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Archive for April, 2015

Life Line Screening’s Blog is Moving Back Home

April 15, 2015

Life Line Screening’s blog is moving back to our main website, http://www.lifelinescreening.com and becoming Life Line Screening Community. Our Community will feature articles and recipes to help you stay active and healthy for years to come. We invite you to read health and wellness topics, get recipes and fitness tips, learn your risk factors or share in discussions with adults who have been impacted by cardiovascular disease or another major disease.
Visit our community today.

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No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake

April 14, 2015

This no-bake cherry cheesecake is an easy summertime treat. This no-bake cheesecake recipe has omega-3-rich walnuts in the graham cracker crust and uses nonfat Greek yogurt and reduced-fat cream cheese in the filling to keep saturated fat in check. If you want a bright red topping, use sour cherries. Sweet cherries give it a more purple hue. To make gluten-free no-bake cherry cheesecake, use gluten-free graham crackers.

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 4 cups halved pitted sour or sweet cherries, fresh or frozen (thawed, drained; see Tips)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Half a 14-ounce box graham crackers, preferably whole-wheat
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (see Tips)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 8-ounce packages reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
  • 2 cups nonfat plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Recipe Steps:

  1. Combine cherries, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch with 4 teaspoons water, then stir into the cherry mixture; return to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid thickens and looks syrupy, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  2. Process graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. Add walnuts and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl; stir in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Drizzle with oil and stir to combine. Press into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  3. Beat cream cheese, yogurt, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. Spread over the crust. Spoon the cherry mixture over the top. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 3 hours.

Recipe Tips & Notes:

  • Tips: To pit fresh cherries, use a tool made for the job—a hand-held cherry pitter; it also works for olives! Or pry out the pit with the tip of a knife or vegetable peeler.
  • To toast chopped, small or sliced nuts, cook in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Recipe Nutrition:

Per serving: 348 calories; 17 g fat (4 g sat, 7 g mono); 20 mg cholesterol; 42 g carbohydrate; 22 g added sugars; 9 g protein; 2 g fiber; 273 mg sodium; 228 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (17% daily value)

3 Carbohydrate Serving(s)

Exchanges: 1 1/2 carbohydrate (other), 1 starch, 1/2 fruit, 3 fat

By EatingWell.com. © Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.




How Stress Affects Your Health

April 9, 2015

Have you ever raised a teenager, bought a house, planned a wedding or had a deadline at work that you almost missed? Stress occurs more often than we think and can actually be a positive source of motivation – helping us complete deadlines or push harder across the finish line. Stress may also be brought on by life changes such as moving, financial strain, job satisfaction or loss of a loved one. When stress is prolonged over a period of time, or not managed properly it often becomes chronic, which can impact your overall health. The good news? There are activities that you can do to reduce the impact that stress has in your life.

Here are some effects that stress has on your body:

Unhealthy Food Cravings
Find yourself reaching for that pint of ice cream when you’re stressed? There’s a scientific reason for that! Cortisol, a hormone released by your body when it’s stressed, is linked to cravings for sugar and fat.

Fat Storage
Stress can actually increase the amount of fat that your body stores and enlarges the size of fat cells. This can lead to weight gain and increase your risk for obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol – key risk factors for cardiovascular disease [link to health screening for heart disease). Exercise, however, can help combat fat storage, in addition to reducing your overall stress level. So find a regimen that works for you and stick to it.

Heart Problems
If you suffer from chronic stress, it could be affecting your heart health. While an exact link between chronic stress and heart attacks isn’t clear, studies have shown that individuals who suffer from job related stress have a 23% more likely to have a first heart attack vs. people with no job related stress.

Sleep Habits
Stress may occasionally keep you up at night, but if you have long-term stress it can disrupt your sleep pattern and potentially cause a disorder.

Severe Headaches
Stress can cause everything from a minor headache to a migraine. This is due to “fight or flight” chemicals that your body releases, in addition to making your muscles tense up.

Hair Loss
Severe stress can harm your locks. Stress can trigger hair loss from an autoimmune condition known as alopecia areata. If stress is coupled with anxiety, it can contribute to a mental disorder that gives people an urge to pull their own hair out.

Blood Sugar
Stress can raise blood sugar, and if you have type 2 diabetes, you may notice that your blood sugar levels are higher if you are stressed.

Digestion
Stress can cause heartburn, stomach cramps and diarrhea or, if you have these conditions, make them worse.

Raises Blood Pressure
Being in a stressful situation can raise your blood pressure by constricting your blood vessels and speeding up your heart rate. While in most cases this is temporary, it’s unclear if chronic stress can cause long-lasting effects.

Brain Tissue
Research now shows that major stress can actually reduce the amount of brain tissue in areas that regulate emotions and self-control.

Back Pain
Stress causes your muscles to tense as a part of the “fight or flight” response system, which can cause short instances of pain and contribute to ongoing chronic pain.

Stroke
Stress has been linked to an increased risk of stroke (link to carotid artery screening page). Even if you are generally healthy, suffering a stressful event within the past year increases your stroke risk.

Aging
Suffering stress chronically or from a traumatic event shortens telomeres, which are protective camps on the ends of chromosomes in cells, causing your cells to age more quickly.

Asthma
Stress may amplify the immune response to asthma triggers such as pollen, animal dander, or dust.

Seizures
Individuals who are sensitive to stress can experience seizure-like symptoms, including far-off staring and convulsions if they are in high stress situations.

 

Reducing Stress in Your Life

 
While this list of health complications from stress is long, the good news is that healthy habits can make a huge impact in combating them. Following an exercise routine in addition to a nutritionally balanced diet can make all the difference.
 

Don’t Let Stress Impact Your Health

 
If you have experienced one or more effects above, we invite you to take our health risk assessment. Our health risk assessment uses identifiable health information to help you determine your risk factors for chronic illnesses and what preventive health screenings can enable you to learn if you are at risk for vascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, and other chronic illnesses.




Stress and Your Health

April 3, 2015

April is Stress Awareness Month, so we’re taking some time to spread the word about how stress can negatively impact your health. Stress can be highly personal, with one person’s unpleasant experience another’s exhilarating adventure. And a little bit of stress is thought to be good for memory and motivation. However, about 70% of doctor visits and 80% of serious illnesses may be exacerbated or linked to stress. 

LLS_Stress Infographic2




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