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Vitamin D Lowers Stroke Risk, The Atkins Diet’s Link to Heart Disease, Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure, Less Red Meat Could Mean a Longer Life

admin - July 6, 2012

Friday Roundup:


Lower Your Stroke Risk with More Vitamin D

Instead of reaching for a can of soda or a sugary juice drink, maybe you should pour yourself a glass of low-fat milk. A new study  published by Swedish journal Stroke found that middle-aged and older adults might be able to lower their risk of stroke by simply consuming more low-fat dairy products.

Let’s take a step back. We know from previous research that adequate levels of vitamin D help prevent the development of high blood pressure.  We also know that high blood pressure increases your odds of having a stroke. Because low-fat dairy products are fortified with vitamin D, consuming them lowers your risk of high blood pressure and, in turn, your risk of stroke.

The recent study conducted by researchers in Sweden tracked the diets of about 75,000 men and women over a period of ten years. The study found that of all participants, those who ate the most low-fat dairy products were 12% less likely to have a stroke than the participants who ate fewer low-fat dairy products.

Interestingly, the study also found that those who consumed dairy products with higher levels of fat, such as whole milk were more likely to increase their levels of LDL, also known as “bad” cholesterol. This makes any benefit to consuming dairy products disappear.

It’s the comparison between those who regularly include low-fat products like cheeses, yogurt and milk into their diets against those who don’t that shows going the more-low-fat-dairy route decreases stroke risk. Of course, other factors like not smoking, exercising regularly and eating healthy can add to that decrease in stroke risk.

Read the full article on the study linking vitamin D to lower stroke risk by visiting this website page:

Life Line Screening offers stroke screening tests for those who think they might be at risk. If you’re not a fan of low-fat dairy products and have other stroke risk factors, it might be a good idea to consider being screened. Learn more about Life Line Screening and the services we offer now.


Is the Atkins Diet Healthy? – The Link to Heart Disease

You’ve heard of the Atkins diet, right? It’s a type of diet designed for short-term weight loss that’s low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Currently, the Atkins diet and diets like it are being looked at with scrutiny because of a new study  published in the journal BMJ.

The study, which was conducted by a group of European researchers at the University of Athens Medical School in Greece, examined the diets of 43,000 Swedish women between the ages of 30 and 49. This took place for a period of 16 years and revealed interesting results. Outcomes showed that the women who practiced diets with low carb and high protein intake had a 5% higher risk of developing heart disease later in their lives. After 16 years, 1,270 of the 43,000 women developed heart disease. This number may not seem very large, but researchers say it amounts to a large number over time.

Just because a meal is low in carbs and high in protein, it doesn’t mean it’s good for your health in the long-run. Eating lots of proteins like fatty, red meats isn’t such a great idea. Not all proteins are alike and there are safe ways to practice a low carb, high protein diet without increasing your risk for heart disease. It’s best to stick to proteins that are less fatty, like fish. Consuming proteins of plant origin and only cutting out simple and refined carbohydrates are the best options.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States—equating for one in every three deaths. Don’t let possible heart disease go unnoticed until it’s too late. Learn more about Life Line Screening’s cardiovascular disease screenings and consider having a screening done today. It just might save your life.

You can read the full article on the Atkins Diet re-evaluation by visiting this website page:


10 Easy Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is known to increase your risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. The worst part—there are typically very few symptoms. So, is there any way to control it other than medication? It’s possible by making these 10 (or as many as you can) tips a part of your daily lifestyle.

