KRON 4 | Eat Your Way to a Trimmer Waist

According to the American Heart Association, 47 million Americans have  something called metabolic syndrome. That’s almost one out of every six people. Metabolic syndrome, also known as syndrome X, increases your risk for heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Here’s how you get it and what you can do about it.

Do You Have Metabolic Syndrome? 

Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a cluster of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors that increases your risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. You have metabolic syndrome if you have three or more of these measurements.

  • Large waistline: Greater than 40″ (men); greater than 35″ (women)
  • High triglycerides: Greater than 150 mg/dL
  • Low HDL (“good cholesterol”) level:  Less than 40 mg/dL (men); less than 50 mg/dL (women)
  • High blood pressure: 130/85 mm/Hg and higher
  • High fasting blood sugar: 100 mg/dL and higher

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Metabolic Syndrome Health Effects

Compared to someone without metabolic syndrome, a person with metabolic syndrome is:

  • Twice as likely to develop heart disease.
  • Five times as likely to develop diabetes. If your waistline is over 40″, your risk is 12 times higher for diabetes.

The Study

Traditional Vietnamese Pho Beef Noodle Soup
Asian noodles are an example of “refined grains”.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a calorie-controlled diet rich in whole grains reduced cardiovascular risk factors. They studied two groups — one group ate whole grains and the other ate refined grains.

Refined grains have a high glycemic load which means they’re rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream. Examples of refined grains include: white pasta/noodles, white rice, white bread/rolls/tortillas, enriched wheat bread/bagels, and corn flakes.

Whole-Grain Diet Results

Weight loss and cholesterol levels decreased similarly in both whole-grain and refined-grain groups, BUT the whole grain group had the following results:

  1. 38% decrease in inflammation. C-reactive protein (CRP) levels decreased. CRP is an inflammatory biomarker and an emerging risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). It is a predictor of cardiac events in persons with and without CVD.
  2. Significantly greater decreases in the percentage of abdominal fat.

Why Whole-Grains Reduce Inflammation

The reduction in inflammation could be due to:

  • Lower blood glucose concentrations throughout the day. This is the result of increased fiber in the whole grains.
  • The antioxidants in the whole grains which have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • The release of inflammatory compounds from the loss of abdominal fat. Abdominal fat (visceral fat) is highly inflammatory. Eating whole grains decreased belly fat substantially.

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The Whole Grain Daily Diet      

Continue reading “KRON 4 | Eat Your Way to a Trimmer Waist”

KRON 4 | The Link Between Gum Disease, Heart Attacks, and Alzheimer’s

Doctors and researchers have recently started to look at what dentists have been examining for years — your gums. They’re finding a relationship between the health of your gums and chronic disease.

Did You Know…

  • Per a study in Finland, subjects with gum disease were 30% more likely to have a heart attack compared to subjects without oral infections.
  • Per a six-year study of 44,119 men, those with tooth loss and gum disease were 70% more likely to have coronary artery disease.
  • Another study demonstrated patients infected with periodontal bacteria had the highest levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in their blood. CRP is an inflammatory marker and independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
  • Another study confirmed periodontal bacteria reaches the human brain suggesting an inflammatory role in Alzheimer’s disease. Additional studies link chronic inflammation with memory loss.
  • Pregnant women with moderate to severe periodontal disease are at greater risk of spontaneous pre-term birth.

Business Man in uniform having heart attack / heartburn. acult pain possible heart attack.

What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?

Below are the key things to know about gum disease:

  • Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is one of the most common infections in humans. Fifty percent of the American population has gum disease.
  • It’s a chronic inflammatory disease that inflames your gums.
  • It starts with bacteria (called plaque) that develops on the surface of the tooth root (gum line) and causes inflammation (bleeding gums). 
  • Studies show that chronic systemic inflammation, also called persistent, low-grade inflammation, is associated with chronic disease.
  • Periodontitis is an advanced gum disease that destroys bone, resulting in tooth loss.

Gum Disease_AdobeStock_96698416Your body is made up of a rich network of blood vessels which move blood and immune cells, bacteria, and pro- and anti-inflammatory proteins through your entire body. So bacteria in your mouth can move to other organs.   Continue reading “KRON 4 | The Link Between Gum Disease, Heart Attacks, and Alzheimer’s”

KRON 4 | Beware of “Drinksgiving”

Did you know that Thanksgiving Eve has skyrocketed to be one of the biggest binge drinking days of the year? Some call it “Drinksgiving”, or “Blackout Wednesday”, and it’s become an extraordinary night for the bar industry. I explain to KRON 4 Morning News weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez, the why’s and why not’s of this big drinking holiday.

