Showing posts with label foods. Show all posts
Showing posts with label foods. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

10 Foods That Can Lower Your Cholesterol

Lose Weight
Low cholesterol foods
Had your annual physical lately? Here's a reason why you should: Even if you eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, your cholesterol might be higher than you'd like.

Janis Jilbrin, R.D., co-author of The Life You Want! Get Motivated, Lose Weight and Be Happy (Simon & Schuster 2011, co-authored with Bob Greene and psychologist Anne Kearney-Cooke), explains the deal with cholesterol and what foods you can eat to help keep yours down.

What would cause your cholesterol to be high in the first place? "Sometimes having high LDL -- the "bad" cholesterol -- is genetic," says Jilbrin. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein, and it's considered the "bad" cholesterol, Jilbrin explains, because it takes fat and deposits it into your arteries. That's the cholesterol you want to keep "down."

Then there's the "good" cholesterol, called HDL (high-density lipoprotein), which travels in your bloodstream and removes the bad cholesterol. You can also be genetically predisposed to having low levels of HDL; other causes, according to Jilbrin, include being overweight or obese, being sedentary, smoking, a high carb intake, having type 2 diabetes and certain drugs, including beta blockers and steroids.

And why should you be worried about any of this? Heart disease -- which, no, you're not too young to worry about. According to Jilbrin, "Arterial plaque can start forming in young adulthood, even in childhood."

Uh oh. She continues: "And trying to fix it once you've had a heart attack or show signs of heart disease never reduces your risk like you would have if you'd taken care of the problem earlier."

Jilbrin says that the most important type of foods to eat to keep your cholesterol levels healthy are "viscous fibers." Sounds ... gross? Don't worry, they're actually tasty. Here's a list of some yummy viscous fibers:

    * Barley
    * Oatmeal
    * Oat bran
    * Ground psyllium seeds
    * Apples
    * Oranges
    * Prunes
    * Legumes (beans, peas, lentils)
    * Brussels sprouts

Viscous fibers work, Jilbrin explains, for two reasons: First, they trap some of the fat and cholesterol from your diet, sending it out of the body before it can be absorbed.

Second: "Your body uses bile acids, made from cholesterol, to break down the fat you eat, so it can be absorbed in the intestines," Jilbrin explains. "Once the bile acid is secreted in the intestine and does its work breaking down fat, most of the bile acids are reabsorbed." Are you with us so far? "But viscous fibers block some of that reabsorption, so, in order to create more bile acid, the body draws from cholesterol in the blood, thus lowering LDL (the "bad" cholesterol)."

Almonds, while not viscous fibers, are also good to eat, notes Jilbrin, because they contain a monounsaturated fat and a plant sterol, both of which lower LDL.

Of course -- it's not just what you eat. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding saturated fats and staying active, says Jilbrin, are also super important to keeping your cholesterol levels -- and your heart -- healthy.

Article by Youbeauty

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Migraine Headaches: New Guidelines Focus on Prevention

health tips
Doctor finds new guidelines on migraine headaches' prevention
From prescription pills to poisonous plants, plenty of treatments can help prevent migraines, according to new guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology.

The updated guidelines could help some of the country's 30 million "migraineurs" reduce the frequency and severity of their headaches.

"About 38 percent of people who suffer from migraines could benefit from preventive treatments, but only less than a third of these people currently use them," said Dr. Stephen Silberstein, director of the Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and lead author of the guidelines released today.

Migraines are a type of headache often accompanied by nausea, sensitivity to sound and "aura," or visual symptoms. Acute treatments can ease the ache once it's started. But people with frequent migraines are advised to try daily therapies to prevent the pain and dampen the dread of when and where the next headache will hit.

"People who have relatively mild migraines that come infrequently and respond well to acute treatments, those people don't need preventive therapy," said Dr. Richard Lipton, director of the Montefiore Headache Center in New York City. "But if you're losing more than 10 days per month to your migraines, it's probably worth taking medication on a daily basis."

Silberstein and colleagues reviewed the slew of studies on migraine prevention to tease out treatments that were proved to work from ones that were probably ineffective. Among those with "established efficacy" were anti-seizure drugs such as topiramate, blood pressure-lowering drugs called beta-blockers, and inflammation-blocking extracts from the toxic butterbur plant.

