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What is it?


The glycemic index (GI) is measure of the ability of foods (specifically carbohydrates in food) to raise your blood sugar (glucose) levels after being eaten.

The GI scale ranks carbohydrates from 0 to 100, with 0 as the slowest absorption and 100 as the fastest absorption into the bloodstream.

Foods with a high GI (above 70) are quickly digested and absorbed, resulting in a rapid increase in blood sugar and, consequently, insulin levels.

Foods with low GI (less than 55) are slowly digested and absorbed, meaning they gradually increase blood sugar and insulin levels.

  • Low GI is preferred.

gi-graph

How is it measured?

Glycemic index measures the amount of carbohydrates in food and the glucose levels after eating.

Different carbohydrate-containing foods affect blood glucose levels differently.

Food items are charted as high, medium, and low according to the GI value measured.

  • High glycemic index is above 70 (i.e. white bread)
  • Medium glycemic index is 50 to 70 (i.e. brown bread)
  • Low glycemic index is below 50 (i.e. apple)
  • glycemicfoods

 

Who should be using this?

By watching what you eat, your hunger and energy levels will have a beneficial affect.

Your total blood glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels will significantly improve.

Those who may benefit from using the glycemic index include:

  • Those who want to lose weight
  • Control high glucose levels (i.e. diabetics)
  • Control low glucose levels
  • Control cholesterol and triglyceride levels
  • Patients who want to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Patients who want to decrease the risk of diabetes
  • Patients who want to decrease the risk of kidney disease
  • Patients who want to decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration

 

 

What guidelines should be followed?

Glycemic index depends on a variety of factors such as the presence of starch, protein, fat, fiber, and organic acids in food.

Elevated glucose in the blood stream produces elevated levels of insulin in the body. Constant elevation of glucose may exhaust insulin levels that can lead to diabetes, weight gain, and inflammation.

Some ways to avoid this include:

  • Eat more low GI foods like beans, whole grains, and pasta regularly but in moderate quantities. Limit high GI foods such as bagels or white bread to small quantities.
  • Substitute snacks like chips for vegetables and side dishes like rice for beans.
  • Eat smaller and more frequent meals. Have a small snack prepared between breakfast and lunch as well as a small snack between lunch and dinner.
  • Have a moderate sized lunch and a smaller portion for dinner.
  • Cook pasta until till they are crisp or al dente style.
  • Limit high GI foods like sweets to very small quantities and rare occasion as these have large amounts of sugar.
  • Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your meals, while limiting potatoes.
  • Add a small amount of vinegar to rice to lower the GI.
  • Eat foods high in fiber as they slow gastric emptying and have a low GI.
  • If you choose to have an alcoholic beverage, limit drinking to one glass prior to a meal to reduce the GI.
  • Look for the glycemic index symbol while shopping for groceries.

Low Glycemic Index food (GI < 50)

FOOD ITEM

GI

FOOD ITEM

GI

Yogurt low-fat (sweetened)

14

Rye

34

Peanuts

15

Milk, semi-skimmed

34

Artichoke

15

Vermicelli

35

Asparagus

15

Spaghetti, whole wheat

37

Broccoli

15

Apples

38

Cauliflower

15

Pears

38

Celery

15

Haricot beans, boiled

38

Cucumber

15

Plums

39

Eggplant

15

Ravioli, meat filled

39

Green beans

15

Carrots, cooked

39

Lettuce, all varieties

15

Snickers bar

40

Low-fat yogurt, artificially sweetened

15

Apple juice

41

Peppers, all varieties

15

Wheat kernels

41

Snow peas

15

Spaghetti, white

41

Spinach

15

Black-eyed beans

41

Young summer squash

15

All-Bran

42

Tomatoes

15

Peaches

42

Zucchini

15

Chickpeas, tinned

42

Soya beans, boiled

16

Oranges

44

Cherries

22

Lentil soup, tinned

44

Peas, dried

22

Carrot juice

45

Milk, chocolate

24

Macaroni

45

Pearl barley

25

Pineapple juice

46

Grapefruit

25

Rice, instant

46

Milk, whole

27

Grapes

46

Spaghetti, protein enriched

27

Grapefruit juice

48

Kidney beans, boiled

29

Multi grain bread

48

Lentils green, boiled

29

Rice, parboiled

48

Soya milk

30

Baked beans, tinned

48

Apricots  (dried)

31

Porridge, non-instant

49

Milk, Fat-free

32

Chocolate bar; 30g

49

Milk ,skimmed

32

Jams and marmalades

49

Fettuccine

32

Whole grain

50

M&Ms (peanut)

32

Barley, cracked

50

Chickpeas

33

Ice-cream (low- fat)

50

 

 

Moderate Glycemic Index Foods List (50 to 70)

FOOD ITEM

GI

FOOD ITEM

GI

Yam

51

Hamburger bun

61

Orange juice

52

Ice-cream

61

Kidney beans

52

Potato, tinned

61

Lentils beans

52

Muffin (unsweetened)

62

Kiwi fruit

53

Shortbread

64

Pound cake

54

Rye-flour bread

64

Banana

54

Apricots  (tinned in syrup)

64

Sweet potato

54

Raisins

64

Crisps

54

Macaroni cheese

64

Oat bran

55

Beetroot

64

Rice, brown

55

Mars bar

64

Fruit cocktail

55

Black bean soup, tinned

64

Spaghetti, durum wheat

55

Cake , tart

65

Popcorn

55

Water biscuits

65

Muesli

56

Potato, steamed

65

Mangoes

56

Table sugar (sucrose)

65

Potato, boiled

56

Barley, flakes

66

Pita bread, white

57

Pineapple

66

Mini Wheats (whole meal)

57

Green pea soup, tinned

66

Rice, wild

57

Cake, angel

67

Apricots

57

Croissant

67

Potato, new

57

Taco Shell

68

Digestives

58

Whole meal bread

69

Rice, white

58

Shredded  Wheat

69

Danish pastry

59

Potato, mashed

70

Pizza, cheese

60

High Glycemic Index Foods List (GI > 70)

FOOD ITEM

GI

FOOD ITEM

GI

White bread

71

Broad beans

79

Golden Grahams

71

Jelly beans

80

Millet

71

Pretzels

81

Watermelon

72

Rice Krispies

82

White rolls

73

Potato, micro waved

82

Puffed wheat

74

Cornflakes

83

Corn chips

74

Potato, instant

83

Chips

75

Potato, baked

85

Waffles

76

Rice pasta, brown

92

Doughnut

76

Baguette

95

Wafer biscuits

77

Parsnips

97

Rice cakes

77

Dates

103

Weetabix

77

Definitions of Claims on Food Labels

The following definitions of nutrition labels will help you to understand exactly what is in the foods you buy:

Free – the product contains no or only a trivial amount of one or more of the following:

  • fat
  • saturated fat
  • cholesterol
  • sodium
  • sugars
  • calories

Low – this means a large quantity of the food can be eaten without exceeding the Recommended
Dietary Value for the nutrient

  • Calorie free – fewer than 5 calories per serving
  • Cholesterol free – less than 2 mg of cholesterol & 2 g or less of saturated fat per serving
  • Fat-free – less than 0.5 g per serving
  • Sodium-free – less than 5 mg of sodium per serving. Sugar free – less than 0.5 g per serving
  • Low calorie – contains 40 calories or less in a serving
  • Low Cholesterol – 20 mg or less and 2 g or less of saturated fat per serving
  • Low fat – contains 3 g or less per serving
  • Low saturated fat – contains 1 g or less per serving
  • Low Sodium – contains 140 mg or less per serving
  • Very low sodium – contains 35 mg or less per serving
  • Lean – used in the description of the fat content of meat, poultry, seafood, and game meats. Less than 10 g fat, 4.5g or less saturated fat, and less than 95 mg cholesterol per serving for every 100 g of product
  • Extra Lean – less than 5 g fat, less than 2 g saturated fat, and less than 95 mg cholesterol per serving for every 100 g of product
  • Good source – this means that one serving has 10 to 19 percent of the RDA for a particular nutrient.
  • High – used when food contains 20% or more of the RDA for a nutrient in one serving
  • Light – this term can mean two things:
  • A nutritionally altered product has 1/3 fewer calories or 1/2 the fat of the referenced food
  • The sodium content of a low-calorie, low-fat food has been decreased by 50%
  • Less – a food, altered or not, contains 25% less of a nutrient or of calories than the referenced food.
  • More – a serving contains a nutrient that is at least 10% of the Daily Value more than the referenced food. This term also applies to “fortified,” “enriched,” and “added,” when the food has been altered.
  • Percent fat-free – the product with this claim must be low-fat or fat-free. It reflects the amount of fat in 100 grams of the product. For example: 95% fat-free would have 5 g fat for every 100 g of product.
  • Reduced – The nutritionally altered product has 25% less of a nutrient or of calories than the regular, or referenced, product.

If you have Diabetes, you do not need a special diet. You simply need to follow the same healthy eating plan that is recommended for everyone. The following information can help you plan delicious and nutritious meals to keep you healthy.

Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day
Consume regular meals and snacks so that your food intake is spread throughout the day; this will help control your blood sugars. It is important to start each day with a healthy breakfast. Do not skip meals. If you take tablets or insulin, regular meals and snacks can help you to avoid symptoms of low blood sugar.

Reduce your sugar intake by choosing low sugar foods and drinks
It is not necessary to avoid sugar completely. Aim to eat less sugary foods and drinks, such as candy bars, ice cream, cookies, sweet sodas, and fruit juices. These foods can make your sugar levels rise quickly, especially if eaten in large quantities. Try to choose low sugar foods and sugar free drinks when possible.

Eliminate fast foods & junk foods
Fast foods and junk foods are full of fat and calories and usually offer little or no nutritional value. A simple change in habits can help you eliminate these foods from your diet. If you are in the habit of driving through a fast food restaurant pick up window to grab a quick burger and fries, start taking your lunch to work or school. For snacks, avoid vending machines, which usually only offer foods high in fat and calories. Instead, have sliced carrots, an apple or low fat yogurt. Unfortunately, convenience often means sacrificing nutrition.

Include a helping of starchy food at each meal
Starchy foods are breads, cereals, rice, potatoes and pasta. Try to base your meals around these foods, as they will help to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Include high fiber varieties where possible.

Eat more fruits and vegetables
They are an important part of a healthy diet because of their vitamin and mineral content. Additionally, they are important in regulating bowel function because they increase the fiber content of your diet. For a snack or dessert, start having a piece of fruit and enjoy all varieties of vegetables, salads and fruits. They can be fresh, frozen, tinned, or present in natural juice. Unsweetened fruit juice should be kept to one small glass per day before or with a meal.

Reduce fried and fatty foods

Following a low fat diet makes it easier to keep a healthy weight and a healthy heart. Cut down on butters and avoid frying foods altogether. Adopt other cooking methods such as grilling or baking. Choose lower fat varieties of milk and other dairy products such as cheese and yogurts. Consume only small portions of meats, poultry, and fish. Always cut off any visible fat.

Alcohol
Moderate consumption of alcohol is normally safe. But remember, alcohol can lower your blood sugar. Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Be sure to check with your doctor if you have any concerns or if you are unsure whether alcohol is safe for you.

The Basics

Vitamin and mineral supplements combined with an unrefined diet high in fruits and vegetables, some omega-3 oils, no hydrogenated fats, and a good lifestyle are the basics for a healthy heart. Include weight control, not smoking, some exercise, and the ability to manage stress, and you will improve your general health and prevent or help control heart disease.

A Healthy Diet

Science shows that a varied diet of relatively unrefined foods with many fruits, vegetables, brown rice and whole grains is the basics of a healthy diet. Unfortunately, these foods are becoming scarce in many Western diets. When the food industry processes these foods, at least 75% of the minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidant nutrients is lost, and this contributes to the development of chronic diseases.
Most of the world’s heart and cardiology organizations suggest reducing saturated (solid) fat and cholesterol intake while increasing polyunsaturated fat consumption. Although less fat is generally good, the only clear benefits of fat substitutions are those with omega-3. Polyunsaturates without omega-3 (all the high omega-6 linoleic oils: corn, sunflower, safflower or cottonseed) can in fact cause harm, especially if they are partially hydrogenated (shortening and 90% of margarines). Virgin olive oil has no omega-3 but it’s the healthy unprocessed oil for daily use. Butter is better than margarine except possibly unhydrogenated canola and soy based types.
Reduce sugar, white flour, white rice, ordinary white noodles and foods that are deep fried, have shortening and anything “hydrogenated”.
Potassium (found in bananas, celery, potatoes, fruits & veggies) and magnesium (whole grains, nuts, greens) can help prevent heart attacks. Sweating and most diuretics flush out these spark plugs for the heart. It is recommended that you drink at least eight 8oz. glasses of water every day.

