Category Archives: Heart Disease

11 Foods That Cut Calories, Not Energy

11 Foods 

Sardines are truly a health food in a can. They’re high in protein, which boosts metabolism and leaves you feeling satiated for much longer than the equivalent amount of carbohydrates. They’re loaded with energizing omega-3 fats, which also help keep you full while being good for your heart, brain and mood at the same time. And because they’re low on the food chain, they’re almost never polluted with chemicals like mercury. Best of all, a full can is under 200 calories!

What would you say to a juice that lowers cholesterol, reduces arterial plaque, might help protect against heart disease and cancer and may even help slow aging? Well, say hello to pomegranate juice. It has the highest antioxidant capacity of any juice on the planet, even beating out red wine and green tea in tests at the University of California. And because it’s low in sugar, it won’t set you up for overeating after you drink it, like high-sugar drinks. Calorie cost? Only 80 calories for four ounces.

Nope, it’s not just for Thanksgiving. Pumpkin is an energizing, low-calorie fruit (no that’s not a misprint) that’s brimming with immune-boosting vitamin A. It’s got way more potassium than a banana, and, for good measure, it’s loaded with fiber. That means your blood sugar won’t soar, but your energy will be constant and sustained. Canned pumpkin is available at every grocery store. You can heat it and season it just like you do pumpkin pie — with nutmeg, cinnamon and a little butter. Just leave out the sugar. It also makes a great substitute for mashed potatoes and has only 49 calories per cup

Blueberries are a true superfood. They’re loaded with fiber and antioxidants and studies show they boost memory making them a true “brain food,” too. Low in sugar but sweet and delicious, they’ll sustain your energy while adding nothing to your waistline. Add them to shakes or salads or eat them alone. Tip: Frozen blueberries are an undiscovered low-calorie treat that mix incredibly well with a little milk or yogurt. You’ll never even know you’re cutting calories. One cup: 84 calories.

Even if you hate broccoli, you’ll love baby broccoli. It’s has a completely different taste, and is actually pretty good raw. Best of all, it’s satisfying, unbelievably nutritious, and ridiculously low in calories — less than 37 calories per cup. It makes a great raw vegetable snack, and because it’s so low in calories, you can even treat yourself to a couple of tablespoons of dip and not break the calorie bank. 

There’s no better protein source than wild salmon, and you get the additional benefits of heart healthy, omega-3 fatty acids. The protein stabilizes your blood sugar, the fat keeps you from being hungry, and those magical omegas will improve your mood — you won’t even notice you’re cutting calories! You can have a nice 3 oz salmon steak for about 150 calories. Add a handful of brown rice and a heap of vegetables and you’ll be good to go for hours!

The Incas called it the “mother of all grains” and actually used it as a major source of fuel for their armies. Though it’s technically a seed, it cooks, acts and tastes like a grain, and has the highest protein content of any cereal on the planet. It’s also high in iron, and has 5 grams of fiber per cup. Calorie cost? Just over 100 calories per half cup. It’ll fill you up for hours! Tip: Combine with blueberries for a terrific breakfast.

Oatmeal is a food that actually helps you cut calories! Studies have shown that people who eat a high-fiber breakfast food like oatmeal are satisfied longer, naturally eat fewer calories later in the day, and have more energy for things like mental performance. High in fiber and moderately high in protein, oatmeal fills you up and energizes all for a very moderate caloric cost of 150 calories per half cup of uncooked dry oats, which cooks up into a nice portion. Tip: Avoid the par-boiled packets — they’re loaded with sugar and have less fiber. 

Switching to tea is an easy way to cut calories without losing energy. Black tea is made from the same plant — Camella sinensis — as it’s more famous cousin, green tea, but it’s also a very healthy beverage. All teas are energizing, and none have calories. Black tea makes an absolutely fabulous substitute for some of the high calorie, milk and sugar laden coffee concoctions we’ve been accustomed to drinking on a daily basis, yet the flavor is strong and satisfying — and it has less caffeine than coffee. 

Three to four ounces of beef is surprisingly low in calories — a quarter pound is under 200 calories. And more surprises: Half the fat in beef is heart healthy monounsaturated fat, the same kind that’s found in olive oil. Beef stabilizes blood sugar and gives you lasting energy, plus it’s loaded with iron and amino acids. But there’s a world of difference between fast food and grass-fed beef. While more expensive, the grass-fed is high in omega-3’s and virtually free of hormones, antibiotics and hormones. Spend the extra money and get the good stuff. 


Whey protein powder is one of the best-kept secrets of dieters and athletes! It’s one of the highest rated proteins on the planet, containing a full range of amino acids. Studies show that it keeps folks feeling fuller longer. Plus, whey protein boosts immunity and slightly lowers blood pressure. Calorie cost? About 100 calories per serving. 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS is a board certified nutritionist, a nationally known expert on weight loss, health and nutrition, and the best-selling author of 8 books including “The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth.” Visit him at

via 11 Foods That.


