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Posts Tagged ‘healthy eating’

Benefits of Soy Protein for Heart Health

September 18, 2014

Do you eat soy products? If you’re a woman, be sure to include them into your diet for a healthy heart. The key is to start eating soy early in life.

According to research from Wake Forest School of Medicine found that lifelong consumption produces the least atherosclerosis, hardening and narrowing of the arteries.

Most of the protein consumed in the United States comes from animal sources, and contributes to heart disease. Even eating a diet high in soy products early in life, but switching to a Western diet later in life contributes to just as much atherosclerosis as a lifelong Western diet.

In the study, conducted on monkeys, those who were fed soy and those that switched to a soy diet had better cholesterol levels than those who ate animal protein. However, those that ate a lifelong soy diet had a much lower proportion of complicated plaque in their arteries.

While there may be myths saying that soy is dangerous for your heart, soy actually does your heart good. In addition to helping prevent atherosclerosis, soy products can help young adults lower their blood pressure. Whole soy foods have high levels of protein and fiber which can help reduce bad cholesterol.

Where to Find Soy
If you want to incorporate soy into your diet, avoid eating soy burgers and energy bars since they are processed forms of soy. When soy is processed, its nutrients are stripped away.

Instead opt for fresh soy milk, edamame, tofu and fermented soy foods.


Other Ways to Protect Your Heart

At Life Line Screening, we believe that the power of prevention is essential to a long and healthy life, especially when it comes to your heart. We offer a heart disease screening that includes the following:

  • Complete Lipid Panel Screening (High Choelsterol)
  • 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.

Healthy Recipe: Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wraps

September 16, 2014

Summer is officially coming to a close, so now’s the time to take advantage of the season’s delicious fresh vegetables – quick, before the leaves start changing colors!

No matter how you slice them, veggies are the perfect healthy complement to any meal. Sauté them, bake them, serve them fresh – you can’t go wrong! In this recipe from CookingLight, you’ll find a most delicious combination of grilled vegetables and hummus wrapped in a healthy whole-grain flatbread.

Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wraps

4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices red onion

1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered

1 (12-ounce) eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 (8-ounce) container plain hummus

4 (1.9-ounce) whole-grain flatbreads (such as Flatout Light)

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

This recipe provides a great alternative to your typical grilling-out routine. Remember to keep in mind some key factors before throwing your veggies on the grill.

Vegetables are much easier to gauge when grilling because you don’t need to worry about over- or undercooking them, as you do when working with meat. It all depends on your desired consistency! Be sure to lightly coat your vegetables in oil before grilling so they don’t dry out. Some vegetables also take longer to grill than others. To avoid burning, keep denser vegetables lower on the grill.

Vegetables have always been known to benefit any diet. Maintaining a regular intake of vegetables can very well reduce the risk of stroke, cancer, heart diseases, and diabetes. For more information on preventive health care, visit

Click to view the recipe: Grilled Veggie and Hummus Wraps

Dangers of a High Salt Diet

September 11, 2014

Think you’ve managed to avoid salt in your diet? Think again. Even if you don’t sprinkle a little extra salt on your meals, it’s sneaking into your diet from other foods you eat.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, consuming too much salt is responsible for 1.6 million cardiovascular-related deaths annually. The World Health Organization has a maximum of 2,000 mg of sodium per day, and when that limit is exceeded, the effects can be devastating.


What’s the Danger?

If you consume a large amount of sodium, it increases blood pressure which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, mainly heart disease and stroke.

Many people eat more than twice as much salt as they should, with the average person in the United States eating around 3.95g of sodium each day. In the U.S. alone, around 58,000 cardiovascular deaths each year can be attributed to a high sodium intake.


Cut Your Intake to Reduce Your Risk

So if you aren’t dumping salt onto your plate, where does the sodium come from? Around 75% of the excess sodium consumed comes from processed and pre-prepared foods. Canned soups, rice mixes and frozen pizzas can have up to 1,000 mg of salt per serving, which is half of the daily recommended intake.