Vitamin & Mineral Supplements

Foods low in these “minor” nutrients can cause initially hidden illness, like heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and arthritis. These are the slow-building diseases that drug-based medicine has not been able to prevent or effectively control.
Even when in great health, there’s excellent reason for taking a good multi-vitamin plus foods and supplements so that your total daily intake reaches about 1 gram of vitamin C, 1.5 g calcium, 3/4 g magnesium, 200-400 IU vitamin E and 200 mcg selenium. It is also the easiest life-style change you can make.
Us a single multivitamin with most B’s near the 25 mg level, B3 at 100 mg, folic acid at 400 mcg and B12 at 100 mcg. Separately take 200 IU natural (type d) or 400 IU synthetic vitamin E (type dl), about 1 gram vitamin C (not Ester-C) and take 200 mcg selenium.
It is important to get about 1½ g calcium, ¾ g magnesium (most people will need to supplement) and 4-800 IU vitamin D to make the calcium build bone.
Only take iron if you are in your child bearing years or have another reason. Go easy on the copper (1 – 2 mg max.) but do include 15 mg zinc. These plus the selenium and the D can be found in the same single multi. If you have a cholesterol problem, try to avoid the statin drugs by taking the niacin route (vitamin B3, about 3×1 g/day) and always consult a doctor. Generic niacin is 10-20 times cheaper, effective and unique in its action on blood fats, lowering all that’s bad, raising all that’s good, and more.
If you have a (congestive) heart condition or take a statin drug, consider at least 60 mg coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

Exercise

Everyone knows that regular physical activity has a direct link to weight loss, lowering cholesterol levels, fighting obesity, controlling heart disease and helps maintain general good health. Make it a part of your daily routine.
There is an excellent chance that with long-term use of these foods, supplements, omega-3’s along with regular exercise, you will significantly reduce your risk of sudden heart death.

INTRODUCTION:
Although we are living in the 21st century, our human genome is greater than 10,000 years old. The way we metabolize our food is largely determined by our genetic machinery. Yet today, we live in a mechanized urban setting, lead sedentary lifestyles, and eat highly processed and synthetic diets that our genome is not accustomed to. It therefore comes as no surprise, that cardiovascular disease is the number-one cause of death and accounts for 41% of all fatalities. It should also come as no surprise that metabolic syndrome is present in over 40% of middle-aged American adults and that the lifetime probability of hypertension is greater than 90%. This cardiovascular disease pandemic will continue until we realize that our bodies were not designed for this lifestyle and diet. The genes we are born with will remain unchanged; therefore, our diet and lifestyle need to change.

When our forefathers transitioned to an agricultural grain based diet, a gradual deterioration in health care began. Our ancestors consumed lean meats, fruits, and vegetables as opposed to cereals.  The grain-based diet resulted in shorter life spans, higher childhood mortality, and a higher incidence of osteoporosis, rickets, and various other mineral and vitamin deficiency diseases.  Further adaptation to Western lifestyles have lead to obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and other degenerative diseases.

DIET:
There is so much controversy and confusion in recent times about the type of diet that we should follow. The Ornish diet consists of 80% carbohydrates with minimal consumption of animal fat or protein. The Atkins diet is high in protein and high in saturated fats and avoids almost all carbohydrates.  Each diet has its benefits and disadvantages.

Over 150 studies about diet and cardiovascular health have demonstrated that the following may reduce cardiovascular events:

  • Increasing consumption of omega-3 fats from fish or plant sources such as nuts
  • Eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, while avoiding food of high glycemic index
  • Replacing saturated and trans-fats with more unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.  There is very little evidence suggesting a link between cardiovascular disease in the studies and the intake of total fat, cholesterol, or meat.

Our ancestors consumed only natural and unprocessed food from the environment that provided them with a diet of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial phytochemicals. Our ancestors’ diet had three times more fiber, twice as much polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, four times more omega-3 fatty acids, and 70% less saturated fat. Furthermore, their sodium intake was 1/5 of what it is today, and their diet did not contain refined grains and sugar. It is evident that the epidemic of cardiovascular diseases is at least in part due to the striking discrepancies between the diet we are designed to eat and what we eat today.

CALORIES:
In this modern world, calorie-dense foods are abundant and inexpensive; therefore, most people are dying of caloric excess, which manifests itself as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. We also expend much less energy than our ancestors did. A diet that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat will have a much lower satiety index than the diet that has adequate quantities of proteins and fats.  Therefore, diets containing moderate amounts of beneficial fats and proteins, low glycemic index carbohydrates, and a regular exercise regimen are the most effective ways to maintain an ideal body weight and reduce cardiovascular disease risk.

GLYCEMIC INDEX OF CARBOHYDRATE CONCENTRATIONS PER 100g

Carbohydrate  Concentrn Glycemic Index
Aubergines 4 10
Brocolli 4 10
Cabbage 4 10
Garlic 28 10
Green Vegetables 4 10
Lettuce 4 10
Mushrooms 4 10
Onions 5 10
Red Peppers 4 10
Tomatoes 4 10
Walnuts 5 15
Apricots (fresh) 10 20
Fructose 100 20
Grapefruit 10 20
Peanuts 9 20
Soya (cooked) 15 20
Cherries 17 22
Dark Chocolate (<70% cocoa solids) 32 22
Lentils – Green 17 22
Peas – Split 22 22
Plums 10 22
All Bran 46 30
Apple 12 30
Beans – French 3 30
Beans – Haricot 17 30
Chick Peas (cooked) 22 30
Fruit Preserve (w/out sugar or grape juice) 37 30
Lentils – Brown 17 30
Milk (semi-skimmed0 5 30
Peach 9 30
Apricots (dried) 63 35
Carrots (raw) 7 35
Chinese Vermicelli (mungo bean) 15 35
Fig (fresh) 12 35
Ice Cream (made w/ alginates) 25 35
Maize/Corn on the cob (traditional variety) 21 35
Orange 9 35
Pear 12 35
Peas – Dried (cooked) 7 35
Quinoa (cooked) 7 35
Yogurt (full-milk) 4.5 35
Yogurt (skimmed) 5.3 35
Apple Juice (fresh) 17 40
Black Bread (German) 45 40
Flour T200 (unrefined) – Bread 45 40
Flour T200 (unrefined) – Pasta 17 40
Grapes 16 40
Kidney Beans 11 40
Orange Juice (freshly pressed) 10 40
Peas (Fresh Petis Pois) 10 40
Rye (wholegrain, cooked) 49 40
Boulgour (wholegrain, cooked) 25 45
Bran Bread 40 45
Flour T1550 (unrefined) – Pasta 19 45
Spaghetti (hardgrain, cook al dente) 25 45
Buckwheat (black wheat flour0 65 50
Crepe/Pancake (made w/ buckwheat) 25 50
Flour T150 (unrefined) – wholemeal bread 47 50
Kiwi 12 50
Rice (Basmati) 23 50
Rice (Brown) 23 50
Sorbet 30 50
Sweet Potato 20 50
Petite Beurre Biscuit 75 55
Shortbread Biscuit (Flour B) 68 55
White Pasta (normal cooking) 23 55
Rice (long grain, white) 23 60
Banana 20 65
Brown Flour T85 (brown bread) 50 65
Jam (traditional) 70 65
Melon 6 65
Orange Juice (industrial) 11 65
Potatoes (boiled in their skins) 14 65
Raisins 66 65
Semolina (refined) 25 65
Cereals (sugared) 80 70
Chocolate Bars (ex. Mars Bar) 60 70
Cola Drinks 11 70
Cornflour 88 70
Flour T65 – country style bread 53 70
Maize/Corn on the cob (modern variety) 22 70
Noodles, Ravioli 23 70
Potato (peeled and boiled) 20 70
Rice (pre-cooked and non-stick) 24 70
Sugar 100 70
Turnip 3 70
Pumpkin 7 75
Watermelon 7 75
Broad Beans (cooked) 7 80
Crackers 60 80
Potato Crisps 49 80
Tapioca 94 80
Carrots (cooked) 6 85
Corn Flakes 85 85
Flour T55 – Baguettes 58 85
Popcorn (no sugar) 63 85
Rice Cake 24 85
Honey 80 90
Mashed potato 14 90
Rice (pre-cooked) 24 90
Potato (chips) 33 95
Puffed Rice 85 95
Beer 5 110

Glycemic Index and Average Carbohydrate Concentration per 100g

Carbohydrate  Concentration Glycemic  Index
All Bran 46 30
Apple 12 30
Apple Juice (fresh) 17 40
Apricots (dried) 63 35
Apricots (fresh) 10 20
Aubergines 4 10
Banana 20 65
Beans – French 3 30
Beans – Haricot 17 30
Beer 5 110
Black Bread (German) 45 40
Boulgour (wholegrain, cooked) 25 45
Bran Bread 40 45
Broad Beans (cooked) 7 80
Brocolli 4 10
Brown Flour T85 (Brown Bread) 50 65
Buckwheat (black wheat flour) 65 50
Cabbage 4 10
Carrots (cooked) 6 85
Carrots (raw) 7 35
Cereals (sugared) 80 70
Cherries 17 22
Chick Peas (cooked) 22 30
Chinese Vermicelli (mungo bean) 15 35
Chocolate Bars (ex. Mars Bar) 60 70
Cola Drinks 11 70
Corn Flakes 85 85
Cornflour 88 70
Crackers 60 80
Crepe/Pancake (made w/ buckwheat) 25 50
Dark Chocolate (<70% cocoa solids) 32 22
Fig (fresh) 12 35
Flour T150 (unrefined) – Pasta 19 45
Flour T150 (unrefined) – Wholemeal Bread 47 50
Flour T200 (unrefined) – Bread 45 40
Flour T200 (unrefined) – Pasta 17 40
Flour T55 – Baguettes 58 85
Flour T65 – country style bread 53 70
Fructose 100 20
Fruit Preserve (w/out sugar or grape juice) 37 30
Garlic 28 10
Grapefruit 10 20
Grapes 16 40
Green Vegetables 4 10
Honey 80 90
Ice Cream (made w/ alginates) 25 35
Jam (traditional) 70 65
Kidney Beans 11 40
Kiwi 12 50
Lentils – Brown 17 30
Lentils – Green 17 22
Lettuce 4 10
Maize/Corn on the cob (modern variety) 22 70
Maize/Corn on the cob (traditional variety) 21 35
Mashed Potatoes 14 90
Melon 6 65
Milk (semi-skimmed) 5 30
Mushrooms 4 10
Noodles, Ravioli 23 70
Onions 5 10
Orange 9 35
Orange Juice (freshly pressed) 10 40
Orange Juice (industrial) 11 65
Peach 9 30
Peanuts 9 20
Pear 12 35
Peas (Fresh Petis Pois) 10 40
Peas – dried (cooked) 7 35
Peas – split 22 22
Petite Beurre Biscuit 75 55
Plums 10 22
Popcorn (no sugar) 63 85
Potato (chips) 33 95
Potato (peeled and boiled) 20 70
Potato Crisps 49 80
Potatoes (boiled in their skins) 14 65
Puffed Rice 85 95
Pumpkin 7 75
Quinoa (cooked) 18 35
Raisins 66 65
Red Peppers 4 10
Rice (Basmati) 23 50
Rice (Brown) 23 50
Rice (long grain, white) 23 60
Rice (pre-cooked and non-stick) 24 70
Rice (pre-cooked) 24 90
Rice Cake 24 85
Rye (wholemeal bread) 49 40
Semolina (refined) 25 65
Shortbread Biscuit (Flour B) 68 55
Sorbet 30 50
Soya (cooked) 15 20
Spaghetti (hardgrain, cooked al dente) 25 45
Sugar (saccharose) 100 70
Sweet Potato 20 50
Tapioca 94 80
Tomatoes 4 10
Turnip 3 70
Walnuts 5 15
Watermelon 7 75
White Pasta (normal cooking) 23 55
Yogurt (full-milk) 4.5 35
Yogurt (skimmed) 5.3 35

