Heart Health & Healthy Life Choices

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We continue with a discussion on heart health during September, last week we looked at atherosclerosis and the importance of cholesterol. This week we are discussing healthy life choices, dieting, and some myths related to diets.

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Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Research has found that – eating a balanced diet rich in organic fruit and vegetables, leaner meats and fibre reduces heart disease risk.

Whether that diet is rich in fats, protein-rich or carb-rich matters less for cardiovascular health, as long as it contains a healthy balance. The quality of foods matters more than focusing on any specific macronutrients.

A study examined the cardiovascular health impacts of the three main components of our diets– fat, carbohydrates, and protein — called macronutrients.

The results of research have shown that balancing a healthy ratio of the macronutrients – fats, carbohydrates, and protein– were similarly effective in decreasing inflammation and injury to the heart muscle and in improving the heart health. Changing the macronutrients of the diet did not offer any other advantages.

One possible explanation is that the impact of diet on cardiac injury is fast and so the injury decreases rapidly after introducing a healthy diet. Dr. Stephen Juraschek, a study co-author, said:


Our findings support flexibility in food selection for people attempting to eat a healthier diet and should make it easier. With the average person eating fewer than two servings of fruit and vegetables a day, the typical American diet is quite different from any of these diets, which all included at least four to six servings of fruits and vegetables a day.”
“There are multiple debates about dietary carbs and fat, but the message from our data is clear: eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and high in
fibre that is restricted in red meats, sugary beverages, and sweets, will not only improve cardiovascular risk factors but also reduce direct injury to the heart.”

YO-YO Dieting won’t do your Heart Any Favours

The more times you go on a yo-yo diet, the worse for your heart health. A lot of people struggle to maintain their ideal weight, but repeatedly losing and regaining pounds – known as YO-YO Dieting.
A new study found that women who lost at least 10 pounds, but then put that weight back on within a year, were more likely to have risk factors for heart disease. The more times someone went on a yo-yo diet, the worse their heart health.

Here are some myths related to diets and foods we eat.

Myth – A Low Fat Diet is Best
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Low-fat diets are the currently popular trend – they’re pretty much good for nothing. While a low-fat diet may potentially give you fast results concerning weight loss, it can seriously mess up your health. To keep your body and cholesterol in check, bring back the butter and remember that not all saturated fats are created equal. Some may be harmful while others beneficial or completely neutral. It all depends on the type of food.

To reduce triglycerides and raise “good” cholesterol, go with a low-carb diet and the right cholesterol supplements like Rychol or Abana; lessen the intake of foods like white bread, potatoes, white rice, crackers, and sugar. Also, do remember that even though high cholesterol may be due to your diet, the most significant factor in cholesterol levels is INFLAMMATION.

Myth – Eggs are the Enemy
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Start eating eggs again!!!! They only have a slight effect on blood cholesterol. It appears that even people with coronary heart disease can consume two eggs per day for six weeks without experiencing any adverse effects on their cholesterol levels. Eggs are also a good source of choline….which plays a role in memory, and antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lutein which help prevent macular degeneration.

Heart Health – Some Tips To Ponder

Although you might know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, it’s often tough to change your eating habits. Whether you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt or you simply want to fine-tune your diet, here are eight heart-healthy diet tips. Once you know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit, you’ll be on your way toward a heart-healthy diet.

1. Control Your Portion Size

How much you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking seconds and eating until you feel stuffed can lead to eating more calories than you should. Portions served in restaurants are often more than anyone needs.

2. Eat More Fresh Fruit & Vegetables
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Load your plate with the fresh raw or steamed vegetables and avoid those swimming in creamy sauces, crumbed or deep-fried. Canned or dried/preserved fruits have loads of hidden sugars – so be sure to avoid these on the desert & snack menu (unless the fruits are organically sun-dried and not preserved in sugars or syrups.

