How to keep a Healthy Heart?

The heart is beating 100,000 times a day, every SINGLE day. When was the last time you have checked your heart? Listen. You need to show your heart that you care. It doesn’t ask much , but it still needs the care (and deserve) your love and attention.

What’s Up, Doc?

Your doctor will want to get an accurate picture of your blood pressure and chart what happens over time. Starting at age 20, the American Heart Association recommends a blood pressure screening at your regular healthcare visit or once every 2 years, if your blood pressure is less than 120/80 mm Hg. Knowing your blood pressure and cholesterol will give you a good idea of the current state your heart is in and where you may need to work a little bit harder to stay healthy.

This blood pressure chart reflects categories defined by the American Heart Association.

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Your Next Steps.

One of the most important steps in keeping a healthy heart is to stay active is to stay active . You don’t have to run a 10 miles for marathon but staying in sedentary for extended periods of time can be detrimental to your heart. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, five days a week. using stairs instead of elevators, or even just walking around the office for few minutes will greatly improve for a healthy heart.

Keep Light, Eat Right

Fruits and vegetables together with fish are what’s on the menu for the Happy Heart Diner. For those love to snack, try nibbling on a handful of unsalted nuts to cut out bad cholesterol.

Defeat the Stress Monster

There is no way to totally eliminate stress , but taking some time out of your day to free your mind can do miracles for your health and well-being. Remember, stress is major factor in producing free radicals in our body.

10Supplements Your Tag Team Partner

Sometimes it’s hard to get everything our heart needs from just diet and exercise alone. Luckily, there are nutritional supplements out there ready to fight and prevent major risk factors of cardiovascular disease people. Know more about supplement by reading my first blog post.

 


Diabetes – The Silent Killer

Diabetes mellitus is a long-term medical illness which has achieved epidemic numbers worldwide. According to WHO (World Health Organization), in 2012 an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes and another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose. It has increased dramatically as result of growing affluence with accompanying obesity and sedentary lifestyles.

Diabetes is a condition where one has high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) as a result of inadequate insulin production or insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that is produced in the pancreas and is required for the glucose to move into the cells. The body cells require glucose to generate energy however for people with diabetes, the glucose stays in the blood instead of being turned into energy by the body cells.

There are two types of Diabetes: Type1 and Type 2.

Type 1 diabetes develops when the insulin-producing cells in the body have been destroyed and the body is unable to produce any insulin. Type 2 diabetes develops when insulin-producing cells in the body are unable to produce enough insulin, or the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance). Type 2 diabetes is much more common when compared with Type 1. Type 2 diabetes usually affects adults more than 40 years old with obesity and physical inactivity and increasing the risk significantly.

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How Bad it is?

Diabetes is among the top 10 causes of death in the world. Besides being a cause of premature death , diabetes can cause an earlier onset of heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, limb amputations, loss of vision and nerve damage. In 2014 about 1 in 2 heart attack patients had diabetes; 2 out of 3 new kidney failure cases due to diabetes; 2 in 5 stroke cases had diabetes and there were over 1500 amputations per year due to complications arising from diabetes.

Conclusion

Unfortunately there is no cure for diabetes at the present moment. However, it is important to adopt measures to avoid or delay the onset of possibly devastating complications. Good sugar control ( HbA1c 7% or less ) can be achieved with combination of dietary and lifestyle modifications. Optimal blood pressure less than 140/90 mmHg will also reduce the risk of developing complications. A healthy and a diet with low glycemic index is essential. Engaging in suitable amounts of physical activity and exercise as well avoidance of obesity and maintenance of a healthy body weight will be helpful.

Taking active steps to prevent diabetes to prevent diabetes and complications arising from diabetes is of paramount importance and should not be taken lightly in the fight against the silent killer.


Do we need to take vitamins or supplements for good health?

Today, millions of people around the world regularly take vitamins and supplements. In fact, many people have jars full of all sorts of supplements and vitamins underneath their bed and some even have more stock supplies in the garage and basement. The belief today is the vitamins and supplements are the panacea for good health.

 

Over the years many studies have been done on the benefits of vitamins and supplements on health. There definitely is a role of these agents in people who are ill, not able to eat, or those who have a chronic medical disorder (eg diabetes, cancer, arthritis and so on). However, the role of vitamins and supplements in healthy people is questionable. Recent studies indicate that in healthy people the role of vitamins in preventing disease is minuscule.

 

The other problem with vitamins and supplements is that most people believe that taking more is better. Since the health supplement industry is unregulated, most people rarely read labels and take whatever they feel like. There are no universal dosages for most supplements and these doses even vary from store to store. What the public should know is that while vitamins can be beneficial it is important to take the right amount to prevent toxicity or adverse reactions. The public also has this erroneous belief that unlike pharmaceutical drugs , vitamins and supplements are completely safe. This is a false assumption. There are countless cases of allergies and interactions reported from the use of supplements and vitamins. Worse, there are regular reports of fake and counterfeit products in the health supplement industry. One can never be sure whether one is consuming a pill made from cardboard or chalk! Many researchers have found that vitamins and supplements sold in health-food stores that are not manufactured with strict care may not have the active ingredients that are advertised and may even contain ingredients not listed on labels.

When taken in the right doses, there is no harm from vitamins and supplements but these products should not be taken as a form of “insurance” for poor dietary habits.

For anyone who is considering taking vitamins and supplements, it is best to read about the product and speak to your healthcare provider first. The most important thing to know is that there is no substitute for a good healthy diet. If one eats a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, cereals, whole grains, seafood, dairy products and nuts, there is probably no need for a healthy person to take supplements. To precisely answer the question of whether “healthy people” should take vitamin supplements begs two questions. First, what do we define as “healthy” and whether such people are already maintaining a healthy diet. Second, an individual with an illness or chronic medical disorder may benefit from supplements if there is a need.

In certain scenarios vitamins may be worthwhile as mentioned below:

 

  • Adults past the age of 50 may consider a vitamin B-12 supplement or adding foods fortified with vitamin B-12 to their diet if they have been diagnosed with anemia.
  • Seniors and individuals with light skin, and those individuals who do not get more than 15 minutes of exposure to the sun everyday, should consider a vitamin D supplement or eat foods that are fortified with vitamin D.
  • Women who are planning to get pregnant or are pregnant, should be taking folic acid supplements to prevent birth defects.

Nutrisearch

Because there are no uniform guidelines on supplements and vitamins always speak to your healthcare provider first or check out NutriSearch. NutriSearch has been comparing multiple vitamin and mineral supplements in North America and Canada for over 15 years. Its Blended Standard uses the mean nutritional recommendations from no less than 12 nutritional authorities as a benchmark for optimal nutrient levels. NutriSearch then applies these benchmarks to its 18 health support criteria that are used to evaluate and compare nutritional products.

Remember to prevent disease one not only has to eat Smart but also stop smoking and refrain from consuming excess alcohol. Taking vitamins and supplements every day is also not cheap. For the same amount of money you can eat a decent healthy home cooked meal. Finally, no matter what supplement or vitamin you take, exercise should be a regular part of your lifestyle. This does not mean running a marathon every weekend-simple walking is as good an exercise as any. Walking is free, allows you to enjoy nature and is safe- unless you get hit by a bus while texting.