 

                   Glycemic Index (GI) by Glycemic Load (GL)
Low GI Medium GI High GI
All Bran Cereal Beats White Flour
Apples Cantalope Whole Wheat Flour
Carrots Pineapple Popcorn
Chana Dal
Chick Peas Succrose Watermelon
Grapes Sugar
  Green Peas Banana
Low GL Kidney Beans Mangos
Oranges
Peaches
Peanuts
Pears
Pinto Beans
Strawberries
Red Lentils
Sweet Corn
Low GI Medium GI High GI
Apple Juice Life Cereal Cheerios
Buckwheat New Potatoes Shredded Wheat
Fettucinni Sweet Potatoes
Medium GL Navy Beans Fried Rice
Orange Juice
Parboiled Rice
Sourdough Wheat Bread
Low GI Medium GI High GI
Linguini White Rice Baked Russet Potatoes
High GL Maccaroni Couscous Corn Flakes
Spaghetti
GI:  Low – 1-55 GL:  Low – 1-10
      Medium – 56-69        Medium – 11-19
      High – >70        High – >20

TRANS-FATTY ACIDS:
These are found in commercially prepared foods and are synthesized when hydrogen is applied to edible oils under high pressures and temperatures in the presence of a catalyst.  Hydrogenation of oils is done by the food industry to prolong the shelf life of commercially baked goods such as cookies, crackers, doughnuts, croissants, and snacks.  It is also found in shortening, margarine, and deep-fried foods. These hydrogenated fats lower HDL levels, increase LDL levels, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Some studies indicate that replacing trans-fatty acids with the same amount of natural, unsaturated fatty acids will result in a 50% reduction in risk of coronary heart disease.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS:
The sea algae and the grasses and leaves on land are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  Therefore, fish and larger grazing animals have a high content of omega-3 fatty acids.  However, today, the meats from domesticated animals are very low in omega-3 fatty acids because they are generally grain- or corn-fed rather than grass-fed. Compared to the European Mediterranean diet, the American dietary intake of omega-3 is extremely low.  Patients on a Mediterranean diet rich in omega-3 fats, unsaturated fats, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts experienced 50 to 70% reductions in risk of cardiovascular events in long-term follow-up.  In the GISSI prevention study, survivors of myocardial infarction were given 1g of omega-3 supplements daily and experienced a 45% reduction in sudden cardiac death and a 20% decrease in all-cause mortality during a 3 ½-year follow-up.  Increased fats in the form of omega-3 fatty acids either from plant sources such as flaxseed oil or fish oils will reduce cardiovascular risks anywhere from 32% to 50%.

MONOUNSATURATED FATS:
Our ancestors had a diet where one-half of the total fat is composed of monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats reduce cardiovascular risks when substituted for the high glycemic index carbohydrates and sugars. Nuts are a valuable source of monounsaturated fats and have been shown to be cardioprotective in multiple studies. The calories in nuts are typically 80% from fat, but most of the fat is healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.  Epidemiological studies showed that nut consumption, five times a week at least, is associated with a 50% reduction in the risk of myocardial infarction, compared to the risk for people who rarely or never eat nuts.  Nut consumption also reduces the risk of developing diabetes, lowers LDL, and provides a plant based protein together with vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, copper, zinc, and selenium.  Nuts have a high satiety index and therefore, often prevent over-eating.  Oleic acid is the major monounsaturated fat in our diets and is found in meats, nuts, avocados, dark chocolate, and olive oil.  Replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated fats results in a 30% reduction in risk.

VEGETARIANISM:
Our ancestors were omnivorous.  Modern vegetarian diets rely heavily on processed carbohydrates such as white rice, potatoes, white flour, and sugars.  Therefore, they are not recommended.  The South Asian paradox refers to the high prevalence of coronary artery disease despite low levels of LDL cholesterol and low prevalence of obesity in urban vegetarians from India who consume a diet that is high in refined carbohydrates.  High glycemic index (GI) diets lower HDL cholesterol and predispose people to metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. In fact, high-GI diets are one of the most atherogenic features of our modern eating pattern. Overall, a vegetarian diet composed of low GI foods is cardio-protective.  However, our current vegetarian diets are very rich in refined flour and grains; as a result; their GI values are extremely high.  Consuming foods in the natural state retains more nutritional value and keeps the GI of the food low.

Our ancestors derived 45% of their calories from animal foods. However, the meats had less than 4% fat by weight and contained relatively high levels of monounsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids, compared to the grain-fed domestic meats of today that contain 20% to 35% fat – much of it in the form of saturated fats. It is highly likely that it is the high levels of saturated fats typically found in the meat of modern domesticated animals which is most atherogenic. There are many other compelling reasons for not consuming large amounts of currently available meats in the United States.  The leading source of saturated fats and cholesterol in the American diet is meat, poultry, and dairy products.  These are directly linked with atherogenesis, or accumulation of plaque on the innermost layer of the artery walls. There is no cholesterol found in grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

BEVERAGES:
Our ancestors only drank water.  Soda drinks are the predominant beverage consumed in America today. Over 50 million cans of soda are sold every day in the United States of America. These are calorie dense, nutritionally empty drinks which increase the risk of obesity and insulin resistance.  Between 1990 and 1995, the consumption of soda among children and adolescents increased by 41%. The average consumption of soda among teenage males between 13 and 18 years is 3 or more cans of soda pop a day. Ten percent of teenage males drink 7 or more cans a day.  The average teenage girl drinks two cans of soda pop a day, and 10% of all teenagers drink more than 5 cans a day.  The Center for Science in the Public Interest is asking for more water fountains, soda-free schools, and health education campaigns in schools. Soda consumption is linked to obesity, tooth decay, caffeine dependence, and bone weakening. A team of Harvard researchers presented the first evidence linking soft drink consumption to childhood obesity in The Lancet. Recent human studies also demonstrate that girls consuming soda pop are more prone to have brittle bones. Recent animal studies using rats also demonstrated the same findings. Phosphorus encourages calcium loss and weakening of the bones.  Soda consumption increases the likelihood of bone fractures in female teenagers fivefold.

Tea is high in natural antioxidants, which are beneficial. An inverse relationship between tea consumption and cardiovascular disease has been observed.

SUMMARY:
The most practical solution for reducing the incidence of chronic degenerative diseases such as atherosclerosis is to realign our current maladaptive diet and lifestyle to simulate what our bodies were initially made to consume. Our food sources today are different from the food sources that were available to our ancestors; for example, today’s meat is totally different from the meat that was available to our ancestors. Our vegetarian diets have become so refined and have such high glycemic indices that it is essential that we make radical changes to our eating habits and follow a more natural, healthy diet.

It is therefore my strong recommendation that the ideal diet currently available to the public is predominantly a vegetarian diet, closely related to the Mediterranean diet.  It should be rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and very low in meats and dairy products. The ideal diet should also be sugar-free. The best drink is water, and the next-best would be tea.

ARGUMENTS AGAINST MEAT CONSUMPTION
Cholesterol: The leading sources of saturated fats and cholesterol in the American diet is meat, poultry, and dairy products. Vegetables do not contain cholesterol. The body is able to make its own cholesterol, so it is important to limit your dietary cholesterol intake so that your cholesterol levels remain in the normal range. Cholesterol is directly responsible for heart disease, which is the most common cause of death in the United States, with $135 billion spent annually to treat it.

Cancer:  Among men who consume meats, dairy products, and eggs on a daily basis, the risk of fatal prostate cancer 3.5 times greater than the risk for men who consume meat sparingly. The risk of breast cancer among women who eat meat daily is 3.5 times higher than the risk for women who eat meat once a week. There is 3.2 times greater risk of breast cancer among women who eat butter and cheese two to four times a week compared to women who eat butter and cheese once a week.  Nearly 40% of all cancers in the United States are related to diet.

Health:  Approximately 68% of all diseases are diet-related. The following conditions can be commonly prevented or improved with a low-fat diet that is free from animal products: arthritis, breast cancer, asthma, colon cancer, diabetes, constipation, gallstones, diverticulosis, heart disease, hypertension, impotence, hypoglycemia, renal disease, obesity, peptic ulcers, osteoporosis, prostate cancer, food poisoning, and stroke.

 Protein:  Many feel that a vegetarian diet will not provide enough protein in their diets.  According to the World Health Organization, only 4.5% of the calories need to come from protein.  According to the food and nutrition Board of the United States Department of Agriculture, only 6% of the protein calories are needed.  The National Research Council states that only 8% of the calories need to be derived from protein.  The following vegetables have high percentages of calories as protein:  Broccoli 47%; zucchini 28%; wheat:  17%; brown rice 8%; lettuce is 34%; tomatoes 18%; potatoes 11%.

Antibiotic: About 55% of all the total antibiotic production in the United States is fed to livestock and finds its way into our foods.  Staphylococcal resistance to penicillin increased from 13% in 1960 to 291% in 1988.  A major contributor to the rise of antibiotic resistance is the Breeding of antibiotic resistant bacteria in farms due to routine feeding of antibiotics to livestock.

Food Safety:  One-third of all inspected chickens are infected with salmonella. Surprisingly, 75% of federal poultry inspectors said that they would not eat chicken.

The Environment:  One-third of US cropland is permanently removed from production due to excess soil erosion directly related to animal husbandry. One pound of feedlot steak requires the loss of 55 pounds of topsoil.  Every second, US livestock produces 250,000 pounds of excrement. Water pollution created by US Agriculture with the runoff of topsoil, pesticides, and manure is greater than all municipal and industrial sources combined. Fifty percent of all the wells and surface streams in the United States are contaminated by agricultural pollutants. Approximately 200 years ago, America’s top soil was 21 inches deep; now, it is only 6 inches deep.  It takes 500 years to the paste one inch of topsoil. Nearly 85% of the topsoil loss is directly related to cattle farming. One acre of land can produce 20,000 pounds of potatoes or 165 pounds of beef. A startling arithmetic is as follows: the livestock population in the United States consumes enough grain and soybeans to feed the entire human population of the United States five times over.  Cycling our grain through livestock, we receive only 10% of the available calories.

Over one-half of the water in our country is used to grow feed and fodder for livestock.  If cattle farmers in California reduced their water consumption by just 6% it would be equivalent to a 75% reduction in domestic use.

The Natural Resources:  One-third of all the raw materials, including base products, for farming, forestry, and mining (including fossil fuels) consumed in the United States is devoted solely to the production of livestock. It requires 78 calories of fossil fuel to produce one calorie of protein from beef. It requires only two calories of fossil fuel to produce one calorie of protein from soybeans.  The livestock production accounts for more than half of all water consumption for all purposes in the United States.  Approximately 64% of all United States cropland is used for producing livestock feed. Only 2% of the United States cropland is used to produce fruits and vegetables.

One acre of prime land can produce 5000 pounds of cherries, 20000 pounds of apples, 40000 pounds of potatoes, 60000 pounds of celery, 10000 pounds of green beans, 30000 pounds of carrots, and 50000 pounds of tomatoes. Yet, one acre of prime land only produces 250 pounds of beef.

World Hunger:  It is ironic that 70% of the grain production in the United States is actually consumed by livestock. Yet, 38,000 children die every day because of malnutrition and starvation. Livestock consumes 50% of the world grain harvest. If we could reduce our intake of meat by a fraction, there would be so much land, water, and energy freed up from growing livestock that we could probably feed millions of people.

For more information, read John Robbins: “Diet for a New America                                              David Pimentel,” Energy and Land Constrains in Food Protein Production,” Science
Newsweek, The Browning of America Feb 22, 1981

WHAT ABOUT MILK?
Milk contains a sugar called lactose. At least 20% of the population does not produce the enzyme, lactase, needed to digest lactose. Furthermore, milk products are very fatty and create tremendous amounts of mucus, which can line the intestinal tract and decrease absorption of other nutrients. To test for lactose intolerance, one can do a simple experiment and consume lots of milk. If you notice postnasal drip and excess of phlegm in your throat, it is a clear indication of the effects of milk.  The same applies to cheese as well. Milk also contains growth hormones that are designed to increase the weight of the calf from 90 pounds and birth to 1000 pounds within two years. Large quantities of growth hormones have been detected in milk. The principal protein in cow’s milk is casein. However, casein is not the protein that humans need. Much of the casein remains undigested in humans, and may be responsible for much of the allergies known today.

