My Plantcentric Journey

Posts tagged ‘Type 2 Diabetes’

It’s Not Just Candy Causing Childhood Obesity this Halloween

Halloween is just two weeks away, and most parents are worried about the frightening amount of sugar children consume. That’s understandable. But Halloween is just one day. What really scares me are the meat and dairy products lurking in children’s diets every day and everywhere—from fast food to school lunches. Unfortunately, some parents don’t share this fear. Some parents may not yet realize how healthful a plant-based diet can be for their children.

Meat and dairy products are loaded with fat and cholesterol that lead to childhood obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. A new study in the British Medical Journal found that obese children as young as 5 years old were already showing signs of heart disease that could seriously increase their risk of heart attacks and stroke as they get older. Now that gives me nightmares.

But time and again, evidence-based science shows that plant-based diets can help prevent these unnerving consequences. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics—the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals—says that “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the lifecycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

In this video, I’ll share some more morbid statistics about the health of America’s children—and why a plant-based diet is the treat we should provide children on Halloween and every day of the year:

http://www.pcrm.org/media/blog/oct2012/not-just-candy-causing-childhood-obesity-halloween

New Report: Thousands of Pancreatic Cancers in the U.S. Can Be Prevented

www.aicr.org » Cancer Research Update

AICR logo

“There is still clear and convincing evidence that diets high in a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans lower risk for several cancers, including those of the colorectum, esophagus, stomach and more,” said AICR’s Alice Bender, MS, RD.

Pancreas In Situ Xray Image

 

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer. Usually diagnosed in advanced stages, it claims the lives of nine out of ten patients within five years’ time. Now a report released today from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) finds clear and convincing evidence that many cases of pancreatic cancer can be prevented.

“The latest report from the AICR/WCRF Continuous Update Project, one of the largest cancer prevention research projects in the world, shows that being overweight and obese increases the risk of developing pancreatic cancer,” said Continuous Update Project (CUP) Panel Member Elisa Bandera, MD, PhD, of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

AICR/WCRF estimates that being lean can prevent 19 percent of pancreatic cancer cases that occur in the United States every year – or roughly one out of every five. That’s equivalent to 23 cases a day, and approximately 8,300 cases every year, that never have to happen, in the U.S. alone. (See the Cancer Preventability Chart)

In comparison, tobacco use, the number one risk factor for pancreatic cancer, is responsible for 1 out of every 4 cases of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

For the latest report on pancreatic cancer, the CUP evaluated an additional 79 recent papers relating to pancreatic cancer, diet and lifestyle. This was added to the 129 research papers already included for the AICR/WCRF 2007 second expert report.

“With the recent news that pancreatic cancer rates are on the rise, this report should be seen as a wake-up call,” Bandera said. “It’s still another example of the severe toll the obesity epidemic is taking on our health.”

Fat and Pancreatic Cancer: What’s the Link?

In addition to pancreatic cancer, carrying excess body fat has been shown to increase risk for cancers of the breast (postmenopausal), colon, esophagus, kidney, endometrium and gall bladder, along with other chronic diseases such as 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach that produces digestive juices as well as insulin and other hormones. Research continues to document several reasons why carrying excess fat increases risk for pancreatic cancer.

Fat tissue produces cytokines (proteins) that cause inflammation, which link to changes that promote cancer in healthy cells. Being overweight and obese also increases blood levels of insulin and related hormones that can encourage the growth of cancer.

The Latest: Folate Link Downgraded

Research on cancer prevention is always evolving, which is why AICR/WCRF created the CUP, a living database of the global cancer research that is investigating links between lifestyle and cancer risk. As research is added to the database, the CUP panel periodically re-evaluates the strength of various links to ensure that AICR’s advice always reflects the state-of-the-science.
The AICR/WCRF CUP Pancreatic Cancer 2012 report also finds that it is no longer clear that foods containing folate protect against pancreatic cancer. This represents a downgrading of the judgment from the AICR/WCRF second expert report, which concluded in 2007 that there was evidence for a probable link between foods containing folate and lower risk for pancreatic cancer.

Foods containing folate include dark leafy greens, beans and peanuts.

But experts at AICR point out that this downgrade does not change the organization’s take-home message that plant-based diets are cancer-protective. “There is still clear and convincing evidence that diets high in a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans lower risk for several cancers, including those of the colorectum, esophagus, stomach and more,” said AICR’s Alice Bender, MS, RD.

The new report also confirms the findings that coffee does not link to pancreatic cancer risk.

The Bottom Line

Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to prevent this deadly disease. Avoiding tobacco use is another. If you smoke, stop now. If you don’t, never start.

Pancreas Matrix 2012

http://www.aicr.org/cancer-research-update/2012_10_04/cru-report-thousands.html

If You Think We’re Fat Now, Wait Till 2030

By Maggie Fox, NBC News

Image Source / Getty Images file

In the 13 heaviest states, 60 percent of residents will be obese in less than two decades if current trends continue, finds a new report.

 

Think Americans are fat now? After all, a third of us are overweight and another 35 percent are obese. But a report out Tuesday projects 44 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030.

