ALWAYS MONITORE YOUR TRIGLYCERIDES!

Triglycerides are an important measure of heart health. Here’s why triglycerides matter — and what to do if your triglycerides are too high.
If you’ve been keeping an eye on your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, there’s something else you might need to monitor: your triglycerides.
Having a high level of triglycerides, a type of fat (lipid) in your blood, can increase your risk of heart disease. However, the same lifestyle choices that promote overall health can help lower your triglycerides, too.
What are triglycerides?
Triglycerides are a type of fat (lipid) found in your blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn’t need to use right away into triglycerides. The triglycerides are stored in your fat cells. Later, hormones release triglycerides for energy between meals. If you regularly eat more calories than you burn, particularly “easy” calories like carbohydrates and fats, you may have high triglycerides (hypertriglyceridemia).







What’s considered normal?
A simple blood test can reveal whether your triglycerides fall into a healthy range.
-Normal — Less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), or less than 1.7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L)
-Borderline high — 150 to 199 mg/dL (1.8 to 2.2 mmol/L)
-High — 200 to 499 mg/dL (2.3 to 5.6 mmol/L)
-Very high — 500 mg/dL or above (5.7 mmol/L or above)
Your doctor will usually check for high triglycerides as part of a cholesterol test (sometimes called a lipid panel or lipid profile). You’ll have to fast for nine to 12 hours before blood can be drawn for an accurate triglyceride measurement.

IMPROVE YOUR BLOOD CIRCULATION NOW!

If your arms and legs are constantly cold, cramped or numb, it may be a sign that you have poor blood circulation. When the blood doesn’t flow well through your body, it invites a host of health problems including heart attack, angina and stroke. There are many ways to increase blood flow — exercise, diet, medication and surgery — but before you try to help your heart do its job, it’s important to talk to your doctor to plan the best way for you.
Consider your lifestyle. You may have an increased risk of poor circulation if you smoke, if you have a family history of heart problems, if you have a sedentary (inactive) lifestyle, or if your diet is high in things like saturated fat and cholesterol.
See your doctor. If you believe you have poor circulation, your doctor can diagnose it by performing a basic physical exam, running blood tests or conducting an angiography. This is a test where the doctor injects dye into your blood vessels, then uses X-ray imaging to track your blood flow.
Follow the doctor’s orders. There are many causes of poor blood flow, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and blood clots. Your doctor may write you a prescription depending on the cause, or recommend surgery. If you have a blocked blood vessel, your doctor may eliminate it with a tiny balloon (angioplasty) or create a detour around it using a blood vessel from another part of your body (bypass surgery).






EGGS DO NOT CAUSE HEART DISEASE!

Nutrition professionals have an excellent track record of demonizing healthy foods.
Red meat, cheese, coconut oil… to name a few. But the #1 worst example is their decades of propaganda against eggs, which are among the healthiest foods on the planet.

Eggs do NOT Cause Heart Disease
Historically, eggs have been considered unhealthy because they contain cholesterol.
A large egg contains 212mg of cholesterol, which is a lot compared to most other foods.
However, it has been proven, time and time again, that eggs and dietary cholesterol do NOT adversely affect cholesterol levels in the blood.
In fact, eggs raise HDL (the good) cholesterol. They also change LDL cholesterol from small, dense LDL (which is bad) to large LDL, which is benign.
A new meta-analysis published in 2013 looked at 17 prospective studies on egg consumption and health. They discovered that eggs had no association with either heart disease or stroke in otherwise healthy people.
This isn’t new data. Multiple older studies have led to the same conclusion.
Bottom Line: Despite the fear mongering of the past few decades, eating eggs and cholesterol has no association whatsoever with heart disease.






BE VERY AWARE OF CARNITINE!

