A Healthy Heart

by Paul Blustein

Your health is more important than saving money. Please do not cut corners. See qualified medical personnel whenever it's appropriate.

We have received a couple of emails on how to lower one's cholesterol levels. We will address that here today as well as give you great suggestions on helping yourself avoid this dreadful disease from every touching you and your family.

To start out with, the role of cholesterol has come into question. For decades, it appeared to be as simple as high blood cholesterol levels clogging the arteries. However, now it appears to be a little more complicated than that.

Studies now show that elevated levels of homocysteine, (a metabolite of the amino acid methionine) can attach to LDL cholesterol, making it more likely to stick to artery walls. (Prasad K: Homocysteine, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, 1999.) This comes from the International Journal of Angiology, January, 99. This leads to a thickening and narrowing of the arteries, paving the way for complications.

Most medical experts agree that total cholesterol is not as important as the ratio between high-density lipoprotein, (HDL) and LDL, cholesterol. They say, a ratio of 4:1 (HDL:LDL) or better will improve your chances of lifelong heart health. Most researchers recommend keeping total cholesterol levels below 200mg/dl. If you are truly concerned about our levels, please see a qualified healthcare practitioner for a proper and professional evaluation and treatment.

Cutting the Fat

Here for your information, we will give you some excellent suggestions in keeping you within those borders so you do live a longer and healthier life. That is what Healthy Lifestyles is all about. Read these, jot them down, and practice them. These recommendations come from those who have done extensive research in their fields, PDR, the Family Guide to Nutrition and Health, and Montvale: Medical Economics, 1995.

Don't use fat as flavoring

Instead of butter, bake garlic in the oven for one hour with some Olive oil. You can spread it on bread or pasta. You can also use herbs or lemon juice to season vegetables.

Reduce your consumption of meat

Instead, use pasta, rice (or another whole grain), vegetables, and fruits as the centerpiece of your meal. The high fiber content of plant foods has been shown to promote healthy cholesterol levels. Plus, these same fibers have proven to be great agents for cleansing your systems out, (we mentioned this several times in past newsletters).

Choose leaner meats

In addition, cut off the fat, remove the skin from poultry, eat smaller amounts, and avoid frying if at all possible. We all come to love fried foods like French fries, fried chicken, those notorious corn dogs etc. The one rule of thumb to follow is never eat too many of these foods consistently. That is a straight path to heart problems. Use them sparingly. We never tell you to completely avoid them, but, if your true goal is to get healthy and your willing to sacrifice, then by all means, cut them out of your diet completely.

Choose fresh produce rather than fatty foods

So, you want the utmost of health? Then subscribers, Opt in for great tasting fruits and vegetables instead of greasy potato chips, candy bars, banana splits, etc. I don't have to remind you what they will do to you besides lead you to complications. Well, I will! They add on a ton of calories, and we all know to well what path that leads us to, right?

Do you have any questions on this article? Then, please don't ever feel bashful. Just email all your questions or comments to us at questions@am300.org.

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