In the 13 worst states, 60 percent of the residents will be obese in less than two decades if current trends continue, the report from the Trust for America’s Health projects. That’s not chubby or a little plump – that’s clinically obese, bringing a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, several forms of cancer and arthritis.

“The initial reaction is to say, ‘Oh it couldn’t be that bad’,” says Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health. “But we have maps from 1991 and you see almost all the states below 10 percent.” By 2011 every single state was above 20 percent obesity, as measured by body mass index (BMI), the accepted medical way to calculate obesity. Those with a BMI or 30 or above are considered obese.

In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 12 states have an adult obesity rate over 30 percent. Mississippi had the highest rate of obesity at 34.9 percent. On the low end, 20.7 percent of Colorado residents are obese. CDC projections for obesity resemble those in Tuesday’s report – it projects 42 percent of adults will be obese by 2030.

The problem isn’t just cosmetic. “The number of new cases of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, hypertension and arthritis could increase 10 times between 2010 and 2020 — and then double again by 2030,” the report projects.  “Obesity-related health care costs could increase by more than 10 percent in 43 states and by more than 20 percent in nine states.”

That’s bad news when states are already strapped to pay for public health programs such as Medicaid and the federal government is struggling to fund Medicare.

 

Over the next 20 years, more than 6 million patients will be able to blame obesity for their diabetes, 5 million will be diagnosed with heart disease and 400,000 will get cancer caused by obesity.

And some of them are frighteningly young.

“Now I am seeing 25-year-olds weighing 350 pounds who present with chest pain or shortness of breath,” says Dr. Sheldon Litwin, a cardiologist at Georgia Health Sciences University. “Everything from the heart disease process to its diagnosis and treatment are affected by obesity. We see it every day. This really is the number-one issue facing us,” added Litwin, who worked on one of a series of obesity studies published in this week’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The trend is not inevitable, according to the report, entitled “F as in Fat.” Some programs are beginning to make a dent in the rising rates.  “We certainly see, in some communities, the beginning of some changes,” says Levi. “We know what some of the answers are.”

Convicted killer: I’m too obese to be executed

For instance, making it easier for people to exercise day in and day out, and making it easier to get healthy food. “A large-scale study of New York City adults found that increasing the density of healthy food outlets, such as supermarkets, fruit and vegetable markets, and natural food stores is associated with lower BMIs and lower prevalence of obesity,” the report reads.

What about initiatives like New York’s controversial ban on the largest sodas? “Every community is going to experiment with different approaches. It is going to be very interesting to see what happens in New York and whether this makes a difference,” Levi said.

New York’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, defends the move in the medical journal’s obesity issue. “How should government address the health problems caused by this successful marketing of food? To do nothing is to invite even higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and related mortality,” he wrote.

Trust for America’s Health

Many studies have also shown that people who live in big, walkable cities such as New York and Washington D.C. are thinner than their rural and suburban counterparts, and it’s almost certainly because they walk more and use public transportation instead of sitting in cars.

If everyone lost just a little weight, the savings would be enormous, the study predicts.

“If we could lower obesity trends by reducing body mass indices (BMIs) by only 5 percent in each state, we could spare millions of Americans from serious health problems and save billions of dollars in health spending —between 6.5 percent and 7.8 percent in costs in almost every state,” the report says.

Education can’t hurt, either. The more educated people are, the less likely they are to be obese. Higher-earners are also thinner. “More than 33 percent of adults who earn less than $15,000 per year were obese, compared with 24.6 percent of those who earned at least $50,000 per year,” the report notes. And several studies have shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables are thinner, as well as healthier. “Seven of the 10 states with the highest rates of obesity were also in the bottom 10 for fruit and vegetable consumption,” the report says.

Levi believes it’s worthwhile targeting kids the hardest. New nutritional guidelines for schools will help, he said, as will initiatives to restore recess and physical education classes. Beverage makers have agreed to replace sugary sodas in vending machines with water and other low-calorie drinks. “It is as simple as an hour a day less of screen time and one less sugar beverage,” Levi says.  “Just 120 calories can make a big difference as to whether a kid crosses over from being normal weight into overweight and obesity.”

Another study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that kids who exercised 20 minutes a day lowered an important measure of diabetes risk by 18 percent. Exercising 40 minutes a day cut the risk by 22 percent. The researchers also noted it’s important to make exercise fun for kids

“Regulation sports tend to have kids standing around a lot waiting for the ball. We had enough balls so everyone was moving all the time,” said Dr. Catherine Davis of Georgia Health Sciences University. “It had to be fun or they would not keep coming.”

For some people, drastic measures remain an option. One study in the Journal shows that gastric bypass surgery is a viable option. And two doctors present opposing views over whether the Food and Drug Administration holds obesity drugs to an unreasonably high standard. On Tuesday, one of the newest obesity drugs hits the market – Qsymia, made by Vivus.

