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Tag: Heart Disease

Optimism is associated with reduced risk of death due to all causes, as well as fewer cardiovascular events

Ashley Lyles at MedPage Today writes »

“The findings suggest that a mindset of optimism is associated with lower cardiovascular risk and that promotion of optimism and reduction in pessimism may be important for preventive health,” the authors wrote.

These findings are consistent with a growing and large literature showing that optimism in particular, and psychological well-being in general, have an independent association with cardiovascular and overall health outcomes, wrote Jeff Huffman, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, in an accompanying editorial.

Read more »

More » Reuters

Canada’s ban on trans fats in food goes into effect

It’s now illegal for manufacturers to add trans fats to any food made or imported into the Canada. Trans fats are known to increase “bad” cholesterol, in turn raising the risk of heart disease.

Canada’s ban on the main source of artificial trans fats came into effect Monday, making it illegal for manufacturers to use the additive in any food made or imported into the country, as well as in any meals prepared in restaurants.

The ban takes aim at partially hydrogenated oils, or PHOs, which are the main source of industrially produced trans fats in all foods sold in Canada. The new regulation applies only to PHOs, not naturally occurring trans fats, which can be found in some animal-based foods such as milk, cheese, beef and lamb.

Trans fats have been used for the last century to add taste and texture to food as a replacement for butter. They also extend the shelf life of many foods, including commercial baked goods like cookies, pastries, donuts and muffins, snack foods and fried foods.

Read more in the Globe and Mail, CBC

Low carb diets are linked to premature death

Yet another study is showing low carbohydrate diets, such as the fashionable paleo and keto variety, may be dangerous and could lead to increased risk of dying of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

A healthy and balanced diet includes foods such as fruits, vegetables, bread, pasta, and potatoes.

Popular weight loss diets, that some may view as beneficial in the short-term, may come with a hefty long-term price tag.

“One thing is sure,” Dr Maciej Banach, professor of medicine at Medical University of Lodz, Poland, told Newsweek: “we should avoid [low carbohydrate diets].”

Banach explained low carbohydrate diets have been regarded as beneficial for our health in the past, but based on his team’s research it is now “clear” that is not true. And even though such regimes aid weight loss, the public should be “very careful” when following very restrictive diets, particularly those that feature no carbohydrates for long periods of time. Continue reading

American adults keep getting fatter

Matt Richtel and Andrew Jacobs, The New York Times:

The latest data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey comes at a time when the food industry is pushing back against stronger public health measures aimed at combating obesity.

In recent NAFTA negotiations, the Trump administration has proposed rules favored by major food companies that would limit the ability of the United States, Mexico and Canada to require prominent labels on packaged foods warning about the health risks of foods high in sugar and fat.

While the latest survey data doesn’t explain why Americans continue to get heavier, nutritionists and other experts cite lifestyle, genetics, and, most importantly, a poor diet as factors. Fast food sales in the United States rose 22.7 percent from 2012 to 2017, according to Euromonitor, while packaged food sales rose 8.8 percent.

Just how bad is all that sugar for your heart?

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By Scott Lear, Simon Fraser University

Still nibbling Valentine’s Day goodies? Munching packaged cereals, pancakes or muffins for breakfast? Enjoying a lunch of processed meats and bread, sweetened pasta sauce, or even a salad drenched in dressing?

Sugar makes all of these foods delicious. It is also an important energy source for our bodies. It’s what we use when we’re doing vigorous activities and it’s the primary source of fuel for our brain. We need it.

The problem is, many of us eat far too much sugar. And we eat it in its simplest, processed form.

This excess of sugar in our diets increases the risks of health conditions such as obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood cholesterol and hypertension.

It also significantly increases the risks of premature death from heart disease.

How our body digests sugar

Our bodies are designed to digest sugar in its naturally occurring form found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. In these foods simple sugar molecules are joined together in a chain.

Continue reading

What does the research say about turmeric’s health benefits?

James Bullen, Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

It’s not the spice itself that’s key, rather it’s an active compound within turmeric called curcumin. Research has found that curcumin has some anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

“Curcumin is a very powerful anti-inflammatory agent,” said Professor Manohar Garg, director of the nutraceuticals research program at the University of Newcastle.

Because inflammation is linked to a range of chronic conditions and diseases, among them arthritis, Alzheimer’s and heart disease, researchers argue curcumin could help reduce the risk of those diseases by limiting inflammation in the body.

“It’s very powerful, the most powerful food I know of, for fighting inflammation in the body,” Professor Garg said.

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Loud Noise Exposure Is Linked to Heart Disease

Amanda MacMillan, Time Magazine:

A connection between noise pollution and cardiovascular disease has been observed in numerous studies over the years, the authors of the new review said. High decibel levels from road traffic and airplanes, for example, has been linked to high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, stroke and heart failure — even after controlling for other factors like air pollution and socioeconomic status.

But despite this growing body of evidence, not much is known about how, exactly, noise pollution might contribute to heart problems. In an attempt to shed some light on that question, researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany compiled and analyzed findings from dozens of previous studies on noise and various health outcomes.

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