3. Select Wholegrain Food
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These are a source of natural healthy fibre and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health, not to say they don’t play an important role in gut health and the reduction of toxins. Whole grain Brown rice, barley, buckwheat, AVOID the glutens where possible, nut & seed based flours & organic rolled raw oats. AVOID the refined flours, cakes, pies & Pizza.

4. Healthy & Unhealthy Fats

Monitoring how much saturated and trans fats you eat is an important step to maintaining your blood cholesterol and lower your risk of coronary artery disease.
An easy way to add healthy fat (and fibre) to your diet is ground flaxseed. Flaxseeds are high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Some studies have found that flaxseeds may help lower cholesterol in some people, but more research is needed. You can grind the seeds in a coffee grinder or food processor and stir a teaspoon of them into yogurt, applesauce or hot cereal. When cooking with fats, the animal fats composition remain constant and do not alter chemically into toxic fats, and are best for cooking. Coconut Oil (organic) is a plant-based oil that remains consistent when heated moderately. The cold-pressed plant oils (Olive, Hemp, Avocado & Nut oils) are best served cold as a dressing for salads and food dishes. Healthy fats ensure we maintain the levels of vitamins A, D, E & K. Deficiencies in these have been linked to heart disease.

5. Choose Healthy Fat Protein Sources
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Organic meat, poultry and fish, natural dairy products, and eggs are some of your best sources of protein. But be careful when choosing lower-fat options, such as skim milk rather than whole milk as there are many hidden sugars.
Fish is another good alternative and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower blood fats called triglycerides. You’ll find the highest amounts of omega-3 fatty acids in cold-water fish, such as salmon, mackerel and herring. Other sources are flaxseed & walnuts.
Legumes — beans, peas, and lentils — also are good sources of protein and contain healthy fats making them good substitutes for meat.

6. Reduce The Salt

Eating a lot of salt (sodium) can contribute to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Reducing sodium is an important part of a heart-healthy diet. Preferably the Natural salts – Himalayan type is best. Eating fresh foods and making your own soups and stews can reduce the amount of salt you eat.

7. Plan Ahead So Temptation is Less

You know what foods to feature in your heart-healthy diet and which ones to limit. Now it’s time to put your plans into action.
Create daily menus using the six strategies listed above. When selecting foods for each meal and snack, emphasize vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Choose lean protein sources and healthy fats, and limit salty foods. Watch your portion sizes and add variety to your menu choices.

8. Allow Yourself The Occasional Treat
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Allow yourself an indulgence every now and then. A few squares of dark chocolate, vegetable crisps or a nut-based flour pancake…. Gluten-free snack smart treats are in most stores today, just be sure to read the labels they won’t derail your heart-healthy diet. But don’t let it turn into an excuse for giving up on your healthy-eating plan. If overindulgence is the exception, rather than the rule, you’ll balance things out over the long term. What’s important is that you eat healthy foods most of the time.

Incorporate these eight tips into your life, and you’ll find that heart-healthy eating is both doable and enjoyable. With planning and a few simple substitutions, you can eat with your heart in mind.

BALANCED HEALING can provide Support & guide you with Healthy Lifestyle Choices. Contact us today.

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SUN SMART

Now that the holiday season is almost upon us it is important to discuss your skin, the largest organ in the body and how to obtain optimal skin health & protection.

LAYERS OF THE SKIN

The skin has three layers:
·The EPIDERMIS, the outermost layer of skin, provides a waterproof barrier and creates our skin tone.
·The DERMIS, beneath the epidermis, contains tough connective tissue, hair follicles, and sweat glands.
·The deeper subcutaneous tissue (HYPODERMIS) is made of fat and connective tissue.

