December 6, 2010

Healthy Food Mistakes

Posted in Heart disease tips tagged , , , , at 6:58 pm by keepyourhearthealthy

 

photo by posterize

You may think that you are eating a very healthy diet but the rules seem to change every decade.

For instance, do you know how much total sugar you should take in daily?  Also, should you always avoid eating eggs?  Read the following article to learn some of the most up to date health food tips:

6 Food Mistakes Even Healthy Eaters Make Fitbie.

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October 10, 2010

Number of Calories on Nutrition Facts Labels May Be Wrong!

Posted in Heart disease tips, Helpful Heart Links tagged , , , , , , , , , at 12:06 am by keepyourhearthealthy

US Nutritional Fact Label

Image via Wikipedia

An interesting article on the AARP website has brought up a startling new diet fact based on a recent study: Nutrition Facts reported on food labels may be false!

According to the article, packaged diet foods may be listing their total calories from 20 to 200 percent less than the actual amount of calories!  One example they gave was a 200 calorie frozen dinner which might in fact contain 240 calories instead.  A few of the culprits mentioned on the AARP website included Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers and Denny’s.

The government apparently allows for a 20 percent error margin so the food companies will not be changing their ways anytime soon.  For people with heart disease, you will want to consider these significant errors in food labeling while making decisions about what to eat.  When living a heart-healthy lifestyle an extra 40 calories in every meal can be seriously detrimental to your diet!  Try to cook fresh meals at home in order to avoid the extra calories.  It may not be as convenient but at least you know what you are eating!

Check out the AARP article at the following link: Calorie Counts Often Too Low on Fast Foods and Frozen Dinners.

August 5, 2010

Low Carb Diet May Increase Good Cholesterol Better Than Low Fat Diet

Posted in Heart Disease in the News, Heart disease tips, New Heart Studies tagged , , , , at 11:55 pm by keepyourhearthealthy

photo by Carlos Porto

In terms of diets, many options are available to those who want a healthier lifestyle.  Traditionally, the low fat diet was considered the best type for heart disease patients.  “Low fat” means eating 20 grams or less of total fat per day. The American Heart Association takes the low fat diet standpoint one step further by recommending as little trans fat or saturated fat as possible.  People now also have the option of the popular Adkins diet which is a low carbohydrate lifestyle that does not limit fat at all.  On the up side, low carb diet means a person can eat bacon, any kind of meat and most vegetables.  On the down side, low carb basically means no breads, pasta, fruits or sugary foods.   Other diet options include the Mediterranean diet and the South Beach Diet which use whole grains for carbs and good fats such as olive oil.

A new study has found that low fat versus low carb actually gives low carb a bit of an advantage.  Over 300 participants over 2 years were placed on either a low fat or low carb diet.  Both groups lost a similar amount of weight.  The main difference was that low carb participants had significantly higher HDL (good cholesterol).  See the study report at www.theheart.org.

Personally, I think this indicates that low fat is not necessarily the entire picture of healthy living.  The refined grains found in most of Americans’ diet are not beneficial to our health!  The people who ate low carb were cutting back on the refined grains like white bread, cookies, cakes and white rice.  There are more and more studies proving the health benefits of whole grains and good fat (see  A Lesson In Whole Grains and How To Eat More Of The Good Fats Like Omega-3).

No matter which diet you choose, make sure you add whole grains and stick to your diet.  Changing to a new diet every week will confuse your body and make for a harder weight loss.  Whatever you choose, make it a priority to eat healthy and exercise.  Your heart will thank you for it!

April 30, 2010

One Fast Food Meal Has More Salt Than You Should Eat For The Entire Day!!

Posted in Heart disease tips, New Heart Studies, Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:05 am by keepyourhearthealthy

A new survey of fast food chains in New York shows that over half of all fast food meals contain more sodium than the recommended daily amount. The FDA has set a recommended limit of 600mg of sodium per meal in order for the meal to be considered healthy. Diets high in sodium can result in high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease. In this new survey, approximately 6500 fast food meals were reviewed for sodium content. The average was 1751mg of sodium…per meal!! That’s over 200mg more than the healthy daily limit.

Is this really a surprise? Probably not. Most people, especially those with heart disease, should already know that fast food is bad for you on multiple levels. Fast food meals are generally high in fat, saturated fat and sodium. This research is just another way to show us all that we need to avoid fast food if we want to stay healthy.

February 10, 2010

Do You Need To Lose Weight? Know Your BMI!

Posted in Heart disease tips tagged , , , , , , , at 1:07 am by keepyourhearthealthy

In my book What To Do When You Have Heart Disease, I do not specify that everyone with heart disease needs to lose weight.  Why would I miss such an important detail when we are always hearing about how overweight the American population is?  Certainly a large number of heart disease patients are overweight and even obese!  BUT, not everyone with heart disease is your typical overweight patient.  My father has had 2 heart attacks and you can barely pinch an inch of fat on him.  I know it seems like a contradiction, but skinny people can also have heart disease!  It would be totally inappropriate to tell someone who is already thin that they need to lose weight because of heart disease.  Of course, everyone with heart disease needs to eat healthy, but there can be a difference between eating healthy and eating to lose weight.  Someone who is already thin does not need to eat less or cut back on their calories like someone who is overweight.  A thin person just needs to change the types of foods they eat to avoid saturated fats.

When SHOULD a person go on a restrictive diet for the purpose of losing weight?  First, you need to calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index) at the following site: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/  If your BMI is greater than 25, then you are considered overweight and should discuss a weight loss diet with your cardiologist.  If your BMI is 30 or more, then you are considered obese and should go on a weight loss diet as soon as possible.  Being obese puts a strain on your entire body, from your heart to your joints!

November 23, 2009

Heart Healthy Recipe Booklet

Posted in Helpful Heart Links, Recipes tagged , , , , , , at 2:34 am by keepyourhearthealthy

Mazola and the American Heart Association teamed up about a year ago to create a FREE heart-healthy recipe booklet. The recipes include:

Fish Tacos
Fiesta Black Beans and Corn
Beef Teriyaki Stir-Fry
Chicken Saltimbocca
Orange-Balsamic Barbecued Chicken
Peach Crumble
Herb-Crusted Turkey (or Chicken) Alfredo Pizza
Chicken and Sofrito with Yellow Rice
Cinnamon-Glazed Sweet Potato Wedges
Carrot-Apple Mini Muffins

I’m not sure how long the download will be available but currently the file is still there. Get your FREE download of this great recipe booklet at:

http://www.mazola.com/pdf/cookbook_eng.pdf