Posts Tagged ‘Cholesterol’

Prescription 2014: Strawberries

January 14, 2014 Written by JP

The word ‘prescription’ has become synonymous with medications that can only be prescribed by a licensed physician. In 2014, I’m going to do my part to reinvent the use of this word. Beginning today and continuing onward for each month of 2014, I’m going to prescribe a natural practice that may very well transform your current state of health for the better. The more “prescriptions” you adopt, the more your wellness is likely to improve.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 4 Comments

Tagatose Sweetener

September 17, 2013 Written by JP

Tagatose is a sweetener currently making its way onto the U.S. market. And, I want you to know more about it before it starts showing up in your local health food stores and markets. Personally, I’m interested in tagatose because it’s all natural, low glycemic and may even impart some significant health benefits. In addition, it’s a prebiotic, meaning that it selectively promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in as well, look for products with names like PreSweet and Tagatesse.

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Posted in Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss, Nutrition | 3 Comments

Kale Kimchi Cholesterol Reducer

April 26, 2013 Written by JP

Over the years, several of my clients have expressed concern about borderline high levels of LDL cholesterol. In almost every case, the rest of their lipid profile (HDL or “good” cholesterol, triglycerides and VLDL or very low density cholesterol) were generally classified as acceptable to outstanding. Uniformly, my response has been that there’s nothing to be concerned about if they’re already leading a heart healthy lifestyle that avoids smoking and includes regular exercise, stress management and a nutrient-dense diet. Personally, I tell them that under the same circumstances, I wouldn’t use medications or supplements to lower my LDL cholesterol. However, on occasion, the largely unjustified fear that’s been instilled about LDL cholesterol persists and some sort of action is requested.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 13 Comments

Sauerkraut Health Benefits

December 10, 2012 Written by JP

As a general rule, I avoid writing columns solely inspired by anecdotal evidence. After all, one of the objectives of my work on this site is to present information that is supported by verifiable, scientific evidence. So, when a client of mine reported success using sauerkraut for his heartburn symptoms, I acknowledged it with interest, but had no plan to write about it. On that same day, while updating my database on probiotics, I happened upon some intriguing research on … You guessed it – sauerkraut. Whether a coincidence or not, I took it as an opportunity to look into fermented cabbage aka sauerkraut, an important and underutilized “super food”.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 4 Comments

Almond Butter Tip

September 14, 2012 Written by JP

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve probably noticed that I regularly post tips about how I promote wellness in my own life. When putting together my “tip tweets”, I try to share information that is practical in nature. One example is the way I sometimes use almond butter as a meal replacement.

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Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 6 Comments

Dr. Stephen Sinatra Interview – Part One

June 27, 2012 Written by JP

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is by far the leading health risk in the United States and beyond. It affects men and women in almost equal proportions and pays little attention to ethnicity. In fact, African Americans, Asian or Pacific Islanders and Caucasians register very similar vascular mortality rates. What’s more, the most recent estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention place a hefty price tag of over $100 billion/year for health care services, lost productivity and medications relating to CHD. While these figures are undoubtedly grim, it’s helpful to have frequent reminders that heart disease is largely preventable. For over forty years, Dr. Stephen Sinatra, has been investigating and reporting on this very topic.

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Posted in Heart Health, Interviews, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments

Flaxseed Research

March 12, 2012 Written by JP

Several of the most pressing health care issues of the moment can be vastly improved by making a few minor alterations to the modern diet. The addition of more dietary fiber, omega 3 fatty acids and phytochemicals into our daily menu plan is a great starting point. An economical and simple way to do so is by including more (ground) flaxseeds into common foods such a hot cereals, muffins and yogurt.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 2 Comments

Dr. Jonny Bowden Interview Part One

February 1, 2012 Written by JP

Today not only marks the first day of February, but also the beginning of American Heart Month. I can’t think of a better way to address the important topic of cardiovascular health than to present a recent Q&A session with one of the leading figures in exercise and nutrition: Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS.

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Posted in Heart Health, Interviews, Nutrition | 6 Comments

Good Diet News

December 19, 2011 Written by JP

I frequently recommend a carbohydrate restricted diet as part of a comprehensive wellness program. However, for many of my clients, the idea of giving up some of their favorite, high carbohydrate foods is too much to bear. A recent presentation given at a prestigious cancer conference offers a practical compromise. Researchers at the Genesis Prevention Center at University Hospital in South Manchester, England report that adopting an intermittent, low carbohydrate diet is a viable alternative to more strict diets in relation to lowering cancer risk and overweight. The most interesting aspect of the trial was that a portion of the participants were asked to combine two of my favorite dietary strategies: carbohydrate restriction and modified, alternate day fasting. In the study, women who consumed a very low calorie/low carbohydrate diet for two days a week demonstrated greater weight loss than those who ate an “ad lib” low carbohydrate diet or a calorie-restricted Mediterranean diet. Also of note is that the twice-weekly diet plan resulted in a 22% reduction in insulin resistance versus only 14% in the daily low carb diet and 4% in the low calorie, Mediterranean diet.

