Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Importance Of A Healthy Lifestyle For Maintaining Normal Cholesterol Levels

The accumulation of medical research into heart disease has raised public awareness of the importance of living a heart healthy lifestyle. This generally means exercising regularly and eating healthily. Most people now understand that raised blood cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol levels, caused by fatty foods significantly increase the risk of developing heart disease and having a heart attack. It is therefore imperative to monitor cholesterol within the body, and to take action to ensure that it remains at an acceptable level.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance found in the blood, which if left to build up over time attaches itself to the walls of the arteries leading to the heart. Once arteries become blocked blood and oxygen cannot reach the heart, and it begins to fail. What will typically begin with chest pains will ultimately result in cardiac arrest. A blood test called a lipoprotein profile can measure cholesterol levels, and should ideally be performed on adults every few years.

When this test reveals a high level of cholesterol in the blood, it is essential to take action to reduce it. Furthermore, even when a person's cholesterol levels are within the acceptable range it is important for them to live a healthy lifestyle in order to maintain the normal cholesterol levels. One of the best ways to achieve this is to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, and to avoid any types of food which have a high saturated fat content. Saturated fat is known to directly correlate with rising cholesterol levels in the blood and the development of heart disease.

A healthy diet is also important to prevent weight from being gained. People who are overweight or obese tend to have high LDL cholesterol levels in their blood due to having a poor diet, but their excess weight also puts extra pressure on their heart to function properly. These two factors greatly increase the risk of suffering from a heart attack. Diet is only part of the solution to obesity and heart disease, as it is also important to remain active. Regular exercise speeds up the metabolism and burns calories, thereby allowing people to reach and then maintain their ideal weight. Working out for at least thirty minutes a minimum of three times a week will also actively reduce cholesterol levels. Cardiovascular exercise, in particular, keeps the heart active and working as it should.

Although it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle at all stages of life, it is particularly important as people get older. This is due to the fact that cholesterol levels are often left to rise unchecked over a period of several years. As the risk of having a heart attack increases with age so too does the need to eat healthily and take regular exercise. In addition, it is important to refrain from activities such as smoking and drinking to excess, as they are known to place extra strain on the heart.

Living a healthy heart lifestyle is not difficult, but it does take dedication. The risks associated with allowing blood cholesterol levels, especially LDL cholesterol levels, to rise are all the motivation required to eat well and exercise every day. A healthy lifestyle allows people to look and feel better, and will in all probability increase their life expectancy.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Making Healthy Life Choices At The Candy Store

As children, some of us might remember the trip to the candy store. While the old-fashioned candy stores that sold Snaps, Bun Bars, Horlick's Malted Milk tablets and Teaberry gum may not be around anymore, we can purchase the sweets we crave online.

As adults, most of us want to make healthy life choices but we don't want to give up our childhood candy-land dreams. A lot of us are nostalgic about candy. It represents a happier time in our lives when things were easy and life was carefree. But as adults we are watching our waistlines and trying to prevent Type II diabetes. The solution is to purchase sugarless, natural candies and chocolate.

Organic food trends

More people today are interested in organic choices for healthy living. It would be absurd to eat green algae, wheat grass and organic vegetables all day, only to snack on candy loaded with sugar and preservatives at night.

As part of a healthy lifestyle, select natural candy that contains no sugar. You don't have to be diabetic to enjoy the benefits of sugarless foods.

Chocolate is not the enemy

Some people think they need to give up chocolate as part of a healthy lifestyle. But the opposite is true. Chocolate contains magnesium as well as antioxidants. The fat in chocolate is made from cocoa butter, which contains a heart-healthy form of monounsaturated fat called oleic acid.

Furthermore, chocolate contains healthy flavonoids that protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Finally, as part of your healthy lifestyle, don't just replace your regular candy with sugarless candy and chocolate. It's also important to eliminate carbonated beverages from your diet. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Select organic and natural whole foods whenever possible.

And when it's time for a sweet treat, savor every bite of sugar-free candy and luscious chocolate just like you did when you were a child.