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Posts Tagged ‘cholesterol’

Your Guide to Health Screenings

October 30, 2014

You take care of the filter in your furnace, getting the oil changed in your car, but do you pay enough attention to your most important machine – your body?

Regular checkups and screenings are keys to early detection and successful treatment of serious health conditions. However, remembering what to get checked for and when can be difficult. So we’ve put together a list of basic and essential health screenings that you should schedule with a healthcare provider, along with the basics on why you need them.

 

Health Screenings

Eye Exam: This is necessary for everyone about once every two years. The American Optometric Association recommends an eye exam once every 2-3 for ages 19-40, once every 1-2 years for ages 41-60, and once every year after that.

Dental Exam: Another obvious screening, but sometimes it’s easy to forget to make your appointment once every 6 to 12 months. It’s important for your dentist to examine not only your teeth, but to check for gum disease, oral cancer, and issues with your bite.

Blood Pressure Screening: Recommended for everyone age 18 and older, once a year. Screening for high blood pressure is simple, yet important. High blood pressure increases the risk for stroke, heart failure, heart attack and kidney damage.

Pap Test/Pelvic Exam: Pelvic exams and pap tests detect cancerous and pre-cancerous changes in the cervix, and recommended for women ages 21 to 65 once every three years. The frequency of screenings may be reduced by your health care provider bases on your results.

High Cholesterol Screening: Recommended for adults starting at the age of 20, and rescreenings should occur once every five years. Detecting and managing high cholesterol is extremely important. High cholesterol can cause plaque build-up in artery walls, raising the risk for atherosclerosis. Based on your health history, your health care provider make screenings more often.

Mammogram: New screening guidelines call for women of average-risk to be screened once every 2 years starting at age 50 to age 75, to detect breast cancer.

Diabetes: Screening for type 2 diabetes is recommended for anyone over the age of 45, or adults with blood pressure higher than 135/80. The screening checks fasting levels of blood glucose. Individuals who have high cholesterol, obesity, and family history should be screened more often.

Colon and Rectal Cancer Screenings: Colorectal cancer screenings are recommended for everyone of average risk starting at age 50. Studies show that regular screenings improve survival rates and reduce the number of CRC-related deaths. If you have family history, your doctor may recommend a different testing or screening schedule.

Prostate Cancer Screening:  A prostate cancer screening is recommended once a year for men starting at age 50, and earlier for patients at a high risk. Screenings detect high levels of prostate-specific antigen which may indicate prostate cancer.

Bone Density Test: Bone density screenings are used to detect osteoporosis and are recommended for women ages 65 and older, once a year, unless they are at high risk. Screenings are used to detect loss of bone density and mass which can help in early detection and treatment.

Heart Disease Screening: Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Heart disease screenings measure risk factors such as high cholesterol, C-reactive protein levels, glucose levels and high blood pressure.

 

Life Line Screening

At Life Line Screening, our mission is to make people aware of unrecognized health problems and encourage them to seek follow-up care with their personal physician. We are the leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings in the United States. We use advanced ultrasound equipment (the same as the equipment found in hospitals) and highly trained healthcare professionals perform our screenings. Board-certified physicians review each result to ensure the highest standards.

Since our inception in 1993, we have screened nearly eight million people, and currently screen nearly one million people each year at over 16,000 screening events nationwide. Through this experience, we often identify serious health issues and have helped save thousands of lives. We are dedicated to providing the highest quality preventive screenings at affordable rates.




Healthy Recipe: Tequila Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

September 23, 2014

This fresh, zesty take on coleslaw will make the perfect addition to any lunch or dinner. Serve it as a side dish or a garnish on sandwiches and tacos. Whichever way you decide, this tasty plate is sure to perk up your next meal.

Tequila Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

1/4 cup canola mayonnaise (such as Hellmann’s)

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon silver tequila

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 (14-ounce) package coleslaw

You really can’t beat the altogether 5-minute preparation time of this dish. What’s better – only 64 calories per serving! Keep the recipe easy by purchasing packaged coleslaw rather than chopping the cabbage yourself.

Some of you may have gawked at the addition of tequila to this recipe. While the sharp taste of this liquor pairs nicely with the tang of lime, there are other known health benefits of enhancing dishes with tequila.

Those who are watching their weight tend to shy away from liquor because of its sugar content; however, tequila is made of only simple sugars, so they break down much easier in your body and do not raise blood sugar. Studies also show that tequila, in moderation, of course, can break down dietary fat and help lower bad cholesterol.

We know you’ll love this delicious Mexican-inspired dish. Whip up this quick recipe for a last minute dinner or serve it to friends and family at your next get together. You can’t go wrong with a nice, light dish equipped with heart-healthy, beneficial ingredients.

Keeping a close eye on your cholesterol and blood sugar levels is essential in maintaining a long life. For more information on preventive health care, visit lifelinescreening.com.

Click to view the recipe: Tequila Slaw with Lime and Cilantro




New Research from the Cleveland Clinic Shows that “Good” Cholesterol May Not Live Up to Its Name

February 27, 2014

What if we told you that what you think you know about HDL “good” cholesterol is wrong? A new study from researchers at the Cleveland Clinic has some shocking findings about cholesterol. HDL is known for preventing plaque buildup in arteries, but researchers are realizing that it can also turn and contribute to heart disease.

In its good form, HDL is meant to take molecules of cholesterol away from vessel walls and parts of the body to the liver to be removed. However, in the newly discovered dysfunctional or “bad” form of HDL, these molecules that are meant to be removed never make it to the liver. Due to this, it causes inflammation in vessel walls, and people who have a high level of the dysfunctional version are now at a higher risk for developing heart disease.

