triglyceride levels

  1. Nuts over cholesterol control

    When it comes to cholesterol control, don't crack open that pill bottle--try cracking open a few nuts instead.

    A new review of the research finds that nuts of all kinds-- the edible ones, not crazy people--can help lower your cholesterol levels.

    Score one more for Mother Nature... and you just know that's driving Big Pharma nuts!

    Researchers looked at 25 previously published studies, covering roughly 600 people. And they found that a small daily serving of nuts--67 grams a day, or roughly 2.3 ounces--lowered levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol by an average of 7.4 percent, according to the study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

    The researchers also found that nuts lowered overall cholesterol levels by 5.1 percent, and improved the ratio of good to bad cholesterol by 8.3 percent.

    Not only that, but nuts also lowered triglyceride levels by 10.2 percent.

    You can take these nuts with a grain of salt, however, because the study was funded in part by the nut industry. But that's no reason to ignore it--because nuts have proven time and again to be more than just a tasty treat.

    One earlier study found that women who ate nuts four times a week had a 40 percent lower risk of death by heart disease. Another study found men who ate nuts two or more times a week had a lower risk of sudden cardiac death. Other studies have even found that nut-eaters have a lower risk of diabetes.

    Nuts have been crushed by the mainstream over the years because they're loaded with fats--and fats are supposed to be bad, right?

    But that line of reasoning isn't all it's cracked up to be... because not all fats are created equal. The fats in nuts are downright healthy--and even the FDA has grudgingly admitted that nuts can help lower your heart disease risk.

    In many ways, all-natural nuts are the perfect snack. Just avoid nutty candy bars, spreads and sugar-packed blends like honey-roasted peanuts.

    Instead, buy mixed nuts by the sack, crack 'em open and enjoy these treats with a beer or a glass of wine, since alcohol can also help lower your cholesterol levels and improve heart health.

    So what are you waiting for? Get cracking!

    References:
    Eating Nuts May Help Cholesterol Levels
    Eating nuts can lower cholesterol, say experts

  2. Don't ignore this deadly threat to your heart

    Most of us know how important it is to watch our weight, even if we sometimes let the belt buckle slip a notch too far.

    We're also concerned about our cholesterol levels. In fact, if the sales of those unnecessary drugs so many people take to control their cholesterol are any indication, it's a national obsession.

    But how about our triglyceride levels?

    Those fatty particles found in our blood are every bit as important – but it seems we're paying them no attention. A new study shows that a third of all Americans have elevated levels of triglycerides.

    The study, published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at 5,610 people over 20 years old. It found that 33.1 percent of them had triglyceride levels considered borderline high or worse. It also found 17.9 percent of them had levels that were just plain high.

    It's important to keep an eye on these levels because along with cholesterol, triglycerides are a good indicator for heart disease and other problems.

    And like those cholesterol levels, what you eat has a direct impact on the amount of triglycerides floating around in your blood. It happens while your body is converting carbs to fat. The more carbs you eat, the more your body has to work with. So you get fatter and, at the same time, you end up with more triglycerides in your bloodstream.

    It's a result of what I call the Torture Chamber Diet that has us all loading up on low-fat, high-carb foods and, as our national health proves, is killing too many of us too early. 

    Now, let's say you show up for your physical, get your bloodwork done and your doc notices that your triglycerides are elevated. Chances are, the first thing he'll tell you to do is go on a low-fat diet, and offer you some eating tips.

    That's your ticket into the Torture Chamber.

    As we've just seen, the very diet he'll tell you is good for you is also the same lifestyle that will lead to more fat in your body and more triglycerides in your bloodstream, because the Torture Chamber Diet is based on carbs.

    By the time your next physical rolls around, you'll be even worse off – even if you've done exactly what he told you to.

    The secret to good dieting is understanding the very basic principle that eating fat doesn't make you fat any more than eating a banana will turn you into a banana. You need a certain amount of healthy fat in your meals, and any diet that tells you otherwise is just plain wrong.

    The key to a good diet is balance. Ease off the carbs, enjoy good proteins and a small amount of healthy fat (especially those that provide omega-3 fatty acids) and you'll do more than get your triglycerides under control – you'll be on the road to overall good health.

    The best part of all is you'll get to stay out of the torture chamber for good.

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