. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends this activity take place at 50-80% of VO2 max. Exercising at this intensity will burn approximately 250-300 calories / half hour.
Additionally, studies have shown whether aerobic exercise is done in a single bout or broken up benefits are similar. In other words, it does not matter is you do three 10 minutes bouts or one 30 minute bout of aerobic exercise.
Be careful; remember these are general recommendations for apparently healthy individuals. Before starting any sort of exercise program on should always consult their physician and be under the supervision and guidance of a qualified exercise professional.
6. Weight Loss Numerous studies show weight loss combined with exercise is key to reducing total cholesterol and improving overall blood lipid profile. The formula for weight loss is simple, however a small percentage of dieters are successful at losing the weight and keeping it off. That is why losing weight needs to be approached as a lifestyle change, not a diet. Dieting does not work. Consume fewer calories than the body needs and weight loss will occur. If lowering cholesterol is your goal, a caloric deficit can be achieved be reducing sources of cholesterol and saturated fat, while increasing the fiber in diet.
REFERENCES 1.ACSM's Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins. Fourth Edition, 277-284, 2001. 2.ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins. Sixth Edition, 137-164, 2000. 3.www.cdc.gov : Centers For Disease Control website; 2005. 4.Dietary Treatment of High Blood Pressure and High Blood Cholesterol, A manual for patients. American Heart Association, 1990.
Paul DiLauro, MS is an Exercise Physiologist at Peak Performance Fitness (www.peakptfit.com) and an ACSM certified Health Fitness Instructor.
Breaking the Cholesterol Myth
Have you seen the latest drug commercial?
You know, the one where the guy is walking down a spiral stair case with numbers printed on each step gradually going lower. He's talking about how your doctors have told you that now you need to get your cholesterol even lower than you did before. It's a myth; and a dangerous one at that.
Let's start with just a bit of very basic biology.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is part of a group of compounds called sterols. Cholesterol is primarily produced by the liver, however, every cell in the human body is also capable of making cholesterol.
What is the role of cholesterol?
Cholesterol is used by the body to form cholic acid which is then used to make bile salts. Bile salts are necessary to digest fat. In addition, cholesterol is necessary for the production of adrenal and reproductive hormones such as DHEA, pregnenolone, progesterone, testosterone, estrogen, aldosterone and cortisol. Cholesterol is also used to make the skin impervious to water and other substances that may be harmful to the body as well as to bind with toxins in the blood which will then reduce inflammation protecting the nerves, brain tissue and heart.
Biology lesson over. We can now understand why cholesterol is important. So why has it been give such a bad rap?
The myth started when scientists determined that there was a correlation between cholesterol in the blood and heart disease. If you had the wonderful opportunity to take any sort of research classes in school, you might remember that a correlation doesn't mean anything. It simply means two things are present at the same time. This is like circumstantial evidence, just because someone is found holding the gun, doesn't mean they pulled the trigger.
Working to lower cholesterol as a way to treat heart disease is kind of like getting a bunion removed because you have a headache.
It's important to note that cholesterol levels that are too high should be addressed. But what is too high? It used to be that what were considered normal were readings between 0 and 200. Anything above 200 was said to indicate heart disease. This was recently lowered to 0 to 169. But why was it lowered? Statistics show that heart disease rates are not improving. Despite statin drugs that are designed to lower cholesterol, people are still dying of heart attacks and more and more individuals are being diagnosed with some form of heart disease. The drug manufacturers certainly don't want to admit that their drugs aren't working as intended (even though they are somewhat successful at lowering cholesterol), so they decide that it's because the cholesterol levels are not low enough. If they drop the normal ranges, then they can sell more drugs and pass the buck for the continuing trend of heart disease.
The natural health experts are still out but there seems to be an unwritten agreement that levels between 175 and 230 are ideal. Levels below 150 or above 250 may indicate the need for more attention but do not necessarily indicate heart disease. There are better methods for determining the risk of heart disease; the ratio between LDL and HDL for example. Better yet is a test gaining popularity and much media attention for something called C-reactive Protein. While it isn't healthy to have extremely high cholesterol, it also isn't healthy to have very low cholesterol.
A short word about statin drugs Despite no scientific evidence showing that statin drugs reduce the risk of heart disease and despite evidence that they are not as successful in the real world for treating cholesterol as they had shown to be in the studies, statin drugs are one of the most commonly over-prescribed drugs in the US. Statins have many side effects, including increasing the risk for heart disease. Statins deplete CoQ10, an important co-enzyme for cardiac health. In addition they lower antioxidant levels, cause headaches, fatigue, memory loss, difficulty sleeping, and, of course, liver damage.
It's important to be proactive with your health. Don't let your doctors be the complete authority just as you wouldn't trust the salesman to give you all the details when making a large purchase. Do your own homework.
Nicole Bandes is a Certified Herb Specialist that has been helping others to regain their health and vitality since 1999. Nicole's weekly blog is a "Dear Abbey" style blog that allows her to share her knowledge to simple questions regarding the use of natural supplements and keep her readers educated on the latest news regarding natural supplements.
Besides diet, other causes of high cholesterol are lifestyle, gender and the heritage of the individual.
For some, even maintaining cholesterol at the right levels and being fit and thin will still not prevent the development of high levels of bad cholesterol. Due to heart risk factors besides diet, some people require a very aggressive approach which includes cholesterol lowing medication.