Americans consume more milk products than any other country in the world; yet, there is a very high incidence of osteopenia among Americans. Consuming milk products can actually cause osteoporosis.  The incidence of osteoporosis is lowest in countries with smallest amounts of milk products are consumed.

The adult cow does not drink milk, then why should humans?  We are the only adult mammals that drink the milk of another species.

WHAT WE SHOULD EAT TODAY

  • Avoid all highly processed foods. Eat foods in their natural state. Food should be fresh, so eat organic food, free of hormones and pesticides.
  • Avoid foods of high glycemic index. Remember, processed foods increase the glycemic index. Avoid all sugars. Do not eat any foods with more than 5g sugar. Your body was not designed for high-sugar diet.
  • Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Eat more nuts, use flaxseed oil, eat flaxseeds, or use mustard seed oil. Eat two fish dishes a week, or take pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplements.
  • Significantly increase your intake of berries especially blueberries, nuts, vegetables, and fruits:  Citrus, berries, apples, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, and avocado.
  • Eliminate all trans-fats entirely from the diet by eliminating fried foods and margarines. Avoid all baked goods or processed foods. Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats should be avoided completely.  Eliminate all saturated fats.  Instead, substitute with monounsaturated fats such olive oil.
  • Eliminate dairy products as much as possible.  The high fats in dairy products should be avoided completely.
  • Avoid processed meats such as bacon, sausage, and deli meats.
  • If you are going to eat any animal protein, consume only organic and lean meats such as skinless poultry, fish, and game meats.
  • Exercise daily. Your aerobic activity heart rate should be 180 minus age.
  • Drink water.  Avoid all sodas.  Restrict alcohol to one to two drinks a day only.  Restrict coffee to one to two small drinks a day. Green tea is good.

 

Albert CM, Gaziano JM, Willett WC, Manson JE, Nut consumption and decreased risk of sudden cardiac death in the Physicians’ Health Study.  Arch Intern Med.  2002;162:1382-1387.
Atkins RC.  Dr. Atkins; The New Diet Revolution.  New York, NY:  Avon Books; 1998.
Cohen MN.  Health and the Rise of Civilization.  New Haven, Conn;  Yale University Press; 1989:118-119.
Cordain L.  The nutritional characteristics of a contemporary diet based upon Paleolithic food groups.  J Am Neutraceut Assoc.  2002;5:15-24.
De Lorgeril M, Salen P, Martin JL, Monjaud I, Delaye J, Mamelle N.  Mediterranean diet, traditional risk factos, and the rate of cardiovascular complications of myocardial infarction:  final report of the Lyon Diet Heart Study.  Circulation.  1999;99:779-785.
Foot DK, Lewis RP, Pearson TA, Beller GA.  Demographics and cardiology, 1950-2050.  J Am Coll Cardiol.  2000;35(5, suppl B):66B-80B.
Ford ES, Giles WH, Dietz WH.  Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among US adults:  finding from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.  JAMA. 2002;287:356-359.
Ford ER, Liu S.  Glycemic index and serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration among US adults.  Arch Intern Med.  2001;161:572-576.
GISSI-Prevenzione Investigators (Guppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell’Infarto miocarico).  Dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E after myocardial infarction; results of the GISSI-Prevenzione trial [published correction appears in Lancet.  2001;357:642].  Lancet.  1999;354:447-455.
Hu FB, Willett WC.  Optimal diets for prevention of coronary heart disease.  JAMA.2002;288:2569-2578.
Joshipura KJ, Hu FB, Mason JE, et al.  The effect of fruit and vegetable intake on risk for coronary heart disease.  Ann Intern Med..  2001;134:1106-1114.
Kris-Etherton PM, Harris WS, Appel LJ, American Heart Association, Nutrition Committee.  Fish consumption, fish oil, omega-3 fatty acids, and cardiovascular disease [published correction appears in Circulation.  2003;107:512].  Circulation.2002;106:2747-2757.
Lemaitre RN, King IB, Mozaffarian D, Kuller LH, Tracy RP, Siscovick DS.  N-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids, fatal ischemic heart disease, and nonfatal myocardial infarction in older adults:  the Cardiovascular Health Study.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2003;77:319-325.
Lugwig DS. The glycemic index:  physiological mechanisms relating to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  JAMA.  2002;287:2414-2423.
Marchiloi R, Barzi F, Bomba E, et al, GISSI-Prevenzione Investigators.  Early protection against sudden dealth by n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids after myocardial infarction:  time-course analysis of the results of the Guppo Italiano per lo Sudio della Sopravvivenza nell’Infarto Miocardico (GISSI)-Prevenzione.  Circulation.  2002;105:1987-1903.
Ornish D.  Dr. Dean Ornish;s Program for Reversing Heart Disease:  The OnlySystem Scientfically Proven to Reverse Heart Disease Without Drugs or Surgery.  New York, NY:  Random House; 1990.
Reddy ST, Wang CY, Sakhaee K, Brinkley L, Pak CY.  Effect of low-carbohydrate high-protein diets on acid-base balance, stone-forming propensity, and calcium metabolism.  Am J Kidney Dis.  2002;40:265-274.
Sacks FM, Katan M.  Randomized clinical trials on the effects of dietary fat and carbohydrate on plasma lipoproteins and cardiovascular disease.  Am J Med.  2002;113(suppl 9B):13S-24S.
Singh RB, Dubnov G, Niaz MA, et al.  Effect of an Indo-Mediterranean diet on progression of coronary artery disease in high risk patients (Indo-Mediterranean Diet Heart Study):  a randomized single-blind trial.  Lancet.  2002;360:1455-1461.
Vasan RS, Beiser A, Seshadri S, et al.  Residual lifetime risk for developing hypertension in middle-aged women and men; the Framingham Heart Study.  JAMA.  2002;287:1003-1010.

Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Disease

What does Vitamin D do?

  • prevent chronic diseases
  • keep your bones and teeth strong and healthy
  • reduce inflammation
  • regulate growth and activity of your cells

What is the Major Source of Vitamin D?


Most Vitamin D is produced in your body through the sun’s ultraviolet light, which reacts with the 7-dehydrocholesterol precursors on your skin. This reaction converts the precursors to Vitamin D3. In the liver, Vitamin D3 undergoes 25-hydroxylation to form 25(OH)D.1 The best level of 25(OH)D is suggested to be 30ng/ml or above.1

Few foods contain Vitamin D, but some that do include the following: fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna), and fish liver oils are among the best sources of Vitamin D. Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks contain small amounts of Vitamin D.2

In the American diet, fortified foods provide the most Vitamin D; this includes the U.S. milk supply, fortified with 100 IU/cup of vitamin D.2

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

  • rickets – a condition characterized by bone deformities and growth retardation
  • bone pain
  • osteomalacia (soft bone)
  • frequent bone fractures
  • osteoporosis

How Can I Test for Vitamin D Deficiency?
The SpectraCell Analysis Test is an evidence based test that measures the levels of select vitamins (including Vitamin D), minerals (including calcium), antioxidants, and other micronutrients in your white blood cells. This test is important because nutrient status is a very important component of your health. Every micronutrient plays an important role in optimal functioning of your cells. The SpectraCell Analysis Test will identify any micronutrient deficiencies you may have; identifying and correcting deficiencies is essential in maintaining optimal health.

The SpectraCell Analysis Test is available Monday through Friday from 8:30am-3:30pm

Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Disease
Studies have shown that low 25(OH)D levels are associated with cardiovascular heart disease and congestive heart failure.1

Vitamin D and Hypertension
Results from cross-sectional studies show an inverse relationship between Vitamin D levels and blood pressure – the higher the Vitamin D levels, the lower the blood pressure.1 Other studies show that high blood pressures were associated with higher levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH), a hormone that increases blood calcium concentration by removing calcium from your bones.1

Vitamin D and Diabetes
Insulin is secreted by cells in the pancreas called beta cells. According to a meta-analysis, Vitamin D appears to influence the response of insulin to elevated glucose levels; Vitamin D may also regulate extracellular calcium to ensure that there is normal calcium influx through the cell membranes and intracellularly. This is important because insulin release by beta cells is dependent on calcium.3 Furthermore, calcium is needed in insulin-mediated intracellular processes in tissues that are insulin-responsive, such as adipose tissue and skeletal muscle.3 Therefore, changes in the concentration of calcium in the cell may lead to insulin resistance because of impaired signaling in the cell. Insulin resistance, in turn, can lead to diabetes.

Vitamin D and Obesity
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to obesity.1 A recent study found that obese individuals have lower levels of 25(OH)D and higher PTH levels than do non-obese individuals. Vitamin D is fat soluble and therefore is stored in adipose tissue.4 Results from the study found identical concentrations of Vitamin D among obese and non-obese patients after exposure to UV-B irradiation.4 However, the increase in blood Vitamin D concentration was less in obese patients than in non-obese patients.4 This suggests that obesity does not affect the capacity of the skin to produce Vitamin D, but obesity may alter the release of Vitamin D from the skin to the bloodstream because the excess adipose tissue hinders Vitamin D’s release into the bloodstream.4
 
Calcium and Metabolic Syndrome
A research study using data from the Women’s Health Study found an inverse relationship between calcium intake and prevalence of metabolic syndrome. This study did not find a relationship between Vitamin D intake and metabolic syndrome, but the effects of Vitamin D are dependent on the presence/absence of other nutrients such as calcium. Therefore, low serum calcium levels influence Vitamin D action, and this affects your health.

Michos, E.D. & Melamed, M.L. (2008). Vitamin D and cardiovascular disease risk. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, 11, 7-12.

George Mateljan Foundation (2009). Vitamin D. Retrieved February 16, 2009, from http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind.asp#en23.

Pittas, A.G. et al. (2007). The role of vitamin D and calcium in type 2 diabetes. A systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 92(6), 2017-2029.

Wortsman, J., Matsuoka, L.Y., Chen, T.C., Lu, Z., & Holick, M.F. (2000). Decreased bioavailability of vitamin D in obesity. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72(3), 690-693.

Liu, S., et al (2005). Dietary calcium, vitamin D, and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in middle-aged and older U.S. women. Diabetes Care, 28(12), 2926-2932.

The purpose of Dr. Jamnadas’ “No Whites” Diet is to lose weight. This is a fairly simple diet and is easy to follow as well.

The plan consists of:

  • No pastas
  • No breads, including all grains
  • No potatoes
  • No milk products, except for skim milk and low fat mozzarella
  • No oils; use olive oil if needed
  • No margarine (because of trans-fatty acids)
  • No white salad dressings
  • No sugars

If you are still hungry, have more of the main entrée (the proteins):

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish
  • Lean meats
  • Beans
  • Lentils

Make sure you include:

  • Vegetables (eat a salad!)
  • Fruits (including peaches, plums, apples, apricots)
    • Avoid cantaloupe, watermelon, bananas, kiwi fruit, and pineapple
  • Nuts (serving size is fistful)

Following this plan will provide you with a healthy and safe way to lose weight. You are on your way to a healthier new you!

The TV Method: Exercise Made Fun and Easy

Exercise is an important component in maintaining optimal cardiovascular health; yet many people feel that time conflicts prevent them from exercising. However, the TV Method, an innovative and fun exercise regimen, will allow you to gain the health benefits of exercise while you watch your favorite television programs.

In a Nutshell:
If you have a treadmill, elliptical, or cycling machine at home, place it near the television. Find a show to watch on television and exercise while the program is running.

Woman in a gym on a running machine

Workout Schedule:
Week 1: Pick a 30-minute television program to watch. Exercise during the program. Take a break during the commercials. This is a 22 minute workout.

Week 2: Pick another 30-minute television program. Exercise throughout the duration of the program and also during the first commercial break. Take a break during the second set of commercials. This is a 25 minute workout.

Week 3: Pick another 30-minute television program. Exercise throughout the duration of the program, including both commercial breaks. This is a 30 minute workout.

Week 4: Pick a 1-hour television program to watch. Exercise during the program and take a break during the commercials.

Week 5: Pick a 1-hour television program to watch. Exercise during the program and every other commercial break.

