Category Archives: coronary disease

The most important meal of the day

FoodFacts.com knows that everyone in our community has heard their parents, grandparents and caregivers repeat any number of statements regarding their eating habits when they were children. You remember them … “Eat your vegetables, they’re good for you,” “Drink your milk so you have strong bones,” “Eat your carrots, they’re good for your eyesight,” and “You have to eat breakfast, it’s the most important meal of the day.” Turns out they were absolutely right and we repeat those statements to our own children today.

Now there’s new information that provides more insight into why breakfast really is the most important meal of the day – and it has to do with more than giving us the energy we need to get through the morning thinking clearly and performing at our best.
Research from the Harvard School of Public Health has just been published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation. The results found an association between skipping breakfast and a higher risk of heart attack and coronary heart disease.

For their study the researchers analyzed food frequency questionnaires completed by 26,902 male health professionals aged between 45 and 82 years and tracked their health for 16 years from 1992 to 2008. The men were free of heart disease and cancer at the start of the study.

Over the follow-up, 1,572 men experienced non-fatal heart attacks or died of coronary heart disease. When they analyzed the data the researchers found men who said they did not have breakfast had a 27% higher risk of heart attack or death from coronary heart disease than men who said they ate breakfast. The men who said they skipped breakfast tended to be younger, single, smokers, who worked full time, did not do much exercise and drank more alcohol.

Researchers noted that the results suggest that eating habits may affect risk of coronary heart disease through pathways associated with traditional risk factors.

The study reinforces previous research and sends a message to make sure we don’t skip breakfast. Eating a healthy meal at the beginning of the day is linked to a lower risk of heart attacks.

FoodFacts.com knows that there are so many great ideas for a healthy breakfast from whole grain toast, to oatmeal to a good quality granola or organic cold cereal. We can add nuts, berries, bananas, peaches …or any other fruit. Breakfast is an easy meal to keep interesting and flavorful, without unhealthy ingredients. So let’s get creative for ourselves and our kids! And the next time we tell them that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, we won’t just be helping them stay focused in school, we’ll be helping develop a habit that will help to keep their hearts healthy throughout their lives!

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263775.php

For women, low-fat and non-fat dairy may be linked to developing coronary heart disease

FoodFacts.com has always been a proponent of consuming real foods. After the years we’ve spent developing our comprehensive database, it has become very apparent that low-fat, non-fat products can also contain the controversial ingredients we encourage our community to avoid. Manufacturers tend to make up for the reduction in fats with food additives that help them to mimic the tastes and textures of the original full-fat versions of these foods. Now, there appears to be another reason we should be avoiding low-fat or no-fat dairy products, especially if we’re female.

A new study out of the University of California in San Diego has illustrated the possibility that consuming low-fat or no fat dairy … like low-fat cheese or skim milk may increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease.

It was found that women who consume low-fat cheese (sometimes or often) were at a 132% increased risk for developing CHD (coronary heart disease) and a 48% increased risk if they consumed non-fat milk (either sometimes or often). This is when compared to those women who rarely or never consumed either food.

The research collected data from over 700 men and 1,000 women in a community of older adults. These participants were followed for about 16 years and tracked for fatal and non-fatal coronary heart disease. Those participants who developed CHD were more likely to be older men with a higher body mass index and total cholesterol level than those without the disease.

However, for the women studied, there was an association between the consumption of low-fat and no-fat dairy products and their risk for CHD. In fact, even after the researchers adjusted for age, BMI and cholesterol, the link was still apparent. The higher the consumption of low-fat cheese and non-fat milk among these women, the higher their risk for coronary heart disease.

The researchers noted that CHD is a preventable disease. In fact, patients who consume a plant-based diet after diagnosis have been known to either reverse the disease or stop its progression.

FoodFacts.com understands that real foods that exclude those labeled low-fat, non-fat, light, sugar-free are healthier options for the population. Actually processed foods that don’t carry those terms need to have their ingredient lists closely scanned as well. But with the information carried in this study, there are new reasons to carefully consider the consumption of low-fat/no-fat dairy products for these very specific, very important reasons.

http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Nutrition/Food/dairy_products_coronary_heart_disease_0105130445.html

Belly fat might be worse for your heart than obesity

FoodFacts.com is well aware that, especially, as we age, we may develop an unfortunate situation around our mid-sections. You know what that’s like … suddenly the weight that you gain seems to gather in one specific area, affectionately known as your belly. Some of us appear to be more prone to this than others. But one thing is becoming very clear. Even if you aren’t overweight, that excess belly fat can be a precursor to heart disease and other serious health problems.

New research has been released that links belly fat in a person of normal body weight with more than a 50% likelihood of dying earlier than obese persons. Research presented in Munich this last week at a European Society of Cardiology meeting explored data from 12,785 Americans who had been followed for about 14 years in a large CDC study. Information was studied on both BMI (the measure of how fat you are in relationship to how tall you are) as well as WHR or the circumference of your belly in relationship to your hips.

