Daily Archives: June 4, 2017
Lower Cholesterol With Food, Not Drugs
Do you or someone you love have high cholesterol? You are not alone. It is estimated that half of all adults in the United States have high total cholesterol and more than 25 percent have high LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol1 . I urge anyone who has been troubled by the news that their cholesterol is high to stop focusing on a number. Your cholesterol level is only one of many risk factors for heart disease. If you are truly concerned about cardiovascular disease, here’s what should be drawing your attention:
Achieving a normal body fat percentage
Achieving a normal blood pressure without the use of medication
Achieving a normal blood glucose without medication
Achieving a favorable cholesterol level without medication
Engage in aerobic exercise and strength training
The most dramatic protection from heart disease results from maintaining a normal weight, cholesterol and blood pressure with diet and exercise, so that you do not require medications. Medications cannot produce comparable results.
Your First Course of Action
Being well means removing risk factors for heart disease. Since diet is usually the cause of heart disease,2, 3 taking a drug will do little to stop the progression of the disease as long as a patient’s diet – the cause of the disease – remains the same..
If you have elevated cholesterol, dietary and lifestyle modifications should be your first course of action. For most people who commit to change their unhealthy habits, medication will prove unnecessary. Fuel your body with nutrients by eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and gradually increase your exercise tolerance.
In my medical practice, I have coached thousands of patients to successfully lower their cholesterol through a Nutritarian diet. People drop their blood pressure, lower their blood glucose, lower their weight and improve their exercise tolerance.
Dramatic Change with Diet, Not Pills
In a 2001 study, a high-fiber, high nutrient diet focusing on vegetables, fruit and nuts was found to reduce cholesterol by 33 percent within two weeks.4 A 2015 study surveying participants who followed the same nutrient-dense, plant rich diet reported an average 42 mg/dl decrease in LDL cholesterol in those with at least 80 percent adherence to that diet. In addition, those who started out obese lost an average of 50 pounds for the entire three year period. Those who started with hypertension reduced their systolic blood pressure by an average of 26 mm Hg Case studies accompanied this data, and documenting reversal of atherosclerosis and resolution of heart problems.5 Previous studies on similar diet and lifestyle changes have been shown to cause regression of atherosclerotic heart disease.6, 7 Living healthfully produces such dramatic changes because it doesn’t address just one risk factor; it makes your entire body healthier. It is for those who want real protection, without the side effects of drugs.
Unlike taking a cholesterol lowering statin drug while continuing a disease-causing style of eating, a and lifestyle does more than address one or two heart disease risk factors. You don’t just lower your cholesterol, you become more resistant to diabetes and cancer, and improve your immune function.
Achieve Overall Protection
No medication can cover up a poor diet, and no single medication can significantly reduce multiple risk factors. Unlike drugs, the Nutritarian diet does significantly reduce multiple risk factors, including lowering body weight and blood pressure, reducing intravascular inflammation, and benefiting intravascular elasticity. A superior diet delivers benefits that protect overall, and almost immediately. For patients fighting cardiovascular disease, a diet of can offer many benefits in addition to cholesterol- lowering:
Lower blood pressure8-16
Lower intravascular inflammation17-21
Lower blood glucose and triglyceride levels22
Lower inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein
and white blood cell count23-30
Increased tissue antioxidant content31
Improved exercise tolerance and oxygen efficiency16
Larger LDL particle size (smaller particles are more heart disease-promoting) and and lower particle number Prevents LDL from becoming oxidized, (a more damaging form of cholesterol)32-34
The Side Effects are Side Benefits
Prescribing statins is counterproductive. Encouraging a patient to take a statin drug downplays the urgency needed for lifestyle and dietary changes. Changes that I know would drastically improve the health, life expectancy and quality of life of dangerously unhealthy individuals. I always say a prescription pad is like a permission slip. You can choose to remove the cause or treat the symptom; treating the symptom with drugs does not reverse heart disease and carries the risk of significant adverse effects. Almost all of my patients prefer a more effective approach, one that not only reduces cholesterol and restores the health of arteries but also reduces blood pressure and reverses heart disease much more effectively than any medication.
My new book, The End of Heart Disease (April 2016) explains the risk of drugs and medical procedures and details the most effective way to protect your heart and your life.
Health and Wellness Associates
Archived : Dr Joel Fuhrman
Signs of Emotional Abuse
Are You in an Emotionally Abusive Relationship?
Signs of Abuse
Do you feel like you have to “walk on eggshells” around your partner? Are you afraid a lot of the time in your relationship? Is your self esteem being slowly eroded? It’s possible you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship.
Emotional abuse can sometimes be a tricky thing to identify for those in the situation because often the abuser employs tactics that make the other person feel like they’re going crazy. Abusive people will dominate conversations so that the other has little time to decide if the behavior is harmful. There’s often a pervasive sense of being off balance for the person being emotionally abused. They start to question their own thinking and eventually believe that they must have it wrong and in fact, they’re the bad ones for daring to believe such a thing about the abuser! We call this “crazy-making” because that’s precisely the impact it has on the receiver.
