March 21, 2012 in Healthy Tips
Periodontal disease is a major factor in compromised wellness and longevity. Bacteria that normally reside in the mouth secrete sticky stuff that enables these “gum bugs” to attach themselves to the teeth and gum tissue. This biofilm gradually hardens into plaque, called tartar, which is the stuff you hear and feel the dental hygienist scraping off your teeth.
The sticky stuff that collects along the gum line can trigger sticky stuff, inflammation, in your blood vessels. The pockets of bacteria that get trapped beneath the gums work their way into the bloodstream and settle in other tissues, setting up inflammation. A fascinating study of how those gum bugs can harm the heart prompted me to step up my flossing. Researchers studied plaque from patients who had undergone vascular surgery to scrape out their clogged arteries and found that it contained the same bacteria that were scraped out of their gum pockets.
October 19, 2011 in Healthy Tips
Researchers have shown that PPL (post-prandial lipemia or high blood fat levels after eating) is lessened by eating more plant-based foods along with meat
Eat fruits first. Fruits, especially berries, are full of phytos – anti-rust nutrients that lower PPL. A bowl of fruit before or while you enjoy those bacon and eggs is just what the heart doctor ordered. A study in the February 2008 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed why blueberries merit being called the “heart berry.” Middle-age men and women with cardiovascular risk factors who ate berries twice a day showed lower blood pressure, higher HDL, and less sticky platelets, perhaps due to the naturally-occurring polyphenols in berries.
Savor salad before the steak. Salads are full of phytos. Studies show that eating foods high in vitamins C, E, and folic acid can mellow out PPL so you don’t get such a high spike in artery-clogging blood fats. Because blood pressure can shoot up after a high-fat meal, eat a multi-vegetable spinach salad as a first course. The fiber in salads slows the absorption of fat, a good reason to put more color on your plate. Enjoying a generous salad also may prompt you to eat less steak.
October 5, 2011 in Healthy Tips
Eat more “young,” heart-healthy oils like:
- Fish oils
- Flax oil
- Olive oil
- Nut oils
Eat less “old,” heart-harmful oils like:
- “Partially hydrogenated” oils
- Corn oil
- Cottonseed oil
- Palm kernel oil
- Sunflower oil
- Safflower oil
- Soybean oil