Posts Tagged ‘Cholesterol’

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 | 4 Comments & Updates

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 | 4 Comments & Updates

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 & Updates

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 | 13 Comments & Updates

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 | 9 Comments & Updates

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 | 29 Comments & Updates

Best Of Theaflavins and Heart Health

February 22, 2011 Written by JP

As a big fan of movies, quotations from films are often in the forefront of my mind. One line of dialogue that’s made an indelible impression on me is from the 2005 box-office bomb, The Weather Man. In the film, the esteemed actor Michael Caine offers some prescient words of wisdom to his adult son, played by Nicolas Cage. “Do you know that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing? Nothing that has meaning is easy. ‘Easy’ doesn’t enter into grown-up life”. That advice was given with regard to a failing marriage, but it I think it applies to almost every aspect of life and, quite specifically, to natural medicine.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Heart Health | 3 Comments & Updates

Questioning The Grapefruit Diet

February 11, 2011 Written by JP

In “Black Swan”, the Academy Award nominated film, there’s a scene where a ballet dancer, played by Natalie Portman, sits in front of a half grapefruit for breakfast. That grapefruit is a reminder of how dietary trends tend to stick around in one incarnation or another. In the 1970’s, The Grapefruit Diet was one of the most popular weight loss programs around. Some forty years later, you can still find articles, books and even nutritional supplements that feature grapefruit as some sort of weight loss wonder worker. Today’s column examines the actual research behind the weight loss claims involving this citrus fruit. Read more »

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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 1 Comment

Best of Cranberry Heart Therapy

January 12, 2011 Written by JP

Have you ever flipped through cable TV late at night and stopped at one of the stations that regularly broadcasts documentaries about UFOs or other supernatural phenomena? It doesn’t much matter whether you believe in the subject matter or not. What’s interesting about the programs is that they’ll often feature noted professors, scholars and even theologians who offer rather involved theories about how and why extraterrestrials or extra-sensory powers could be plausible. These intricate explanations often call upon historical records and even scientific principles to bolster credibility. Naturally there are always opposing experts who can and do dispute these controversial points of view. However the hashing out of information and/or the debate along the way can be rather fascinating. Read more »

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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Heart Health, Nutrition | 9 Comments & Updates

Best of Dietary Fiber and Heart Disease

December 30, 2010 Written by JP

Some people like to play board games, watch sporting events or knit in their spare time. Me? I like to browse around the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site. I sometimes search around there for statistics that help shape the content that ends up here. The other day I found a few interesting facts and figures. I already knew that heart disease is the “leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States”. But I was still stunned by a few other statistics. In 2005, 7.6 million people’s lives ended prematurely due to coronary heart disease. In 2003, almost 40% of adults exhibited two or more of six risk factors for heart disease and stroke (diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, physical inactivity and smoking). These figures have probably only gotten worse in the time since they were compiled. This is evidenced by the most recent figure available: “In 2009, heart disease is projected to cost more than $304 billion dollars, including health care services, medications and lost productivity.”
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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 7 Comments & Updates

Hazelnut Heart Health

October 4, 2010 Written by JP

It’s a very common scenario that plays out in doctors’ offices around the world. A patient sits on an examination table and their physician sternly alerts them that their cholesterol level is slowly creeping upward and may soon need to be controlled with medication. From a natural health perspective, there are many options one can employ to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Eating a daily serving or two of nuts tops the list. The beauty of this strategy is that you don’t necessarily need to make other lifestyle changes to accomplish your objective. My Healthy Monday tip of the week is to consider adding a specific member of the tree nut family – hazelnuts or filberts – to your natural cholesterol-lowering regimen.
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Posted in Food and Drink, Heart Health, Nutrition | 17 Comments & Updates

Food as Medicine

August 12, 2010 Written by JP

On board for this week’s edition of Twitter Thursday is Devon Schuyler of the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Michael Eades from and Martha Rose Shulman of the New York Times. At first glance, some of the issues addressed may seem more serious than others. An example is an examination of statin-induced side effects vs. a recipe for a creamy cucumber salad. But if you view food as medicine, then the comparison changes considerably. That’s one of the shifts I’d like to see more in modern medicine. This is my latest contribution toward that end.
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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Heart Health, Recipes | 5 Comments & Updates

Twitter Treasures

June 17, 2010 Written by JP

Some health news practically begs to be told. This past week I received two emails and one Twitter message about a possible connection between higher HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels and a reduced risk of cancer. So my first item of business today is to review that data which comes courtesy of my favorite naturopathic physician in Oregon, Dr. Orna Izakson. Our second stop on this Twitter Thursday examines a proposed link between a specific type of fat and improved brain function in older dogs. That gem is brought to us by Dr. Michael Eades, a leading authority on living a healthy low-carb lifestyle. Last, but not least, there’s a new superfood recipe straight from the test kitchen of Dr. Jonny Bowden – the natural health guru to Hollywood and beyond. Read more »

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Posted in Memory, Nutrition | 2 Comments & Updates