New Study Suggests That Belly Fat Is Worse Than Obesity For Your Heart Health


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The Body Mass Index (BMI) is generally used to assess overall fitness, however, a new study has found that weight concentrated around the middle can be more harmful than obesity itself.

The waist to hip ratio is proving to be a better predictor of heart disease and other illness than BMI alone.

Participants were divided into six groups based on which of the three BMI groups they fell into, and whether they had a normal or high waist-to-hip ratio. Men whose waist measurement was 90 percent or more of their hip measurement were considered to have a high hip-to-waist ratio. The same was true of women; those with waists that were 85 percent of their hip size were classified as having a high hip-to-waist ratio.

Participants with normal BMI but a high waist-to-hip ratio had the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease, and the highest risk of dying from any causes among the six groups.
The risk of cardiovascular death was 2.75 times higher, and the risk of death from any cause was 2.08 times higher among normal-weight people with “central obesity,” compared with normal-weight people who had a normal waist-to-hip ratio.
“The high risk of death may be related to a higher visceral fat accumulation in this group, which is associated with insulin resistance and other risk factors,” said study researcher Dr. Karine Sahakyan, also of Mayo Clinic.

Men can be highly susceptible to accumulating belly fat and inactivity, poor diet and stress contribute to visceral fat.

Keeping your abs toned and your middle “whittled” is the best way to avoid disease and keep your heart strong.

Three Health Issues Every Man Should Discuss With His Doctor


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Most men are squeamish about discussing their concerns about testosterone, erectile disfunction or trouble urinating, however these embarrassing topics could shed light on deeper more serious health issues like heart disease, cancer or hormone imbalance.

Since most visits to the doctor last less than 20 minutes, getting warmed up can take some effort.

Be armed with a list of questions and concerns to get the most out of your time with your physician.

Health Benefits of Acai Berry Supplements

Acai (pronounced AH-sigh-EE) is a palm tree that can be found in South American and Central America. Countries such as Brazil and Belize are rich in acai. Other names for acai include acai extract, assai, assai palm, acai fruit, acai palm, cabbage palm, Euterpe oleracea, Amazon acai, Amazon acai berry, and of course, acai berry.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), acai contains chemicals that are antioxidants. Antioxidants are thought to protect body cells from the damaging effects of chemical reactions with oxygen (oxidation). According to some research, acai has more antioxidant content than cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, or blueberry. Because the berries of the tree have such a high level of antioxidants, they are used to make medicine, supplements, powders, and drinks. The berries can be used in foods and they are also eaten whole.

Many people use acai berry supplements to improve arthritis, lower cholesterol, and improve general health. They are also used to promote weight-loss and they are used in anti-aging creams, shampoos, and conditioners. There are few studies to support the benefits of acai berry, but studies do demonstrate the protective properties of antioxidants.

So far, there are no studies to suggest that acai berry is dangerous. At the same time, there are no studies to support how it might interact with other supplements, herbs, or prescription medications. It is also unknown if acai berry supplements are safe for pregnant women. The issue is not acai berry, it’s the way it may be processed, the amount contained per capsule, if the supplements are made from pure acai, or if the supplements contain other substances or chemicals. Because of this, doctors recommend getting the antioxidants you need from food.

If you prefer acai, it’s best to eat the berries raw or make your own homemade juice as most store bought juices contain loads of sugar or additives. The problem is, finding raw acai outside of South or Central America can be tricky. Use your favorite search engine to seek out importers. It might be expensive, but if you want to enjoy the benefits of raw acai berries, this is your best bet.

Other Foods that Contain Antioxidants

Antioxidant substances include beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Antioxidants can be found in fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, poultry, and fish. Some of the most antioxidant rich foods include:

-Red Beans
-Kidney Beans
-Russet Potatoes
-Black Beans
-Artichoke Hearts
-Pecans
-Black Plums
-Dried Prunes
-Pinto Beans
-Sweet Cherries
-Cereal (oats, barley)
-Cabbage
-Hazelnuts
-Spices (cinnamon, cloves, oregano, cayenne pepper)
-Apples

Antioxidants can also be found in some meats, such as beef. For more information about acai and other antioxidants, visit Medline Plus, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.

Plan ahead to avoid the fast food trap

With all the information available it’s tantamount to negligence to eat fast food.

But given a hectic lifestyle and time spent in our cars is almost unavoidable not to hit the “drive thru” from time to time.

In a better world you would have a cache of nutritious snacks for the road; nuts, fruits, water to get you through the day until the next healthy meal.