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Drinkers and Drivers Beware!

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, high-risk binge drinking and DUI- related injuries increase by 33 percent. In some cities, there are more DUI’s and hospitalizations due to alcohol consumption during Drinksgiving. According to MADD, more people are KILLED during the Thanksgiving holiday than the Christmas holiday.

Habitual Homecoming 

Since around 2012, Thanksgiving Eve has become known as one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year — right up there with St. Patrick’s Day, Super Bowl Sunday, and July Fourth. Why? Thanksgiving Eve is a big holiday homecoming party. A lot of people are visiting their parents for the long weekend and kick off the event by meeting up (and drinking) with old friends.

Some bar owners say their business goes up as much as 400% compared to an average Wednesday. It’s considered the “holiday before the holiday”.

Most Popular Drink During Thanksgiving

  • Wine – about 65% of drinkers 
  • Beer – 20%
  • Mixed liquor drinks – about 15%

What is a Standard Drink?

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One standard drink is defined as 0.6 fl. oz. of “pure” alcohol.

In the U.S., one “standard” drink is defined as 0.6 fl. oz of “pure” alcohol which equates to:

  • 12-oz regular beer (about 5% alcohol; light beer about 4.2% alcohol)
  • 5-oz. glass of wine (about 12% alcohol) 
  • 1.5-oz. shot of distilled spirits (gin, rum, tequila, vodka, whisky, etc. — about 40% alcohol)

What’s Considered Binge Drinking

Binge drinking is defined as having the following within a two-hour period:

  • Women: 4 or more drinks
  • Men: 5 or more drinks

One bottle of wine = 25 ounces (five 5-oz servings)

On the average, 2 people can finish a full bottle of wine in about 2 to 2.5 hours.

Long-Term Health Dangers from Binge Drinking

  1. Heart Disease: Binge drinking can cause weakening of the heart muscles (“alcoholic cardiomyopathy”) even in 20- and 30-somethings and results in congestive heart failure.
  1. Blood Pressure: There is a definitive link between blood pressure and the amount of alcohol consumed. Binge drinking, in particular, has been                associated with dangerous surges in blood pressure.
  1. Cancer: Alcohol is a known carcinogen for areas of the head and neck — the mouth, esophagus, throat. Long-term binge drinking may also increase the risk for cancers of the liver and breast.
  1. Brain Damage: Binge drinking impacts the developing brain whereby a person in their 20’s is especially vulnerable to long-term memory loss and an inability to learn new skills in the years to come. That’s because the brain is continually changing and alcohol can interfere with those changes. Alcohol in large quantities is toxic to the delicate cells within the brain.
  1. Alcohol Poisoning (Death): From 2010 to 2012, alcohol poisoning was responsible for approximately 2,200 deaths each year, or six deaths per day. Most people who die from alcohol poisoning are white men ages 35 to 64, according to the CDC.
  1. Injuries: Per the CDC, binge drinking is responsible for 80,000 DEATHS in the U.S. each year.

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: More than 38 million U.S. adults binge drink. Know your limits, watch your intake, and consider the immediate and long-term health risks.

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Marijuana and Stroke Risk

Marijuana Logo High Quality

As marijuana is becoming more widely accessible and used for medical or recreational use, its use has been associated with increased risks for stroke and heart failure.

Research* presented at the American College of Cardiology annual scientific session, found marijuana use was associated with a significantly increased risk for:

Marijuana use was also associated with risk factors known to raise cardiovascular risk, such as:

  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use

After adjusting for those risk factors, marijuana use was independently linked with the following in their analysis:

  • 26 percent higher risk of stroke
  • 10 percent higher risk of developing heart failure   

Continue reading “Marijuana and Stroke Risk”

Junk Food Leads to More Than Waist Gain

Americans kill themselves from the food they eat.

Heart disease is often blamed on genetics (your mom, dad, grandparents…) BUT over 360,000 Americans manage to kill themselves each year from the food they eat. Cardiovascular disease is the country’s number one killer and coronary artery disease or ischemic heart disease (where plaque-filled arteries literally choke off oxygen to your heart) leads the way.

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Brain and Heart_600x1022Coronary heart disease accounts for 1 in 7 deaths in the United States per year. But plaque not only builds up in your coronary arteries, it builds up in the vessels of your brain as well. And the result? Your brain shrinks.

BRAIN CELLS DIE

Unfortunately, the fat-laden, sugar-heavy junk you consume (and find so addictive) often packs on pounds around your middle. Abdominal obesity has been shown to kill brain cells. According to a study published in the Annals of Neurology, having more belly fat is associated with a decrease in total brain volume in middle-aged adults.