A High-Protein Diet May Help Lower Blood Pressure

A new study has found that eating high-levels of certain proteins found in meat and plant-based foods can lower blood pressure and arterial stiffness leading to better heart health. According to researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA), eating foods rich in amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, could be good for your heart.

Source: Load Up! A High-Protein Diet May Help Lower Blood Pressure

The nice part is the next paragraph details that protein can be sourced from various places, not just meat.  There’s a very good reason to not source protein from red meat: Study: Large Red Meat Consumption Triggers Immune Response, Leading to Cancer.  Also, a good article on the 1 lb to 1 gram of protein myth with relation to exercise.

The Literally Broken Hearts of Divorce

Scientifically, relationships have been shown to affect everything from your cardiovascular health to your mental well-being; anecdotally, it can mess with everything from your brand of toothpaste to control of your DVR. So it should come as no surprise that marriage, divorce, and widowhood come with their own health-related complications.

…Divorce is associated with a greater risk of heart attack, but researchers aren’t sure why.

Source: The Literally Broken Hearts of Divorce

Umm… stress?  Complete upheaval of your life, especially if you are the one who got blindsided…

Fish Oil Not So Perfect After All

Fish oil is now the third most widely used dietary supplement in the United States, after vitamins and minerals, according to a recent report from the National Institutes of Health. At least 10 percent of Americans take fish oil regularly, most believing that the omega-3 fatty acids in the supplements will protect their cardiovascular health.

But there is one big problem: The vast majority of clinical trials involving fish oil have found no evidence that it lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.

…Dr. Stein also cautions that fish oil can be hazardous when combined with aspirin or other blood thinners. “Very frequently we find people taking aspirin or a ‘super aspirin’ and they’re taking fish oil, too, and they’re bruising very easily and having nosebleeds,” he said. “And then when we stop the fish oil, it gets better.”

Source: Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research

While it’s interesting that so many studies support that there’s no link between the health claims and fish oil extract, there’s only a passing mention of FDA review and support.  Nothing about if the supplement actually contains fish oil.  If other supplements are full of asparagus and lies

My stance remains firmly no-supplement.  Nothing is 100% safe, with farmed salmon getting dyed to resemble wild, or the known fraud in olive oil…  Doing the best you can is all you can hope for, and the field changes without your knowledge.

The Man Who Ate 25 Eggs a Day (Or, Why Cholesterol’s Not All Bad)

Each morning at the retirement community, the healthy 88-year-old man received a delivery of 25 soft-boiled eggs, which he would consume during his day. This had been his way for many years. He’d had one experience of chest pain that might have been angina, but aside from that, he had a healthy cardiovascular system. He recognized that his only problem was psychological: “Eating these eggs ruins my life, but I can’t help it.

I think of the Eggman, a brief case report from 1991 in the New England Journal of Medicine, whenever “news” of cholesterol’s unsuitability as a one-size-fits-all biomarker resurfaces, as it does every few years and did again just last month.

Source: The Man Who Ate 25 Eggs a Day (Or, Why Cholesterol’s Not All Bad)

Just 25 eggs? My man can eat 50…

The article paints an interesting picture of the state of health care with relation to pharmaceuticals and doctor education.  It’s along the lines of a recent post suggesting caution about trusting a physicians recommendation – they are only human.  I had a similar experience with a previous doctor pushing for cholesterol medication, and subsequently encountered other family members with similar experiences.  My most recent test demonstrated a dramatic improvement in my HDL & LDL levels, though as the article points out – these aren’t considered to be truly indicative of cardiovascular health.  But everyone is different, so you’re best to find out for yourself.

FYI: Bodybuilders and powerlifters routinely, especially when adding weight, eat a dozen or more eggs/day. From a $/gram of protein and $/calories perspective, eggs are fantastic. Even from a macronutrient perspective, eggs are quite good for you- depending on size, you get 60-80 calories, 5-7 grams of protein, and 5-7 grams of fat, to no carbohydrates.

Recipe: Tahini

Tahini can be convenient to buy at most grocery stores, but expensive.  It’s incredibly simple to make yourself.  Providing you have:

  • coffee/spice grinder
  • food processor
  • frying pan or microwave if toasting the seeds

Then hit the bulk foods section of your grocery store for some sesame seeds!  If there’s vitamin K in sesame seeds, it’s so low there’s no concern.  There’s some real benefit to eating sesame/tahini:

  • The copper in sesame seeds is good for Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Magnesium supports vascular and respiratory health
  • Calcium helps prevent colon cancer, osteoporosis, migraines and PMS
  • Zinc for bone health
  • Phytosterols lower cholesterol

Additional tips:

  • It’s worth finding a store with a decent bulk foods section for various things – sugar, spices, nuts, oatmeal and such.  You can save a lot.
  • The nice part about tahini is that if the sesame and oil separates – just mix it up again.

When Life gives you tahini, make hummus! 🙂

Chocolate Reverses Age-related Memory Decline in Mice

Dietary cocoa flavanols — naturally occurring bioactives found in cocoa — reversed age-related memory decline in healthy older adults, according to a study led by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) scientists. The study, published today in the advance online issue of Nature Neuroscience, provides the first direct evidence that one component of age-related memory decline in humans is caused by changes in a specific region of the brain and that this form of memory decline can be improved by a dietary intervention.

…The researchers point out that the product used in the study is not the same as chocolate, and they caution against an increase in chocolate consumption in an attempt to gain this effect.

Source:

That said, don’t forget that chocolate (cocoa specifically) is good for you.