Going out to eat can also be a dangerous game. Restaurant meals can have more than enough salt in them to account for the whole day’s recommended intake.

Your best bet? Eating home cooked meals with fresh ingredients. Fill your diet with wholesome foods like low-fat dairy, lean protein, fruits, vegetables and legumes. Use plenty of fresh herbs and spices instead of salt to add in extra flavor.


Reducing Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

While avoiding salt can help reduce your risk for developing cardiovascular disease, there are other risk factors that you can modify. Be sure to follow a regular exercise routine, quit smoking, and lowering high cholesterol are just a few.

Other risk factors can’t be changed including gender, age and family history. At Life Line Screening, we offer preventive health screenings to individuals who do not present symptoms of a disease, but may be at risk simply due to age and family history. Learn more about our screening options that can help you assess your personal risk for cardiovascular disease including stroke and heart disease.

Healthy Recipe: Chicken, Kale, and Mushroom Chimichangas

September 9, 2014

When it comes to Mexican food, you’re oftentimes hard pressed to find a choice that follows your own personal health guidelines. Especially when dining out, you tend to face a lot of deep fried or high carb options.

Containing only about 270 calories and 40 grams of fat, these made-over chimichangas substitute typical Mexican food ingredients with more heart-healthy options. CookingLight’s Chicken, Kale, and Mushroom Chimichanga combines three flavors that offer you a satisfying taste without the regret!

Classic Chimichangas:

Calories: 731 each

Total Fat: 41.3g each

Sodium: 1358mg each


Chimichanga Makeover:

Calories: 296 each

Total Fat: 10.3g each

Sodium: 625mg each

Kale has been referred to lately as the “queen of greens” due to its rich, unique flavor and unbeatable health benefits, including cancer and high cholesterol protection. Rich in Vitamin K, which helps prevent blood clotting and promotes bone health, this leafy green offers a fresh alternative to your average lettuce topping.

Substituting chicken for beef provides a lower caloric intake, a nearly equal amount of protein, and a considerably lower amount of sodium, which can be detrimental in large doses. Although beef is not necessarily harmful to your health, chicken is the way to go when choosing a meat with beneficial nutrients and fewer grams of saturated fat and cholesterol.

With an altogether prep and cook time of one hour, this quick and simple recipe will serve (and satisfy!) eight guests at your next end-of-summer get together.

Implementing healthy alternatives into your diet is a key factor in enjoying a long life. For more information on preventive health care, visit

Click to view the recipe: Chicken, Kale & Mushroom Chimichangas

Eat Breakfast like a Champion to Manage Diabetes

June 26, 2014

When your mother told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, she was absolutely right.

New research shows that eating just 2, but large, meals a day at breakfast and lunch could potentially be the best way for people with type 2 diabetes to control their weight and blood sugar. The study proved that eating fewer meals per day could improve fasting glucose levels, lower liver fat content, better insulin sensitivity and help manage weight loss.

Czech researchers assigned 54 diabetics to a 12 week diet consisting of either two or six meals per day – but the same number of overall calories. The group that ate two larger meals per day reduced their weight and waist circumference more than those who ate six smaller meals throughout the day.

These findings prove that eating two to three meals per day will work for people with diabetes. Breakfast should be the largest meal, lunch should be heavy and dinner should be light.


Diabetes Prevention


While meal plans can be used to help manage diabetes, the goal is always prevention. With diabetes affecting more than 26 million Americans and quickly growing, it’s more important than ever to know your personal risk factors:

  • Family History
  • Race (African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders, American Indians, Alaska Natives and Asian Americans are at an increased risk)
  • Being Overweight
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Low HDL cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal fasting glucose screening results

If you have any of these risk factors, or are above the age of 45, it is recommended that you have a blood glucose screening once every three years.

If you are at risk for diabetes, you may also be at risk for other diseases. Download our free health screening guide to learn more about early disease detection and the power of prevention.


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