KRON 4 | Salt Affects More Than Blood Pressure

VIDEO: You may think you’re one of the lucky ones who can eat unlimited bags of chips and other troves of salt; and yet, it doesn’t affect your blood pressure. But according to research published in the American College of Cardiology, excess sodium can adversely affect other target organs even if you don’t have hypertension.

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Blood Vessels

Studies show elevated sodium levels can cause the inner lining of blood vessels (called the endothelium) to “malfunction”. The following occurs as a result:

  1. Vessels stiffen. Arteries that become less elastic and lose their contractility (ability to fully contract and relax) make it harder for the heart to pump blood throughout the body. Eventually, the heart wears out (heart failure).
  2. Vessels become sticky. Think of the lining of your blood vessels as being slick like Teflon. An unhealthy endothelium is sticky like Velcro and causes plaque to attach. Plaque builds up in the brain too — leading to Alzheimer’s.
  3. The body breeds dangerous inflammation. Inflammation may cause plaque inside blood vessels to crack, rupture, and dislodge from arterial walls. The body responds like with any other injury by causing blood to clot. Clots clog up vessel freeways and block blood flow to the heart (heart attack) or brain (stroke). Inflammation is also the key reason behind why heart attacks are more likely to occur after getting the flu.

NOTE: Eating too much sugar can have the same effect on the endothelium as an excessive intake of sodium.

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Heart

Research found that elevated sodium levels may increase the wall thickness of the heart’s main pumping chamber (left ventricle). This thickening can lead to cardiac issues, such as:

  • Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm)
  • Heart attack
  • Sudden cardiac arrest (sudden loss of heart function)
  • Heart failure (inability of the heart to pump enough blood throughout the body)

High blood pressure is a major risk factor for this muscle tissue enlargement, but it was also found in healthy people with NORMAL blood pressure who consumed high amounts of sodium.

Kidneys   

Healthy kidneys remove extra fluid and waste from the blood. Studies found that a high Continue reading “KRON 4 | Salt Affects More Than Blood Pressure”

ABC 10 | Healthy Valentine’s Day!

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A healthy Valentine’s Day? Oxymoron, you say? It IS possible to healthify your V-Day eats and sweeten the deal with some fun food that your little darlings will enjoy. Here’s what was on the menu when I was on ABC10 yesterday as their recurring health expert. Get your kids and grandkids involved — this is when they can play with their food!

On the menu:

Cocoa Cupcakes: What makes these so moist? Cooked beets! Also, flaxseeds and chunks of pecans and give them an added boost of healthy fat and the dark cocoa provides powerful antioxidants. Contains whole wheat flour and NO dairy or eggs.

Razzberry Choco-mole: Move aside guacamole. Dark cocoa meets avocado for a decadent, smooth and creamy sweet treat. Blended with both fresh and frozen raspberries for a tart undertone. Does not contain dairy or eggs.

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Apple Heart Sandwiches: A sandwich kids will love to make. Slice apples horizontally then cut out the center with a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Layer an apple slice with creamy nut butter, currants, muesli, and sunflower seeds, then top with an apple slice for a ‘hearty’ sandwich!

Chocolate Cups with Lemon-illa Filling: Dark chocolate cups are made lovingly by hand 😘 and filled with Greek cream cheese. The filling is flavored with fresh lemon zest, Mexican vanilla, and a touch of honey. Top with a fresh strawberry “heart”. Greek cream cheese contains half the fat and four times the protein than low-fat cream cheese.

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Hearty Green Salad:  A power blend of baby greens (Swiss chard, kale, and spinach) is topped with heart-shaped red peppers, cucumbers, and XO’s (cut from mozzarella and cheddar cheeses).

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Rosemary Red Hearts: Red potatoes are cut into hearts and roasted with rosemary, freshly ground pepper, sea salt, and smoked paprika.

Hibiscus Berry Smoothie: Red delicious apples, banana, frozen raspberries and strawberries, and cashew milk yogurt are blended in a base of hibiscus tea. Does not contain dairy.

Happy Valentine’s Day! XOXO ♥

KRON 4 | Why Heart Attacks are the #1 Killer of Women

VIDEO: Did you know that winter is prime heart attack season and heart attacks are the No. 1 killer of women? February is American Heart Month and marks the time to raise awareness about heart disease and how you can prevent it. Over 600,000 Americans die of heart disease every year — that’s one in every four deaths. Weekend anchor Marty Gonzalez on “KRON 4 Morning News Weekend” and I cover a topic that EVERY woman needs to know. Please pass it on to your beloved females.

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  • Stay warm if you’re an older adult. Wear layers. The elderly are especially at risk because they have less body fat and a diminished ability to sense temperature. Wind, rain, and snow also steal body heat.
  • Be wary of snow shoveling especially if you’re not a regular exerciser, have heart disease, or have a chronic medical condition. Snow can be HEAVY. Shoveling is a vigorous activity and can put strain on your heart.
  • Woman wearing scarfCover your mouth and nose. Wearing a scarf allows the air to naturally get warmed before it enters your body, and thus, won’t be such a shock to your heart and lungs. (This is especially critical for the elderly, people with heart disease risk factors or have a cardiac history.)
  • Drink water — not alcohol. Water is an insulator and retains body heat.
  • Flu can cause inflammation of vital organs and result in multiple organ failure.
    • Inflammation may cause the plaque inside blood vessels to crack, rupture, and dislodge which could result in a blockage within an artery.
    • When you have the flu, the heart may need to work harder to pump blood through the lungs (which are inflamed from the infection), thus increasing the stress place on the heart.
    • Myocarditis, the inflammation and destruction of the heart muscle tissue, can be caused by the flu and lead to rapid heart failure.

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  • Circulation study showed that 43% of women do NOT experience acute chest pain at all during a heart attack which is a hallmark sign in men.

Major Symptoms in Women During a Heart Attack   

Continue reading “KRON 4 | Why Heart Attacks are the #1 Killer of Women”

KRON 4 | Is Too Much Protein Aging You?

VIDEO:  You resolved to work out and build a better, stronger body this year. You’ve probably heard the regulars at the gym talk about the protein shakes they drink after a workout to pack on more muscle. Protein drinks are on the rise and generating huge profits, but do you know how much protein you actually need and that TOO much can age you? Weekend anchor Marty Gonzalez on “KRON 4 Morning News Weekend” talks with me for some answers.

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Protein is an important component of your diet and is necessary to build and maintain all types of body tissue, such as your skin, neurons, organs, and muscle. (Your heart is a muscle too.)

Here’s how to determine your protein needs per day.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you have a medical condition, such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes or cancer, it’s essential to consult a registered dietician for your specific dietary requirements. Some dietitians specialize in kidney disease (renal dietician) or cancer (oncology dietician).

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Protein Math

To determine your weight in kilograms, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2. For example, if you weigh 165 pounds, your weight in kilograms (kg) is 165 divided by 2.2 = 75 kg.    Continue reading “KRON 4 | Is Too Much Protein Aging You?”

KRON 4 | The Truth About Exercise and Weight Loss

VIDEO: Weekend anchor Marty Gonzalez on “KRON 4 Morning News Weekend” and I revealed some of the realities of exercise and weight loss. You’ve been working out regularly at the gym, so you expect those pounds to peel off as your activity increases. But it rarely works this way. There are several reasons that could be hindering your weight loss. Find out why you may not be losing weight and perhaps gaining it instead.

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