Eat Your Beans!

Jan. 31, 2020 at 12:12pm

Beans, peas and other legumes help your heart because they are great sources of complex carbohydrates, fiber, folate, protein, phytochemical and other nutrients, but contain little or no fat and no cholesterol. 

Their soluble fiber is particularly effective in lowering blood cholesterol. Did you think oatmeal did the trick? Well, it is good for you, all right, but a half-cup serving of kidney or lima beans has twice the soluble fiber as three-quarters of a cup of oat bran or oatmeal.

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Strength Training & Blood Pressure

Jan. 29, 2020 at 1:03pm

Doctors used to warn people with high blood pressure against strength training, but that has changed. Recent research shows that strength training can be as effective as aerobic exercise at lowering blood pressure. Thus, the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association now recommend that people with elevated blood pressure do both aerobic exercise and moderate resistance training.

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Abdominal Obesity and Dementia

Jan. 24, 2020 at 11:59am

Abdominal obesity, called Metabolic Syndrome, has long been identified as a cardiac risk factor. Now a large recent study suggests that it is also associated with a higher risk of dementia. The study characterized abdominal obesity as a waist measurement of 35 inches or more for men and 33.5 inches or more for women.

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Bad Sleep, Bad Heart

Dec. 10, 2019 at 10:33am

New research suggests that people who have trouble sleeping may be more likely to suffer from heart disease and stroke. The ten year study involved almost 500,000 participants measured for trouble getting to sleep, waking up too early and having a problem staying focused during the day. 

People with all three symptoms were 18 percent more likely to develop heart disease or stroke than participants that had no symptoms. Researchers concluded that helping people overcome sleep troubles could reduce the number of cases of stroke and heart attack later down the line.

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The Benefits of Running

Nov. 26, 2019 at 1:48pm

Going for a run just once a week could be enough to cut your risk of early death, says a recent study of 230,000 people over 35 years. Researchers found that the people who did any running at all were 27% less likely to suffer premature death. 

Runners had a 30% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular problems and a 23% reduced risk of dying from cancer. Just 50 minutes of jogging a week produced health benefits.

And if you do not like running, try walking. The benefits that come from a 30-minute run can be experienced with a 45-minute brisk walk.

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Nov. 20, 2019 at 9:54am

New studies are warning millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) of troubling generational health patterns. It seems that millennials are subject to higher rates of depression, hyperactivity, high cholesterol and substance abuse, resulting in a 40% higher mortality rate than (the preceding) Generation X. Here is a tip: Get off of your screens!

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Supplements in Question

Oct. 15, 2019 at 2:48pm

Americans have had an obsession with dietary supplements as a quick and easy way to get cardioprotective nutrition.  The problem is that when tested in rigorous clinical trials, many are shown to do little to protect cardiac health.

Getting certain nutrients from food can certainly reduce cardiac risk, but getting the nutrients from supplements is not the same.  A recent study found that two in 16 nutritional supplements recommended for preventing cardiovascular disease offered any protection, and even those two (omega-3 fatty acids and folic acid) had uncertain evidence.

The bottom line: get your nutrients from eating foods.  I recommend the Mediterranean diet as a great way to bolster cardiovascular protection.

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Naturally Lower Blood Sugar

Aug. 27, 2019 at 9:50am

You do not have to spend hours in the gym to get the blood-sugar-lowering benefits of exercise. Short, but frequent walking breaks - as brief as two minutes every half hour - can lower blood sugar naturally. Or, take the stairs more often or park farther from the store. The more active you are, the more your muscles will remove glucose from the blood.

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Joes Blog

Aug. 20, 2019 at 8:33pm

Recent studies found the risk of obesity jumps almost 25 percent with each two-hour increase in daily television watching. No wonder one health expert calls TV "a weapon of mass destruction."

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Chocolate and Heart Health

Aug. 5, 2019 at 1:33pm

Great news!: Chocolate may protect heart health. A 12-year study in England with over 21,000 adults found that those with the highest chocolate consumption had the lowest rate of heart attack and stroke, and also had lower blood pressure, inflammation and diabetes.

As a chocolate-lover, I am happy with this news. But as a person commited to good health, I subscribe to the words of St. Thomas Aquinas - "Moderation in all things."

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