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Archive for the ‘Healthy Living’ Category

Heart Disease Screenings for Heart Month

February 5, 2015

Heart disease is still the number one cause of death in the United States, and 70% of adults age 55+ have two or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease but are not aware of it. 

Identifying your personal risk early is key to prevention. At Life Line Screening, we recommend that everyone knows their risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Risk factors include: age 55+, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, a history of smoking, a family history of heart attack or stroke, and a personal medical history of cardiovascular diseases. These are the same screenings that your doctor could order for you, but they typically will not be paid for by insurance unless you already have symptoms.Our screenings can give you peace of mind or uncover issues before you have any symptoms.
 

Doctors Recommend Preventive Health Screenings

These comprehensive vascular screenings have proven to be safe and accurate in detecting your risks for stroke and vascular disease. Doctors who specialize in cardiovascular disease believe in these tests — 9 out of 10 doctors surveyed recommend these screenings for people at risk. Knowledge is power, and it enables you and your doctor to do something about any health issues before it’s too late. That’s why so many doctors have recommended Life Line Screening to their patients.
 

Detecting Heart Disease Early

Tests such as this are extremely helpful when it comes to early detection of heart attack risks. We believe that the power of prevention is essential to a long and healthy life. Here is a list of what our screening entails:

  • Complete Lipid Panel Screening (High Cholesterol)
  • C-reactive Protein Screening
  • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening
  • Glucose Screening
  • High Blood Pressure Screening

If you have any warning signs or if you know that you have some of the risk factors associated with an increased risk of heart problems, you may want to consider heart disease screening.  If you are unaware of potential risk factors please read the list here.

Life Line Screening provides preventive health screenings for heart disease to help those at risk detect problems before they lead to life-threatening consequences. Learning where you stand with your heart health is the best way to work towards a healthier life.

 




5 Ways to Lose Weight Together

January 22, 2015

According to a 2007 study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, marriage goes hand in hand with weight gain. “In the first five years of marriage, women gained an average of 24 pounds and men gained 30 pounds,” says Penny Gordon-Larsen, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at UNC and author of the study.

So how to you combat the weight gain? Follow these five tips that will help you and your spouse eat and live healthier together.

1. Be an Active Part of a Healthy Solution

Figure out if there is anything you are doing or can do to help your spouse eat healthier. For example, if your spouse often eats fast food at lunch and you typically pack your lunch, offer to start packing him or her a healthy lunch too.

2. Stock Up on Healthy Foods

Out of sight, out of mind? This may be a good tactic for unhealthy foods. A study led by Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab, found that people wolf down more than twice as many chocolates when they’re right in front of them compared to when they’re farther away.  If temptation still outweighs these extra barriers, skip buying foods that trigger cravings and buy them or go out for them only on special occasions.

3. Cook Healthy Meals for Each Other

Experiment with new recipes and turn cooking into a fun activity that you both do together.

4. Lead by Example

Several studies have shown that influence from friends and family on eating and physical activity habits has a strong impact on your own health behaviors. So develop and adopt your own healthy habits, and it’s likely that your spouse will too!

5. Plan Healthy Activities to Do Together

In a study published this year in theJournal of Obesity, researchers reported that among participants in a 6-month weight-loss program, those who joined with a friend lost significantly more weight. So instead of watching TV after dinner together, take a quick walk around the neighborhood.

 




A Day in the Life of a Successful Dieter

January 21, 2015

I’m often asked for tips on boosting weight-loss success. While there’s no single answer that works for everyone, focusing on your diet and tuning up your exercise are two key elements for weight loss. Another? Having a plan. Start out the week by planning what healthy meals and exercise you can fit in during the upcoming days. There are also some things you can eat and do at certain times throughout the day to maximize your weight-loss success. Here’s a sample day in the life of a successful dieter:

8 a.m. Eat a Bowl of Oatmeal With Banana and Walnuts.

Science shows that regular breakfast eaters tend to be leaner and that dieters are more successful at losing weight—and keeping it off—when they eat breakfast. But choosing the right breakfast can give an extra boost to your weight loss. Eating “slow-release” carbohydrates, such as oatmeal or bran cereal, three hours before you exercise may help you burn more fat, suggests a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition. Here’s why: slow-release carbohydrates didn’t spike blood sugar as high as eating refined carbohydrates, such as white toast. In turn, insulin levels didn’t spike as high and because insulin plays a role in signaling your body to store fat, having lower levels may help you burn fat.