Week 6: Pick a 1-hour television program to watch. Exercise throughout the entire duration of the program.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Exercise

Only during program During program + first commercial break During program + both commercial breaks Only during the program During program + every other commercial break During program + all commercial breaks

Rest

Every commercial break Second commercial break None Every commercial break Alternating commercial breaks None

The Importance of Physical Fitness

Over the past 25 years, the United States has experienced a steady decline in the number of deaths from cardiovascular disease (CVD), primarily in mortality caused by coronary heart disease and stroke. Still, coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death while stroke is third. Lifestyle improvements and better control of the risk factors for heart disease and stroke have been major contributors to this decline.

There are many risk factors associated with coronary heart disease and stroke. Modifiable risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, blood lipid levels, obesity, diabetes, and physical inactivity. National trends observed with smoking, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol have improved, but obesity and physical inactivity have not. Advanced technologies have taken the place of physical activity in many daily tasks. As a result, many Americans are physical inactive.

Physical activity protects against the development of CVD and also improves other CVD risk factors, including high blood pressure, blood lipid levels, insulin resistance, and obesity. Physical activity is also important in the treatment and management of those with hypertension, stable angina, prior myocardial infarction, peripheral vascular disease, or heart failure. Physical activity, therefore, is important for cardiac rehabilitation.

Advantages to an Active Lifestyle
Physical inactivity among the U.S. population is now widespread. About one in four adults (more women than men) currently lead sedentary lifestyles with no leisure time physical activity. An additional one-third of adults are insufficiently active to achieve health benefits. The prevalence of inactivity varies by gender, age, ethnicity, health status, and geographic region, but it is common to all demographic groups.

Girls become less active than boys as they grow older. Children become far less active as they move through adolescence, and as a result, obesity is increasing among children. It is related to an energy imbalance (i.e., calories consumed in excess of calorie expended.) Data indicate that obese children and adolescents have an increased risk of becoming obese adults, and obesity in adulthood is related to coronary artery disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Thus, the prevention of childhood obesity has the potential of preventing CVD in adults.
There is evidence that increased physical activity leads to weight loss and that combining physical activity with reducing food intake can help maintain a healthy body weight.

Middle-aged and older men and women who engage in regular physical activity have significantly higher high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels than do those who are sedentary. When exercise training has extended to at least 12 weeks, the HDL cholesterol levels are even more improved.

What Type, Intensity, and Quantity of Exercise Are Best?
You don’t need a structured or vigorous exercise program to reduce CVD risk factors and gain many other health benefits. Most benefits of physical activity can be gained by performing moderately intense activities.

Everyone should maintain regular physical activity at a level appropriate to his or her abilities and interests. Both children and adults should have at least 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week. However, physical activity must be performed regularly to maintain positive effects. Intermittent or shorter bouts of activity (at least 10 minutes), including tasks of daily living, also have similar cardiovascular and health benefits if performed at a level of moderate intensity (such as brisk walking, cycling, vacuuming, and yard work) for a total of 30 minutes daily. People who currently meet the recommended minimal standards may gain additional health and fitness benefits from increasing their activity. Higher intensity or longer duration activity could be performed approximately three times weekly and achieve cardiovascular benefits, but low-intensity or shorter duration activities should be performed more often to achieve cardiovascular benefits.

People who are not currently active should gradually build up to the recommended goal of 30 minutes of moderate activity daily by adding a few minutes each day until reaching their personal goal to reduce the risk of injury.
Developing muscular strength and joint flexibility is also important for an overall activity program to improve one’s ability to perform tasks and to reduce the potential for injury. Resistance training may contribute to better balance, coordination, and agility that may help prevent falls in the elderly.

Physical activity carries risks as well as benefits. The most common adverse effects of activity relate to musculoskeletal injury and are usually mild and self-limited. The risk of injury increases with increased intensity, frequency, and duration of activity and also depends on the type of activity. Exercising in moderation can reduce these injuries.

Because the risks of physical activity are very low compared with the health benefits, most adults do not need medical consultation before starting a moderate-intensity physical activity program. However, those with known CVD and men over age 40 and women over age 50 with multiple cardiovascular risk factors should have a medical evaluation prior to initiating such a program.

Food’s Influence on Your Health:

  • Nearly half of all cardiovascular disease and hypertension cases can be attributed to diet
  • An estimated 300,000 to 800,000 preventable deaths per year in the United States are nutrition related. This number includes deaths from atherosclerotic diseases, diabetes, and some cancers

Fruits, vegetables, and other natural foods are loaded with phytonutrients

What are Phytonutrients?

  • Phytonutrients are non-vitamin, non-mineral compounds found in foods that have significant benefits for human health. Benefits include:
    • Improved cell-cell communication in our bodies
    • Prevention of genetic mutations in cells
    • Prevention of cancer cell proliferation

3 Types of Phytonutrients:

  1. Polyphenols: are antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties, and are anti-allergenic.
  2. Carotenoids: are the pigments that give yellow and red vegetables their color. This class of phytonutrients includes beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene, which are all antioxidants and protect us from cancer and signs of aging.
  3. Phytoestrogens: are natural chemicals that are found in soy foods, whole wheat, seeds, grains, and some vegetables and fruits. Phytoestrogens may serve as a protective factor against breast and prostate cancers.

Micronutrients in Fruits/Vegetables are Age-Defying

  • Micronutrients are very powerful antioxidants, which keep your body healthy and prevent oxidation.
  • Our bodies need oxygen to conduct many metabolic processes. As a result of these metabolic activities, oxygen is consumed and transformed into unstable free radicals – oxygen atoms with a missing electron.
  • The oxygen free radicals want to find a molecule to replace its missing electron, and so the free radicals seek out molecules from any cells they can attack, causing damage to the cell.
    • This includes DNA, proteins, and enzymes.
  • Antioxidants fight free radicals in your body and neutralize them by giving them an extra electron
  • Battling free radicals may lead to improved long-term health

BEANS
Nutrients:

  • low-fat protein
    • Beans contain the amino acid Lysine, which is deficient in many forms of plant proteins.
  • phytonutrients
    • Usually, as you increase protein intake, you increase bone calcium loss
    • Eating animal protein leads to increased acidity in the body, contributing to increased calcium loss from the body
    • Eating plant protein leads to reduced loss of bone calcium compared to when you eat animal protein
  • Fiber, folate, potassium, magnesium, iron, and B Vitamins

Nutritional Benefits of Beans
Lower cholesterol levels:
Frequent consumption of beans is associated with lower cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is found only in animal foods, so if you substitute animal protein with plant protein, and if you limit your intake of saturated fat and partially hydrogenated oils, you will be on track to lowering your cholesterol

Combat cardiovascular disease:
Beans are just as effective at keeping low blood cholesterol levels are oat bran is. Combine the two with a regular exercise regimen, and you have a great remedy for reducing your cardiovascular risk.

Reduce obesity:
Beans have a low Glycemic Index (GI), meaning that when you eat beans, they are slowly absorbed through the blood stream. Consequently, you feel satiated after eating, and this prevents overeating.

Reduce blood sugar:
Beans are high in fiber and have a low GI, so they help maintain a steady blood sugar level and provide slow-burning energy for your body.

Reduce cancer risk:
Beans contain phytoestrogens called lignins that have estrogen-like properties that help reduce estrogen levels and reduce the risk of cancers (mainly breast cancer and prostate cancer) that are related to estrogen levels.

How Do I Incorporate Beans Into My Diet?

  • Make hummus – puree garbanzo beans with garlic, olive oil, and tahini sauce
  • Bean salads – mix different cooked beans together with some olive oil and herbs
  • Beans and pasta
  • Boil them and add spices

BLUEBERRIES
Nutrients:

  • Phytonutrients
  • Low Calories
  • Polyphenols
  • Carotenoids
  • Fiber, Folate, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Iron,
  • Riboflavin, Niacin

Nutritional Benefits of Blueberries:
Antioxidant Boost:
Blueberries contain more antioxidants than do any other fruit/vegetable. One serving of blueberries (1/2 cup) contains as many antioxidants as do five servings of carrots, apples, broccoli, and squash. Antioxidants are important because they can reduce your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Anthocyanin:
This is an antioxidant in the flavonoid family that gives blueberries their strong blue color and their powerful antioxidant properties. Anthocyanin helps to neutralize cellular free-radical damage.

Reduce Effects of Age-Related Conditions:
Animal studies have shown that blueberries help to reduce effects of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Quercetin:
This is another antioxidant in the flavonoid family that has anti-inflammatory properties.

The Brain:
The nutrients in blueberries have an affinity for the areas in the brain that control movement. Studies assessing motor skills showed that people who ate 1 cup of blueberries daily performed 5-6% better on motor skills tests, compared with the control group.

Digestive Health:
Blueberries are rich in pectin, a soluble fiber that works to relieve diarrhea and constipation. The tannins in blueberries reduce inflammation in the digestive system. Blueberries also reduce the ability of the E.coli bacterium to adhere to the mucosal linings of the bladder and urethra. This reduces the risk of urinary tract infections.

How Do I Incorporate Blueberries Into My Diet?

  • dried fruit
  • sprinkle some in yogurt, cereal, or oatmeal
  • make a blueberry smoothie
  • muffins, cakes, and pancakes

BROCCOLI
Nutrients:

  • low calories
  • iron, folate, fiber, calcium
  • Vitamin C, Vitamin K, beta-carotene
  • Indoles, sulforaphane
    • These are phytochemicals that combat cancer by blocking estrogen receptors on breast cancer cells, preventing the growth of estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells.
    • Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is a powerful indole that is a strong breast cancer preventive agent

Nutritional Benefits of Broccoli
Prevention of Birth Defects:
Broccoli is loaded with folate and Vitamin B, which helps prevent birth defects, such as spina bifida.

Cardiovascular Disease Prevention:
The folate in broccoli helps remove homocysteine from the circulatory system. This is important because high levels of homocysteine are linked with cardiovascular disease. Broccoli is also one of the few vegetables that have a high level of coenzyme Q10, which is a fat-soluble antioxidant linked to energy production in the body. In patients with cardiovascular disease, coenzyme Q10 serves a cardio-protective function.

Cancer Prevention:
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University discovered a compound in broccoli that prevented tumor development by 60% and reduced the size of developed tumors by 75%. Another study showed that eating two servings of cruciferous vegetables (mainly cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts) a day results in as much as a 50% reduction in the risk for certain types of cancers. Furthermore, ½ cup of broccoli daily protects from numerous cancers, including colon, lung, stomach, and rectal cancers.

Bone Health:
Broccoli, along with other cruciferous vegetables, help build your bones because it is loaded with calcium and Vitamin C, which increases calcium absorption to your bones.

How Do I Incorporate Broccoli Into My Diet?

  • Steam or microwave it
  • Stir-fry with other vegetables, garlic, chopped toasted walnuts or pine nuts
  • Toss some in a salad with light vinaigrette dressing
  • Puree with sautéed onion and mix with low-fat milk/soymilk for a quick soup
  • Cut and toss with olive oil and salt. Roast for 20-30 minutes at 425°F
  • Dip raw broccoli florets in hummus for a fresh and healthy snack

OATS
Nutrients:

  • low calories, high protein
  • high fiber, magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, thiamine

Nutritional Benefits of Oats:
Lowers Cholesterol Levels:
Oats contain beta glucan, a soluble fiber that is responsible for lowered cholesterol levels. Since oats are low on the GI, they help maintain a steady blood glucose level; this is especially important for diabetics.

Improved Cardiovascular Health:
Consumption of whole grains is associated with lowered overall mortality rates, lowered cholesterol levels, and stabilized blood sugar levels. Additionally, whole grain consumption is linked to a reduction in stroke risk.

Phytochemicals:
The germ and bran of oats have lots of phytonutrients, including ferulic acid and caffeic acid. Ferulic acid may be beneficial in preventing colon cancer; additionally, it has been found to be a strong antioxidant to protect against oxidative damage to the cell. Lastly, it inhibits the formation of cancer-promoting compounds in the body.

Flaxseeds:
Flaxseeds are the best plant source of omega-3 fatty acids, as well as fiber, protein, iron, and magnesium. Flaxseeds also contain lignins, which help to protect against breast cancer. Flaxseeds are usually found in stores as ground (flaxseed meal) or in whole seed form. They must be ground before eating because the nutrients are more easily absorbed when ground.

