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Posts Tagged ‘cholesterol’

Your Weekly Inspiration: Promote the Positive

September 23, 2013

Those of us with gardens know that you water the flowers, not the weeds. Why? The answer is obvious – you want the flowers to grow and the weeds to die.

The same holds true for our emotions, which many believe come from our hearts. You want to “water” your positive thoughts instead of your doubts, so they can grow. After all, studies show that optimism can actually keep your heart healthier, because optimistic people tend to eat healthier, sleep more and exercise more.

Another thing these studies have revealed is that negative psychological factors, such as stress, doubts and depression, can actually increase risk of heart attacks and other heart problems like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. So remember to water your positive thoughts so the doubts will fall away.

 

inspiration to promote the positive




Why You Should Get Your Cholesterol Checked ASAP

September 10, 2013

High cholesterol is a major problem for Americans, especially as they age. Over one-third of adults have high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, according to the Centers for Disease Control, yet less than half of them receive treatment. Only one in three have the condition under control.

Not only are many people unaware of the presence of high cholesterol and its dangers, they’re unaware of the main reasons why they should be having their cholesterol checked regularly. Here are a few of those reasons:

 

High cholesterol is asymptomatic.

Because high cholesterol levels often present no symptoms but can lead to life-threatening conditions, early cholesterol screening and treatment is important.

 

Risk factors can increase your odds of having high cholesterol.

There are two different types of cholesterol, HDL (good) and LDL (bad). HDL prevents cholesterol from building up in the arteries, while LDL encourages such buildup. Higher levels of HDL can prevent heart disease, whereas high LDL levels can lead to heart disease. While anyone with poor health maintenance can develop high levels of LDL cholesterol, the CDC identifies certain high cholesterol risk factors, including:

  • Advanced age
  • Diabetes
  • Diet
  • Weight
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Heredity

Since these risk factors represent a significant proportion of the population, regular cholesterol screening is key to preventing the consequences of high cholesterol.

 

High cholesterol can lead to more serious, life-threatening problems.

Too much cholesterol in the blood leads to hardening of the arteries. Hardened arteries make it harder for blood to flow to the heart. Over time, arteries can become blocked, leading to chest pain and eventually heart attack.

Another potential result of high cholesterol is Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). The narrowing and blockage of the same arteries prevents blood flow from leaving the heart and reaching the extremities. This condition presents itself through pain and numbness in the arms and legs. If left untreated, lack of blood flow may necessitate amputation of the damaged appendage.

 

Cholesterol screening is fast and easy.

The good news is that testing for these conditions is simple. To detect high cholesterol, Life Line Screening performs a finger-prick test and examines levels of HDL, LDL, and triglycerides, another fat present in the blood. Life Line Screening can also perform a PAD screening using a non-invasive procedure involving pressure cuffs and an ultrasound machine.

High cholesterol is a common problem that can have detrimental side effects. But screening early and often, as well as taking necessary treatments seriously, can limit the effects and prevent heart disease.




The Heart Killer Lurking in Your Food

June 23, 2013

There’s a certain ingredient known to be harmful to the human heart. It’s a man-made fat which, over time, can seriously hurt your health. Although not as prevalent as it used to be, it still lurks in some of the foods you eat, hiding and waiting to damage your heart.

(Cue the Jaws theme song here.)

All joking aside, we’re talking about trans fat: one of the most unhealthy man-made ingredients you can eat. The reason it’s so unhealthy is because human bodies aren’t designed to digest this artificial fat. When you eat something with trans fat, it encourages a negative response from the body, leading to lower good cholesterol levels (HDL) and higher bad cholesterol levels (LDL). This creates a higher buildup of plaque in the arteries that can eventually lead to a heart attack.

“The big concern about trans fat is it causes heart disease,” said Michael Jacobson, PhD, cofounder and executive director of CSPI, in a Rodale.com article. “It has been causing thousands and thousands of heart attack deaths every year for decades.”

The dangers of trans fats are well-known, and in recent years foods companies have begun reducing their use of trans fats in their processed foods. However, the article discusses a new study from Harvard and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) that not only discovered that many foods still harbor trans fats, but the trans fat reduction rate among food companies has drastically worsened. Between 2007 to 2008, the trans fat reduction was at 30 percent. Between 2010 and 2011, however, that rate decreased to 3 percent.

Foods that Contain Trans Fat

Some of the foods you’re putting in your shopping cart may contain high amounts of trans fat. This unhealthy ingredient is primarily found in processed and fast foods, so it’s important to be aware of it. Below are a few items that still contain high amounts of trans fat.

Popcorn – specifically, Pop Secret Kettle Corn (5 grams per serving), Pop Secret Premium Butter Popcorn (5 grams), UTZ Cheese Flavored Hulless Puff’n Corn (3.5 grams), and Jolly Time Blast O Butter Popcorn (4 grams).

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – Pillsbury Big Deluxe Chocolate Chips Cookie Dough (2 grams per serving).

Biscuits – Pillsbury Grands! Buttermilk Biscuits (3.5 grams per serving)

Key Lime Pie – Sara Lee Key West Lime Pie (2 grams per serving)

– Long John Silver’s Breaded Clam Strips (7 grams per serving)

Much of what you eat contributes to the health of your heart. Consuming foods that are high in trans fat can directly impact your heart because it can cause high cholesterol – a major risk factor for heart disease. Lower your risk for heart problems by knowing and controlling what you eat every day.




What are Triglycerides and Why Should You Care?

December 18, 2012

When you get your cholesterol screening results, what do you pay most attention to? The good, bad and total cholesterol numbers? It’s not uncommon for many people to overlook the triglycerides when reviewing results from a cholesterol screening. But paying attention to triglycerides could benefit your health.

