“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” -Hippocrates.
Healing properties of food have been reported by cultures worldwide throughout history. Over the past decade we have uncovered, through numerous clinical studies, all the health benefits individual foods can offer! By identifying the various nutrients associated with these benefits, we can heal our bodies with food better than pills, potions, and powders ever could.
“There is a wealth of…evidence that increasing the concentration of HDL cholesterol through diet will lower the risk of coronary artery disease.” –R.P. Mensink, Maastricht University.1
When it comes to eating heart healthy diets, new science proves we shouldn’t be concerned with lowering total cholesterol, instead we should focus on raising our HDL levels (the “good cholesterol”). Researchers have found that people with low HDL levels run a much greater risk for heart disease.
“Our focus of trying to reduce our LDL and total cholesterol levels (especially saturated fats) may not have just failed to reduce heart disease risk- but it might have actually increased it along with decreasing our health, weakening our blood sugar control, and increasing insulin resistance and obesity.” - The Journal of American Medical Association
So, how do we increase our HDL levels? We replace unhealthy starches and sweets with healthy sources of fat. Try to consume more seafood, coconut, milled flax seeds, and chia seed and try to avoid starches as they lower HDL.
Written by: Mallory McCormick, Weigh and Win Health Coach
“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
Preventing and controlling heart disease can be as easy as choosing to take the stairs over the escalator, eating lean proteins over fattier meats, or just monitoring your weight. Here are seven ways you can improve your heart health.
Get Active: Aim for 30 minutes of activity a day most days of the week. Try parking farther away or taking the stairs when you have those options.
Eat Better: Eat plenty of fresh fruits, non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins and quality carbohydrates. Don’t forget to drink water too!
Improve Your Weight: Aim for a BMI below 25 and less weight carried around your stomach, and more around the hips. “Apple” shaped has more health risks than “Pear” shaped.
Kick the Habit: According to the CDC, cigarette smokers are 2–4 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than nonsmokers. So, if you’re a smoker try to kick the habit. The Colorado Quit Line is a free online service for all residents.
Reduce & Manage Your Blood Sugar: Try to eat small meals throughout the day and focus on quality carbohydrates that create less of a spike in blood sugar levels.
Keep Your Blood Pressure in Check: It’s known as the silent killer for not having any symptoms. It’s important to check your blood pressure often and kick the salt shaker habit and limit processed foods to balance your sodium intake.
Control Your Cholesterol: Cholesterol or plaque build-up is one of the main causes of heart disease. Choose healthy fats while eliminating trans or saturated fats. Keep in mind though, although olive oil may be a better choice, it’s still a fat so keep the portion sizes small.
Written by: Rachel Corcoran, Weigh and Win Health Coach