Lifestyle issues and high cholesterol: •When we opt for convenience in eating over nutrition, we are setting ourselves up for problems. Eating fast foods and convenience foods results in eating too many fats and salts, which can raise our bad cholesterol levels. In addition, a more sedentary lifestyle also contributes to unhealthy levels of cholesterol. If you want to see a graphic representation of this, consider renting the documentary movie "Supersize Me." This documentary details the attempts of one man to live on fast foods and little exercise alone. The results on his cholesterol and body health in just 30 days are truly frightening.
•A visit to a nutritionist or dietician can help us all better understand eating for the right reasons and for optimal health. It is never too late to start on this path.
•Regular exercise will effectively lower cholesterol and will maintain your body strength to function best. Just 20 minutes of aerobic exercise, including walking, each day will lower cholesterol. Exercise does not have to be a large time or money commitment. Simple activities that get you moving and that you enjoy enough to repeat are almost always adequate.
•An important consideration in eating is choosing lower fat.
•Buy cooking oils that are unsaturated. Use low fat cooking sprays to replace heavy oils whenever possible. Reduce your overall use of oils even further by using cooking techniques that require little or no oil.
Age and Gender:
•Cholesterol levels increase with age. Women generally have a lower level than men from age 50 to 55. Once a woman starts menopause, the cholesterol level starts to increase.
• While there is not much that you can do about your age, you can make sure that age does not threaten your heart health by sticking to a healthy lifestyle and diet and by getting your cholesterol levels monitored.
•Genetics play a key role in a person's health and this includes the amount of cholesterol you might have.
•Find out if your family battles with high levels of cholesterol and then bring this to your doctor's attention right away. If you have a family history of heart disease and high cholesterol levels, work harder and start earlier in adopting a healthy lifestyle and eating plan.
Jim has been interested in health factors for most of his life. Most of his knowledge is from investigating the many faucets for a healthy being. You can learn more of his research on low carb dieting by visiting: http://www.low-carb-dieting-secrets.com
Stress Is Just As Powerful As Diet In Influencing Cholesterol Levels!!!
You might find that hard to believe but it's very true. Let me give you an example:
Several studies, including one of medical students around exam time, and another of accountants during tax season, have shown significant increases in cholesterol levels during stressful events - when there was little change in diet.
Interesting isn't it!
Are you caught up in modern day life? Do you have a mix of crazy work deadlines, household responsibilities and family needs -- perhaps car problems or some bills that need urgent payment? You need to be very careful: Medical researchers have now discovered a link between periods of severe stress and increased cholesterol levels.
That's right: your hectic 'stressful lifestyle' might be boosting the levels of tiny fat particles in your bloodstream. That's because during stressful times, chemical messengers are released that prepare your body for the fight-or-flight response. These hormonal changes can raise your total cholesterol.
But that's not all. Stress can have a powerful, indirect effect on your cholesterol too. If you overeat, smoke, or turn into a couch potato in response to stress, you're giving in to unhealthy lifestyle habits that can raise levels of LDL's (bad cholesterol) and grind down levels of HDL's (good cholesterol). Gaining weight, eating lots of foods high in saturated fats, smoking, and avoiding exercise can all bury healthy cholesterol.
In a recent study, 77% of individuals with high levels of stress were able to lower their blood pressure and cholesterol levels simply by training themselves to stay calm.
It is possible that a bit of stress can be helpful, BUT that depends on how a person reacts to stress. If stress leads to more eating, smoking, sitting, brooding and a more depressed mood - then stress may well be harmful. If it leads to more activity, walking, gardening, even fidgeting - that may be beneficial for your artery walls but not necessarily beneficial for you!
So, what do you do?
Well you really need to balance your overall cholesterol-lowering plan by learning to manage your hectic lifestyle.
Say "No" Make it a priority to manage your time and emotions.
* Free up time for the activities that really matter
* Say no to burdensome requests.
Think before filling your stomach
* Are you really hungry?
* Or are you angry, lonely, tired, or frustrated?
Before you give in to emotional eating, try the following:
* Wait a few minutes
* Try a piece of fruit first
* Take a short walk
* Call a friend
* Or--if you're up late at night stressing over your crazy life…go to bed.
Treat Yourself Get a massage; go for a swim…whatever relaxes your body.
Mingle Make time for your family and friends.
Be Joyful Look for the humor in life, and laugh out loud. Tell a joke, read a funny book
Relax Set aside 10 minutes a day to close your eyes and focus gently on your breathing and on the positive things in your life
That Brings Us To Meditation!
Until recently, the primary purpose of meditation has been religious, although its health benefits have long been recognized. It is now being further explored as a way of reducing stress on both mind and body.
Studies have found that regular meditation can:
* Reduce healthcare use
* Increase longevity and quality of life
* Reduce chronic pain
* Reduce anxiety
* Reduce high blood pressure
* Reduce serum cholesterol level
* Reduce substance abuse
* Increase intelligence-related measures
* Reduce post-traumatic stress syndrome in Vietnam veterans
* Lower blood cortisol levels initially brought on by stress
So you see, apart from just helping to lower cholesterol levels, there are many other life benefits to meditating!
Wishing you the very best in your endeavors
Ramzi Abboud Cholesterol Consultant, Author and President Lower-Cholesterol-Naturally-Fast
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ramzi Abboud is a recognized authority on the subject of lowering cholesterol. His website, http://www.lower-cholesterol-naturally-fast.com provides a wealth of information on every thing you'll ever need to know about lowering cholesterol, including information on over 40 natural supplements that can help to melt away your high cholesterol levels
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