Wheat Germ:
This is the embryo of the wheat berry, and it is loaded with nutrition, and it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Whole Grains:
This relates to the Glycemic Index (GI), a ranking scale of carbohydrates and how quickly they are absorbed into the body. The lower the GI, the slower the absorption into the bloodstream is. As a result, you feel satiated (full) when you eat low-GI foods, and this prevents overeating and helps to maintain your ideal weight. Whole grains decrease the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers.

There are 3 parts to a whole grain:

  • Bran: This the outer layer of the grain, and it contains B vitamins, protein, and phytochemicals.
  • Endosperm: The middle layer, containing carbohydrates, proteins, and small amount of Vitamin B
  • Germ: This is the inner-most layer of the grain, containing B Vitamins, Vitamin E, and phytochemicals

How Do I Incorporate Whole Grains Into My Diet?

  • Eat whole grain bread, tortillas, crackers, cereals
  • Eat brown rice instead of white rice
  • Toss some oats in stuffing, meats, and meat loaf
  • Add oats to homemade muffins, cakes, pancakes, yogurt

ORANGES
Nutrients:

  • Vitamin C
  • Fiber, folate, potassium
  • Limonene, polyphenols, pectin

Nutritional Benefits of Oranges:
Citrus Flavonoids:
These are a class of polyphenols found in fruits’ tissue, juice, pulp, and skin and contain the health-promoting power of citrus foods. Citrus flavonoids (especially hesperidin in oranges) are antioxidant and antimutagenic, meaning that they prevent mutations in cells.

Improved Cardiovascular Health:
Hesperidin is a flavonoid that enhances Vitamin C’s effect of neutralizing free radicals in the body. In fact, orange pulp contains ten times the amount of Vitamin C that is found in the juice. Oranges also contain folate, which is one of the B Vitamins. Dietary folate is also important in maintaining normal DNA in the cell and preventing colon and cervical cancers. Folate is important in maintaining low levels of homocysteine in the blood, and this is important because high homocysteine levels increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. The risk of heart attack and stroke is inversely related to the amount of folate consumed.

Reduced Cancer Risk:
Limonene is a phytonutrient found in the oil of the peel of citrus foods, and this stimulates antioxidant detoxification, meaning limonene stops cancer even before it develops. Additionally, limonene reduces protein activity that may trigger abnormal cell growth. Citrus also contains Vitamin C, and this protects against nitrosamines, which may trigger cancers of the colon, mouth, and stomach

Stabilized Blood Sugar Levels:
Citrus contains pectin, which slows the absorption of glucose, helping to maintain steady glucose and insulin levels. This is important for diabetic individuals, because regular citrus consumption helps stabilize blood sugar levels.

How Do I Incorporate Oranges Into My Diet?

  • Eat oranges, tangerines, or clementines
  • Add mandarin orange to salads
  • Use orange or lemon zest in cakes, muffins
  • Use citrus zest in tea and other drinks
  • Because Vitamin C is rapidly excreted from the body, regular consumption of citrus is essential.

PUMPKIN
Nutrients:

  • Low calories, high fiber
  • alpha- and beta-carotene
  • Vitamins C and E
  • Potassium, magnesium, and pantothenic acid

Nutritional Benefit:
Prevent Progression of Atherosclerosis:
Alpha- and Beta-carotene are major fighters against chronic disease because they have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beta-carotene prevents oxidation of cholesterol, and this is important because it is oxidized cholesterol that builds up in blood vessels and contributes to the risk of heart attacks. Beta-carotene consumption may also reduce colon cancer risk because it protects cells of the colon from cancer-causing chemicals.

Protection From Cardiovascular Disease:
The cumulative effects of carotenoids, potassium, magnesium, and folate offer protection against cardiovascular disease and decrease the risk of cardiovascular events.

Slowed Biological Aging:
Alpha-carotene consumption is inversely related to biological aging. Alpha-carotene also protects against cataracts and various cancers.

How Do I Incorporate Pumpkin Into My Diet?

  • Pumpkin is usually only available fresh in the fall and early winter.
  • There are many winter squashes that are available in the market for most of the year that come close to pumpkin in terms of nutrition.
  • Look for squash with its stem still on. Without the stem, bacteria can enter it.
  • A deep and rich color indicates a ripe squash
  • Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of plant-based omega-6 and omega-3 fats
  • Roast pumpkin seeds on a cookie sheet for 15-20 minutes at 350°F.

WILD SALMON
Nutrients:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • B Vitamins and Vitamin D
  • Selenium, Potassium, and Protein

Nutritional Benefits of Wild Salmon
Excellent Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
There are four types of dietary fats: saturated, trans, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated.

  • Saturated fats increase your risk of diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
  • Trans fats may even be worse than saturated fats and are usually found on food labels as partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
  • Wild Salmon contains “good” fats, which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Omega-3 and omega-6 are essential polyunsaturated fatty acids, and since our bodies do not make these, we must obtain them through out diets. Omega-6 fatty acids are very abundant in the Western diet in the form of corn, safflower, and sunflower oils. Omega-3 fatty acids come from plants and marine life. Salmon is an excellent source of marine-derived omega-3.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids:

  • Reduce coronary artery disease risk by increasing HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, reducing your blood pressure, and stabilizing your heart beat
  • Prevent cancer – research suggests that omega-3 may prevent breast and colon cancers
  • Mitigate autoimmune diseases such as lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis because omega-3’s anti-inflammatory capabilities help reduce symptoms of autoimmune diseases and prolong the lives of individuals who have them

SOY
Nutrients:

  • Phytoestrogens
  • Plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin E
  • Potassium, magnesium, selenium
  • Folate
  • Protein

Nutritional Benefits of Soy
Non-Meat Protein:
Soy is loaded with protein – a half-cup of tofu has 18 to 20 grams of protein, 258mg calcium, and 13mg of iron. Furthermore, soy has a good balance of various fats and does not contain any cholesterol, making it ideal an ideal source of protein and fiber. Additionally, soy provides the highest-quality protein of any plant food, provides all nine essential amino acids, and is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. In comparison with other plant-based sources of protein, tofu is low in calories and high in protein.

Cancer Prevention:
Soy contains isoflavones, two of which are genistein and daidzein, which act as antioxidants and weak estrogens in the body that compete with natural estrogens to prevent hormone-dependent cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancers.

Lignins:
These bind with carcinogens in the colon and facilitate their swift exit from the body, reducing negative effects

Protease Inhibitors:
These block the activity of cancer-causing enzymes called proteases. This reduces the risk of cancers.

Oil:
Soy provides oil that is cholesterol free and offers a good ratio of fatty acids, including omega-3 fatty acids.

How Do I Incorporate Soy Into My Diet?

  • Mix tofu with vegetables and stir-fry
  • Use tofu as a substitute for meat products when cooking
  • Eat soybeans or toss them in a salad
  • Ferment soy beans to make tempeh, miso or soy sauce
  • Drink soymilk
  • Eat edamame (green soybeans still in their pods)
  • Soy protein powder
  • Soy flour

SPINACH
Nutrients:

  • Low calories
  • Lutein/zeaxanthin
  • Beta-carotene
  • Plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamins C and E,
  • B Vitamins
  • Polyphenols, Minereals, alpha lipoic acid

Nutritional Benefits of Spinach:
Lowered homocysteine levels:
Betaine is a derivative of choline, which is an essential fat. Betaine lowers homocysteine levels in the blood, and this is important because high levels of homocysteine increase cardiovascular risk.

Protection From Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Spinach helps elevate macular pigment levels, and this lowers the risk of AMD. Free-radical damage from long-term exposure to light and UV radiation may play a role in causing macular degeneration. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two powerful carotenoids that can reduce AMD risk. Lutein and zeaxanthin also prevent other eye problems, such as cataract problems. Orange bell peppers are also very rich in lutein and zeaxanthin.

Vitamin K
Spinach is a rich source of Vitamin K, which is needed for production of six of the proteins needed for proper blood coagulation. Additionally, just one cup of spinach daily helps to reduce the risk of hip fracture in women.

Combat Cardiovascular Disease
The carotenoids in spinach protect the artery walls from damage. Spinach contains Vitamin C and beta-carotene, and these two nutrients work to prevent oxidized cholesterol from accumulating in the walls of your blood vessels. Spinach also has a lot of folate, which helps repair damaged DNA in cells, thereby aiding in cancer prevention.

Cancer Prevention:
Various flavonoid compounds in spinach work together to prevent cancer development. Glutathione and alpha lipoic acid are both found in spinach, and glutathione protects our DNA by repairing damaged DNA and promoting healthy cell replication. Alpha lipoic acid boosts glutathione levels and stabilizes blood sugar levels.

Improved Immune System:
Lutein is another antioxidant in spinach and enhances the immune system, warding off many cancers. Usually, the darker the greens, the more bioactive phytonutrients they contain and the more powerful they are against cancer and other diseases.

How Do I Incorporate Spinach Into My Diet?

  • Put spinach leaves in salads
  • Layer spinach and other green vegetables in lasagna
  • Toss some spinach in pasta, soup, omelet
  • Shed greens onto tacos and burritos

TEA
Nutrients:

  • No calories
  • Flavonoids, fluoride

Nutritional Benefits of Tea
Cancer Protection:
Caffeine from tea has anti-mutagenic properties, which may offer protection against cancer. Caffeine may also offer protection against the development of Parkinson’s disease. Other evidence suggests that tea consumption decreases the risk of bladder, breast, colorectal, esophageal, lung, prostate, and stomach cancers. Researchers demonstrated that catechins in tea prevent cell mutations and deactivate carcinogens. They also inhibit the growth of blood vessels that tumors need to grow. Although one cup of tea may offer health benefits, it may take up to four cups a day to achieve a significant decrease in cancer risk.

Cardiovascular Protection:
A study from Harvard showed a 44% reduced risk of heart attack and a 40% decrease in death from coronary artery disease in people who drank at least one cup of tea daily. Other evidence shows that tea consumption is associated with a decreased risk of heart disease and stroke. Tea consumption is inversely related to homocysteine levels, which is important because high homocysteine levels are correlated with increased cardiovascular risk. Tea also maintains plaque-free blood vessels, which reduces coronary artery disease.

Dental Health:
Tea consumption reduces the risk of developing cavities and gum disease; one study found that tea consumption may reduce cavity formation by up to 75% because the fluoride content of tea inhibits cavity formation. Additionally, tea inhibits bacteria from sticking to tooth surfaces, and this inhibits the rate of acid production of oral bacteria.

Improved Bone-Mineral Density:
Studies focusing on hip fracture risk discovered that tea consumption for 10+ years has benefits to bone-mineral density. This may be due to the flavonoids in tea, which have phytoestrogen activity that benefits bone health.

How Do I Incorporate Tea Into My Diet?

  • Brewed tea yields more health benefits than does instant tea. Brew for at least 3 minutes
  • Because flavonoids degrade with time, drink freshly brewed tea that is hot
  • Squeeze the brewed tea bag to double the polyphenol content
  • Add a wedge of lemon or lime with the rind for polyphenol boost
  • Avoid drinking extremely hot tea

TOMATOES
Nutrients:

  • Low calories
  • Lycopene
  • Alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, biotin, fiber
  • B vitamins, Vitamin C, potassium, chromium
  • Phytuene and phytofluene possess antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic capabilities

Nutritional Benefits of Tomatoes:
Very Powerful Antioxidants:
Lycopene is a pigment that contributes to the red color of tomatoes and is a very strong antioxidant that is very efficient at quenching free radicals. Lycopene is also involved in the antioxidant defense network and helps raise the SPF of the skin, thereby protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Lycopene absorption depends on the presence of a bit of dietary fat, so tomatoes are often served with olive oil or cheese.

Cancer Protection:
Tomatoes have been shown to protect against cancer, specifically prostate cancer. Lycopene blocks the destructive effects of free radicals in the body and interferes with the growth factors that stimulate cancer cells to grow and proliferate.
One study found that tomato sauce consumption is the most reliable indicator of reduced risk for prostate cancer. This suggests that tomato sauce and paste may be more effective than raw tomatoes at reducing cancer risk; processed tomato products and cooked tomatoes contain 2-8 times the available lycopene of raw tomatoes. Processing tomatoes does reduce the Vitamin C levels, but it elevates total antioxidant activity, providing enhanced benefits.