Doctors have long assumed that saturated fat and cholesterol in red meat are what raise the risk of heart disease. But a study in the journal Nature Medicine fingers another culprit: carnitine, a compound abundant in red meat that also is sold as a dietary supplement and found in some energy drinks.
Carnitine typically helps the body transport fatty acids into cells to be used as energy. But researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that in both humans and mice, certain bacteria in the digestive tract convert carnitine to another metabolite, called TMAO, that promotes atherosclerosis, or a thickening of the arteries.
The researchers, led by Stanley Hazen, chief of cellular and molecular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, tested the carnitine and TMAO levels of omnivores, vegans and vegetarians, and examined records of 2,595 patients undergoing cardiac evaluations. In patients with high TMAO levels, the more carnitine in their blood, the more likely they were to develop cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke and death.
Many studies have linked consumption of red and processed meat to cardiovascular disease and some cancers. The Harvard School of Public Health reported last year that among 83,000 nurses and 37,000 male health professionals followed since the 1980s, those who consumed the highest levels of red meat had the highest risk of death during the study, and that one additional serving a day of red meat raised the risk of death by 13 percent.
The new findings don’t mean that red meat is more hazardous than previously thought. But they may help explain the underlying risk of eating red meat, which some researchers have long thought was higher than the saturated fat and cholesterol content alone could explain.






THE TRUTH ABOUT CHOLESTEROL AND EGGS

Chicken eggs are high in cholesterol, and a diet high in cholesterol can contribute to high blood cholesterol levels. However, how much the cholesterol in your diet can increase your blood cholesterol varies from person to person. Although eating too many eggs can increase your cholesterol, eating four egg yolks or fewer on a weekly basis hasn’t been found to increase your risk of heart disease.
When deciding whether to include eggs in your diet, consider the recommended daily limits on cholesterol in your food:
-If you are healthy, it’s recommended that you limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams (mg) a day.
-If you have cardiovascular disease, diabetes or a high low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) blood cholesterol level, you should limit your dietary cholesterol to less than 200 mg a day.
One large egg has about 186 mg of cholesterol — all of which is found in the yolk. Therefore, if you eat an egg on a given day, it’s important to limit other sources of cholesterol for the rest of that day. Consider substituting servings of vegetables for servings of meat, or avoid high-fat dairy products for that day.
If you like eggs but don’t want the extra cholesterol, use only the egg whites. Egg whites contain no cholesterol. You may also use cholesterol-free egg substitutes, which are made with egg whites.






FOODS TO FIGHT CHOLESTEROL

Foods that fight cholesterol often have high amounts of dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Most of these nutrients can be found in fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, which should already be included in your daily diet. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is called “good cholesterol” because it removes excess cholesterol from your arteries and sends it to your liver for disposal. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), you should consume four to five servings of vegetables and fruits daily to maintain your cholesterol HDL level.
Dietary Fiber
Dietary fiber consists of two different types of fiber: insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber promotes movement in your intestines, relieving constipation and other bowel disorders. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can find insoluble fiber in wheat bran, whole-wheat flour, dark and leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds. Soluble fiber breaks down in water and changes into a gel, which helps lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad cholesterol.” Soluble fibers take longer to digest, which makes you feel full longer, therefore causing you to eat less. You can find this nutrient in oranges, apples, barley, oatmeal, carrots and legumes.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart due to their cholesterol-lowering qualities. According to “Controlling Cholesterol for Dummies,” these polyunsaturated fatty acids prevent triglycerides, chemical forms of fat, from converting excess calories into fat by lowering triglyceride levels in your body. Omega-3 fatty acids are also high in HDL. You can find Omega-3 fatty acids in fish, especially salmon, albacore tuna, herring and trout.
Monounsaturated Fats
Whole milk, red meat, eggs, butter and some margarines contain saturated fats and trans fats. Monounsaturated fat, meanwhile, is unsaturated fat that does not increase your LDL. In fact, according to the AHA, monounsaturated fat may lower your cholesterol when used as a replacement for saturated fat and trans fat. You can find monounsaturated fat in fish, nuts and vegetable oils, but limit consumption to 25 to 35 percent of your caloric intake.






NEW DISCOVERY TO REDUCE CHOLESTEROL

Cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death globally. And one of the major culprits involved — in arteriosclerosis, for example — is cholesterol. There is therefore a considerable need for an effective method of treatment against increased cholesterol. Now, Danish researchers have made a discovery that may change how it is treated.
The researchers have identified a new so-called receptor system, located in all the cells in the body. The receptor, which is called sortilin, has a decisive influence on the protein PCSK9, which is of great importance for the body’s ability to deal with the harmful LDL cholesterol.
New strategy for cholesterol treatment
Ten years ago it was discovered that the level of LDL cholesterol fell if you inhibited PCSK9. PCSK9-inhibiting drugs have since become the new hope within cholesterol treatment and the first products will probably be approved this year. The discovery is one of the biggest biomedical success stories in recent times, as it is normally takes 20 years before basic research can be converted into a product. The high pace and great focus on the effect has, however, meant that only a few people have conducted research into how the body itself regulates PCSK9.
Possible alternative to statins
The positive effect of inhibiting sortilin has been demonstrated in mice and studies in humans suggest that the same correlation is present here. The next step is now larger studies on humans. The hope is that the discovery can be used to develop medicine that can act as an alternative to statins, which are the most widely used cholesterol-reducing medication. Particularly because not everyone can either tolerate or benefit from statins.






