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5 ‘Heart-Healthy’ Products That Are Damaging Your Health

Published on October 17, 2013,

Jimmy Moore has written a provocative article in CarbSmart magazine warning about so-called “Heart-Healthy” foods and why they might not be as good for your cardiovascular system as the manufacturers make out. 5 products in particular are then highlighted for concern. This is an extract from CarbSmart…

English: Love Heart symbol

Love Heart symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

…Here’s the reality people: We are being heavily influenced by some very slick and savvy marketing strategies being used by food, drug, and supplement companies to make their products appear as something worth purchasing all under the guise that they are somehow “heart-healthy.” From a promotional standpoint, this tactic is brilliant. Convince the consumer they need your product by underscoring all the supposed health benefits they will receive from purchasing and consuming it and you’ve got the recipe for a profitable widget. That’s Marketing 101 for any business.

When it comes to these “heart-healthy” claims, it generally boils down to three primary things: the product is low in dietary fat and cholesterol, high in the so-called “good” fiber-based carbohydrates, and/or it tends to lower your LDL and total cholesterol. That’s the honest truth about what most of the companies are saying when they put “heart-healthy” on their products. But could some of these products perhaps be doing more harm than good to your health than you even realize? Absolutely. And that’s why you need to be discerning about separating the marketing from the desired results. I’ll help you do that in this column.

Here are 5 common examples of products widely considered “heart-healthy” that are probably not as good for your ticker as you might think:

1. Turkey Bacon/Lean Meats/Tofu

2. Whole Grain Bread/Pasta/Cereal/Oatmeal

3. Vegetable Oils/Margarine

4. Egg Whites/Soy Milk/Skim Milk

5. Statin Drugs/Red Yeast Rice/Niacin/Plant Sterols

See the full article and the reasoning behind singling out these 5 product groups in CarbSmart: 5 ‘Heart-Healthy’ Products That Are Damaging Your Health

Grain Brain – Are Wheat, Sugar and Other Carbs Helping Cause Dementia and Parkinson’s Disease?

Published on September 17, 2013,

Neurologist Dr David Perlmutter has written a new book called Grain Brain in which he argues that wheat, sugar and carbohydrate are ‘secret killers’ of the brain at least partially responsible for the fact that neurological disease is the most quickly expanding cause of death, and symptoms are starting at younger ages (even earlier than 55). This is an extract of a review of Grain Brain by Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb’s Jimmy Moore…

Grain Brain by David Perlmutter MD

Grain Brain by David Perlmutter MD

As someone who follows the very latest information on nutritional health through my work at “Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb,” most of what I read in Grain Brain was not new to me. But for the general public who has unfortunately not been enlightened to this yet, the idea that the consumption of carbohydrates, even from the so-called healthy sources such as whole grains, is directly responsible for destroying the brain is mind-blowing! With people dutifully consuming copious amounts of these “healthy” whole grains along with the Standard American Diet consisting of other carbohydrate-rich foods such as refined flours, sugars and starches while simultaneously eschewing truly healthy real, whole brain fuel foods that contain sources of dietary saturated fat and cholesterol (such as eggs and fatty red meats), Dr. Perlmutter puts forth the notion that this has led to debilitating and incurable brain diseases such as dementia. And he says it is completely preventable if we flip the dietary advice we’ve always heard is healthy on its head–cut the carbs and increase the fat in your diet! Because you can’t undo the damage that’s done to your brain once dementia sets it, it is incumbent upon you to take action on this NOW while you still have your mental faculties to do so.

Grain Brain makes a rather compelling case to shift your diet away from the consumption of grains, sugars and other culprit carbohydrates that are leading to the early signs of neurological health problems such as migraines, seizures, mood changes, sexual dysfunction, and ADHD which then progresses to more advanced issues like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. How many of us have watched friends and family members deal with this exact thing and wondered how it could possibly be happening? We chalk it up to old age, but what if what we’re eating right now could be the very thing that leads us down a similar path to neurodegeneration? That’s precisely what this book is trying to help you prevent from happening.

Although blood sugar is generally seen by most people as something only a diabetic needs to be concerned about, Dr. Perlmutter contends that keeping it within a range of 70-100 mg/dL is ESSENTIAL to maintaining proper brain health (and getting a glucometer to test your blood glucose levels is so incredibly easy by getting a monitor from your local Walmart or pharmacy–EVERYONE should own one of these devices and know what their blood sugar is doing). He recommends several other critical health tests you need to be asking your doctor about if you want to protect what’s in that head of yours! As you read through Grain Brain, you’ll begin to realize why these tests are so important, how controlling chronic inflammation is the ultimate goal, what dietary changes are necessary that will very likely go against everything you’ve ever heard before about nutrition and its relationship to your health, and some rather simple things you can do to attain mental stability and literally rehabilitate your brain from the damage you’ve inflicted upon it because of your poor nutritional choices. It may not be too late if you take the advice of this brain health doctor who has seen thousands upon thousands of patients get their life back again by implementing easy dietary changes that radically improved their health and life forever.