10 a.m. Grab a Small Nonfat Latte and an Apple.

If having a snack between meals helps to tide you over, make your choices count. Snacks are a great place to fill nutritional gaps. Choose foods that provide calcium and fiber—two nutrients that people often skimp on. The latte and apple do the trick.

11 a.m. Take a Brisk 40-Minute Walk.

Although the recommendation is to get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five times a week, research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who exercised an extra 10 minutes five days a week were more successful at warding off weight gain as they moved from their twenties and thirties into middle age.

1 p.m. Eat a Big Veggie Salad Topped With Grilled Chicken and a Slice of Whole-Grain Bread.

The formula for a get-skinny lunch that will power you through the afternoon (and banish the need for extra munching) is simple: vegetables, whole-grain bread and lean protein (like chicken, fish, tofu or beans). Why does it work? Making veggies the biggest portion of your lunch will give you a satisfying dose of fiber, the stay-full nutrient, while delivering healthy phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals. The whole grains also add fiber and may help bust belly fat, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition. The lean protein helps keep you feeling full throughout the afternoon–gram for gram, protein will keep you feeling fuller longer compared to carbohydrates and fat.

4 p.m. Snack On Fresh-Cut Veggies With Hummus…Or Not.

Before having a mid-afternoon snack, take a minute to see if you’re really hungry. If not, forgo the extra calories and wait until dinner. If you are, follow the fiber-plus-protein combo for a snack that will really kick your hunger. Carrots and hummus are a classic combo.

6 p.m. Start Your Meal With a Soup or Salad.

Filling up on fiber- and water-rich foods first can help prevent you from overdoing high-calorie fare later. Research out of Penn State shows that eating a first-course salad can reduce overall calorie intake at a meal by up to 12 percent. And in a study in Appetite, people who started lunch with vegetable soup ended up eating 20 percent less than those who skipped the soup. Try these Soups and Salads to Help You Lose Weight. Whatever you choose for your main meal, try eating it off a smaller plate—it may help you to eat less while not feeling deprived.

8 p.m. Indulge in a Few Squares of Dark Chocolate.

Believe it or not, giving yourself little treats may be the secret to losing weight—for good. Aiming to be “too good” sets you up to fail. Chocolate is a good choice (if you like it!) because chocolate delivers extra health benefits—it contains antioxidants called flavanols that are good for your heart.

© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission




11 Anti-Aging Drinks

January 14, 2015

Getting older, while we may not always enjoy it, is inevitable. Sadly. And there are many variables involved in how long you live. But you can also add years to your life by making smarter food choices. Keep your mind razor-sharp and body finely honed with these 11 anti-aging drinks.

Pink Grapefruit Juice

Pink grapefruit gets its pink-red hue from lycopene, a carotenoid that’ll keep your skin smooth according to a study published in the European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics. Researchers found that of the 20 individuals studied, those who had higher skin concentrations of lycopene had smoother skin.

Alcohol

Moderation here is the key. Alcohol may ward off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. As we age, brain cells die, leading to gaps that slow nerve transmission within the brain and between the brain and the rest of the body. Moderate drinking appears to somehow prevent these “potholes.”

Cocoa

Cocoa is unusually rich in flavanols that help preserve the healthy function of blood vessels. Maintaining youthful blood vessels lowers risk of high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, kidney disease and dementia.

Beet Juice

Beets are rich in naturally occurring nitrates, which—unlike unhealthy artificial nitrates found in processed meat—may be beneficial. In a 2011 study in the journal Nitric Oxide, older adults who ate a nitrate-rich diet got a boost in blood flow to the frontal lobe of their brains—an area commonly associated with dementia. Poor blood flow contributes to age-related cognitive decline. Scientists think that the nitrates’ nitric oxide, a compound that keeps blood vessels supple, helps increase brain blood flow

Green Tea

Green tea is full of potent antioxidants that help quell inflammation. (Chronic inflammation plays a significant role—as either a cause or effect—in many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases and the three top killers in the United States: heart disease, cancer and stroke.)

Soymilk

Isoflavones in soymilk may help to preserve skin-firming collagen. 

Milk

Studies show that we lose 1/2 to 1 percent of our lean muscle mass each year, starting as early as our thirties. Muscle strength also declines by 12 to 15 percent per decade. The amino acids in protein are the building blocks of muscle—and one amino acid, called leucine, is particularly good at turning on your body’s muscle-building machinery. Milk contains whey protein, which is an excellent source of leucine.

