Posts Tagged ‘Heart Health’
Albert Einstein once famously quipped, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” The topic of sugar aptly illustrates his point. Some would have you believe that all calorically equivalent, naturally sourced sweeteners are basically the same. Just eat them in moderation and there’s really little danger. However, a careful examination of the medical literature suggests otherwise. In particular, fructose stands out as a sweetener that ought to be limited in one’s diet. In recent months, fructose has been implicated as: a) reducing the calorie and fat “burning” (net fat oxidation and resting energy expenditure) potential of overweight men and women; b) contributing to abdominal pain, digestive symptoms and sleep disturbance in children; c) elevating various risk markers for cardiovascular disease including LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides; d) a primary contributor to the development of abdominal obesity, hypertension and metabolic syndrome in a population study consisting of over 2,500 adults.
Read more »
Tags: Fructose, Heart Health, Metabolic Syndrome
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 11 Comments & Updates
In the field of athletics, the term “performance enhancers” has taken on a negative connotation of late. The very mention of it frequently conjures up images of professional athletes “juicing up” on anabolic steroids or synthetic stimulants. Fortunately, in recent years, scientists have uncovered an all natural and much safer alternative that may just improve physical capacity and support cardiovascular health.
Tags: Circulation, Heart Health, High Blood Pressure
Posted in Exercise, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | 19 Comments & Updates
Last week, I stopped into a popular coffee shop and ordered a large, iced Americano. While waiting to pay, I noticed an advertisement for a new line of icy, fruit flavored drinks that featured green coffee extract. That’s right, green coffee. Combining coffee and fruit may seem like an odd pairing, but, in reality, the flavor of raw coffee beans bears little to no resemblance to the brewed forms of coffee enjoyed the world over. Taste issues aside, you may be wondering why green coffee extract would be included in summery drinks and/or so called “functional foods” in the first place. Read more »
Tags: Antioxidants, Coffee, Heart Health
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | 9 Comments & Updates
Throughout history there have been many wise and witty sayings about growing older. Here are a few of my favorites: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain; “Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.” Benjamin Franklin; “The minute a man ceases to grow, no matter what his years, that minute he begins to be old.” William James. Some of the changes that occur with advancing age cannot be avoided entirely. But I believe there’s such a thing as “quality of aging” as well as “quality of life”. What’s more, we can all affect the manner and pace by which our bodies reflect our biological years. Read more »
Tags: Arthritis, Heart Health, Tai Chi, Yoga
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Bone and Joint Health, Memory | 21 Comments & Updates
Assume for a moment that you are looking for a new supplement to try at your local health food store. Now let’s say you happened upon a product that presented the following statements on its label or in the accompanying supplemental literature: “Age Defying Beautiful Skin”; “Nature’s Ultimate Antioxidant”; “Naturally Pure”; “Scientifically Proven”; “Supports Healthy Cholesterol Levels” and “Supports a Healthy Immune System”. What would your impression of this product be? If you’re a frequent visitor to this site, my hope is that your first instinct would be to do some research to try to verify these seductive claims.
Read more »
Tags: Antioxidants, Berries, Heart Health
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | 8 Comments & Updates
In case you haven’t already noticed, the slogan for this website is “Your Natural Health Critic”. And while I tend to focus on the more positive developments in the field of integrative and natural medicine, at times it’s necessary to point out some troubling trends as well. This year’s Natural Products Expo West was an excellent opportunity to flex my critical thinking in precisely this arena. In a recent press release, Adam Anderson, a spokesman for the Anaheim-based trade show, commented that “While the economy recovers, the natural and organic industry continues to grow. 2010 metrics including attendance and hundreds of new product introductions at Expo West are proof positive of the strategic value surrounding in-person business events”. The introduction of new products to the marketplace is an opportunity to show how innovative the natural health community can be. However, more often than not, the products in question fall short of my expectations.
