Red Meat Raises Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease Risks

A hunk of steakThose who consume large amounts of red and processed meats are at greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer according to the results of a new study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine earlier this month. The researchers calculated that almost 10% of total deaths could be prevented if individuals reduce their red meat consumption to less than half a serving, or 42 grams, a day.


Black Tea Cuts Blood Pressure, May Lower Heart Disease Risk By Up To 10%

A cup of black teaA small Australian study, published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine last month, has found that three cups of black tea a day may significantly lower blood pressure, reducing heart disease risk by as much as 10%.

The research, led by Dr. Jonathan Hodgson of the School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, involved 95 men and women who were randomized to receive either three cups of black tea a day or a placebo that matched the tea in flavour and caffeine content.


Recent Study Suggests Eating Kiwifruit May Help The Heart

A sliced kiwifruitEating 3 kiwifruit a day may lead to small reductions in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure according to a study presented at the 2011 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida this month.

The study, led by Mette Svendsen of the Oslo University Hospital in Norway, involved 118 middle aged men and women who were randomly assigned to consume either three kiwifruit or one apple per day for eight weeks in addition to their regular diet.


Which Meats Have The Lowest Cholesterol Levels?

A leg of hamFor people on a low cholesterol diet, eating meat  can be a tricky issue because virtually all meats have some degree of cholesterol in them. Fortunately there are many meats that are relatively low in cholesterol that can be enjoyed in moderate quantities as part of a balanced diet. The following table shows the cholesterol content of some common meats and meat products listed from highest to lowest cholesterol levels.


Switching To Rye Bread May Reduce Cholesterol Levels

A loaf of rye breadTwo recent studies have found that consuming rye bread, rather than wheat based bread, may reduce cholesterol levels by more than 10%. Rye bread is a popular food item in Germany and eastern European countries such as Poland, Russia, and the Ukraine. It is also widely available in the United States and tends to be darker, slightly denser, and with a stronger flavour than the more common wheat based breads.


Baked Beans Lower Cholesterol, Reduce Heart Disease Risk

Some baked beansAt just a dollar a can, baked beans are a quick, inexpensive choice when you’re stuck for meal ideas, however there is also evidence that baked beans can lower cholesterol and reduce your overall risk of heart disease.

A study, published in 1990 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, involved the study of 24 men with an average age of 58 who all  suffered from high cholesterol levels. The men had their cholesterol levels and body weight measured at the beginning of the study and were then put on one of three diets for 21 days.


The Heart Benefits Of Fish And Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Recent scientific evidence points to a significant reduction in the incidence of heart disease in those who consume large amounts of fish. In particular, it appears that it is the omega-3 fatty acids present in fish that are responsible for this reduction.

In countries such as Ireland and Japan, and Iceland, where per capita fish consumption is very high, deaths attributable to heart disease are relatively low compared to other developed countries such as the USA and United Kingdom.


Study: Alcohol In Moderation Better Than Abstaining For Heart Attack Survivors

Those who continue to drink alcohol after suffering a heart attack fare better than those who quit drinking according to a study published last month in the American Journal Of Cardiology.

Researchers looked at the health of a group of 325 moderate drinkers who had recently suffered a heart attack. 84% continued to drink moderately following their heart attack while the remaining 16% abstained from drinking. It was found that one year after the heart attack event those who continued to drink were 35% less likely to suffer angina, experienced 21% fewer rehospitalizations and scored higher on quality of life and mental health questionnaires.


Diet Changes As Good As Statins For Cholesterol Reduction

A combination of cholesterol lowering foods can achieve similar cholesterol lowering results to statins according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2005.

The research, conducted by Canadian scientists, involved the comparison of a diet rich in foods known to reduce cholesterol with a popular statin known as lovastatin.


Consumption Of Soy Protein May Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease

Soy beansDiets high in soy may reduce the incidence of heart disease according to recent studies. One such study, published in The Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2002, looked at 64,915 women from Shanghai, China, in order to determine the effects of soy food consumption on the risk of coronary heart disease.

Over an average follow up period of 2.5 years, 62 new cases of coronary heart disease were documented. The researchers found that women in the highest quartile for soy protein intake were 75% less likely to develop coronary heart disease over the study period compared to women in the highest quartile for soy protein intake.


High Glycemic Load Foods Increase Probabilty Of A Heart Attack

Diets with a high glycemic load increase the risk of a myocardial infarction (heart attack) by as much as 98% according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in June 2000.

The study, conducted by researchers from the Department of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, involved 75,521 women aged between 38 and 63 who were followed over a 10 year period. The researchers looked at the impact of glycemic load and carbohydrate intake on the risk of myocardial infarction.


Chocolate Lowers Blood Pressure, Improves Cardiovascular Health

Pieces of chocolateFoods rich in cocoa, such as chocolate, may lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease according to a study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine in 2006.

The study, conducted by Dutch researchers, used data from the Zutphen study to assess whether cocoa could reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. In total, 470 elderly men aged between 65 and 84 were used in the 15 year study which began in 1985.


Pectin, Found In Apples & Grapefruit, Lowers Cholesterol Levels

Apple on treeHigh levels of LDL cholesterol and a high ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol are both considered to be strong risk factors for heart disease. Several studies have found that pectin, a complex carbohydrate found in many fruits, can lower LDL cholesterol levels and therefore improve heart health.

In 1987, a group of scientists at the University of Florida studied the effects of pectin on serum cholesterol levels in a group of 27 individuals who were at a moderate to high risk of heart disease.


Moderate Alcohol Consumption Helps Prevent Ischemic Heart Disease

A pint of beerPeople who consume two alcoholic drinks a day may be as much as 30% less likely to die from heart disease compared to non-drinkers according to a recent Danish study published in the European Heart Journal.

The study included 11,914 men and women from the Copenhagen Heart Study and spanned a period of almost 20 years. Researchers tracked participants leisure time, physical activity levels, and weekly consumption of alcohol in order to determine the effects of physical activity and exercise on ischemic heart disease.