Participants were split into three BMI categories … normal, overweight, and obese. Ina ddition they were divided into two categories of WHR (normal or high).

At the end of the 14-year study period, over 2500 people had passed away. Among those who had died, it was found that the people with a normal BMI but a high WHR had the greatest mortality rate of the subgroups studied. And even more importantly, that same group had a higher death rate than obese study participants. It appears that belly fat is actually different than other kinds of fat. It is composed of visceral fat cells that are more likely to promote insulin-resistance. In addition, the placement of those cells in the mid-section can cause inflammation as well.

It appears that this research is considered controversial because it analyzes not only the risks of heart disease from belly fat, but also death. It is felt that the study needs to be replicated before any conclusions can be drawn.

Advice in the meantime remains consistent with healthy eating concepts. Watch your diet: concentrate on adding more vegetables, fruits and whole grains, eliminate trans fat, reduce overall fat intake and improve the quality of the fats in your diet. And, please don’t leave exercise out of your health equation. It’s the same advice FoodFacts.com has been standing behind for years.

Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/08/30/can-love-handles-kill-why-having-a-paunch-may-be-worse-than-being-obese/#ixzz254er4DZa

More incriminating information on BPA

FoodFacts.com is always looking for information for our community regarding controversial food ingredients, but we also keep a close eye out for information on anything controversial affecting our food supply. There’s some new information on BPS that deserves your attention.

Bisphenol-A is a chemical used to make plastics and can lining. It has long raised health concerns in regards to its use in food applications. It’s controversial because it exerts detectable hormone-like properties. BPA is actually a weak endocrine disruptor. It mimics estrogen and has been linked to neurological difficulties in connection with prenatal exposure. Problems with BPA have also been linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, as well as reproductive and thyroid issues. Canada is the first nation to declare BPA a toxic substance. And recently Europe and the United States have banned its use in baby bottles and sippy cups.

As if the problems BPA is already linked to weren’t enough, we now have a brand new study suggesting that BPA can increase the risk for coronary artery disease. The Metabonomics and Genomics in Coronary Artery Disease study researched the levels of BPA in 951 people suspected of having severe coronary artery disease or a narrowing of the arteries around the heart. They found that BPS levels were higher in those who were actually diagnosed with the disease.

The study’s participants were referred by their doctors to specialists because they exhibited symptoms for coronary artery disease. BPA levels are tested by a simple urine test. Since the chemical is processed quickly by the body, if a person hasn’t been exposed to BPA in a few consecutive days, the urine will be clear of BPA.

Of the 591 people studied, the 385 people diagnosed with severe coronary artery disease had notably higher BPA levels than the participants who did not receive the diagnosis. There were 86 participants who developed coronary artery disease while having no BPA exposure.

While more research is needed, this information is important enough for consumers to limit their use of canned foods, foods packaged in plastics and beverages in plastic bottles. And while the U.S. has banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, young children are still prone to exposure (think plastic water bottles).

FoodFacts.com encourages our community members to be aware of the dangers of BPA and the possible sources of exposure. Keep yourselves and your families safe from this chemical that continually exhibits dangerous effects.  Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/08/16/bpa-may-boost-artery-disease-risk/#ixzz242ieYd9Q

Plant-based diets and their affect on coronary heart disease

FoodFacts.com wanted to share this important information regarding coronary heart disease with our community. This new information may have an impact on the dietary habits of you, your family or friends.

While we’ve always known that risk for coronary disease is impacted by one’s diet, and that a plant-based diet can, in fact, stop the disease from progressing or even actually reverse it, a new article is suggesting that fats in your diet play a large part in your risk of ever developing it.

W.C. Willet (Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health) has written an article linking consumption of fats to coronary heart disease risk. In publishing his report, Dr. Willett reviewed 95 various studies. What he found might help us understand how each type of dietary fat influences the development of coronary heart disease.

The findings state that trans fats are clearly related to the risk of coronary heart disease and should be completely eliminated from our diets. Noted is the presence of partially hydrogenated oils in so many food products. Also noted is the fact that both beef and dairy products contain natural trans fats.

Moving on to saturated fats, his findings indicate that consumption should be reduced and most optimally replaced by polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. In addition replacing saturated fats with specific carbohydrates (that do not contain added sugars) will reduce coronary heart disease risk even further.

While Dr. Willett also specifies that it may be important to achieve a low ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. While both of these are important to reduce the risk of heart disease, it is felt that Americans have a high intake of omega-6 from vegetables. He cites both corn and soybean oil as undesirable because they contain high levels of omega-6.

What he’s concluding is that by reducing red meat and dairy while increasing nuts, fish and better vegetable oils, we can improve our intake of the fatty acids that protect us from heart disease. But he goes further stating that diets emphasizing fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low in refined starches, sugars and salt will do the most to reduce the possibility of developing heart disease. In other words, a plant-based diet is the way to go to ward off this disease.

FoodFacts.com wants you to have the information you need to make the best decisions for yourself and your family when it comes to dietary choices. Read more here: http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Nutrition/Diet/dietary_fat_and_coronary_heart_disease_0815120714.html