Read more »
Tags: Agave, Diabetes, Gluten, Heart Health
Posted in Children's Health, Nutritional Supplements, Product Reviews | 2 Comments & Updates
Every so often a news story is promoted that questions fundamental beliefs about good nutrition. I used the word “promoted” purposefully. If there’s a health related press release that is likely to be controversial or sensational, it generally moves to the front of the line for consideration. Take for example the recent publicity surrounding a study that supposedly found that eating a “big breakfast” increases daily caloric intake rather than lowering it. Previous inquiries have reported that starting the day off with a hearty breakfast is probably one of the best ways to ensure better subsequent food selection and a healthier weight. So the fact that one study refutes this widely held opinion can be big news.
Read more »
Tags: Breakfast, Heart Health, Inflammation
Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 13 Comments & Updates
There are many different writing styles. Some health reporters seek out a specific niche and stick to it. Others mine a more diverse topic base from which to select material. I tend to fall between the two camps. While researching, I allow the material that I come across in my daily life to dictate what I cover. At times this gives me the luxury of presenting a broad cross-section of information. But occasionally, what I discover prompts me to revisit select topics on a regular basis. Such is the case with research involving Vitamin D. Currently, there is a tremendous amount of scientific attention being paid to this humble “sunshine” hormone/nutrient. Some of the more dramatic data makes the evening news. Much of it does not. The latter category is the subject of my column today.
Tags: Diet and Weight Loss, Heart Health, Vitamin D
Posted in Dental Health, Diabetes, Nutritional Supplements | 10 Comments & Updates
Recently I posted a link on Twitter about the benefits of drinking water on weight loss. One response I received essentially asked, “Doesn’t everyone know that drinking water helps you lose weight?”. Well, I suppose many people do. But this reader’s question may reflect similar thoughts you’ve had while reading my daily blogs. You may detect familiar ground in some of the issues I cover. In fact, at times I even point out that I’m updating a particular health issue. The reason I do this may not be entirely clear. Scientists generally like to re-test widely held beliefs in order to clarify and verify them. Even the most widely accepted concepts in medicine benefit from further investigation. The result of such inquiries often add to the knowledge base and allow for a more accurate application of the information in question.
Read more »
Tags: Heart Health, Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds
Posted in Food and Drink, Men's Health, Nutrition | 10 Comments & Updates
Every now and then a story appears on the news about the house that’s the neighborhood eyesore. The lawn is dying and overrun with weeds. A rusted, broken down car is parked in the driveway. Paint is peeling from the walls and windows are boarded up. In such instances, the lack of care of that residence impacts the entire “health” of the neighborhood. The same is true of the human body. If one part of the anatomy isn’t properly cared for, it frequently affects many of the neighboring organs and systems. Read more »
Tags: Carotenoids, Heart Health, Insulin
Posted in Dental Health, Exercise, Food and Drink | 16 Comments & Updates
Salvia hispanica isn’t exactly a household name. But when it’s referred to as “chia seeds”, the recognition factor increases substantially. In prior decades, that coupling of words would bring to mind a novelty item that would grow into a Chia Pet. However these days, Salvia hispanica is more likely to be mentioned at your local health food store. It turns out that the seeds of chia are noteworthy for being more than just a gag gift.
Read more »
Tags: Chia Seeds, Fiber, Heart Health
Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Nutrition | 9 Comments & Updates
Whenever I begin working with new clients, I always ask them to fill out a few forms and questionnaires. Some people do so without any issue. But every once in a while I’m asked why it’s necessary to provide answers to medical questions that appear to be unrelated to the health concerns at hand. Without fail, I explain that dietary choices, environment, lifestyle factors and psychological matters quite often contribute to physical complaints. This is a foundational principle of holistic medicine and one that cannot be under emphasized.
Read more »
Tags: Fish Oil, Heart Health, Kidney Health
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements | 18 Comments & Updates
The premier naturopathic institute of learning in the United States is Bastyr University. The president of Bastyr U is Joseph Pizzorno, ND. Recently, Dr. Pizzorno posted a tweet informing his “followers” that he’s just completed writing a monograph on magnesium. In his brief communication, he goes on to emphasize the importance of this essential mineral by revealing that is “necessary for over 300 enzyme systems” in the human body and that over 60% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. There’s very good reason not to be part of this silent majority.
Read more »
Tags: Heart Health, Magnesium, Nuts
Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements | 10 Comments & Updates