Salmon: A Heart-Healthy Supper

Salmon is known for its rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids include fish oil, and fish oil contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). EPA and DHA studies have shown that the intake of recommended amounts of each of these acids via dietary fish lowers blood pressure slightly, lowers triglycerides, reduces the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, reduces the risk of heart attack, and reduces the risk of strokes in people with known cardiovascular disease, and slows hardening of the arteries. And there’s no better choice for omega-3 fatty acids than salmon. Baked, broiled, grilled or...

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Salt and Health

If you’ve ever tasted foods that have not been salted, you know that—depending on the dish—it can taste pretty bland. While salt enhances foods to a level that completely changes the taste, it’s important to know how salt can affect your health. Consuming too much salt can lead to too much sodium in your blood, which leads to increased blood volume, which leads to your heart needing to work harder to move the blood through your blood vessels. This can result in increased pressure in your arteries. The kidney naturally balances the amount of sodium stored in the body. When...

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Hey, Sugar, Are You Getting Too Much Sugar?

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that the body uses for energy, but too much added sugar can lead to health problems such as increased triglycerides (which may increase the risk of heart disease), tooth decay, poor nutrition, and weight gain. These are just a few health reasons why it’s important to monitor sugar intake. Added sugar is sugar that is added to processed foods in order to boost flavor, give color and texture, preserve foods like jams and jellies, serve as a bulking agent in baked foods, and balance the acidity of foods that contain vinegar. According to the Journal...

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Choosing Carbohydrates for Good Health

Carbohydrates are a macronutrient found in many foods and beverages, and there are three main types of carbohydrates: fiber, starch and sugar. Fiber carbohydrates are made of sugar units bonded together and occur naturally in cooked dry beans, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Starch carbohydrates are made of sugar units bonded together and occur naturally in cooked dry beans, grains and vegetables. Sugar carbohydrates, the simplest form of carbohydrates occur naturally in fruits, milk and milk products and vegetables. A diet offering an optimum level of carbohydrates, and from foods which offer a variety of other important nutrients, promotes good...

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Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber is classified into two categories: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, while soluble fiber does. Insoluble fiber—found in nuts, wheat bran, whole wheat flour and many vegetables—helps promote the movement of material through the digestive system, increasing stool bulk. Soluble fiber—found in apples, barley, beans, carrots, citrus, oats and peas—dissolves in water to form a gel-like material which can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. While dietary fiber is most known for helping to prevent constipation, it also helps lower blood cholesterol levels, helps control blood sugar levels, aids in weight loss, and...

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Acai Berry: A South American Superfood

If you’ve been searching for a food that offers numerous health benefits, you may want to keep your eyes peeled for the acai berry. Native to South America, the acai berry (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) is a grape-like fruit harvested from the acai palm tree. Acai berries taste like a blend of berries and chocolate and are widely known as a so-called superfood, with lovers of this fruit claiming that they are helpful for a variety of health concerns, including arthritis, cancer, weight loss, high cholesterol, erectile dysfunction, combating premature aging, helping to promote cardiovascular and digestive health, and improving general health....

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High-Fructose Corn Syrup

Chances are you’ve heard of high-fructose corn syrup. Also called corn sugar, high fructose corn syrup is the most widely added sweetener in processed foods and beverages, including cakes, candies, cereals, condiments, packaged foods like potato chips, and more. High-fructose corn syrup is made from corn kernels which are spun at high velocity and combined with enzymes to form a thick-like syrup. It’s used to extend the shelf life of foods, and it’s cheaper than sugar. Studies have shown that high-fructose corn syrup may cause cholesterol to rise and may lead to abnormal increases in body fat. Another concern of...

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High Protein Diets

You may have heard about high protein dies such as Atkins, Protein Power, Stillman, and Sugar Busters. Some high protein diets are known for quick weight loss, but some of these diets restrict important carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. The problem with restricting carbohydrates from the diet is that it causes a loss of body fluids and prevents the body from burning fat. High protein diets feature foods like cheese, eggs and meat. While each of these foods offer their own health benefits, eating too much protein can increase risks for coronary heart disease, diabetes, several types...

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Calcium

Calcium is a mineral found in many foods and in the body. In the body, calcium is known for building and maintaining strong bones and is mostly stored in bones and teeth. But calcium also impacts physiological activities, such as blood clotting, cell membrane function, muscle movement, carrying messages between body parts via nerves, and regulation of enzyme activity. In order for the body to maintain these physiological activities, the body naturally regulates calcium in the blood. If dietary intake of calcium is too low the body will draw on calcium stored in bones to maintain normal blood concentrations. One...

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Lycopene: An Antioxidant Dynamo

Guava, pink grapefruit, red bell peppers, red cabbage, tomatoes and watermelon each is a food high in lycopene, an antioxidant dynamo and carotenoid pigment and phytochemical. When absorbed from the stomach, lycopene is transported in the blood by lipoproteins where it accumulates in the adrenal glands, liver, and testes. Lycopene is generally found in cell membranes where it has a role in the fluidity, strength and thickness of the membranes. Within this role, lycopene helps prevent oxidative damage to the membrane lipids. This is important because cell membranes both allow nutrients in and keep toxins from entering. Lycopene is also...

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