News & tips on health, fitness and nutrition

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Can your HDL or ‘good cholesterol' be too high?

High levels of HDL, or “good” cholesterol, are generally considered healthy. But can you have too much of a good thing?


Possibly so, a study in the European Heart Journal found. Danish researchers tracked more than 116,508 men and women, average age 57, for an average of six years. There were 10,678 deaths.

After adjusting for other factors, an HDL of 73 milligrams per deciliter in men and 93 in women was associated with the lowest all-cause mortality. Compared with that, men with HDL levels of 97 to 115 had a 36 percent increased risk for death, and twice the risk above 116. Women at greater than 135 had a 68 percent increased risk. (Only 2.3 percent of men had levels above 97, and 0.3 percent of women had levels above 135.)

Low HDL, too, was tied to higher mortality risk, consistent with other studies. At levels under 39, the lower the HDL, the greater the increased risk for death.
The senior author, Dr. Borge G. Nordestgaard, a clinical professor at the University of Copenhagen, said that until now, he would “congratulate” patients with very high HDL. “The higher the better!”

“But now we know that’s not so. These people should protect themselves — exercise, stop smoking, eat a healthy diet and so on.”

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Watermelon

The health benefits of watermelon include help with kidney disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart care, heat stroke, macular degeneration, impotence and more!

Here are some health benefits of water melon:

Kidney Disorders: Watermelon contains a lot of potassium, which is very helpful in cleaning or washing off the toxic depositions in the kidneys. Moreover, it is helpful in reducing concentration of uric acid in the blood, thereby reducing the chances of kidney damages and formation of renal calculi in it. Added to these, being high in water content, it induces frequent urinating, which is again helpful for cleaning of kidneys. Also, the anti oxidants present in ensure good health of kidneys for a long.

High Blood Pressure: A good amount of potassium and magnesium, present in water melons, are very good in bringing down the blood pressure. The carotenoids present in them prevent hardening of walls of arteries and veins, thereby helping reduce blood pressure.

Prevent Heat Stroke: Watermelon is effective in reducing your body temperature and blood pressure. Many people in the tropical regions eat the fruit daily in the afternoon during summers to protect themselves from heat stroke. In India, you will find the fruit being sold by vendors in almost every street during summers.

Diabetes: Diabetes patients, who are supposed to have low energy and low sugar diet, often complaint about starving since they don’t get to eat their staple diet to their full, giving them a feeling of keeping half fed. Water Melons can be a good supplement for them. In spite of being sweet in taste, a thick wedge will give you very few calories, since ninety nine percent of its total weight is composed of water and roughage. Moreover, the various vitamins and minerals such as potassium and magnesium help in proper functioning of insulin in the body, thus lowering the blood sugar level. Arginine, another component found in water melons, is very effective in enhancing impact of insulin on sugar. Diabetes patients can also have curries, steaks, salads made from water melon rinds which are even lower in sugar.

Heart Care: Lypocene, a carotenoid found in abundance in water melon, improves cardiac functions. Beta carotene, known for its remarkable anti oxidant and anti aging properties, also keeps you young at the heart and prevents age related cardiac problems. The roughage in water melon and its very low energy, with help from vitamin-C, Carotenoids and potassium (potassium cuts the risk of a heart attack), help reduce cholesterol and keep your heart safe.

Macular Degeneration: Leave your worry of eyes on that beta carotene, that vitamin-C and those Lutein and Zeaxanthin. They will ensure protection of your eyes from macular degeneration. They are experts in that. These anti oxidants will protect your eyes from other age related ailments such as drying up of eyes and optical nerves, glaucoma etc.

Impotence: Arginine, present in water melon, is beneficial in curing erectile dysfunctions.

Other Benefits: Lypocene is found to be effective in preventing cancer, prostrate growth and repair damaged tissues. Water melon seeds are rich in good fats and proteins. Water melons also contain phytonutrients which have very good effect on the health and proper functioning of internal organs, eyes, secretion system etc.

Amount per 

  • 1 melon (15" long x 7-1/2" dia) (4,518 gCalories 1371
  • 1 wedge (approx 1/16 of melon) (286 g) Calories 87

  1. Nutrition Facts
    Amount Per 
    Calories 1371
  2. % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 7 g10%
    Saturated fat 0.7 g3%
    Polyunsaturated fat 2.3 g
    Monounsaturated fat 1.7 g
    Cholesterol 0 mg0%
    Sodium 45 mg1%
    Potassium 5060 mg144%
    Total Carbohydrate 341 g113%
    Dietary fiber 18 g72%
    Sugar 280 g
    Protein 28 g56%
    Vitamin A514%Vitamin C610%
    Calcium31%Iron60%
    Vitamin D0%Vitamin B-6100%
    Vitamin B-120%Magnesium113%
    *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

5 benefits of sourdough bread



1- Increases beneficial lactic acid
The longer rise time needed for sourdough increases the lactic acid and creates an ideal pH for the enzyme phytase. This enzyme breaks down phytates (read more about the dangers of phytic acid here) more effectively than in yeast breads. Sourdough rye has the least amount of phytates (somehow the Swiss culture mentioned above must have known this) making it a healthier bread.


2- Predigestion of starches
The bacteria and yeast in the sourdough culture work to predigest the starches in the grains, thus making it more easily digestible to the consumer.


3- Breakdown of gluten
Here again, the longer soaking and rising times in the preparation of sourdough breaks the protein gluten into amino acids, making it more digestible.


4- Preservative
The acetic acid which is produced along with lactic acid, helps preserve the bread by inhibiting the growth of mold.


5- Better blood glucose regulation
There has been some research suggesting that sourdough bread — sourdough white bread — showed positive physiological responses. The subjects’ blood glucose levels were lower after eating sourdough white bread compared to whole wheat, whole wheat with barley and plain white bread. Interestingly, the subjects tested after eating whole wheat bread fared the worse — with spiking blood glucose levels.


Additionally, the researchers found that the positive response lasted through the next meal and for several hours after that. They concluded that what you have for breakfast will influence how the body responds to the next meal.


This is all well and good, but the most pressing reason is the TASTE! That tangy, slightly sour taste is awesome! If you eat grains, make sourdough your primary source of grains.
- See more at: http://realfoodforager.com/5-reasons-to-make-sourdough-your-only-bread/#sthash.rnaaqEpV.dpuf