Lower Cholesterol

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How to Count Carbs and Lower Cholesterol

how to count carbsCarbohydrate counting (aka “carb counting”) is most often prescribed for diabetics. However, when following a carb counting diet you can make choices to promote lower cholesterol levels, reducing heart disease risk.

What is carb counting?

Carb counting is used to control blood glucose levels. The goal with carb counting is to keep your intake of carbohydrates consistent from meal to meal, day to day. To be clear, with carb counting, you count the number of carbohydrates consumed, not the number of calories.

A carb counting diet is prescribed for diabetics depended on insulin, because insulin dosage is determined by the number of carbohydrates consumed.

Foods containing carbohydrates

Most foods contain carbohydrates, with the exception of fats and fresh meats. You need to refer to food labels frequently to know how many carbohydrates are contained in one serving and what equals one serving.
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Finding the Best Fish Oil Supplement

best fish oil supplementOmega-3 fatty acids, like EPA and DHA, which are found in fish oil supplements, are clinically proven to help reduce inflammation. This means taking fish oil supplements regularly can prevent a host of health problems, including high blood pressure and heart disease. The team at Reviews.com spent weeks testing 184 of the most common over-the-counter fish oil supplements on the market. They consulted doctors and nutrition experts to see what their recommendations were, then used multiple third-party labs to assess each brand’s potency, purity, and freshness. They also consulted with the Marine Stewardship Council to verify which supplements were the most responsibly and sustainably made!

Reviews.com’s Top Picks

Best Overall:

  • Nutrigold Triple Strength Fish Oil Omega-3 Gold — Contains 1,000 mg EPA+DHA per pill, which is a full recommended daily dose, and is thoroughly vetted by third-party labs

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LDL-P: How to lower small, dense LDL particles


The development of heart disease is associated with many risk factors. LDL cholesterol level is often used to determine if preventative treatment is needed, such as medication to lower levels in an effort to prevent heart disease.

However, research indicates LDL cholesterol alone is not necessarily a good determinant of risk. LDL particles vary in their content, size, and density. Not all LDL particles impact heart disease risk in the same way.

Light, fluffy versus small, dense LDL particles

LDL particles come in two main sizes: Large, fluffy particles and small, dense particles.

I had these particles explained to me once by picturing dump trucks on a highway. This helped me visualize the role of these different particles. Hopefully it’ll help you…

Picture the large, fluffy particles to be five large trucks transporting a full load on the highway. Now picture small, dense particles to equal twenty small, trucks with a full load on the highway. It takes twenty small trucks to carry the same load five large trucks can transport.

The more “trucks” (ie particles) in your system, the greater your heart disease risk.

Hence the reason it is beneficial to have large, fluffy particles (ie trucks that can carry a lot in fewer loads) versus small, dense particles (ie more trucks to carry the same load).
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What is a heart attack?

A sudden and sometimes fatal occurrence of coronary thrombosis, typically resulting in the death of part of a heart muscle. ~ Oxford dictionary

The heart muscle requires oxygen to survive. When oxygenated blood flow to the heart muscle is cut off or severely reduced a heart attack occurs. Blood flow can be cut off or severely reduced by the build-up of arterial plaque. This build up eventually causes arteries to narrow and potentially close completely. This is a slow process known as atherosclerosis.

As plaque builds up it can eventually rupture or break open inside the artery, causing a blood clot to form. If the blood clot becomes large enough, it can reduce or completely block the flow of oxygen rich blood to the heart muscle.

Ischemia is when the heart becomes deprived of needed oxygen and nutrients. If blood flow to the heart is not quickly restored, ischemia will damage or cause the death of part of the heart muscle. This is a heart attack and the healthy heart muscle tissue becomes replaced with scar tissue.
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Boost Heart Health with High Intensity Interval Training

high intensity interval training

Short bursts of high intensity interval training may provide a more realistic alternative for preventing and managing Type 2 diabetes, as well as promoting weight loss, according to a paper published in Obesity Reviews.

This was a meta-analysis, meaning researchers searched databases to review multiple studies examining the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on specific health parameters. In this case, 50 studies were included in the research, paying particular attention to insulin resistance, blood glucose, hemoglobin A1c, body weight, and cardiorespiratory fitness.

Researchers found short bursts of vigorous activity in quick succession to be more “effective” when compared to longer forms of exercise in regards to how the body uses and stores blood sugar.

A majority of individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are also classified as overweight or obese. Type 2 diabetes impacts your entire body: vision, kidneys, heart, etc. If you have high triglycerides, this is an indicator for greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Treatment plans for type II diabetes, high triglycerides, and weight management included diet and physical activity.

The effects of exercise on the body’s insulin sensitivity and ability to utilize blood sugar are well proven. The effects of exercise on weight management is debatable.
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Is it now considered okay to eat saturated fat from butter and tropical oils?

saturated-fat[1]It’s no wonder so many of us are confused about healthy eating. Even the nation’s dietary experts keep changing their mind about what we should eat and what we should avoid. We asked USC School of Pharmacy Research Professor Roger Clemens to help remove some of the confusion surrounding healthy fats.

Q: What are the latest dietary guidelines regarding fat and cholesterol?

Dr. Clemens: The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Scientific Report states that cholesterol is no longer a nutrient of concern. The available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol. This is consistent with the conclusion of the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology report.

Q: Can you explain this change in thinking over the past several decades?

Dr. Clemens: Nutritional science is dynamic. In the 1980s, the Dietary Guidelines suggested consumers avoid too much total fat and saturated fat. Over time, total fat guidelines have been upwardly adjusted with the 2010 Guidelines suggesting diets with up 35 percent of daily calories from fat. The 2015 executive summary suggests no upper limit for total fat consumption. Saturated fat guidelines have similarly evolved and now suggest including up to 10 percent in a healthy diet, and replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fat. This thinking may still be changing, however. Current evidence does not clearly support cardiovascular guidelines that encourage high consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and low consumption of total saturated fats.
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