Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Did you know 1 in 3 American Adults....?

Today is Part 3 of a letter from Dr.Jamie McManus detailing modifiable risk factors to preventing Heart Disease.  I recently read that 1 in 3 American Adults have high cholesterol.  Read below for someways you can modify this risk factor.  Share with those you love.  Let's reach that 1 in 3 American Adults....

To Your Health,

Modifiable Risk Factor 2: Having high blood cholesterol levels….

You can have high cholesterol and not know it because in the early phases of accumulation of cholesterol plaque in your arteries, there are no symptoms! This build-up of plaque can narrow your arteries and reduce blood flow ultimately leading to arterial blockage or blood clots in arteries that feed the heart and brain. This in turn can cause a heart attack or stroke. Lifestyle changes like improving your diet and increasing your physical activity can help lower your cholesterol. Consistently eating a diet rich in whole grains, fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes and low fat sources of protein (like soy protein) can help lower cholesterol and protect your heart. The FDA has recognized that the consumption of 25 grams or more of soy protein per day may reduce your risk of heart disease. Choosing healthy sources of fats is also incredibly important. You need to limit your intake of saturated fat (the type found in beef, butter, cheese, and regular fat dairy products) and completely avoid trans fats (found in fast foods, bakery products, packaged snack foods and some margarines) as these have been clearly linked to increasing the risk of heart disease. Simultaneously, it is prudent to switch to monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds), as regular consumption of these fats has been shown to decrease your risk of heart disease. Another important heart healthy fat is omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat found in foods like fish and flaxseed that may also help protect your heart by decreasing your risk of heart attack, protect against irregular heartbeats, and help to lower triglycerides and blood pressure. Fiber is another important part of a healthy diet. Look for dark breads that contain at least 3 grams of fiber per serving and whole grain cereals that provide at least 6 grams of fiber per serving.

Fiber supplements that provide at least 5 grams of fiber, preferably a blend of soluble and insoluble fiber are a prudent addition for anyone dealing with elevated lipids.

To Be Continued.....

Dr. Jamie McManus MD, FAAFP

Chairman, Medical Affairs, Health Sciences & Education
Shaklee Corporation

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