Dear Dr. Mo:What are some of the foods that could help lower my cholesterol?
Dear reader: Eating a healthy diet in general can be challenging and tailoring it to a specific health need only adds to that challenge. Before embarking on any significant change in your diet, I suggest you first speak with your doctor who could give you useful pointers, link you with a specialist and follow up on your progress.
To get you started, I’ve written about such foods here
To answer your question, I’ve made this useful infographic to serve as a quick reference point to what’s out there Continue reading …
There’s a group of chemicals in green tea called catechins responsible for a lot of claimed benefits and researchers believe these catechins help prevent the absorption of cholesterol all together but at the same time they increase the absorption of high-density HDL cholesterol, which is the good one.
Green tea is said to improve bone mineral density thus lowering your fracture risk – this is because green tea contains a group of chemicals that stimulates the formation of bone and helps slow their breakdown although more research is needed to corroborate this claim outside the lab.
4. Oral health booster
Catechins again – think about the green tea as a natural mouth wash, like Listerine, only better. Drinking green tea regularly can contribute to a healthier mouth because catechins can help kill bacteria in your mouth.
5. Keeps some cancers at bay
Studies show that green tea benefits include protection against certain cancers, not all of them but the fact is that we just don’t know yet about the full potential of green tea’s compounds. What we do know is that the data are the most substantial for bladder, ovarian and esophageal cancers. It mostly does this by starving cancer cells to death.
Dear Dr. Mo: Should I or shouldn’t I eat eggs and are they healthy in any way? People keep saying eggs are full of cholesterol and should be avoided but, is this true?
Dear reader: Contrary to a wide-spread belief (or myth), eggs are very healthy food and a healthy individual can and should eat them on a regular basis. If a person loves eggs vey much and eats too many of them, this can increase cholesterol levels and associated risks for heart disease but if you stick to 4 whole eggs or fewer a week, evidence suggest that any risks you may have will not increase.
Dear Dr. Mo: I’m a guy in my late 40s, not overweight and I work a lot. Is there something I can easily do to stay healthy and live longer?
Dear reader: Many things are important as we age, and this goes for both sexes, not just men: blood sugar levels, blood pressure, mobility and fitness, risks for cancer, heart and mental health.
For us men, I would say that the latter two are really important and that by maintaining them we surely improve all other parameters to help us live longer and better although women are no different in this regard. Continue reading …
Dear Dr. Mo:I love butter but is margarine better for my health? And which one?
Butter is tasty but could hurt health
Dear reader: I remember when I was a child, I used to steal a stick of butter from the fridge and eat it whole, biting on it as if it were an apple. I loved the way it melted through my little fingers and the greasy and salty taste it had as I munched on it. Whenever my theft was discovered, my grandmother wasn’t too happy about it – she thought I would spoil my stomach with that much butter – often times she was right.
For a little child to eat food high in fat content is actually beneficial so my ventures to the fridge weren’t too harmful to my health (apart from occasional diarrhea) but as we age, eating a lot of butter on a regular basis can hurt our health. Butter is made from animal fat (usually from cow’s milk), which is high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Continue reading …
Dear Dr. Mo: I’m worried about my cholesterol levels and I am thinking of ways to avoid foods that will keep on raising it. What to do to bring my cholesterol down?
Dear reader: Following a healthy diet usually brings up the question of which foods to avoid. The follow up thought in our heads leads us to figuring out which foods could raise our cholesterol levels and add kilograms.
Normally, you’d want to avoid too much saturated fats from meat, full fat-dairy products (cheese, high fat milk) and trans fats found in many processed foods like pastries, processed cheese like the ones in a fast-food burger, cakes, cookies, biscuits, creams, candy etc. Even your favorite chips or pretzels are packed with trans fats (these hide behind tech terms like hydrogenated plant-based fat or palm fat so don’t be fooled).
Go nuts – it will regulate your cholesterol
These foods hurt our bodies not just by raising cholesterol levels (mostly the ‘bad’ one – LDL) but by exposing our cells to un-natural compounds, which we were simply not designed to handle.
In response, our systems are stressed out and over time, chain biochemical reactions lead to cancers, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, tons of autoimmune diseases, genetic alterations etc.
The list of unhealthful foods would be far too long. Here’s a hint – those advertised the most are usually suspicious.
Instead, and further to my previous post, I will list 8 foods (and functional foods), which strongly help to regulate your cholesterol level and have appropriate ratio of HDL (the ‘good’ one) Vs. LDL (the ‘bad’ one).
Of course, for some people, diet alone is not enough to bring cholesterol under control in which case your doctor may start you on some medication to help you reach desired levels but even in these cases, proper diet is of large significance for success and long term health. Continue reading …
Dear Dr. Mo: I love sweet foods. I am slightly overweight but nothing serious and I try to control it. I’ve heard that fructose can cause heart disease and is bad for the health. Now I know fructose is found in fruit so how can this be true?
Dear reader: Let me begin by saying that two predominant sugars in our modern diet are glucose and fructose. Our cells need sugars (carbohydrates) to extract energy form them. Virtually every cell in our body can use glucose to get that energy.
With fructose however, the story has a little evil twist – only the liver cells can get energy directly from fructose metabolism and this is where the trouble starts for us.
Fructose in fruit is not the one to worry about. Fruit is good for your health
Fructose in liver undergoes a series of metabolic changes and one of those changes is that the liver uses fructose to create fat!
So when you think of fructose think of fat as well.Feed your liver with enough fructose (especially in today’s fast diets which unfortunately abound with sugary foods and beverages) and gradually, very small droplets of fat will begin to accumulate inside the liver cells – such a process of fat build up is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, virtually unknown before 1980 and affecting a large number of adults and 80-90% of those who are obese or have diabetes.This goes to say that what’s changed in the past few decades has not been us physically, but our life styles and especially our diets and I don’t mean extra fruit intake but all the sweet foods and drinks we manufacture. Continue reading …