In this HealthDay TV video, explore the reasons why you should start paying more attention to the triglyercides in your cholesterol. View the video to discover the best ways you can keep your triglyceride levels low. Visit Life Line Screening’s YouTube channel  to learn more about healthy lifestyles. For those without video capability, the text is provided below.

Triglycerides and Cholesterol Screenings

 

Here is the audio text to the video:

“The next time you have your cholesterol checked, pay special attention to this number. It can serve as a warning sign of future problems.

Though most of us just skip over to the good, bad and total cholesterol in our test results, a cholesterol check-up will also tell you about your triglycerides. A new paper from the American Heart Association shows why you should pay attention to your triglycerides, which are a type of fat found widely throughout the body.

High triglycerides are linked to an increased risk of heart disease and other diseases. If your triglycerides are too high, simple ways to bring them down include cutting back on foods and beverages with added sugar. Since most of the added sugar we get is from drinks containing sugar, steering clear of them is a good first step.

Eating less fructose, which is a type of sugar—you can do this by eating less processed food and choosing lower fructose fruits like strawberries and bananas.

Getting at least 2 and a half hours of moderate exercise a week—even brisk walking can help lower your triglycerides. And shedding a few pounds—if you’re overweight, just losing 5 to 10 percent of your weight can lower your triglycerides by twenty percent.

I’m Dr. Cindy Haines with HealthDay TV, wishing you and your family the best of health.”




Moderate Drinking May Benefit Bones, The Link Between Diabetes and Cosmetics, Can this PolyPill Save Lives?

July 27, 2012

Friday Roundup:
 

A Glass of Wine a Day Keeps Osteoporosis Away?

For women who like a glass of wine every now and then, we have some good news. New research shows that moderate alcohol consumption, when combined with a balanced diet and regular exercise, may reduce a woman’s risk of osteoporosis.

The study published in the journal Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society focused on a small group of about 40 women averaging 56 years old. The women consumed on average 1.4 alcoholic beverages per day. More than 90 percent of the women drank wine.

The process of the study involved taking blood samples from all participants at different stages—some before alcohol consumption and some after. Results showed that soon after drinking alcohol, the women’s rate of bone turnover lowered.

“What alcohol seems to do is lower the overall rate of turnover, which may reduce your bone loss,” said Urszula Iwaniec, PhD, researcher and associate professor at Oregon State University in a WebMD article. “[But] excessive drinking is bad for your bones.”

There are other ways to keep your bones healthy, like weight-bearing exercise and getting enough calcium and vitamin D. But this study goes to show it’s okay to put your feet up and enjoy a small glass of wine now and then. So don’t feel guilty—it’s good for your bones.

Life Line Screening conducts osteoporosis screenings for people at risk or simply looking to gain peace of mind. Take control of the health of your bones and schedule a health screening today.

Read the full WebMD article about this study on alcohol and bone health here: http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/news/20120711/moderate-drinking-may-help-older-womens-bones

 

Study: Can this PolyPill Save Lives?

Wouldn’t it be nice if a simple, once-a-day pill could prevent illness? Okay, so this pill might not prevent all illnesses, but it might save some lives.

A study conducted at Queen Mary, University of London shows a new pill might be able to prevent thousands of people from suffering heart attacks and strokes. The UK study focused on a “polypill” that combines a statin and blood pressure medication taken by a group of 84 people over the age of 50. Results showed:

  • 12% decrease in blood pressure levels
  • 39% decrease in LDL cholesterol levels

Researchers believe that if more than half of all people over the age of 50 in the UK took the pill once a day, there would be 94,000 less heart attacks and strokes every year.

“If people took the polypill from age 50, an estimated 28 percent would benefit by avoiding or delaying a heart attack or stroke during their lifetime,” said Dr. David Wald, consultant cardiologist, in a BBC News article.

The study did not research the safety of the pill and it was only tested on a small number of people, so further testing of a larger scale would be needed before the pill could be mass-produced.

“Whilst these results are promising, further research is needed before a wide scale rollout of such a strategy,” Wald said.

Life Line Screening urges everyone to make smart and healthy lifestyle choices to decrease risk of stroke or heart attack. If you or someone you know is at risk for one of these conditions, consider scheduling a health screening today.

To read the full BBC News article on the study conducted on this new polypill, view this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18883163

 

The Link Between Diabetes and Cosmetics

Could certain cosmetics up your odds of developing diabetes? This study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives says yes.

Common products such as perfumes, scented lotions, synthetic leathers, food packaging and more contain a chemical called phthalates. A study was conducted to find out whether there is a clear connection between phthalates and diabetes in women.

Researchers of the study discovered that in women with the highest levels of specific phthalates, the risk of developing diabetes was twice as high as women with lower levels of phthalates. According to CNN Health, when comparing women with the highest levels of phthalates to women with lowest levels, there could be 40 extra diabetes cases for every 1,000 women.

Cosmetics and Type 2 DiabetesPhthalates cling to cells in the body that control fat-cell development and blood-glucose metabolism. People with higher levels of phthalates tend to have higher blood glucose levels, which is a precursor for diabetes. Keep in mind the study did not rule out women that have higher phthalate levels due to the use of certain medications that contain the chemical.

As a consumer, you can become more aware of the chemicals in the products you use. Almost anything that has a fragrance contains some type of phthalate. Some companies are releasing products with labels that say “phthalate-free”, but keep in mind that the packaging surrounding the product could still contain phthalate.

If you or a loved one is at risk for diabetes, consider a preventive screening. Life Line Screening conducts health screenings for type 2 diabetes that could identify oncoming development of the disease. Schedule a screening today.

Visit the following link to read the full CNN Health article on this new study linking cosmetics with diabetes: http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/13/diabetes-and-cosmetics-a-connection/




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