THE PURPOSE OF SKIN

+It keeps the insides IN & the outside OUT – provides a BARRIER
+PROTECTS US – The skin functions as our first line of defence against toxins, radiation and harmful pollutants. The skin contains cells that provide immune functions to protect against infections. Our skin has the ability to identify and destroy foreign substances that may potentially be harmful to the body.
+ABSORPTION – Thousands of pores on the surface of the skin can absorb vitamins, acids, water and oxygen in order to provide moisture and nourishment to our skin.
+EXCRETION – The skin is the body’s largest waste removal system. Toxins are released through the sweat glands and pores.
+SECRETION – The skin secretes sebum, a mixture of oils that keeps the skin soft and supple. The layer of sebum on the outermost layer of the skin is known as the acid mantle. When intact the acid mantle has a PH that ranges from 4.5-5.5. The acid mantle is acidic in nature to protect the skin from outside invasion.
+REGULATION – The skin regulates the body’s temperature by sweating; when water from sweat on the skin evaporates it gives off heat and cools the body. The body’s temperature increases or by shivering or getting goosebumps when the body is cold. The contraction of muscles releases energy that warms the body.
+SENSATION – The skin contains millions of nerve endings that transport stimuli. These nerve endings allow humans to detect sensation such as heat, cold, pain and pressure.

SKIN COLOUR

MELANIN: The pigment that gives human skin, hair, and eyes their colour. Dark-skinned people have more melanin in their skin than light-skinned people have. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes.

Everyone has about the same number of cells that make melanin, but not everybody makes the same amount of melanin. The more melanin your skin makes the darker your skin. How much melanin your body makes depends on your genes, which you get from your parents. Melanin is why you get a tan or burn.

Dark pigmented people living in high sunlight environments are at an advantage due to the high amounts of melanin produced in their skin. The dark pigmentation protects from DNA damage and absorbs the right amounts of UV radiation needed by the body, as well as protects against folate depletion.

SUNLIGHT & MELANIN

Sunlight modifies melanin
Have you ever wondered why your skin colour changes when exposed to sunlight? Well, it turns out that this important pigment reacts to the exposure of ultraviolet light, so when receiving solar radiation absorbs UV rays to minimize damage to the skin, which modifies its original colour and makes it much more intense and dark

The Process has a positive aspect in that it protects the skin and the body in general from suffering deep burns, although its prolonged exposure to the sun can cause an adverse reaction in the cells, turning them into carcinogens.

The lack of melanin and its consequences
When we have little melanin in the body the consequences are visible, a lack of extreme melanin occurs in the form of albinism, however, a considerable deficiency of it can also manifest as vitiligo, a condition that can reduce the existing pigment in certain areas of the body.

In addition, a lack of considerable melanin in the epidermis can cause the early appearance of grey hair, while its excess can trigger the appearance of age spots.

SUN EXPOSURE
It feels good to lounge in the sunshine, but it can hurt your health in the long run. Over the years, too much time outdoors can put you at risk for wrinkles, age spots, scaly patches called actinic keratosis, and skin cancer.

A tan may look nice, but that golden colour is due to an injury to the top layer of your skin.

When you soak up the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, it speeds up the ageing of your skin and raises your risk of skin cancer.

SUNBURN
Sunburn (First-Degree Burns) There’s no guesswork about whether you’ve got a sunburn. Your skin turns red, it feels hot to the touch, and you may have some mild pain. uIt’s called a first-degree burn when it affects only the outer layer of your skin. To get some relief from pain, try a cold compress, or apply some moisturizing cream or aloe.

Sunburn (Second Degree) A second-degree sunburn damages deep layers of your skin and nerve endings. It’s usually more painful and takes longer to heal. You may have redness and swelling. If blisters form, don’t break them. They might get infected.

Read more @ https://zurl.co/MVYD

Stay tuned as next week we will discuss the ageing effects of sun exposure.
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Globally, every minute, a man dies by suicide. In Australia, 75% of suicides are men.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

TALK, ASK, LISTEN, ENCOURAGE ACTION, CHECK-IN

Watch this powerful video that could save a Bro's life.

https://youtu.be/cDYAgurah8g
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