Omega-3s: Fishing for a Mechanism

Mithridates VI, king of Pontus and Armenia Minor in northern Anatolia (now Turkey) from about 120 BC to 63 BC, was a forward-thinking and perceptive individual who understood that a little bit of stress can be a good thing. Terrified of succumbing to the same fate as his father, who was assassinated by poisoning at his own banquet, Mithridates began ingesting sublethal doses of poisons to develop immunity to them, a real-life example of The Princess Bride’s Westley.

The benefit of this practice, which in modern times is known as “hormesis,” is believed to stem from the fact that in low, subtoxic amounts, poisons, toxins, and other types of stress will upregulate antioxidants and detoxification enzymes in the liver, heart, and other major organs, thereby augmenting the natural ability of the body to detoxify and protect itself against future exposure to those same toxins. Could that be what’s happening with n-3 PUFAs in the heart? Could the highly reactive oxidized products generated from PUFA oxidation cause adaptations in the heart—such as biochemical/biophysical alterations in membranes and the upregulation of cardio-protective genes—that subsequently protect the vital organ against disease and stress?

via Omega-3s: Fishing for a Mechanism | The Scientist Magazine®.

via Omega-3s: Fishing for a Mechanism | The Scientist Magazine®.

Stanford researchers create tiny, wirelessly powered cardiac device

One big problem we have with bio-implantable devices, like cardiac implants, is that they require a battery–and batteries need to be changed once in a while. This means more surgery. 

In this day and age of wireless devices, it seems like

 a no-brainer to choose to power the devices wirelessly. So what’s been holding us up?

It turns out, the existing models told researchers that radio waves couldn’t penetrate deeply enough into human tissue to be useful for power delivery. The human body is a poor conductor of electricity. Ultimately, it took someone willing to question the accepted models, to show that it could, in fact, be done.

By ignoring the currently held ideas of “that isn’t possible”, Ada Poon and her team showed that radio waves can travel in a different way– and by doing so, they can be used as a wireless source for power delivery; in fact, using this method, it is actually advantageous that human tissue is such a poor electrical conductor.

“In this high-frequency range, we can increase power transfer by about 10 times over earlier devices,” said Ho, who honed the mathematical models.

Two hurdles remained:
1) how to use this wireless delivery safely to avoid unnecessary tissue heating
2) how to orient the antennas for maximum efficiency in the constantly moving environment of a human body.

Differences in alignment of just a few degrees could produce troubling drops in power.

“This can’t happen medical devices,” said Poon. “As the human heart and body are in constant motion, solving this issue was critical to the success of our research.” The team responded by designing an innovative slotted transmitting antenna structure. It delivers consistent power efficiency regardless of orientation of the two antennas.

The new design serves additionally to focus the radio waves precisely at the point inside the body where the implanted device rests on the surface of the heart – increasing the electric field where it is needed most, but canceling it elsewhere. This helps reduce overall tissue heating to levels well within the IEEE standards. Poon has applied for a patent on the antenna structure.”

via Stanford researchers create tiny, wirelessly powered cardiac device | Stanford News Release.

Zinc deficiency mechanism linked to aging, multiple diseases

A new study has outlined for the first time a biological mechanism by which zinc deficiency can develop with age, leading to a decline of the immune system and increased inflammation associated with many health problems, including cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disease and diabetes.

The recommended daily intake is 11 mgs for adults, though aging adults don’t often absorb zinc well. Taking anything over 40 mgs each day can lead to problems.

via Zinc deficiency mechanism linked to aging, multiple diseases.

Without Alcohol, Red Wine Is Still Beneficial –

The study, published last week in Circulation Research, concludes that the blood-pressure-lowering effects of red wine are attributable not to its alcohol content, but to the beneficial chemicals called polyphenols that it contains, even in its nonalcoholic form.

In fact, they suggested alcohol may limit the beneficial effect of the polyphenols.

via Without Alcohol, Red Wine Is Still Beneficial –

Polypill Could Cut Heart Attacks And Strokes Dramatically

A pill taken by everyone over age 50, without the need for exams or tests, may cut heart attacks and strokes 50% – 66%. The polypill contains two meds for lowering blood pressure and one for lowering LDL. If the findings prove out, it is a stunning and simplistic medical advance.

via Polypill Could Cut Heart Attacks And Strokes Dramatically.

