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Today in America, heart disease is still the leading killer among the big three (heart disease, diabetes and cancer). Many factors increase the risk of heart disease, namely diet and lifestyle. Lifestyle encompassing many facets of daily life including rest, stress management, sleep, social connections, personal relationships, and more.
The worst foods for our heart and blood vessels are those that are concentrated with unhealthy fats and refined carbohydrates. So, I’ve included a list of some of the worst at the end of this article. Worst, because they drive inflammation, homocysteine, and heart failure.
There has long been a ‘sense’ that there may be “something else” contributing to heart disease. Today we know that Homocysteine is that “something else”.
Homocysteine is an amino acid in the blood (plasma) and is related to a higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Additional evidence suggests it may also have an effect on atherosclerosis by damaging the inner lining of arteries and promoting blood clots.
So what does a naturally occurring amino acid have to do with heart disease? It has been almost an accidental discovery that has pointed to homocysteine as a culprit. Just as the incidence of heart disease rises with age, blood homocysteine levels also tend to rise with age. Rising due to renal impairment, increasing in women after menopause, and higher in men compared to women of the same age.
Studies show that blood levels of homocysteine are elevated in coronary artery disease patients more than in the control population. Sufferers of coronary artery disease often have blood homocysteine levels of greater than 15 µmol/L which is considered to be high. Ask your physician what your level is, and have it checked periodically.
How important is blood homocysteine? Researchers warn that high blood levels of homocysteine may be as dangerous as smoking and having high cholesterol.
The good news is that blood Homocysteine levels can be reduced by eating foods rich in folic acid such as spinach, asparagus, lentils, garbanzo beans and broccoli. Again, adding more fresh green leafy veggies is key to great health.
Persons suffering with high homocysteine levels may likely benefit from adding supplements of folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 to the daily Cod Liver Oil and multi- Vitamin and multi-Mineral regimen.
If you are a smoker, quit immediately, and if you are not a smoker, don’t start.
This Heart Month resolve to think about your heart, feed your heart for health, and save your heart. So, this is the WORSTlist: doughnuts, french fries, soda, margarine, Shortening, ice cream, processed cheese, and cheese food, potato chips, white bread, pretzels, cake, muffins, pastries, bagels, store bought cookies, chocolate bars, candies, tempura, and meats cooked at high temperatures. Remember, Health is a Choice.
Carolyn Guilford is a former Critical Care Nurse, certified in Cardiology and Hematology. She consults on Diabetes and Cancer Nutrition, having matriculated the NBCCF’s Project LEAD, AASU, GSU, University of Kansas, NIH, and has earned National Certification in Nutrition consulting and wellness. Carolyn can be contacted via: www.Health-Restoration-consulting. com
Health Restoration Consulting
P.O. Box 2814, Savannah, GA
31402 or call