Lower Cholesterol

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Using Probiotics for Cholesterol Lowering

probiotics for cholesterol loweringHigh cholesterol levels increase heart disease risk. There are dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to lower cholesterol levels.

A growing number of studies indicate probiotics have the potential to improve cholesterol levels.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are good bacteria that promote overall health, especially for the digestive systems. Many probiotic supplements contain the same or very similar bacteria to what is already located within the body but may be out of balance with “bad” bacteria due to various health conditions.

How do probiotics lower cholesterol?

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Beans Health Benefits: Eat Dry Beans, Peas, and Lentils for Heart Health

beans health benefitsDried beans, peas, and lentils include kidney beans, navy beans, chickpeas, Great Northern beans, black-eyed peas, split peas, and lima beans.

Dry beans, peas and lentils are a very economical option for adding protein and nutrients to your diet with a 1-pound costing an average of $0.15 per serving for dry beans and between $0.35 to $0.50 per serving depending on brand for canned beans.

Beans Health Benefits: Dry beans, peas, and lentils are highly nutritious

— Contain almost twice the protein of whole grains and all nine essential amino acids

— Provide both soluble and insoluble fiber

— Low in sodium. If prepared without added salt contain they contain almost no sodium. Canned options are higher in sodium. Select “low sodium” or “no added salt” options. Draining and rinsing canned beans, peas and lentils reduces sodium content by 41%.

— Contain almost no fat. Fat content depends on what is added during preparation.

— A plant source of iron. Plant iron sources are a little harder for the body to absorb. To boost iron absorption, combine with foods contains vitamin C.

— Rich source of magnesium, zinc, and potassium.

— Gluten-free

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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

ldl-p

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?

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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