"There are many, many different treatments and they have many effects on brain physiology," said Dr. Joel Saper, director of the Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute in Ann Arbor. "Some people need one kind of an effect to feel better; some need another. Some need multiple treatments at the same time."

Preventive treatments that are considered "probably effective" include antidepressants such as amitriptyline, over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen, and natural supplements such as riboflavin.

"Some people say, 'I really don't want be on a medication," said Dr. Audrey Halpern, a neurologist at NYU Langone's Joan H. Tisch Center for Women's Health in New York City. "It may be appropriate for them to start with a natural supplement or other complementary therapy to get them going."

But Halpern stressed that "natural" doesn't necessarily mean "safe."

"Some supplements may interact with other medications," she said. "It's really important for people to talk to their doctors before starting any therapy."

One natural supplement, butterbur extract, has been used to treat migraine for more than 500 years. But only recently was its migraine-fighting potential proved in a clinical trial.

"The great thing about butterbur is it has a very favorable side effect profile," said Lipton, cautioning that supplements were not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "One of the issues with natural compounds is they're very complex. It's a very complex biochemical soup."

Some of the treatments listed in the guidelines are FDA-approved to treat migraines. But many are approved for other conditions and used off-label in migraineurs.

"The fascinating thing about migraine prevention is almost all the therapies we have were developed for another purpose and discovered to work in migraine prevention by chance alone," said Lipton, describing how drugs designed for epilepsy and hypertension were found to work haphazardly in headache sufferers. "But I think we're moving into an era where we can develop designer drugs specifically for migraine."

The new guidelines are similar to those from 2000 with a few changes: Topiramate is now considered effective in migraine prevention; and gabapentin and verapamil were downgraded from "probably effective" to a category of treatments with "inadequate" evidence to support or refute its use. But experts emphasize the guidelines are not the be-all, end-all.

"They're useful as a starting point," said Saper, adding that difficult cases often required drugs not listed in general guidelines. "Many people respond well to drugs that don't help most other people, and those drugs don't get listed because there's not enough evidence of a generalized benefit."

News by ABC News

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

7 Foods that cause body odour

Blamed on everything from genes, to cheap perfume, even occupation, or the type of food you ate, body odour can be crowned as the single biggest turning off factor in social interactions.

Some experts might blame it on the excessive use of deodorants and some might blame it on the biological composition of your body, but many unanimously agree that some specific types of food items can lead to body odour. Zoom in on our list of top 7 foods that cause body odour and consume them in moderation if you are a regular victim of this disorder.

Spicy food
A spice overload can lead to excessive sulfur in your food intake, which will be eliminated through skin's pores and breath. Ensure that you eat well-balanced meals that aren't too heavy on garlic, onions or piping hot curries.

Red meat
Red meat requires maximum digestion effort for your body to process. Over-eating will lead to issues liker perspiration and unwanted sweat. While vegetarians might not have such issues with their limited food intake, fenugreek and other strong flavoured plants cause similar results.

Chocolate, soda, tea, coffee, alcohol - consuming any of these in excess causes body odour as when you drink them atleast 10% of it will be left unprocessed causing perspiration. Excessive alcohol, in particular, may cause body odour.

Junk foods
Excessive consumption of junk foods with next to no exercise routine, will lead to accumulation of fatty cells inside your body which is the chief reason behind sweating and BO. They lead to unwanted breath and body odour as the food takes longer than their healthier counterparts to get digested. Foods high in hydrogenated oil, sugar, flour, salt and so on are not good when consumed in excess.

Low carbs
A diet which does not contain carbs can lead to a greater release of sweat in the body and also excess of protein foods. This process leads to a release of chemical called ketones in your bloodstream which lead to unwanted smell.

Dairy products
Again, dairy products are rich in protein and high consumption of these food items will take longer for your stomach to digest them. Excess consumption of dairy products can lead to release of hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan in the body which can easily trigger off a foul smell.

We all know it. When the smoke of cigarettes mingles with other sweat glands in the body it'll lead to a release of a distinctive smell which leads to a specific 'smoker' smell that lingers on everything from clothing to hair.