Cardiovascular Protection:
Lycopene and other vitamins such as Vitamin C and beta-carotene, work to neutralize free radicals in the body that damage cells. This reduces the progression of atherosclerosis because it reduces the potential for inflammation. Tomatoes have high levels of potassium, niacin, vitamin B6, and folate, all of which are very heart-healthy nutrients. Potassium-rich foods help to achieve optimal blood pressure, and niacin lowers elevated blood cholesterol levels. The combination of folate and Vitamin B6 reduce homocysteine levels in the blood; this is important because high homocysteine levels increase cardiovascular disease risk.

How Do I Incorporate Tomatoes Into My Diet?

  • Sauté tomatoes in olive oil and herbs and toss over pasta or serve as a side dish
  • Add sun-dried tomatoes to sandwiches and salads
  • Make homemade pizza with extra tomato sauce
  • Add diced tomatoes to soups and stews

TURKEY (SKINLESS BREAST)
Nutrients:

  • Low-fat protein
  • Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12
  • Iron, Selenium, Zinc

Nutritional Benefits of Turkey
Low-Fat Protein:
Turkey breast is very low in saturated fat, so it closely approximates the lean sources of animal protein during Paleolithic times. The problem with commonly available meats, specifically red meat, in the United States is that they are very high in saturated fat and omega-6 fatty acids, which is not the type of fat we do need. Free-range and free-roam cattle are a better alternative to meat raised in feedlots because free-roaming cattle consume more omega-3 fats. Grass-fed meats contain omega-3 fats and Vitamin E.

Cardiovascular Health:
Turkey is a good source of niacin, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12. These vitamins are important for energy production because niacin is associated with lowered risk of heart attack and heart attack-associated mortality. Vitamins B6 and B12 help to keep homocysteine levels low, which is important because high homocysteine levels are associated with cardiovascular risk.

Immune Health:
Turkey is rich in zinc, and the zinc found in turkey is more bio-available than zinc found in non-meat sources. Zinc promotes wound healing and normal cell division. Turkey also has a lot of selenium, which is involved in a myriad of body functions, including thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense systems, and immune function. Evidence suggests that an inverse relationship exists between selenium intake and cancer risk.

How Do I Incorporate Turkey Into My Diet?

  • Make a turkey dinner with a roasted whole fresh turkey breast
  • Make a turkey sandwich for lunch on toasted whole grain bread
  • Turkey tacos or burritos
  • Turkey soup
  • Turkey slices and BBQ sauce

WALNUTS
Nutrients:

  • Plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin E, Vitamin B6
  • Magnesium, Potassium
  • Polyphenols, plant sterols, protein, arginine

Nutritional Benefits of Walnuts:
Low Glycemic Index (GI)
Nuts have a low GI, so when you eat them, you feel satiated (full). This prevents overeating and helps you maintain a healthy weight. People who eat nuts in a balanced diet tend to be thinner than those who do not.

Cardiovascular Health:
Nut consumption is associated with a decreased risk of coronary artery disease. People who eat nuts five or more times a week had a 15-51% reduction in coronary heart disease risk, according to recent studies. This is mainly attributable to omega-3 fatty acids found in nuts; omega-3 fats thin the blood and help blood to freely flow throughout the body, preventing clot formation and preventing blood cells from sticking to vessel walls. Omega-3 fats also reduce hypertension, decrease cardiovascular disease risk and macular degeneration as well.

Blood Vessel Flexibility:
Arginine is an essential amino acid that is found in walnuts, and this helps keep the interior of blood vessels smooth and flexible to increase blood flow. This reduces blood pressure to relieve hypertension.

Decreased Diabetes Risk:
Harvard researchers studied 83,000 women and found that those who ate a handful of nuts or two tablespoons of peanut butter at least five times a week were more than 20% less likely to develop type II diabetes. The fiber and magnesium found in nuts maintain balanced insulin and glucose levels.

Fiber and Vitamin E:
Nuts are a rich source of dietary fiber and Vitamin E, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties, contributing to heart health

How Do I Incorporate Nuts Into My Diet?

  • Add nuts to yogurt, ice cream, or frozen yogurt
  • Add chopped nuts or pine nuts to salads
  • Use finely chopped nuts to coat fish or poultry cutlets
  • Sauté chopped nuts in olive oil along with bread crumbs and chopped garlic and toss with freshly cooked pasta

YOGURT
Nutrients:

  • Live active culture
  • Protein, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc
  • Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12

Nutritional Benefits of Yogurt:
Prebiotics and Probiotics:
Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that affect the gut by stimulating the growth or activity of beneficial bacteria in the colon. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can benefit your health when taken in small amounts.

Gastrointestinal Health:
A healthy digestive system is essential to good health, and probiotics help to preserve intestinal health. Probiotics absorb mutagens that cause cancer, and evidence suggests that they are effective in fighting colon and breast cancer. They stimulate the immune system by promoting immunoglobulin production and lower cancer risk by decreasing inflammation and preventing growth of cancer-causing intestinal microflora. Probiotics regulate the body’s inflammatory response, which relieves symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

What is it?

Fish oil is the oil derived from the tissue of oily fish. Fish oil can be obtained from eating fish or by taking fish oil supplements.

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Omega-3 may also be derived from a plant source containing alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

This decreases the morbidity and mortality of heart disease by reducing the risk of coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and fatal heart attacks.

Omega-3 fatty acids are not produced within the body, therefore are obtained from your diet or supplements.

B1E42J Plan view of fish oil capsules in a ring pull tin cut out. Image shot 2008. Exact date unknown.

Why do I need it?

Multiple studies have shown that dietary fish or fish oil:

  • Lowers triglycerides
  • Lowers LDL (Lousy Cholesterol) levels
  • Increases HDL (Healthy Cholesterol) levels
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces the risk of arrhythmias (dangerous abnormal heart rhythms)
  • Reduces the progression of atherosclerosis (plaque build up in arteries)
  • Reduces the risk of heart attacks
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces the risk of stroke
  • Reduces the risk of death

These are all beneficial in reducing the morbidity and mortality of heart disease which is the leading cause of death in the United States.

 

What are the sources?

Fish oil can be obtained by eating oily fish or fish oil supplements.

Recommended fish include:

  • Anchovies
  • Salmon
  • Bluefish
  • Sardines
  • Carp
  • Striped sea bass
  • Catfish
  • Sturgeon
  • Halibut
  • Trout
  • Herring
  • Tuna
  • Mackerel
  • Whitefish
  • Pompano

 

Plant derived sources of alpha linolenic acid are also recommended.

Plant sources of ALA include:

  • Canola oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Soybeans
  • Tofu
  • Walnuts

 

The recommended dietary allowance is:How much should I take?

EPA + DHA:  0.3- 0.5 grams

Alpha linolenic acid: 0.8- 1.1 grams

Healthy adults with no cardiovascular disease are recommended to eat fish twice a week.

Please note that fish preparation is to be broiled or baked. Fried fish or fish sandwiches negate the benefits of fish oil and can actually increase the risk of heart disease.

Fish oil capsules are to be taken once daily.

Consult your physician before starting fish oil supplements.

 

What are the risks?

People with fish allergy should avoid fish oil and omega-3 products derived from fish.

People with allergy to nuts should avoid ALA and omega- 3 products derived from nuts.

Some predatory fish like sharks, cod, and tuna are high in omega- 3 fatty acids, but also have toxic substances. These toxic substances include mercury, dioxin, PCBs, and chlordane which are mostly found in cod liver and shark liver oils. The liver is a major detoxifying and filtering organ, therefore high levels of these toxins are found here. Liver based oils have a higher PCB content than fish oil derived from an entire fish.

Very large amounts of fish oil and omega-3 may increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke.

Omega- 3 fatty acids may have the potential to slightly increase blood sugar levels. This should be taken with caution in diabetic patients, although no significant long term effects have been noted.

Patients with low blood pressure and those taking blood pressure medications are advised to take fish oils with caution.

Some patients may present with diarrhea at very high doses.

Increased burping, acid reflux, heartburn, abdominal pain, or bloating may occur.

Fishy aftertaste is common.

What Does the SpectraCell Analysis Test Measure?
The SpectraCell Analysis Test assesses the function of a range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other micronutrients in your blood cells. The SpectraCell test is currently the gold standard in evaluating nutritional status, and this technology is known as Functional Intracellular Analysis, or FIA™.

Why is the SpectraCell Test Important?
This preventive, diagnostic test is important because nutrient status is a very important component of your health. Every micronutrient plays an important role in optimal functioning of your cells. The SpectraCell Analysis Test will identify any micronutrient deficiencies you may have; correcting such deficiencies is essential in maintaining optimal health. This test, therefore, allows clinicians to develop appropriate interventions for patients wanting to maintain optimal health.

What Influences My Micronutrient Requirements?
There are many things influencing each individual’s micronutrient requirements. These include the following: biochemical individuality, absorption, chronic conditions, age, and lifestyle. Even people with healthy habits can have micronutrient deficiencies.

Who Benefits from This Test?
Everybody. You may be deficient in a micronutrient and not even know about it. Nearly 50% of patients taking a multivitamin are functionally deficiency in at least one essential nutrient that is vital to long-term health.

How Does the Test Work?
You will have your blood drawn (no need for fasting) and sent to the SpectraCell laboratory in California. The lymphocyte cells are isolated from the blood sample, grown in patented culture media, and stimulated to grow in a control media that has optimal amounts of specific micronutrients. As each micronutrient is removed from the culture media, your lymphocytes must use their own internal mechanisms (storage reserves or metabolic processes) to grow. If the cells grow in the absence of the micronutrient in the culture media, you are not deficient in that micronutrient. However, if the cells do not grow optimally, you are deficient in that micronutrient.

What Specific Micronutrients Does This Test Measure?
Vitamins: D, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Biotin, Folate, Pantothenate
Minerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc
Antioxidants: Coenzyme Q10, Glutathione, Cysteine, Total Antioxidant Function
Amino Acids: Asparagine, Carnitine, Glutamine, Serine

Does My Insurance Plan Pay For This Test?
Most insurance carriers cover the SpectraCell tests.

Call 407-894-4880 to make your appointment. Space is limited, so sign up today!

Alcohol and Heart DiseaseWineHeart

Research has shown that the consumption of alcohol in moderation reduces the risk factors associated with coronary artery disease. A moderate amount of alcohol refers to an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. Drinking alcohol in excess or consuming three of more drinks per day can lead to a variety of adverse effects including liver disease, heart failure, arrhythmias, stroke, increases the risk of cancer, neurological complications, and unintentional injuries. Excessive alcohol consumption and binge drinking attribute to the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the United States.

What are the benefits of alcohol on heart disease?JCurveAlcohol

Drinking alcohol in moderation has been shown to improve cardiovascular health, particularly in regard to coronary artery disease and reducing the risk of a heart attack. Multiple studies have described a J-shaped curve relating the benefits of moderate alcohol intake to a reduction in the risk of morbidity and mortality of coronary artery disease. The lowest amount being about two drinks (20 grams) per day reduces the risk of coronary artery disease, while the consumption of three of more drinks (70 grams) is associated with a greater risk.

The benefits of moderate alcohol consumption include:

  1. Improvement of lipid profile:
    • Increases High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (HDL-C) – this is the most notable benefit as this healthy cholesterol, HDL-C, removes cholesterol from the arterial wall and transports it back to the liver.
    • Decreases Low Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol (LDL-C) – sometimes referred to as your Lousy cholesterol because LDL-C builds up in the arterial wall making them narrow.
    • Improves Cholesterol (both HDL and LDL) Particle Size– improves HDL-P that reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and reduces cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.
  2. Reduces thrombosis (clotting formation)
    • Reduces platelet aggregation
    • Reduces fibrinogen– this promotes blood clotting
    • Increases fibrinolysis – this is a process by which clots dissolve
  3. Additional effects
    • Reduces coronary artery spasm in response to stress– by relaxing the vessel
    • Increases coronary blood flow
    • Reduces blood pressure
    • Reduces insulin level
    • Increases estrogen level– this increases HDL levels and reduces LDL levels and reduces platelet aggregation
    • Decreases C- Reactive Protein– marker of inflammation
    • Antioxidant– flavonoids found in grapes (wine) reduce free radical damage in the heart and vessel

The effects of moderate alcohol consumption in the average study population has shown reduced risks of a new diagnosis of coronary artery disease by 29% and a risk reduction of deaths from cardiovascular disease by 25%. The risk of death due to a heart attack or coronary artery disease was reduced by 25%.