Coffee Gives Jolt To Life Span – Science News

It’s the news that coffee addicts have been waiting for: Drinking several cups of coffee every day may help you live longer. A study of more than 400,000 people finds that drinking coffee may reduce the risk of death from heart disease, stroke and even infections, researchers report in the May 17 New England Journal of Medicine.

via Coffee Gives Jolt To Life Span – Science News.

Sleep Apnea Has Higher Risk Of Cancer Mortality

Previous studies have linked the sleep disordered breathing (SBD) problems to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, depression and earlier death, but this is the first to find a link to cancer.

Lead author Dr. F. Javier Nieto, chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health commented that the study had subjects with severe SBD had five times higher incidence of cancer deaths, more than just a statistical anomaly. Previous studies in animals have shown similar results, while other studies have linked cancer to possible lack of oxygen or anaerobic cell activity over long periods of time, therefore, it’s possible poor breathing fails to oxygenate the cells sufficiently.

Dr. Nieto, an expert in sleep epidemiology continued:

“Clearly, there is a correlation, and we are a long way from proving that sleep apnea causes cancer or contributes to its growth … But animal studies have shown that the intermittent hypoxia (an inadequate supply of oxygen) that characterizes sleep apnea promotes angiogenesis-increased vascular growth – and tumor growth. Our results suggest that SDB is also associated with an increased risk of cancer mortality in humans.”

via Sleep Apnea Has Higher Risk Of Cancer Mortality.

via Sleep Apnea Has Higher Risk Of Cancer Mortality.

A Healthy Smile Equals Good Health

Do you take good care of your teeth? How about your gums? Do you know what good oral health care means?

Periodontal disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and is not only a risk factor for diabetes, but it may make diabetes worse. Tteeth cleaning twice a year not only keeps the teeth white brights and healthy, but allows your dentist to monitor your gum health. Regular visits to the dentist combined with a good at-home oral hygiene regimen will keep your mouth healthy for years to come.

Common problems experienced by those with gingivitis or periodontal disease include bad breath, bleeding gums, and a coating on the tongue. Talk to your dentist if you experience any of these problems. If caught early, periodontal disease can be easily harnessed and corrected. For white coating on the tongue, scrapers are available in most pharmacies. But using a little toothpaste on your tongue, then carefully brushing, will get the job done.

Adding a flossing regimen is recommended at least once each day. With a little practice, flossing can take less than 2 minutes and the payoffs are huge. Without brushing and flossing daily, food particles can stay in your mouth. This, in turn, promotes bacterial growth between the teeth around the gums and on your tongue. This not only contributes to poor oral health, but also to bad breath.

Ffor couples, there is some research showing that oral bacteria is shared. So, helping each other remember to floss and brush and to keep dental appointments contributes to the health of both.

Tooth sensitivity to hot and cold it sometimes caused by receding gum tissue. When tissue pulls away from the teeth, the root of the tooth is exposed. If you experience sensitivity to hot and cold, ask your dentist for her advice.

Brushing morning and night and flossing at least once each day should contribute greatly to overall oral healthcare.  him him himBesides, a great smile is welcome anywhere.

The Hawthorne Effect

Just how much can our minds affect our bodies?

Consider the Hawthorne Effect. It works like this. Let’s say you wake up with a pain in your neck. It persists, so you seek treatment from your doctor who prescribes a medication to bring down any inflammation and to help with the pain. The Hawthorne Effect states that you will make other related decisions which will reduce your symptoms, or at least, they will reduce your perception of the symptoms.

For example, because your neck is hurting, you might change the pillows you sleep with.  Or, when you come home from work, you use a heating pad for a few hours in the evening. Or, throughout the course of the day, you adjust your posture to a more neck-friendly stance.

When the pain you felt in your neck goes away, was it due to the medication your doctor prescribed? Or, because of the other choices you made to make your neck more comfortable? Or, both?

Most of the time, when we have a problem for which we seek medical help, we automatically take adjustments in other parts of our lives. When our problem is remedied, we are more likely to assume it was due to the medication, rather than to the changes we’ve made, almost unconsciously.

All of us are susceptible to the various placebo effects, be they sugar pills or our own thoughts and actions. The more we pay attention to the effects our thoughts have on our well-being, the better able we become to direct our thoughts towards the health we want to experience.

Genetic Risk for Heart Trouble Is Offset with Healthy Diet

Researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada say a diet rich in fruits and vegetables appears to offset the genetic risk for heart problems. The study was published this week.

Approximately 20% of all people carry at least one copy of a bad genetic variant that has only recently been connected to heart attacks. In 2007 the same researchers found variants in the chromosome 9p21 region were highly linked with heart disease and heart attack. Those reports were subsequently confirmed by other groups.

The new information, linking a healthy diet to lower risk for those genetically predisposed to heart problems, is good news. Just one more reminder that, for most of us, genetics are just one of many factors  determining our health and vitality.

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