In my own practice I’ve seen couples come in where it’s pretty obvious this is going on. I’ve seen men and women in emotionally abusive dynamics with their partners. I’ve witnessed people literally verbally “shut down” their partner – and the other one shrink away right before my eyes. Part of the problem for people who are being emotionally abused is they often don’t realize it. They’re self confidence has been whittled down to a nub.
Could you be in an emotionally abusive relationship? Ask yourself the following five questions – which are also signs you might be in an emotionally abusive relationship:
1) Does your partner frequently criticize or humiliate you?
2) Does your partner isolate you from your family and friends?
3) Has your partner ever limited or controlled your access to money?
4) Do you feel trapped in your relationship?
5) Are you afraid of your partner?
The Cycle of Abuse
Another important aspect of this dynamic is what Dr. Lenore Walker originally coined as the “cycle of abuse.” Essentially, there’s usually a kind of repetitive looping that goes on that consists of four phases:
1) Tension Building: The receiver gets the sense that the abuser is upset and takes active steps to placate him/her.
2) Incident: Verbal or emotional abuse occurs – consisting of threats, humiliation, blaming, intimidation, etc.
3) Reconciliation: Abuser apologizes, minimizes the abuse, blames the receiver, denies it occurred, etc.
4) Calm: No abuse taking place, often called the “honeymoon phase.”
This cycle has the effect of eventually breaking the person down emotionally. It can happen quickly for some – and take years for others.
Final Thoughts on Emotional Abuse
There are many reasons why abusers and their victims get caught up in this damaging dance. The issues can almost always be traced back to the family of origin for both people. Abusers often had chaotic childhoods with a perception of little control – and deep down they fear abandonment. Sometimes they witnessed their parents engaged in it. The same applies to victims – part of their life story can be around “learned helplessness” for a variety of reasons. They may have a history of being in abusive relationships – or they might have witnessed their parents caught up in the same cycle. Regardless of how people get there – they can get out – and learn how to have healthy, loving relationships.
If you’re in an emotionally abusive relationship, make sure to take steps to protect yourself if you have the intention to leave. Have a safety plan intact and increase your support network. If you suspect your partner has the capability to become physically violent and you fear for your safety call 911.
Health and Wellness Associates
Archived : Jay Jaranson
Lisa Brookes Kift, MFT
How Pomegranate Helps Clean Your Arteries
Arteries are responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. When you have healthy arteries, blood flows through the body quite easily. As you age, fatty deposits, cholesterol and cellular waste products settle on the inner walls of your arteries. Research shows that pomegranate can actually help clean your arteries helping to keep blood flowing smoothly.
When arteries become clogged, the build up of arterial plaque can significantly reduce blood flow, and in some instances, arteries can become completely blocked. Since clogged arteries can increase your risk of stroke, heart attack and even death, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to reduce arterial plaque and do what you can to clean your arteries.
The Artery Cleaning Power of Pomegranate Juice
Making simple lifestyle changes are an excellent way to treat and prevent clogged arteries. This includes a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables, but are some fruits and vegetables more helpful than others?
Pomegranates are extremely rich in antioxidants, including polyphenols, anthocyanins and tannins. Compared to other fruit juices, such as blueberry, orange and cranberry, pomegranate juice has the most antioxidant power. It is these high levels of antioxidants found in pomegranates that help clean clogged arteries.
Can Pomegranates Actually Reverse Atherosclerosis?
Promising research conducted on the benefits of pomegranate juice has found that
pomegranates can prevent clogged arteries and may even reverse the progression of atherosclerosis. Specifically, researchers have found that pomegranates encourage the production of nitric oxide, which is an essential chemical that promotes healthy blood flow and keeps the arteries open. This is helpful in reducing the effects of oxidative stress on blood vessels. Perhaps the most exciting finding from this research is the ability of pomegranates to reduce plaque accumulations that have already built up in the blood vessels.
Additional research has also found that drinking pomegranate juice had a significant effect on arterial plaque. Researchers instructed participants to drink pomegranate juice on a daily basis. Within three months, plaque accumulations were reduced by 13 percent. After one year, arterial plaque was reduced by 30 percent. Plaque accumulation actually increased by nine percent within the group of people who were not drinking pomegranate juice on a daily basis.
In addition to healthier arteries with less plaque accumulation, pomegranate juice has other positive effects on the heart, including reduced fat accumulation around the heart, reduced inflammation within the blood vessels, less oxidative stress and improved ECG results. Given the dangers of cardiovascular disease and clogged arteries, the results of this research are certainly promising. With the help of this exotic fruit, it is possible to clean your arteries and greatly reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Health and Wellness Associates
Archived : Jay Jaranson