Should I consume alcohol with meals?

Drinking with meals has been found to reduce blood pressure and have a positive affect on lipids and the dissolution of thrombosis; although the relationship of moderate alcohol consumption has not been proven to reduce coronary artery disease.

Also, the presence of food in the gastrointestinal tract may reduce alcohol absorption or increase the rate of alcohol excretion from the body.

Does the type of beverage matter?

The type of beverage either wine, beer, or liquor does not matter. It is the alcohol which reduces the morbidity and mortality of cardiovascular disease. Although, red wine has an added affect due to the antioxidant properties.

Who should not consider alcohol consumption?

Excessive alcohol intake can lead to liver disease, heart failure, increased risk of cancer, neurological complications, and unintentional injuries.

Excessive alcohol consumption shows an inverse relation between alcohol and coronary artery disease that appears to increase LDL-C and lower HDL-C.

People should NOT start drinking if they already do not drink.

In addition, even moderate alcohol consumption should be avoided whenever consumption would put an individual People with medical and social conditions that are made worse by alcohol. These people should not consume any alcohol whatsoever including those with prior diagnosis of:

  • Hypertriglyceridemia
  • Pancreatitis
  • Liver disease
  • Porphyria
  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • Congestive heart failure

Pregnant women and persons on medications that interact with alcohol should refrain from alcohol consumption. Also those with personal or strong family history of alcoholism should avoid all alcoholic beverages.

What are the recommendations?

Consult a physician about the benefits and risks of alcohol consumption personal to your health.

Those with prior diagnosis of hypertriglyceridemia, pancreatitis, liver disease, porphyria, uncontrolled hypertension, congestive heart failure or pregnant females or persons on certain medications that interact with alcohol should avoid alcohol consumption.

If your physician approves and there is no contraindication for alcohol consumption present, moderate consumption of alcohol (one or two drinks per day) may be considered safe.

Alcohol should never be consumed when operating heavy machinery or motor vehicles.

The risks and benefits of alcohol consumption should be reviewed periodically with your physician. Adolescents and young persons are not recommended for alcohol consumption and should be targeted for assessment and advice before potentially harmful habits of consumption become established.

Alcohol affects the entire body, but has limited benefits, mainly on the coronary arteries. A careful approach must be warranted for alcohol consumption.

Each person has a unique combination of factors such as age, sex, and family history that influence a personal risk for specific diseases potentially caused or prevented by alcohol use. The balance of the risks and benefits of alcohol consumption for each person will be unique.

Effects of Smoking

What happens?

Smoking can cause serious health problems and in many cases, lead to death. About 4,000 chemicals are present in cigarettes with hundreds being poisonous. This causes damage to just about every aspect of the human body ranging from the inner lining of blood vessels to the outer lining of the skin surface. Damage does not only involve vessels and organs, but also reduces the functioning of organs and reduces the entire body’s immune system.

Over 443,000 deaths per year or one death every 8 seconds or the death toll of two planes full of passengers involved in a head on collision per day. Anyway you want to look at it; people are constantly dying from smoking. Often tobacco users are in denial and believe, ‘that won’t happen to me’, but chances are that it is highly likely to occur. More deaths are due to tobacco than deaths due to HIV, alcohol, illegal drug usage, suicides, car accidents, and murders combined.

healthylung
Lung-of-smoker
Healthy Lung
Smoker’s Lung

 

What is in a cigarette?

Cigarettes contain hundreds of toxins that are harmful to the body. Some of the most dangerous toxins include:

  • Nicotine (addictive substance)
  • Tar (cancer causing substance)
  • Carbon monoxide (occupies the binding site oxygen normally takes)
  • Cyanide present in cigarette smoke (deadly poison and cancer causing substance)
  • Ammonia (cancer causing substance)
  • Benzene (causes bone marrow depression)

What are the health risks of smoking?

Cardiovascular System

The leading cause of death in the United States due to smoking is surprisingly not lung caner, its heart disease.

Smoking takes its toll on the heart by narrowing the vessels supplying and leaving the heart. Smoking promotes the acceleration of arterial hardening and narrowing and the risk of clot formation. Narrowing of the vessels supplying the heart can precipitate a heart attack.

Smoking can narrow the arteries supplying the brain. A decrease or obstruction in blood flow to the brain due to blood clot can cause stroke, paralysis, and possible dementia.

Smoking can weaken the lining of the aorta, which is the largest blood vessel in the body. High pressures are exerted from the large volume of blood within the aorta. With the effects of smoking weakening the aorta, it is more prone to the development of an aneurysm or bulge. An aneurysm due to vessel weakening, can lead to rupture and massive internal bleeding.

Narrowing of the peripheral arteries in the limbs cause pain while walking, cold extremities, ulcers, and in severe cases gangrene. Treatment of gangrene is by amputation of the affected part.

The kidneys control the body’s blood pressure system. Smoking can even cause a decrease in blood supply to the kidneys resulting in elevated blood pressure. High blood pressure further increases the risk of all the above.

 

Respiratory System

Smoking is the most common cause of lung cancer. Smoking represents 90% of all lung cancerCOPD-1 cases. If smoking were to be eliminated, lung cancer would become a rare disease.

Smoking also causes COPD which is a collective term for a group of conditions that restrict airflow and make breathing difficult. This is because smoking affects the function of the immune system and increases the risk of respiratory infections. Patients who are unable to breathe due to the effects of smoking are severely restricted even at rest. The quality of life is significantly reduced; therefore airways should be maintained and breathing should not be taken for granted.

Smoking can worsen asthma and counteract medications used for asthma by worsening the inflammation in the airways.

 

Cancer

Lung cancer

Lung cancer

Carcinogens (cancer causing agents) in tobacco smoke damages the important genes that control the growth of cells, causing them to grow abnormally or reproduce too rapidly, causing cancer.

Cigarette smoke does its damage by oxidative stress that mutates DNA, promoting the development of cancer and chronic inflammation.

Smoking not only causes cancer in the lung, but also causes cancer at many other sites.

Smoking causes the following cancers:

  • Cancer of the oral cavity
  • Cancer of the bladder
  • Cancer of the esophagus
  • Cancer of the kidneys
  • Cancer of the pancreas
  • Cancer of the cervix
  • Cancer of the larynx (voice box)
  • Cancer of the pharynx
  • Cancer of the stomach

Cancer cells have the tendency to spread and don’t always stay in one place. They may enter the lymphatic system (a network of nodes and vessels that help your body fight disease).

Cancer can also enter the bloodstream and spread to other parts of the body. When cancer spreads, the process is called metastasis. Lung cancer that spreads (metastasizes) often goes to the other lung or the liver, brain, or bones.

 

Reproductive System and Childhood

Smoking has an affect in reproduction. Smoking increases the risk of infertility in couples and erectile dysfunction in men.

Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a premature birth, stillbirth, or low birth weight babies. The nicotine mother’s smoke during pregnancy crosses the placenta, exposing the baby to nicotine. At birth, the baby will undergo the stress of the withdrawal effects from nicotine is at risk of sudden infant death syndrome. They may also suffer from learning and behavioral problems.

Children and adolescents mimic the actions of their parents. A child with a parent smoker is more likely to smoke than those without parent smokers.

 

Other Health Effects

Smoking affects the eye and increases the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. The blood vessels of the eye are sensitive to smoke and can result in red, itchy eyes.

Smoking stains the teeth and gums. The gums are more prone to inflammation and disease causing the teeth to fall out.

Smoking increases the body’s pH levels making the mucosa of the oral and digestive tract susceptible to ulceration.

Smoking causes the skin to lose its elasticity due a reduction of vitamin A levels resulting in wrinkles and pale skin.

 

Passive Smoking

The people around you whom are exposed to second hand smoke are at higher health risks than you. The smoke burned off from the cigarette is unfiltered and toxic. Smokers indirectly put a loved one or friend at risk.

Infants and children exposed to second hand smoke are more prone to respiratory infections, asthma, and death.

 

Environmental Effects

Smoking not only affects humans, but the environment as well. Cigarette butts are tossed everywhere. Most smokers toss their cigarette butts out the car window or on any public grounds. A single smoker will have multiple cigarettes a day or even packs a day. The number of cigarette butts combined from all smokers adds up. Cigarette butts are turning up everywhere. The poisonous substances from cigarettes are accumulating in the Earths soil and damaging the ecosystem. Animals are also being exposed to these toxins.

 

Why do people smoke?

Most smokers are aware of the health risks associated with smoking, yet they continue to smoke. Smoking is addictive just as cocaine or heroin is addictive.

When a smoker inhales smoke, nicotine reaches the brain within 10-20 seconds. Nicotine stimulates a chemical transmitter in the brain called dopamine which provides a feeling of pleasure. When the nicotine levels drop, cravings develop. This cycle can make a person addicted to nicotine

nicotine

Techniques to stop smoking:

The more education you have on the effects of smoking, the easier it will be to quit. Your health will start to improve the same day you decide to quit smoking, allowing the body to start the healing process. The arrest of smoking can add about 7 years to your lifespan, leading to a better quality of life. The earlier you quit the better. The quality of life will be poor in those who prolong smoking; therefore adding 7 years to your lifespan should be 7 healthy years.

Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your health, but it is a difficult task. When you are ready to stop smoking, you need to make a firm commitment. Challenges lie ahead, but the best was to overcome this is to fully believe you can quit and stay smoke-free.

A number of ways are available to assist you through the challenge, including:

  • Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) – products including nicotine gum, lozenge, skin patches, or nasal spray are available. These act by delivering nicotine to the body, but without the poisonous and carcinogenic chemicals from cigarettes. Although these are used as an aid for the cessation of smoking, you must gradually wean yourself off of the nicotine.
  • Bupropion (Zyban) – a medication used to help the cessation of smoking. This acts by inhibiting the reuptake of dopamine from the nerves.
  • Varenicline (Champix) – a medication used to help in the cessation of smoking. It acts by blocking the effects of nicotine on the brain.
  • Behavioral modification programs – these programs help people stop the habit of smoking by stopping the cycle that triggers the urge to smoke. This is achieved by substituting unpleasant associations with pleasant associations and removing smoking ‘triggers’. Common triggers include anger, frustration, stress, hunger, boredom, loneliness, drinking or socializing.
  • Alternative therapies– this includes acupuncture or hypnosis. Acupuncture is done by using the application of needles on pressure points to balance the flow of vital energy. Hypnosis is done by putting a person in a relaxed state of mind and suggesting them to quit smoking.
  • Yoga and meditation – this can strengthen the mind and body giving you the will and drive to stop smoking permanently. Keeping a positive attitude helps you conquer negative habits.

The truth is that most people require several attempts to quit, but you are not alone. Many support groups or partners are available to you. Getting help from others significantly increases the chances for successfully quitting. A partner can be a family member, friend, or other quitters. Whoever you decide should be fair, understanding, trustworthy, and firm. Having someone to call when a ‘craving’ occurs gives you a chance to calm down and let the craving pass while letting your focus change.

Smoking requires honesty to yourself and your partner. If you are not being honest with your partner and do not tell them of a slip up, you are not utilizing their help. Hiding your cravings and slip ups can lead to a complete relapse. Increase your odds of success by getting the support you need to quit smoking permanently.

Smoking policies are made to encourage you to quit. This is used to reduce cigarette usage, eliminate second hand smoke, and break social norms issuing the acceptability of smoking. Indoor smoking policies are made to enforce an inconvenience to smokers which further encourages you to quit. Help is provided for you to quit smoking in a number of ways. Besides, smoking costs the United States about $96 billion dollars per year in direct medical costs.

Take action by throwing away all cigarettes from your home, car, or any other place you store them.no_smoking_sign_clip_art_23316 Throw away matches, lighters, and ash trays from your settings. Keep smoking aids such as gums or patches with you at all time. When a craving or trigger occurs, try and keep your hands busy with something like filing your nails or by going out and exercising.

Tobacco is the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States.