  1. Watch your waistline: Losing weight can have clear, positive effects on your blood pressure. Decreasing the amount of weight you carry around your waist is especially important, since carrying a lot of weight in this area is a dangerous way to bump up blood pressure.
  2. Exercise: any kind of regular physical activity will do your body good. Noticeable blood pressure changes don’t take long once you begin exercising and can greatly reduce your high blood pressure. Every little bit counts—even just a brisk walk for 10 minutes a day.
  3. Drink less caffeine: It’s not 100% known that caffeine has long-lasting effects on blood pressure, but it is known to temporarily increase it. If you already have high blood pressure, drinking large amounts of caffeine can make it even worse. Keep it at less than 200 milligrams a day (two cups of coffee).
  4. Eat healthy foods: Consuming fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products is the best option if you have high blood pressure. Skip the foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol. This may seem hard at first, but it will pay off quickly.
  5. Drink less alcohol: If consumed in small amounts, alcohol isn’t all that bad for your health. Drinking too much, however, can have a negative effect on your blood pressure. Another downer: even if you’re taking high blood pressure medication, drinking large amounts of alcohol can decrease the effectiveness of those medications.
  6. Don’t smoke: As if cigarettes don’t cause enough health problems already, they’re also known to raise blood pressure. Every time you smoke, your blood pressure can go up. Also, avoid secondhand smoke, as this is known to cause serious health risks like high blood pressure.
  7. Avoid stressful situations: Find out what’s causing you the most stress and anxiety in your life and find a way to either avoid it or cope with it. Blood pressure can temporarily go up in stressful situations.
  8. Ingest less sodium: It’s recommended that those with high blood pressure limit their sodium intake to up to 2,300 milligrams a day. If you can manage even less than that, go for it.
  9. Get support: Friends and family should be helping you in your struggle to lower your blood pressure by being good influences, encouraging you and helping you with lifestyle changes. Knowing someone’s there to help will only make dealing with your high blood pressure easier.
  10. Be aware: Monitor your blood pressure at home regularly or make visits to see your doctor. Being aware of the state of your health is a very important step to maintaining good health.

All of the above are tips for naturally lowering your blood pressure, not surefire ways to lower it. As always, consult your doctor on the best plan for you. Since high blood pressure can lead to serious conditions like cardiovascular disease and stroke, looking into Life Line Screening’s preventative health screenings can be very beneficial. Stay knowledgeable about your health status and find yourself one step closer to being the healthiest you.


Less Red Meat May Mean More Life

The old phrase “you are what you eat” keeps meaning more and more as scientists and nutritionists discover deeper truths about our bodies and how food affects them. A recent study reported by our Friends at declares blatantly that people who eat less red meat may live longer than people who routinely east burgers, steaks and processed meats like hot dogs.

Harvard researchers conducted the study, exploring the link between diet and health for 120,000 men and women over the age of 40 who were followed for 20 years. In case you didn’t catch that – that’s a long-time study with a great number of participants. What they found was that people who at the most red meat were more likely to die – and to die of cancer and heart disease – compared to those who ate the fewest daily servings of pork, beef and lamb.

As the reports, “Researchers estimate that a single daily 3-ounce serving of unprocessed red meat, which is about the size of a deck of playing cards, raises the risk of dying of heart disease by about 18% and raises the risk of dying of cancer by 10%. Processed meats appear to be even more hazardous. A single daily serving of processed meats like bacon (two slices), sausage, or hot dogs (1 piece), raised the risk of dying of heart disease by 21% and dying of cancer by 16%.

‘Processed red meat is definitely more harmful than fresh or unprocessed red meat,’ says researcher An Pan, PhD, a research fellow in the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston.”

To read the rest of this article, including recommendations on food substitutions for red meat that can substantially reduce these heart disease and cancer risks, please follow this website page link:


6 Comments so far
  1. Susan Bowman - July 28, 2012 at 12:31 am

    So you can’t eat meat off a cow or pig. But if you cook it, then is it better or bad for you? I’m confused.

  2. Joelle Reizes - August 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks for your comment Susan. The ‘Red Meat’ study we reported on above suggests that eating less red meat overall can help you live a longer, healthier life. It gets a little deeper in identifying greater health risks for people who consume more processed meat like hot dogs or sausage as opposed to unprocessed red meat, such as steaks. Hope this helps clear up any confusion!

  3. Isabella - September 14, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    Great website. A lot of helpful information here. I am sending it
    to some pals ans additionally sharing in delicious.
    And naturally, thank you in your sweat!

  4. Jane g. Shafer - February 25, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    What tests are helpful

  5. Joelle Reizes - February 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    Jane, Check out our recent blog post on recommended tests for people over 50: Thanks for your question!

  6. Suzanne Mathis - August 4, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    My doctor told me I need more Vit D, but I don’t eat a lot of meat. What type of supplement is the best to substitute?

6 Responses to “Vitamin D Lowers Stroke Risk, The Atkins Diet’s Link to Heart Disease, Ways to Lower High Blood Pressure, Less Red Meat Could Mean a Longer Life”

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