heart disease

  1. Diet soda in new health scare

    Let's face it: There's nothing "diet" about diet soda. It won't make you healthier and it won't even help you to lose weight -- and that's been proven.

    But the bad news doesn't end there. In fact, that's just the beginning.

    Diet soda has been linked to a host of frightening health risks, and a new study confirms two of the worst: People who load up on these supposedly healthy sugar-free drinks have a dramatically higher risk of a heart attack and stroke.

    Researchers tracked 2,564 New York City seniors for a decade and found that 31 percent of those who drank diet soda every day suffered a heart attack or stroke versus 22 percent of those drank little to no diet soda.

    That's an increase in risk of 49 percent, according to the data published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

    The study doesn't directly prove that diet soda is responsible -- and, in some cases, it could simply be that diet soda drinkers have worse habits.

    We all know people who eat tons of junk and then always wash it down with a Diet Coke, right?

    But there's more going on here. Diet sodas contain an ingredient that's been linked to more side effects than just about any other food additive: the artificial sweetener aspartame.

    Aspartame has been linked to high blood pressure, heart palpitations, dizziness, fatigue, sleep disorders and more. Stroke and heart attack would just be the icing on the (sugar-free) cake.

    Of course, that's not a license to drink regular soda, either, and that goes for drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup as well as the ones that scream "MADE WITH REAL SUGAR!" (as if that's somehow a badge of honor).

    All that sugar in any form is a ticket to weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease.

    Sweeteners aren't the only lousy ingredients hidden in a can of soda either. The coloring agents in many have been linked to cancer, the preservatives can cause cell damage and many even have phosphates, which can deprive your bones of calcium and put you at risk for osteoporosis.

    And to top it off -- as if all that's not enough -- soda is generally served in containers lined with BPA, the hormone-like chemical linked to obesity, diabetes, early menopause, sexual dysfunction, heart disease, and more.

    Forget soda in all its forms. If you have to have some fizz, switch to plain old seltzer.

  2. Fish oil can slash A-fib risk

    Fish oil isn't just the best natural way to fight the ravages of heart disease -- it's also the best way to avoid problems with your ticker in the first place.

    We've known all along that people who eat the most fatty fish have a lower risk of heart disease. And now, researchers say the omega-3 fatty acids found in those fish can also slash the odds of another serious heart problem: atrial fibrillation.

    That's a frightening -- and all-too-common -- condition where your heart loses its rhythm and starts galloping off like a spooked horse. People who have it say it can feel like your heart is getting ready to bounce right out of your chest.

    But now, researchers say their study of more than 3,300 seniors who were tracked for 14 years found that those with the highest blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids -- especially DHA -- were 30 percent less likely to come down with the condition.

    This isn't the first study of its kind -- others have also found that omega-3 fatty acids can slash the risk of A-fib, including an 18-year study out of Finland that found high levels cut that risk by 35 percent.

    When you consider how many patients are fighting this disease, that's a big deal.

    Close to 10 percent of seniors eventually develop atrial fibrillation -- and because the condition comes with a higher risk of stroke and heart failure, it's often treated with the same risky blood-thinning meds given to heart patients.

    There's even one new blood thinner supposedly aimed just at A-fib patients -- and that one could be even more dangerous than those other bad meds.

    If fish oil can help you avoid the disease in the first place, I say load up now. After all, A-fib isn't the only condition omega-3s can fight or prevent.

    Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids can help the heart, brain, eyes and even gums. One recent study even links fish oil to a lower risk of colon polyps in women.

    This stuff is so good that even Big Pharma wants in -- so you're starting to see expensive prescription omega-3 blends on the market.

    Save your money -- a quality omega-3 supplement from a trusted vitamin maker is all you and your heart really need.

  3. An up-close look at apnea

    If just the thought of losing your breath as you sleep is frightening, you should see what it looks like when it really happens.
  4. The trans fat lie harming your health

    Everyone's terrified of trans fats these days, and it's not hard to see why: They've been so vilified that some places are actually banning them. Must be something to it, right? There is -- because the trans fats that come from hydrogenated vegetable oils are every bit as bad as their reputation, and then some: They'll up your odds of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, depression and more.
  5. One more reason to drink beer

    In fact, you can get just about all the benefits of wine and then some from plain old beer -- and the latest research confirms that a cold brew is every bit as good for your heart as a glass of red.
  6. Fix your apnea, heal your heart

    Someone with apnea can go through dozens of breathless bouts per night and never even realize it -- but in this case, what you don't know can not only hurt you... it can kill you, too. Apnea has been linked to everything from sexual dysfunction and metabolic syndrome to diabetes and heart disease -- but now, researchers have confirmed that it's not too late for people already fighting that nightly battle.
  7. Don't quit your day job -- it might kill you

    There are some clear benefits to working the night shift: higher pay and… well.. OK, there's one clear benefit to working the night shift. And in exchange for more money, you're literally putting your life on the line if you take that night job: Shift work has been linked to obesity, heart disease and more.
  8. Canned soups cause dramatic BPA surge

    Soup is good food? Not if it comes from a can! I'm sure you already know all about the preservatives, artificial flavors, and just plain low-quality ingredients that fill each can of soup. But believe it or not, that's not even the worst of it.
  9. The sweet spot for salt

    Sodium has been a necessary part of the diet since time began -- but based on how little the mainstream knows about it, you'd think it was discovered just last week.
  10. Low salt comes with high risk

    Next time your doctor says "cut back on the salt, or else" ask him one question. Or else what?
  11. Happy people live longer

    It's the attitude adjustment that could save your life: A new study finds that happy people live longer -- which means a smile might turn out to be the cheapest, safest, and easiest longevity-booster on the planet.
  12. The manly way to lower your heart risk

    You already know how testosterone can bring your sex life back from the dead. Now, the latest research shows how it can keep the rest of you out of the grave as well. In fact, this manly hormone can slash your risk of two of the greatest killers of seniors: heart attack and stroke.
  13. Docs: No more TV for tots

    The American Academy of Pediatrics got it all wrong on ADHD with its outrageous new screening guidelines -- but the organization did manage to hit one nail right on the head. And that's with the new advice on television and little kids: Keep it off.
  14. Eyes linked to heart risk

    When it comes to heart disease, it looks like the eyes have it. Researchers say they can spot who's more likely to suffer the life-threatening condition by simply checking for yellow spots on the eyelids. People who have them face a 50-percent increase in the risk of a heart attack.
  15. Apples and pears can lower stroke risk

    Supposedly cutting-edge procedures like the brain stent I just mentioned won't lower your risk of stroke -- and they might even kill you. But you don't have to turn to risky surgery or unproven meds to keep a stroke at bay: A new study finds all you might really need is more of the foods you already enjoy.
  16. A nation of sugar addicts

    No wonder we're fatter and sicker than ever and getting worse every day: New numbers from the CDC show that half of all Americans over the age of TWO YEARS OLD drink at least one soda a day.
  17. Government guidelines lead to heart disease

    The U.S. government's dietary guidelines released last year allow people to get as much as 25 percent of their calories from added sugars. If it's not immediately obvious why that's a bad idea, a new study spells it out.
  18. Apnea in new heart risk link

    But now, researchers say that in addition to leaving you gasping for air in the night, sleep apnea could also be responsible for serious blood vessel abnormalities -- problems that can actually steal blood right from your heart.
  19. Salt isn't the problem after all

    Salt has been called every name in the book and labeled Public Health Enemy Number One for its supposed role in heart disease and an early death.
  20. The cancer-busting diet you can start today

    What do tumors and bellies have in common? They both get bigger on a high-carb diet.

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