More at:  Book Review: Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter

You can see a webinar by Dr Perlmutter here

This is a short introduction from Dr Perlmutter to Grain Brain…

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5 Health Markers That Matter More Than Total Cholesterol And LDL-C

Published on September 3, 2013,

Jimmy Moore’s  book Cholesterol Clarity challenges the approach of most physicians who, when analysing a patient’s cholesterol results, zero in their focus on two specific numbers to determine the state of heart health risk and treatment—total cholesterol and LDL-C. Instead, he says, there are 5 other numbers that matter more. This is from CarbSmart…

Cholesterol Clarity1. Triglycerides

This is one of two numbers that I describe in my book as the “forgotten and ignored” part of your cholesterol panel. This is critically important to not just your cardiovascular health, but your overall health as well. Although my own doctor quickly dismissed my low triglycerides as a positive sign of my state of health, virtually every single one of the 29 experts I interviewed and featured inCholesterol Clarity agreed that lower triglycerides are a much more relevant marker than total cholesterol and LDL-C. The goal to shoot for with your triglycerides is under 100 (mainstream medicine says it should be 150 or below, but you can show signs of metabolic health issues at this level), and optimally under 70. The best way to do that is to reduce the amount of carbohydrates you are consuming to suit your own personal tolerance level. I have to personally stay around 30g total carbohydrates in my diet or I’ll see my triglycerides go back up again. You’ll need to tinker and tweak your intake to see what level is best for you. Your triglyceride number will precipitously rise above 100 if you’re consuming too many carbs, so use this marker to your advantage.

2. HDL-C: High-Density Lipoprotein

The second leg in that “forgotten and ignored” part of your standard cholesterol panel is your HDL-C. Sometimes referred to as the “good” cholesterol, it’s definitely a healthy thing to have this number above 50 at the very least, and optimally above 70. There are many ways to get your HDL cholesterol higher, but the best way is to eat more fat in your diet, especially saturated fat. While things like butter, coconut oil, full-fat meats and cheeses, and other delicious fat-rich foods have been vilified as being “artery-clogging” in our culture for decades, the reality is these are the very foods that can help you become heart-healthy by raising your HDL-C. When you reduce your triglycerides by cutting the carbohydrates in your diet, while consuming more fat to increase your HDL, it’s a fantastic one-two punch that gives you a distinct advantage in your pursuit of optimal health. Higher HDL and lower triglycerides are much more indicative of robust heart health than whatever your total and LDL cholesterol numbers are.

3. LDL-P: LDL Particle number

You might be wondering what in the world this is since you won’t find it on a standard cholesterol panel. That’s true, you won’t. But it is important to know your LDL-P number. This can be obtained by asking your doctor to run what’s called an NMR Lipoprofile test. Many people erroneously believe LDL is just one number because all they’ve ever seen on their cholesterol test results is LDL-C. But the reality is there are many subfractions of LDL particles that can be measured directly through the use of some pretty sophisticated technology, like the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) testing. Getting this run by your doctor (who may push back at you when you request it claiming it is unnecessary) will begin to give you a much clearer picture about what is actually going on inside your body. The more LDL particles you have floating around in your blood, the greater the risk of those particles penetrating the arterial wall. There’s still some debate amongst the cholesterol experts about whether it is the total number of particles or the size of the particles that matters most. Since the science isn’t settled on this, we present both sides of that argument in Cholesterol Clarity and let the reader decide for themselves which side they choose to believe.

4. Small LDL-P: Small LDL Particle number

As I just shared, when you get an NMR Lipoprofile test run by your doctor, it will let you see exactly how many LDL particles there are in your blood (this comprises your LDL-P number). But it also will show you the size difference between those LDL particle subfractions. This is an important marker that you really need to know about, especially if you have a high LDL-C number that your doctor wants to lower by use of stains. When you have mostly the small, dense, and dangerous LDL particles in your blood, that’s what is known as Pattern B. Conversely, when the majority of your LDL particles are the large, fluffy, and buoyant kind, that’s referred to as Pattern A. The Small LDL-P begins to become much more problematic when this number comprises more than 20 percent of your total LDL particles. For example, if your LDL-P is 1000, then your Small LDL-P needs to be 200 or less. Not to sound like a broken record, but if you consume less carbohydrates to your own personal tolerance level, and eat more healthy saturated and monounsaturated fats in your diet, then your Small LDL-P will go down. Incidentally, that statin drug your doctor is trying to push on you will indeed lower your LDL cholesterol, but it will do so by eliminating the large, fluffy kind first, leaving you with a higher percentage of small LDL particles that put you at a greater risk for having a heart attack. It’s something to consider the next time your physician pulls out his prescription pad because of your “high cholesterol.”

5. hsCRP: high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein

Technically, this blood test is not a part of your “cholesterol panel.” But it is perhaps the most indicative test you could have run to see if actual heart disease is beginning to manifest itself in your body. The high sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (hsCRP) is the marker that shows you the level of systemic chronic inflammation in your body. Without inflammation, there is no risk for heart disease. Period, end of story. So wouldn’t you want to test to see what your level of inflammation actually is? Absolutely. That’s why everyone needs to know what their hsCRP is, sometimes referred to simply as CRP. I’ve seen ranges of CRP between 0-10 being touted as healthy, but the ideal number should be below 1.0. Mine is currently at .55 which means I have minimal inflammation in my body and a very low risk for heart disease despite having a total cholesterol level of 306. Eliminating stress, cutting carbohydrates, and ditching those so-called “healthy” vegetable oils are all pro-active ways to greatly reduce your inflammation and make yourself healthier than you ever thought possible.

More at: 5 Health Markers That Matter More Than Total Cholesterol And LDL-C

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