David Zinczenko, the author of “Eat This, Not That” offers up strategies to help you avoid the junk food jungle!

The Good Fats and the Bad Fats Facts!

Does fat make us Fat?

Everyday in the news is some information about the fat.

We all need it, we all eat it.

What are the facts?

Here’s a simple guide to fats, the good, the bad and the ugly.

First realize that fats are a necessary part of any diet. We need fats to make hormones, build and repair tissues, and for energy. Gram per gram, fat provides about more than twice the energy of carbohydrates (9 calories per gram vs 4 calories per gram for carbs). Fats also help us absorb certain vitamins and satiates our appetite more than carbs or protein.

But there really are good fats and bad fats and the Cliff notes version of this column is this — if a fat is solid or semi-solid at room temperature, you should avoid it.

Most dietary fats fall in to three categories: Saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and mono unsaturated fats.

Benefits of Green Tea

Tea is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world. Although water is the most widely consumed beverage, still, hundreds of millions of people drink tea every day based on health benefits and taste. Tea comes in three main varieties, black, green, and oolong. Green tea (Camellia sinesis), is believed to have the most health benefits thanks to the way it’s processed. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves, which contain the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants such as polyphenols in green tea neutralize free radicals and reduce or help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Free radicals are damaging compounds in the body that alter cells, tamper with DNA (genetic material), and cause cell death. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center free radicals occur naturally in the body, but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet rays from the sun, radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollution) also give rise to these damaging particles. Many scientists believe that free radicals contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems including cancer and heart disease. Based on studies using human subjects, animals, and in laboratory experiments, green tea is useful for:

-Arthritis
-Atherosclerosis
-Cancer
-Colds
-Diabetes
-High Cholesterol
-Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
-Influenza
-Liver Disease
-Obesity
-Tooth Decay
-Weight Loss

Green tea has been used as a stimulant, diuretic, astringent, and to improve heart health throughout the ages in China, India, Japan, and Thailand. Other traditional include improving mental processes, promoting digestion, regulating body temperature and blood sugar, and treating flatulence (gas).

In addition to tea leaves, green tea is available in capsule form and liquid form made from leaves and leaf buds. A cup of green tea contains 50-150 mg of antioxidant (polyphenols). Decaffeinated green tea also contains polyphenols, but they are concentrated. If you are sensitive to caffeine, caffeine-free supplements are available.

Coconut oil for optimum health

Taken from the fruit portion of the seed off the coconut palm tree, coconut oil is one the most beneficial foods you can consume. In tropical regions where coconut oil or fat is a large portion of their caloric intake, people are much healthier and experience a much lower incidence of the modern diseases we do in the U.S. [1, 2]

There is an array of positive research published in the last few years showing the significance of coconut oil. [3] Coconut oil is classified as a “functional food” because of its health benefits that go far beyond its nutritional content. In fact, the coconut palm is so highly valued by Pacific Islanders as a source of food and medicine that it is called “The Tree of Life.” [4]

Coconut oil is the most saturated of all fats. Saturated fat has three subcategories: short chain, medium chain and long chain. Coconut oil contains approximately 65% medium chain fatty acids (MCFA). Although recognized for its health benefits many centuries ago, it wasn’t until 40 years ago that modern medicine found the source to be MCFA. Remarkably, mother’s milk contains the same healing powers of coconut oil. [5]

The saturated medium chain lipid lauric acid, which comprises more than 50 percent of coconut oil, is the anti-bacterial, anti-viral fatty acid found in mother’s milk. [6] The body converts lauric acid into the fatty acid derivative monolaurin, which is the substance that protects adults as well as infants from viral, bacterial or protozoal infections. This was recognized and reported as early as 1966. [7]

Since the first half of the 19th century, infection has been implicated as a cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD). [8] Researchers have been studying what causes the changes in the arterial wall. Professors Russell Ross and John Glomset formulated a hypothesis in 1973 about what causes CVD, concluding that CVD occurs in response to localized injury to the lining of the artery wall, which has been brought about by a number of things including viruses. [9, 10] The injury, in turn causes inflammation/infection. The plaque that develops is a result of the body trying to heal itself. It has been very well established that pathogens play an integral role in cardiovascular disease.

What is interesting about the role of viruses that have been found to initiate cardiovascular disease is they can be inhibited by the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil. One could say that consuming coconut oil decreases one’s risk of cardiovascular disease.