News by TheTimesofIndia

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Easy dinner recipes for the entire week

Chili Macaroni
Monday - Chili Macaroni

This family favorite ground beef and pasta dinner recipe has wagon wheel macaroni and green beans in a spicy tomato sauce. With its short preparation and cooking time, you will be adding this one to your weeknight meal rotation. Plus, its a great way to get your kids to eat more green vegetables.


    * 12 ounces lean ground beef or uncooked ground turkey
    * 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
    * 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes and green chilies
    * 1-1/4 cups tomato juice
    * 2 teaspoons chili powder
    * 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
    * 1 cup dried wagon wheel macaroni or elbow macaroni
    * 1 cup frozen cut green beans
    * 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 ounces) (optional)
    * Tortilla chips (optional)


   1. In a very large skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium until meat is brown. Drain off fat. Stir undrained tomatoes, tomato juice, chili powder, and garlic salt into meat mixture. Bring to boiling. Stir in pasta and green beans. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until pasta and beans are tender.
   2. Top with shredded cheddar cheese and and serve with tortilla chips, if desired. Makes 4 servings.t

Curried Coconut-Butternut Squash Soup

Tuesday - Mark Bittman on Shine: Curried Coconut-Butternut Squash Soup

By Alaina Sullivan

Squash soups typically rely on a blender to give them a luxuriously creamy consistency, yet this version achieves richness without being pureed to a pulp. Small cubes of butternut squash are cooked in a milky-sweet broth, and they hold their shape all through cooking. The soup becomes creamy by way of coconut milk, which contributes a rich flavor without weighing it down. Curry, cinnamon and cumin spike the broth just enough to accent the squash without masking its natural flavor. The curry and coconut shine together as they usually do, but it’s the cinnamon that brings a warm, unexpected undertone to the dish.

It’s a soup that sits in limbo somewhere between creamy and brothy, sort of the best of both worlds. Garnish with fresh cilantro or mint. Recipe from Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express.

Curried Coconut-Butternut Squash Soup

Cook two cups of chopped squash in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil, along with a diced onion, a teaspoon of cumin, a half teaspoon of cinnamon, and a teaspoon of curry powder (or more to taste). Cook the vegetables and spices until the onion is soft, about three minutes. Add five cups of chicken broth or water and a cup of coconut milk; bring to a boil and cook for about six minutes or until the squash is tender and easily pierced with a knife. Serve the soup topped with fresh cilantro and crusty bread or a scoop of rice.

Pork Chops with Gorgonzola and Pears
Wednesday - Pork Chops with Gorgonzola and Pears

The juicy, flavorful rib chop is the main attraction in this Tuscan-style main dish but its flavor is heightened when served with the creamy Gorgonzola cheese sauce. The fruit flavor of the lightly browned pears mingles well with the meaty taste of the chops. For other ways to prepare pork chops, see more recipes that are available.


    * 4 pork rib chops, cut 3/4 to 1 inch thick
    * Sea salt, kosher salt, or salt
    * 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    * 2 medium ripe pears, peeled, cored; each pear cut into 8 wedges
    * 2 Tbsp. butter
    * 1/4 cup dry white wine or apple juice
    * 1/4 cup whipping cream
    * 8 oz. creamy Gorgonzola or blue cheese, cut up
    * Freshly ground black pepper
    * Additional Gorgonzola cheese, cut into chunks (optional)


   1. Sprinkle pork chops with salt. In a 12-inch skillet cook pork chops in hot oil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn chops and cook 5 minutes more or until browned and juices run clear (160 degrees F). Transfer chops to a serving platter. Drain fat from skillet.
   2. In same skillet cook pear wedges in butter over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until browned, turning once. Add pears to platter.
   3. For sauce, add wine and cream to skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently, uncovered, 1 to 2 minutes until slightly thickened. Add the 8 ounces Gorgonzola; whisk until cheese is almost melted. Remove from heat. Serve with pork and pears. Sprinkle with pepper; serve with additional cheese. Makes 4 servings.
   4. Test Kitchen Tip: Rib chops are notable for flavor and juiciness.

Spinach and broccoli-stuffed shells

Thursday - Spinach and broccoli-stuffed shells

This Italian staple has all the comfort you’d want from a baked pasta dish, but with the bonus of veggies: Broccoli and spinach are folded into a creamy filling made with Parmesan, mozzarella and ricotta.