COMPLICATIONS OF OBESITY

Obesity occurs when you eat and drink more calories than you burn through exercise and normal daily activities. Your body stores these extra calories as fat.
If you’re obese, you’re more likely to develop a number of potentially serious health problems, including:
-High cholesterol and triglycerides
-Type 2 diabetes
-High blood pressure
-Metabolic syndrome — a combination of high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high triglycerides and high cholesterol
-Heart disease
-Stroke
-Cancer, including cancer of the uterus, cervix, ovaries, breast, colon, rectum and prostate
-Sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts
-Depression
-Gallbladder disease
-Gynecologic problems, such as infertility and irregular periods
Erectile dysfunction and sexual health issues, due to deposits of fat blocking or narrowing the arteries to the genitals
-Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a condition in which fat builds up in the liver and can cause inflammation or scarring
-Osteoarthritis
-Skin problems, such as poor wound healing.
When you’re obese, your overall quality of life may be lower, too. You may not be able to do things you’d normally enjoy as easily as you’d like. You may have trouble participating in family activities. You may avoid public places. You may even encounter discrimination.






CHOLESTEROL AND STATINS

Statins are a family of medications that lower cholesterol. Even more important, they lower the chances of having a heart attack or stroke. Statins include atorvastatin (generic, Lipitor), fluvastatin (generic, Lescol), lovastatin (generic, Mevacor), pitavastatin (Livalo), pravastatin (generic, Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor), and simvastatin (generic, Zocor). The new guidelines recommend a statin for:
-anyone who has cardiovascular disease, including angina (chest pain with exercise or stress), a previous heart attack or stroke, or other related conditions
-anyone with a very high level of harmful LDL cholesterol (generally an LDL above greater than 190 milligrams per deciliter of blood [mg/dL])
-anyone with diabetes between the ages of 40 and 75 years
-anyone with a greater than 7.5% chance of having a heart attack or stroke or developing other form of cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years.
How is this different from the previous guidelines? They recommended specific cholesterol targets for treatment. For example, people with heart disease were urged to get their LDL cholesterol down to 70 mg/dL. The new guidelines essentially remove the targets and recommend basing treatment decisions on a person’s heart risk profile.
In other words, anyone at high enough risk who stands to benefit from a statin should be taking one. It doesn’t matter so much what his or her actual cholesterol level is to begin with. And there’s no proof that an LDL cholesterol of 70 mg/dL is better than 80 or 90 mg/dL. What’s important is taking the right dose based on heart attack and stroke risk.






Cholesterol and Fatty Livers

Although fatty liver can be caused by regularly drinking too many alcoholic beverages, the high prevalence of fatty liver in modern society is unrelated to alcohol consumption, and it can progress to a metabolic disorder called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, or NAFLD. Fatty liver is an excessive accumulation of triglycerides and cholesterol in your liver. The amount of cholesterol in your diet has very little bearing on the development of fatty liver, but a fatty liver can raise the triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in your blood.
Estimates indicate that 20 to 30 percent of the adult population in the United States may have a fatty liver or NAFLD. The disorder can begin to develop in early childhood. If you have Type 2 diabetes, there is a 50 percent chance that you have too much fat in your liver, and if you are overweight with excess fat around your waist, your likelihood of having fatty liver is 75 percent. The best way to detect fatty liver is through a liver biopsy.
Fatty liver is often associated with excess belly fat, also called abdominal fat. Triglycerides in your abdominal fatty tissues can be recycled to your liver and contribute to fat content.
People with fatty liver usually have high blood triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and elevated levels of small, dense LDLs and LDL cholesterol. Too much liver fat and this type of blood lipid profile is strongly associated with Type 2 diabetes, and it is a feature of insulin resistance.