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Archive for September, 2008

9 Steps to Lower High Blood Pressure

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on September 28, 2008

Today is World Heart Day, so I want to give nine steps that will lead to high blood pressure control and ultimately heart health!If you live with high blood pressure, you’re familiar with the side effects of anti-hypertensive medications. Fortunately, medications are not the only way to rein in high blood pressure.

Lifestyle plays a key role. By altering some choices you make, you can avoid or reduce the need for medications.

Here are 9 steps that will start you towards blood pressure control.

1. Put out the cigarette.

There is a significant blood pressure rise with every cigarette you smoke.

2. Pour out the liquor.

More than two drinks daily for men and one for women can elevate blood pressure. One drink is equal to 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 ½ ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.

3. Get off the couch.

Inactivity equals an increased heart rate. Increased heart rate means the heart must pump harder and exert more force on artery walls. Shoot for 30 minutes of activity 5 or more days each week. Get moving!

4. Chill out.

Do you turn to cigarettes, alcohol, or food to cope with stress? If so, find a new method ASAP. Possibilities include meditating, taking a bubble bath, going for a long walk – whatever works for you.

5. Do NOT chew the fat.

Reduce saturated fat intake (i.e. trim visible fat off meat, switch to low fat milk). Replace saturated fats (such as shortening, butter, and ice cream) with unsaturated fats (such as canola oil, margarine, and low fat yogurt).

6. Use fatty acids.

Become omega 3 savvy and consume omega 3 fatty acids everyday (i.e. salmon, walnuts, canola oil, herring, and avocados).

7. Stop shaking the salt.

Taste your food before salting it! Read food labels to limit sodium intake to 2300 milligrams per day. Most Americans consume 6-18 grams daily. Pull out herbs and spices in place of the salt shaker.

8. Rake in the roughage.

Make whole grain products, fruits, and vegetables your friends. The more the merrier. A high fiber diet is necessary for heart health. You need 25-35 grams of dietary fiber daily. A fruit serving generally provides 2-4 grams of fiber, whole grain pasta 5 grams, and you can find 100% whole wheat bread with 5 grams.

9. Know your minerals.

Three minerals play critical roles in blood pressure management – potassium, magnesium, and calcium.

Potassium

If you are treating high blood pressure with a diuretic, you are excreting potassium. Two of the best potassium sources are potatoes and bananas.

Magnesium

As you switch from refined grains to whole grains your magnesium intake will increase. Magnesium is lost when grains are refined (bran and germ removed). Also, diuretics have the same effect on magnesium as they do potassium.

Calcium

Get your 3 a day. You need 3 servings of low fat dairy everyday. High fat dairy does not have the same protective effect when combating high blood pressure. One dairy serving is equal to 8 oz. of milk, 8 oz. yogurt, 1-1/2 oz cheese, and 1/2 cup cottage cheese.

To receive free heart health and weight loss tips from dietitian Lisa Nelson, subscribe to The Heart of Health and grab your FREE subscriber report: “Stop Wasting Money – Take Control of Your Health!”

 

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Lose weight with a food journal.

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on September 24, 2008

Are you struggling to lose weight? Start keeping track of what you eat, when you eat, and how you feel before and after eating. You may be surprised by what triggers you to eat and how fast those little snacks add up.

A new study of 1700 overweight adults resulted in twice the weight loss for those who kept food records versus those who did not.

Receive quick “take action” tips when you subscribe to The Heart of Health ezine.

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Vote for me!

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on September 14, 2008

Would you do me a favor?

The company I license with to provide weight loss programs entered a contest! Please click the link below to vote for us. Look for the “Vote for Me” button beneath the Real Living Nutrition Services logo.

http://www.startupnation.com/homebased100/contestant/1608/index.php

Thank you!
Lisa Nelson, RD, LN

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Your Checklist to Lower Cholesterol

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on September 12, 2008

Here’s a checklist of the top 8 things you must do if you want to successfully lower your cholesterol and keep it low.

Know your numbers

Have you had a lipid profile? Do you understand the numbers? If you are going to successfully lower cholesterol you need to know your numbers and what they mean. The most effective way to raise HDL is not necessarily the best way to lower LDL.

Evaluate your lifestyle

There are risk factors for high cholesterol that you can not control, such as age, gender, and family history, but there are factors you can control. For example, you can reduce risk by not smoking, increasing your activity, and losing extra weight.

Balance your fats

Reduce unhealthy saturated fats in your diet and replace them with heart healthy unsaturated fats. Total fat intake should be 30% or less of your total daily calories. Out of this 30%, saturated fat should be limited to 7%.

Be active

Physical activity lowers triglycerides and raises HDL (good) cholesterol. Shoot for 30 minutes 5 or more days a week. If you are not currently active, check with your MD before beginning an activity program.

