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Better Nutrition

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Healthy Eating Tips for Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions

1. Reduce your sugar intake, little by little. Why? 

-It doesn’t exist in nature. Sugar is a highly concentrated food. Your body is designed to get its sugars slowly from the complex foods we eat; it is not designed to handle the high amount of sugar that enters it every time you gulp down a soda.

-Sugar is addicting: What most people don’t know is just how serious that addiction is. When scientists study animals that are addicted to sugar, they find that their brains look very similar to other addicts (such as smokers, alcoholics and even heavy drug users). People crave sugar just as addicts crave their drugs. We also binge on sugar, use sugar to change our moods, and many other addictive responses.                                                                                                                                                                                             -Weight Gain: sugar will cause you to gain weight. And this is not only because sugar contains calories, but because sugar is unique and your body handles it differently than other foods. This is especially true of the most harmful sugar of all: High Fructose Corn Syrup. Your body will turn the fructose in High Fructose Corn Syrup into fat much easier than any other food.                                              -Harmful to blood vessels: Sugar destroys blood vessels. You can see the evidence for this in diabetics where blood vessel damage is responsible for all the common diseases that diabetics have, including heart disease, stroke, loss of vision, numbness and tingling of the legs, and the sometimes need for amputation. While you might think you are safe if you don’t already have diabetes, research now suggests that over 30 percent of people will get diabetes some time in their lives. And research suggests that your chances of either having diabetes or metabolic syndrome (a pre-diabetic state) are around 50 percent. Even if you escape one of those diseases, sugar still harms blood vessels. This means if you don’t die from an accident, your chances of dying from the result of sugar’s destruction is high. Remember that heart disease is the number one killer in the United States.  Resource: http://www.olsonnd.com/five-reasons-you-must-avoid-sugar/  

2. Incorporate more probiotics and prebiotics into your diet.  Why? 

Prebiotics are natural, non-digestible food components that are linked to promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut. The best choices are: bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans, and whole-wheat breads. Probiotics are active cultures that help change or repopulate intestinal bacteria to balance gut flora. Consuming probiotics may boost immunity and improve overall GI health and the best sources are yogurts, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and tempeh. Having a combination of prebiotics and probiotics in our diets can be a very powerful step to improving our overall health.

3. Prepare your food.  Why?

Having your meals on hand during the day means you don’t have to go to the local cafe for food. This not only saves you time, but also your waistline. You have full control over the portions and ingredients. Another major advantage of planning and prepping your meals: saving money. Skip the $15 a day you spend on a salad covered in croutons and unknown dressing, and you’ll pocket $75 a week.  Resource:  https://www.organizeyourselfskinny.com/2014/10/17/how-to-prep-food-for-the-week-in-1-afternoon/

For more tips go to: https://www.self.com/story/new-years-resolution-ideas-healthy-eating

 

About Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy substance. It’s not “bad”: your body needs it to build cells. But too much can be a problem.

Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like substance found in the bloodstream and in all your body's cells. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL or 'bad') cholesterol can join with fats and other substances to build up in the inner walls of your arteries. The arteries can become clogged and narrow, and blood flow is reduced. High-density lipoprotein (HDL or 'good') carries harmful cholesterol away from the arteries and helps protect you from heart attack and stroke.

 

Cholesterol comes from two sources. Your body (specifically your liver) makes all the cholesterol you need. The rest you get from foods from animals. For example, meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products contain cholesterol (called dietary cholesterol). More importantly, these foods are high in saturated and trans fat. That’s a problem because these fats cause your liver to make more cholesterol than it otherwise would. For some people, this added production means they go from a normal cholesterol level to one that’s unhealthy.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Learn more about cholesterol here: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/AboutCholesterol/About-Cholesterol_UCM_001220_Article.jsp#.Wm9Ra0-WzDB


12 Foods that Lower Cholesterol 

Avocados, red grapes, fresh garlic, chocolate, oatmeal, fresh black tea, nuts, tumeric, lentils, olive oil, flaxseed, and egg plant to name     a few.  Learn more about these and other foods you can eat to lower your cholesterol here.

 

Sodium

What happens to my body if I eat too much sodium?

In most people, the kidneys have trouble keeping up with the excess sodium in the bloodstream. As sodium accumulates, the body holds onto water to dilute the sodium. This increases both the amount of fluid surrounding cells and the volume of blood in the bloodstream. Increased blood volume means more work for the heart and more pressure on blood vessels. Over time, the extra work and pressure can stiffen blood vessels, leading to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. It can also lead to heart failure. There is also some evidence that too much salt can damage the heart, aorta, and kidneys without increasing blood pressure, and that it may be bad for bones, too.  Resource: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/sodium-health-risks-and-disease/

How much sodium should/can I consume each day?

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mgs) a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults. Because the average American’s sodium intake is so excessive, even cutting back to no more than 2,400 milligrams a day will significantly improve blood pressure and heart health. More than 75 percent of the sodium Americans eat comes from some processed, prepackaged and restaurant foods – not from the salt shaker. 

Resource: https://sodiumbreakup.heart.org/how_much_sodium_should_i_eat

Shaking the salt habit to lower high blood pressure

Learn about salt vs. sodium, sodium sources, shopping and cooking, seasoning alternatives, when dining out, and more.....