Carrot Juice

Carrots contain luteolin, a flavonoid believed to reduce inflammation that can lead to cognitive decline. A 2010 study found that those who ate a diet that included luteolin had better spacial memory and less inflammation than those who did not get any.

Coffee

Drinking a single cup of coffee daily may lower your risk of developing skin cancer. In one study of more than 93,000 women, published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, those who drank 1 cup of caffeinated coffee a day reduced their risk of developing nonmelanoma skin cancer by about 10 percent. And the more they drank—up to about 6 cups or so per day—the lower their risk. Decaf didn’t seem to offer the same protection.

Water

This may sound like a no brainer, but water keeps your throat and lips moist and prevents your mouth from feeling dry. Dry mouth can cause bad breath and/or an unpleasant taste—and can even promote cavities.

Orange Juice

Studies show that people with low levels of antioxidants are more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than those with higher levels. Vitamin C—which is abundant in orange juice—is one antioxidant that seems to be especially protective against the disease. 

 

 




8 Secret Weapon Foods for Weight Loss

January 7, 2015

Want to boost your efforts to lose weight? Of course the foundation for successful weight loss is eating well and exercising, but if you want to power up your efforts, check out this diet cheat sheet of foods that do a little of the work for you. Research shows that these 8 secret-weapon foods can help you lose weight. Find out what they are and how they can help you shed pounds.

1. Mushrooms

Research reports that when people ate mushroom-based entrees, they felt just as satisfied as when they’d eaten those same dishes made with beef—though they’d taken in a fraction of the calories and fat. Swap mushrooms for meat in a Portobello “Philly Cheese Steak” Sandwich and more marvelous mushroom recipes.

2. Eggs

In one study, dieters who ate eggs for breakfast felt full for longer and lost more than twice as much weight as those who got the same amount of calories from a bagel for breakfast. Think beyond breakfast, too: eggs boost a salad’s staying power and make for a satisfying snack. Here are two dozen easy recipe ideas for eggs.

3. Apples

For a mere 95 calories, a medium apple contains 4 grams of fiber. And recent research, published in theJournal of Nutrition, suggests that boosting your fiber intake may help you to prevent weight gain—or even encourage weight loss. Find 15 fiber-rich recipes to lose weight here.

4. Low-Calorie Desserts

OK, so this isn’t exactly a “health food,” but we welcome the news that it may be easier to stick to your diet if it includes a little sweet treat. According to a new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, banning sugary foods could lead to overeating. One reason may be that removing access to sweet foods stimulates the release of a molecule in your brain called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), produced when you’re afraid, anxious or stressed, says Pietro Cottone, Ph.D., lead study author. And increased stress levels may lower your motivation to eat more nutritious foods, making it more likely that you’ll binge on junk food. (Indulge a little with these 100-calorie sweet treats.)

5. Soup

Research published in the journal Appetite has shown that people who start a meal with vegetable soup eat 20 percent fewer calories over the course of their meal. Here are 7 recipes to start your meal with and help you lose weight.

6. Oatmeal

Eating a breakfast made with “slow-release” carbohydrates, such as oatmeal or bran cereal, three hours before you exercise may help you burn more fat, suggests a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition. Here’s why: in the study, eating “slow-release” carbohydrates didn’t spike blood sugar as high as eating refined carbohydrates, such as white toast. In turn, insulin levels didn’t spike as high and because insulin plays a role in signaling your body to store fat, having lower levels may help you burn fat. Want options beyond oatmeal? Here are 10 breakfast recipes to help you fight fat.

7. Hot Chile Peppers

In one study, consuming a little hot pepper (in tomato juice or in capsules) 30 minutes before a meal helped study participants feel less hungry and eat about 10 percent less. Turn up the heat with these spicy recipes.

8. Almonds

Chew more to curb hunger. That’s what researchers concluded in a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in which they asked participants to chew a 2-ounce serving of almonds 10, 25 or 40 times. Participants got maximum satisfaction—they felt fuller longer—from the nuts when they chewed 40 times. Chewing more may cause a greater release of fat from the almonds, which triggers hormones that curb hunger, speculates Rick Mattes, Ph.D., R.D., professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University, study author and an EatingWell advisor. (Find more energy-packed snacks here.)

© Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission




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