Eliminate trans fats

You need to be food label savvy and watch out for trans fats. Trans fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and raise triglycerides. Limit trans fats to 1% or less of your daily caloric intake.

Understand triglycerides

Triglycerides are impacted the most by your simple sugar and alcohol intake. If you are struggling with high triglycerides, you need to use a different strategy to get your cholesterol under control.

Increase dietary fiber

A high fiber diet is necessary for heart health. You need 25-35 grams of dietary fiber daily, especially soluble fiber. For every 1-2 grams of daily soluble fiber intake, LDL (bad) cholesterol is lowered 1%.

Add omega 3 fatty acids

For heart health and lower cholesterol, you want to improve the ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are involved in the regulation of heart rate, blood pressure, and blood clotting.

If you’re ready for regular heart health and weight loss tips for dietitian Lisa Nelson, sign up for The Heart of Health today and grab your copy of the special report “Stop Wasting Money – Take Control of Your Health” today!

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Vytorin to lower cholesterol

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on September 7, 2008

A reader from The Heart of Health is treating high cholesterol with Vytorin. The medication Vytorin is a combination of the statin drug Zocor and the cholesterol lowering drug Zetia. The two drugs differ in that statins function mainly in the liver to reduce production of cholesterol, while Zetia works in the digestive tract to block the absorption of cholesterol from food.

Vytorin is in the press right now, because of a possible link to increased cancer risk.  Studies including 20,000 patients compared cancer in those treated with Vytorin (313) to those taking a Zocor/statin drug (326).   Actual cancer deaths were greater in those taking Vytorin (97) versus Zocor (72).  From my perspective, that is not a significant difference; however, there are experts that agree with me and experts that disagree.

Anyway, The Heart of Health reader requested my thoughts.

First, absolutely discuss with your MD the best treatment for you. I would discuss the possibility of a statin lowering drug with proven effectiveness/safety as an alternative until the controversy regarding Vytorin is settled. Also, there is debate surrounding the effectiveness of Zetia at preventing heart disease.

Of course, I do not know your personal situation and if you have tried a statin with poor results in the past.

Anytime you have to take a medication, there is the risk of side effects.  Many times it’s simply a matter of weighing the pros and cons and deciding how much risk you’re willing to take.

Of course, I promote making lifestyle and diet changes to lower cholesterol to eliminate the need for medications or at least reduce the amount of medication needed to treat your condition. 

If you are not a current subscriber to The Heart of Health, you’ll receive a subscriber exclusive report: “Stop Wasting Money – Take Control of Your Health” and regular heart health and weight loss tips once you sign-up.

All the best,

Lisa Nelson, RD, LN
eNutritionServices.com

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Preserve potassium when preparing potatoes

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on September 5, 2008

If you’re making mashed potatoes or many other potato dishes, what do you do?  Cube the potatoes and throw them in a pot of water to boil?  If you want to hang on to the potassium potatoes offer, it’s best to boil the potato whole – skin and all.  When potatoes are cubed or shredded then boiled, studies show a 75% loss of potassium.

Also, good news if you like to soak your potatoes in water overnight.  Soaking potatoes does not result in a significant loss of nutrients to the water they’re soaked in.

For regular heart health and weight loss tips from dietitian Lisa Nelson, be sure to sign up for The Heart of Health ezine.

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Omega 3’s and Walnuts

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on September 1, 2008

Sometimes people wonder about the health benefits of the black walnut versus the more common English walnut, so I’m going to provide you some quick info. 

The English walnut contains more omega 3 fatty acids per ounce than the black walnut (2.6 grams versus .57 grams).  To promote heart health, increasing your omega 3 fatty intake is a good step to take, so opt for the English walnut (which is easier to find anyway).  

Another component to keep in mind:

The type of omega 3 fatty acid contained in walnuts is ALA (alpha linolenic acid).  The conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA (the two types of omega 3 fatty acids linked to health benefits) is inefficient. 

The Heart of Health

Be sure to sign up for The Heart of Health to receive regular heart health and weight loss tips from dietitian Lisa Nelson!

Posted in heart health, lower cholesterol | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Omega 3’s and Walnuts

Posted by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN on September 1, 2008

Sometimes people wonder about the health benefits of the black walnut versus the more common English walnut, so I’m going to provide you some quick info. 

The English walnut contains more omega 3 fatty acids per ounce than the black walnut (2.6 grams versus .57 grams).  To promote heart health, increasing your omega 3 fatty intake is a good step to take, so opt for the English walnut (which is easier to find anyway).  

Another component to keep in mind:

The type of omega 3 fatty acid contained in walnuts is ALA (alpha linolenic acid).  The conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA (the two types of omega 3 fatty acids linked to health benefits) is inefficient. 

The Heart of Health

Be sure to sign up for The Heart of Health to receive regular heart health and weight loss tips from dietitian Lisa Nelson!

Posted in heart health, lower cholesterol, nutrition | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »