Be Heart Healthy and Lose Weight!

Archive for July, 2008

How to boost dietary fiber intake without elevating uric acid.

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on July 25, 2008

I received a good question from a Heart of Health reader related to my recent dietary fiber article.


How do you boost fiber intake if you have to watch your uric acid levels?


Too much uric acid leads to problems with gout (inflammation/pain in your joints).

Fortunately, a diet that is “gout friendly” will also benefit your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, as well as weight loss efforts.

Here are 4 tips:

  1. Avoid alcohol or limit intake
  2. Drink plenty of water (stay hydrated!)
  3. Maintain an ideal body weight – if you need to lose weight avoid fasting or quick weight loss schemes (Get a Mini Diet Makeover)
  4. Avoid foods high in purines

Uric acid comes from the breakdown of purines.  Purines make up human tissue and they are found in foods.  Which is why limiting foods with high in purines content is beneficial.

Foods to limit/avoid – alcohol, anchovies, sardines in oil, herring, organ meat, legumes (dried beans, peas, mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, yeast, meat extracts, and gravies.

Foods that are beneficial to gout treatment include fresh berries, bananas, tomatoes, celery, cabbage, parsley, green-leafy vegetables, pineapple, red bell peppers, tangerines, oranges, potatoes, low fat dairy, whole grain breads and pastas, tuna, salmon, nuts, seeds, and tofu.

In my recent article – 4 Tips to Use Dietary Fiber to Lower Cholesterol – I recommended legumes as a good high fiber source to increase.  If uric acid levels are an issue for you, legumes is not the best source for increasing your fiber intake.  Instead, rely on whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas, as well, as fruits and vegetables beneficial to gout treatment that I’ve listed above to get your daily dietary fiber.

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All the best,

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

Posted in food, heart health, high blood pressure, lose weight, lower cholesterol, nutrition | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Eating Breakfast Equals Weight Loss

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on July 15, 2008

Do you eat breakfast?

Well, a recent study backs up the claim that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Two groups of women were compared.  The first group followed a low calorie diet (~1200 calories) that included a balanced protein/carbohydrate intake.  This first group ate 50% of their daily calories in the morning (~600 calories).  The second group followed a low calorie (~1000 calories), low carbohydrate diet and ate ~25% of their calories in the morning.  The first group lost ~40 pounds over 6 months, while the second group lost ~10 pounds (28 pounds first 4 months, followed by 18 pound regain).


Balancing protein and carbohydrates in your breakfast is important.  Here are some examples of quick and easy breakfast meals that include both protein and carbohydrates.


Whole wheat toast with peanut butter

Low fat cottage cheese with canned peaches (light syrup)

Banana with handful of mixed nuts

Whole grain cereal with low fat milk

Apple with hard-boiled egg

Low fat yogurt with granola

What are you going to eat for breakfast?

All the best,
Lisa Nelson, RD, LN
Heart Health and Weight Loss Tips

Posted in heart health, lose weight | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Plant sterols for heart health. . .

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on July 11, 2008

One way to improve heart health and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol is to include plant sterols as part of your everyday diet.  Plant sterols, also called phytosterols, actively remove cholesterol from the body by blocking cholesterol absorption in the intestine.


Eating 2 grams of plant sterols each day will on average reduce your LDL cholesterol 10%.


Plant sterols occur naturally in foods at low levels, so some foods (such as margarines, mayonnaise, and dairy based drinks) have been fortified.  Here are some options you can use to increase your plant sterol intake and promote a healthy heart!


Avocados, 1 small 0.13 grams
Corn Oil, 1 tablespoon 0.13 grams
Sunflower Seeds, 1/4 cup 0.19 grams
Oat Bar with plant sterols, 1 bar 0.4 grams
Orange Juice with plant sterols 1.0 gram
Vegetable oil spread with plant sterols, 1 tablespoon 1.0 gram
Fruit & yogurt flavored minidrink with plant sterols, 3 oz. bottle 2.0 grams


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Posted in heart health, lower cholesterol, nutrition | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Does sleep apnea increase your heart attack risk?

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on July 4, 2008

This is another question I was asked recently. Here’s the answer:

Sleep apnea increases your risk for high blood pressure, which then increases your risk of heart disease, which then increases your heart attack risk.  A vicious chain of events!

The quickest and easiest way to know if sleep apnea is causing your blood pressure to rise is to check your blood pressure when you wake up in the morning and compare it to a blood pressure reading later in the day.  Discuss what you learn with your MD.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN
Control Blood Pressure

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