So, how are doctors able to differentiate between the two different forms of HDL? Researchers developed their own blood test through the Cleveland HeartLab, but may release it as soon as the end of this year. The blood test specifically tests for a protein found in HDL that when it is oxidized starts to cause problems for the heart and artery walls.

 

Connection Between Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Cholesterol has long been linked to heart disease, and LDL is the “bad” cholesterol which carries 65% of cholesterol in the blood stream. LDL can help form plaque that builds up along artery walls that feed the heart and brain. When HDL works as it should, the “good” cholesterol carries LDL away to the liver and a high level helps to prevent heart disease.

High levels of LDL contribute to a condition called atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries, which raises risk for heart attack and stroke.

More than 60% of adults in the U.S. don’t know their cholesterol levels. Knowing these simple facts is an important step towards a healthy future, and at Life Line Screening we offer high cholesterol screenings with a lipid panel test. Learn more about our cholesterol screenings now.




Eat These Fall Superfoods for Better Moods

November 15, 2013

Fall has arrived and the weather is changing. Many of us enjoy the fall season, but some of us regretfully know that with fall here, winter isn’t far behind. Before winter shows up, it makes sense to take advantage of the many delicious varieties of produce coming from the fall garden.

Certain foods can help promote all of the components of a “good mood”, including both physical and mental components. Fall fruits and vegetables are chock-full of vitamins and other healthy nutrients to maintain healthy aging, balance moods and ward off disease.

 

Energy: Oatmeal or Pumpkin

As the days get shorter, it can be tempting to hide inside and take advantage of the warmth. The cold air makes it hard to find the energy for tasks that were simple during the summer. However, for healthy aging, it is important to eat right and exercise.

Luckily, fall provides many opportunities to eat foods for a boost of energy. For example, a hot breakfast was unwanted in the heat of summer, but it is welcome now. Oatmeal is rich in complex carbohydrates to stabilize blood sugar and maintain satiety longer. Mixing in a little pumpkin will add valuable vitamin A to improve eyesight.

 

Overall Health: Beans or Blackberries

Carbs have taken a bad rap in recent years, but they’re not all harmful. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that complex carbohydrates (e.g. starches) have to be broken down by the body before they can be converted into glucose and used for energy. These carbohydrates also contain a lot of dietary fiber, which helps aid digestion. Popular fall foods containing high amounts of fiber include:

  • Dry beans and peas
  • Pumpkin
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Raspberries and Blackberries
  • Parsnips

Mix parsnips and cauliflower with potatoes to create a mash with unforgettable flavor. The cauliflower has a high amount of vitamin C and phytonutrients that may help lower cholesterol.

 

Memory: Blueberries or Apples

A 2012 study from the Annals of Neurology revealed that the antioxidants in blueberries can stall memory decline by as much as 2.5 years. Antioxidants also help to prevent disease, which can cause depression and fatigue. With winter on the horizon, fall is the perfect time to eat more of these antioxidant-loaded foods. Among them are:

  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Apples
  • Pecans

While eating a varied diet is crucial for healthy aging, it’s also important to be aware of health problems on the horizon. Many asymptomatic conditions can be controlled by diet and exercise but require testing to discover them. As such, regular doctor visits, health screening, and dedication to a healthy lifestyle through nutritious diets make up three necessary components to a long, happy life.

 




The Health Benefits of Pumpkin

October 10, 2013

When it comes to health maintenance, it’s easy to wonder what pills or supplements are best for the body. There are many health benefits of getting the most vitamins and other nutritional requirements from your diet. This is especially true with “superfoods” – items in the produce section that are packed full of nutrients.

Did you know that pumpkin is a superfood? If you haven’t noticed (and how could you not?), it’s in-season right now. All of you pumpkin-lovers out there can now rejoice because pumpkin is delicious and healthy. Here’s how:

 

Nutrients & Vitamins

One half-cup of pumpkin is loaded with things the human body needs to stay healthy. Among them are:

  • Vitamin A, for healthy eyesight
  • Vitamin C, for an immune-system boost
  • Fiber, for weight loss
  • Phytosterols, to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol
  • Cancer-fighting antioxidants, according to the National Cancer Institute
  • Tryptophan, a mood stabilizer
  • Potassium, to balance electrolytes

 

Lower Cholesterol

Sometimes when people get a cholesterol screening through companies like Life Line Screening, they’re disappointed to learn their levels are high. This may make them feel like healthy aging isn’t possible if they eat good-tasting (and often unhealthy) foods. But as part of a healthy diet determined by their doctor, pumpkin can help them enjoy eating well while losing weight and lowering their levels of bad cholesterol.

In 2009, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study revealing that diets low in calorie, low in carbohydrates, and high in dietary fiber are the most likely to lose more weight over time. Pumpkin is an ideal contribution to such a diet since it is naturally low-calorie, high in fiber, but also delicious.

 

Healthy Aging

Pumpkin is great for anyone who wants to stay healthy as they get older, not just for those who want to lose weight. A single serving of pumpkin packs 200 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A, which is a necessity for aging eyes. And after hard exercise, pumpkin can help restore electrolyte balance. It has more potassium than an equal serving of bananas, but significantly fewer carbohydrates and calories.

Exercise, regular check-ups, preventive screening and a varied, plant-based diet that takes advantage of superfoods are the best ways to stay healthy as you get older. Since pumpkin has so many health benefits, why not enjoy more of it? It’s delicious and healthy, so you don’t have to feel an ounce of guilt.




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