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Diet and Weight Loss, Nutrition | 5 Comments

Food News You Can Use

November 7, 2011 Written by JP

The next time you put together your grocery list, remind yourself that the foods you include and omit can have a profound affect on your well being. Here are several, recent examples of how you can use food to improve you and your family’s health. If you’re obese and on a hypocaloric diet, make sure to consume optimal levels of dietary calcium (1,600 mg/day) and protein (30% of calories/day). A study appearing in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism reports that higher protein diets rich in dairy products may reduce the risk of dieting-induced bone loss in overweight women. The importance of dietary protein was further bolstered in the October 12th edition of the journal PLoS One. In that research, lowering protein intake by as little as 5% was found to increase overall caloric intake by 12% due to increased appetite.

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Posted in Bone and Joint Health, Diet and Weight Loss, Nutrition | 2 Comments

Healthy Trail Mix Recipe

October 3, 2011 Written by JP

These days, many people are looking for practical ways to eat healthier while saving money at the same time. Preparing snacks at home works towards both objectives. Whether you’re traveling or at work, trail mix is an easy to prepare and nutritious treat to keep on hand. My homemade trail mix recipe calls for only five ingredients – Brazil nuts (1 oz), walnuts (1 oz), dried cranberries (1 Tbs), dark chocolate chips (15 grams or 16 chips) and coconut flakes (1 Tbs). Not only does this make for a delicious and satisfying mix of savory and sweet elements, but it may also improve your well being in the following ways: a) Brazil nuts can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, triglycerides and support healthier circulation; b) walnuts have recently been shown to improve a particular form of cognitive functioning known as “inferential verbal reasoning”; c) cranberries blunt blood sugar and insulin response when eaten with other carbohydrates, including sugar; d) dark chocolate is capable of lowering systemic inflammation which has been linked to a wide array of conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to chronic fatigue syndrome; e) according to a recent scientific review, coconut possesses “antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiparasitic, antidermatophytic, antioxidant, hypoglycemic, hepatoprotective and immunostimulant” properties.

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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes | 2 Comments

Zocor Alternative

June 15, 2011 Written by JP

One principle of integrative and naturopathic medicine is that every client, patient and student is a unique individual with different desires, needs and points of view. In my line of work, this sometimes presents itself in the form of a client who is seeking a specific result but only willing to approach it in a limited way. I’ve learned that the best way to manage this situation, as challenging as it may be, is to find a way to provide truthful information that falls within the parameters of what they are willing to do. By doing so, they often become more receptive to my suggestions down the line. The recent headlines about Zocor, a popular cholesterol medication, provide a good illustration of what I mean.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Mental Health | 2 Comments

Shirataki Alfredo Recipe

June 6, 2011 Written by JP

I can’t tell you how long I’ve put off experimenting with this recipe. As a low carbohydrate aficionado, I’ve been aware of shirataki noodles for many years. But the thought of replacing traditional pasta with a fiber based, gelatinous yam flour seemed decidedly unappealing from the get-go. In the past I’ve used vegetables such as spaghetti squash as a delicious replacement for pasta. I had no problem with that swap because I rationalized that it was, at least, a nutritious substitution. However, there’s a big difference between a mild, nutty squash and glucomannan, an exotic form of fiber, that essentially has no taste of its own. Read more »


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Posted in Diabetes, Nutrition, Recipes | 4 Comments

Polypill News and Research

May 30, 2011 Written by JP

The types of products that doctors recommend and manufacturers produce reveal a lot about what they think of us as health care consumers. A prevalent view in both alternative and conventional medicine is that most patients would rather take a so-called “magic bullet” that improves disease markers and/or symptoms rather than address the root cause of  illnesses. The idea is that patients are either too busy or unmotivated to make the dietary and lifestyle changes that are necessary to improve health. Sadly, this widely held notion is often based in reality.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Nutrition | No Comments;

Sage Medicine

April 27, 2011 Written by JP

Figures just released by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics report that over 94 million prescriptions for Zocor (simvastatin), a cholesterol-lowering medication, were written in 2010. Crestor and Lipitor, two other statin drugs used to reduce lipids, registered sales of $3.8 and $7.2 billion respectively last year. Salvia officinalis or sage is unlikely to pose much competition to these powerhouse medications. However, a select group of integrative and naturopathic physicians are taking note that this common culinary herb may have much to offer as an alternative and/or complementary treatment option. (1) Read more »


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Posted in Heart Health, Memory, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments

Egg Controversy

April 25, 2011 Written by JP

A reader recently inquired about why I use so many eggs in the recipes I post on this site. After all, eggs contain a considerable amount of cholesterol and saturated fat. Some medical authorities claim that these dietary components are harmful to the cardiovascular system. In fact, if you browse through the scientific literature you’ll find plenty of reason for pause with respect to eating eggs as a regular part of your diet. And if you happen to be “at risk” for heart disease, forget about it! Don’t even look at eggs! But as is often the case, first impressions don’t always tell the entire story. Read more »


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Posted in Diabetes, Heart Health, Nutrition | 14 Comments