Sources of Coconut oil:
Only use organic virgin coconut oil. I am currently using Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil. This oil is truly unrefined and made from organic coconuts. It contains a very high lauric acid content between 50 and 57 percent. I use between two and four tablespoons per day, which is what is recommended.

references:
1. Enig, Mary. “A New Look at Coconut Oil.” westonaprice.org. http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/coconut_oil.html

2. Rethinam, P. Muhatoyo. “The Plain Truth About Coconut Oil.” http://www.apccsec.org/truth.html

3. Enig, Mary. “Latest studies on coconut oil.” Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and the Healing Arts. Spring,2006;7(1).

4. “Coconut.” Coconut Research Center. http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/

5. Kabara, Jon J. “Health Oils From The Tree of Life – Nutritional and Health Aspects of Coconut Oil.” http://www.coconutoil.com/John%20Kabara.pdf

6. Enig,Mary. Know Your Fats. Silver Spring: Bethesda Press, 2000

7. Lee, Lita. “Coconut Oil: Why is it Good for you.” Dec. 2001. coconut.com http://www.coconutoil.com/litalee.htm

8. Epstein, Stephen, et al. “Infection and Atherosclerosis.” Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2000;20:1417 http://atvb.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/20/6/1417

9. “Getting to the Heart of Atherosclerosis.” The UW Office of Research. http://www.washington.edu/research/pathbreakers/1973b.html

10. Furci, Michael. “Fats, Cholesterol and the Lipid Hypothesis.” www.bullz-eye.com.

The best fat for pilots

The military has a lot invested in training pilots and decided to fund a study to find out which foods are best for them. The University of North Dakota researchers found the 45 pilots who ate the fattiest foods, such as butter or gravy, had the quickest response times in mental tests and made fewer mistakes when flying in tricky cloudy conditions. Surprisingly, after those on the high-fat diet, those on the high carb diet performed the best, with the worst performance from those on the high protein diet.
Enig, Mary., and Sally Fallon. ?Caustic commentary? Wise Traditions, 2009;(10)4:41

Trans fat needs a warning label

Trans fat roles in the body include:
? Lowers high density lipoproteins (HDL), otherwise known as the ?good
cholesterol?.2
? Raises low density lipoproteins (LDL), otherwise known as the ?bad cholesterol?.2
? Raises C-reactive protein, a substance in the blood that indicates arterial inflammation and is said to indicate proneness to heart disease.3
? Raises Lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)), a substance in the blood that indicates arterial inflammation and is said to indicate proneness to heart disease.4
? Raises C-reactive protein, a substance in the blood that indicates arterial inflammation and is said to indicate proneness to heart disease.5
? Promotes improper management of blood sugar thus having detrimental effects in diabetics.6
? Interferes with the function of the immune system.7
? Decreases the bodies ability to utilize and decreases the amount of the healthy omega-3 fatty acids in our tissues.7

What are trans fats? They are poison in our food supply. ?The latest government study confirms that trans fat is directly related with heart disease and increases LDL cholesterol. Because of that, the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, declared there is no safe amount of trans fat in the diet.?8 ?There should be a warning on food made with this stuff like there is on nicotine products. It?s that bad for you, says Dr. Jeffery Aron, a University of California at San Francisco professor of medicine and one of the nation?s leading experts on fatty acids and their effect on the body.9

(Fats, cholesterol, and the lipid hypothesis)

Cholesterol no longer a risk factor for heart disease. Look to CRP?

Dr. James Stein, MD from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in Madison, praised the JUPITER study for exposing the fact that current therapeutic LDL-cholesterol levels are not only arbitrary, but are in fact a poor indicator of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. ?Most patients with heart attacks have normal cholesterol values,? he stated. With the cholesterol theory crumbling the industry is under intense pressure to come up with a new risk factor, and one that can be treated with the same statin drugs they have invested so much money in. Enter Dr. Ridker and C-reactive protein (CRP). Ridker has been pushing treating CRP with statins for years. But is CRP a risk factor? A National Panel on CRP found no evidence treating CRP levels will improve survival rates (www.urmc.rochester.edu/pr/News/story.cfm?id=182). Elevated CRP levels are associated with many things including; anger, stress, arthritis, cancer, lupus, pneumonia, TB, oral contraceptive use, pregnancy, heart attacks, surgery, trauma, intense exercise, etc. It?s a marker for disease, not the cause. But since statins lower CRP levels slightly, you can count on CRP becoming the new cholesterol. The public will be made to fear CRP, be tested for it, and be put on dangerous statins to lower it. What a racket.

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