Recipe Ingredients
16 jumbo shells (from a 12-oz box)
2 cups marinara sauce
1 10-oz pkg frozen leaf spinach, thawed
1/2 16-oz pkg frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 15-oz container part-skim ricotta
2 oz Parmesan, grated (about 1/2 cup)
4 oz part-skim mozzarella, grated (about 1 cup)
Kosher salt and pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 small head romaine lettuce, torn
1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

Recipe Preparation
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool.

2. Spread the sauce onto the bottom of a large broiler-proof baking dish.

3. Squeeze the spinach of excess moisture, roughly chop and place in a large bowl. Chop the broccoli and add it to the bowl. Stir in the ricotta, Parmesan, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the shells (about 1/4 cup each) and place on top of the sauce.

4. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and bake until the shells are heated through, 10 to 12 minutes. Increase heat to broil. Broil the shells until the cheese begins to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper. Toss with the lettuce, cucumber and onion. Serve with the shells.

Two-Bean Tamale Pie
Friday - Two-Bean Tamale Pie

This delicious casserole has all the spicy, savory flavors of Mexican tamales, with considerably less fat and less preparation time. A hearty mixture of beans, vegetables, and seasonings is baked beneath a cornbread crust for a delicious vegetarian meal; it's perfect for a cold winter night. Using a packaged cornbread mix, jazzed up with cheese and cilantro, keeps things simple while adding terrific texture and flavor.


    * 1 cup chopped green sweet pepper
    * 1/2 cup chopped onion
    * 2 cloves garlic, minced
    * 1 tablespoon cooking oil
    * 1 15-ounce can kidney beans or black beans, rinsed, drained, and slightly mashed
    * 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed, drained, and slightly mashed
    * 1 6-ounce can (2/3 cup) vegetable juice
    * 1 4-ounce can diced green chile peppers, undrained
    * 1 teaspoon chili powder
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    * 1 8-1/2-ounce package corn muffin mix
    * 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (2 ounces)
    * 1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro or parsley


   1. Grease a 2-quart square baking dish or 10-inch quiche dish; set aside.
   2. In a medium skillet cook sweet pepper, onion, and garlic in hot oil until tender. Stir in kidney beans, pinto beans, vegetable juice, chile peppers, chili powder, and cumin; heat through. Spoon bean mixture into the prepared dish.
   3. Prepare corn muffin mix according to package directions. Add cheese and cilantro to muffin mix, stirring just until combined. Spoon cornbread mixture evenly over top of bean mixture. Bake, uncovered, in a 400 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until golden. If desired, serve with salsa and sour cream.
   4. Makes 6 main-dish servings

Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter
Saturday - Salmon with Pepita-Lime Butter

Recipe Nutrition
Per serving: 185 calories; 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 2 g mono unsaturated fat); 61 mg cholesterol; 2 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 0 g fiber; 349 mg sodium; 466 mg potassium Nutrition Bonus: Excellent source of omega-3s.


    * 2 tablespoons unsalted pepitas (see Tip)
    * 1 tablespoon butter
    * 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
    * 2 tablespoons lime juice
    * 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
    * 1 pound salmon fillet, skinned (see Tip) and cut into 4 portions
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


   1. Toast pepitas (see Tip). Place in a small bowl with butter, lime zest, lime juice and chili powder.
   2. Generously coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook until browned and just cooked through in the center, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the salmon to a plate. Add the butter-lime mixture to the hot pan; stir until the butter is melted. Serve the salmon topped with the sauce.
   3. Tips: Pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) can be found in the bulk-foods section of natural-foods stores or Mexican groceries. Place a salmon fillet on a clean cutting board, skin side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long, sharp knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either. Place pepitas in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Tuscan-Pasta with Tomato-Basil Cream
Sunday - Tuscan-Pasta with Tomato-Basil Cream

1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli
1 (16-oz.) jar sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce
2 Tbsp. white wine
2 medium-size fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Garnish: fresh basil strips

Prepare pasta according to package directions

Meanwhile, pour Alfredo sauce into a medium saucepan. Pour wine into sauce jar; cover tightly, and shake well. Stir wine mixture into saucepan. Stir in chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup chopped basil, and cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Toss with pasta, and top evenly with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Garnish, if desired.

Recipes by Yahoo

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