Spices have always been an easy, low-calorie way to add flavor to your food without extra fat. According to the Daily Mail, a research team from Penn State University has found that a diet rich in spices, including turmeric and cinnamon, can reduce the stress that high-fat foods can place on the heart.
Scientists report that turmeric and cinnamon, two of the healthiest spices, may protect you from the physical damage caused by high-fat meals.
“Normally, when you eat a high-fat meal, you end up with high levels of triglycerides, a type of fat, in your blood,” study leader, Sheila West told the Daily Mail. “If this happens too frequently, or if triglyceride levels are raised too much, your risk of heart disease is increased.”
By adding healthy spices to a high-fat meal, researchers found that the triglyceride response reduced by about 30% when compared to a similar meal with no spices added.
Many things come with age. Unfortunately, some of those are narrowed arteries and high cholesterol. These days, being prescribed medication for high cholesterol is almost a given, maybe even a right of passage from middle age to senior citizen-hood. But let’s face it, no one likes to take medication and many people would like to try supplements and lifestyle changes before they jump on the prescription bandwagon.
So first, let’s define a few things. When you get a lipid panel here are things you will see and what your target numbers are:
- HDL=good cholesterol Goal: Greater than 40 mg/dL for men, greater than 50 mg/dL for women
- Total cholesterol = combination of your LDL/HDL and other components Goal: Less than 200 mg/dL
- Triglycerides = Fat that your body stores Goal: Less than 150 mg/dL
Do you know what triglycerides are? While cholesterol gets all the attention, this fatty substance in the blood can be just as dangerous. If you don’t know what triglycerides, you may want to learn a little about them since a third of us may have high levels of the potentially dangerous substance.
A man has a check-up with his doctor. (via CNN.com)
According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report published in Archives of Internal Medicine, one-third of Americans have borderline or high triglyceride levels.
“I see it as a major problem that we’ve completely ignored this problem so far,” said Dr. Børge Nordestgaard of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. (more…)
A study just released from the journal Stroke reported that men with high body mass index (BMI) and high systolic blood pressure are at an increased risk of dying from a stroke. It seems like weekly, we continue to get reports from clinically-controlled trials which support the increasing body of evidence that maintaining a healthy BMI and blood pressure levels equates to a healthier and even longer life.
Start to get in the habit of being able to rattle off your health numbers- like your BMI, blood pressure and triglycerides just as quickly as you can cite your shoe size. Maintaining ongoing checks and balances on your health will motivate you to stay on track with your health goals and it will alert you to a red flag when those numbers creep up to unhealthier levels.