Are you obese? The National Institutes of Health has a BMI calculator here.http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/

If you’re 5 feet 6 inches tall, you become overweight at 160 pounds (a BMI of 25.1) and obese at 192 pounds, when your BMI grows to 30.1.

http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/18/13922737-if-you-think-were-fat-now-wait-till-2030

2012 Poll Shows Baby Boomers Go Vegetarian for Health Benefits

More baby boomers live vegetarian lifestyle to improve health
BY ALLYSON KOERNER AUGUST 22, 2012

You’ve heard the term baby boomers, right? More than likely you’ve connected the expression with people who were born between 1946 and 1964, who are known for growing up with “Leave it to Beaver,” experiencing the Vietnam War and seeing John F. Kennedy serve as president. Well, now baby boomers may be remembered for living a vegetarian lifestyle.

According to a 2012 Harris Poll conducted for the Vegetarian Resource Group, about 2.5 million Americans over the age of 55 have adopted a vegetarian diet. The big question is “why are baby boomers choosing a plant-based diet?”

One of the main reasons is to improve health issues. The Washington Post reports that doctors say “this demographic group is heading into prime time for health issues and sees vegetarianism as a way to protect their bodies.”

It is known that strokes are more prevalent in middle-aged people; older women are more prone to osteoporosis; and the more red meat consumed, higher the risk for cardiovascular disease. So, embracing fruits and veggies over meat can help in these areas.

All sorts of research exists out there, but here’s one example showing how forgoing meat is good for the body. Harvard researchers discovered in April 2012 that the more red meat one person eats the easier it is to develop heart disease. By adding just 3 ounces of meat to your daily diet, in addition to what you already consume, the risk of cardiovascular diseases increase 16 percent.

“Vegetarianism can be used as a way to combat many conditions that plague boomers: heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity. We now know, for example, that such a diet can lower your blood pressure,” John Salge Blake, Boston University’s registered dietician, said.

Some of the most famous vegetarian baby boomers include former President Bill Clinton,Sir Paul McCartney, Michelle Pfeiffer and even talented actor Sir Ian McKellen.

As you know, Clinton suffered great health risks and after having a heart attack and undergoing a quadruple bypass surgery he quickly switched over to a vegan diet. He turned his life around and reaped the health benefits of saying sayonara to animal products.

Are adults over 50 taking note from these public figures? This just could be.

For further information on baby boomers and other statistics, visit The Washington Post for the complete article.

Photo Credit: Anthony Correia / Shutterstock.com

About Allyson Koerner

Allyson Koerner is a graduate from Emerson College where she obtained her Master’s in Print & Multimedia journalism. Passionate about writing, reading and entertainment, she is looking to make her way into the journalism profession.

http://www.ecorazzi.com/2012/08/22/2012-poll-shows-baby-boomers-choose-vegetarian-lifestyle/

Why Not Just Take a Pill and Eat What You Want?

diabetesI’ve heard this asked many times.  Well, two new studies just came out in  the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).  Read on:

Pharmageddon: America’s Top Selling Drug Cause Diabetes

From:  http://drhyman.com/blog/conditions/pharmageddon-americas-top-selling-drug-cause-diabetes/

by 

IF ALL DOCTORS followed the latest cholesterol treatment guidelines, and all their patients took their prescribed statin medication, there would be 3.5 million more diabetics in America.  But wait! There is another pill (injection actually) that has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes. And it’s only about $50,000 per year per patient.  Let’s see 3.5 million times $50,000. What does that bring us to?

Pharmageddon!

We are stuck in an absurd cultural habit of thinking that medication will save us from lifestyle and social diseases.

Two separate studies in today’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) underscore that we have come to the end of an era of being saved by medication.  Antibiotics and vaccines were a huge advance in medicine in the 20thcentury.  But the single pill for the single ill just doesn’t work for 21st century chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.

Statins cause Diabetes

The latest cholesterol guidelines (ATP III) increased the number of Americans who should take statin therapy from 13 to 40 million.  Those additional 27 million are ones without heart disease, but who have high cholesterol.  This type of treatment is called primary prevention.  I have extensively reviewed the research on using statins to prevent heart attacks in people who never had them.  The data is weak and shows no benefit, except the Jupiter trial, which ONLY showed benefit if patients also had inflammation (high C-reactive protein), not just high cholesterol or LDL.   If you just had an elevated cholesterol, statins didn’t help.

I have previously written about research that showed that statins increase the risk of diabetes. This latest study examined five major clinical trials on statins including 32,752 non-diabetics over 4.9 years.  During the study period 2,749 patients (or 8.4 percent) developed diabetes.  Those on the highest doses of statins (which are increasingly prescribed by physicians) were at the highest risk of developing diabetes.

While there was a slight overall reduction in risk of heart attacks in the patients treated with statins, the authors found that you have to treat 155 people for one year to prevent just one heart attack or death. If a doctor had to prescribe antibiotics to 155 people to cure just one patient of pneumonia we would think that antibiotics weren’t very good medication.  But that is exactly the “number needed to treat” to prevent just one cardiac event.  On top of that for every 498 people treated, one more person would become diabetic.  If these drugs were not the top selling drugs in history we might accept a small risk, but if we treated everyone who “needed” them, we would have over 3.5 million more diabetics in America.

Using statins may be an acceptable risk if there was no other treatment for heart disease.  And we spend over $100 billon a year on angioplasties (which don’t benefit 95% of people receiving them), and cardiac bypasses (which reduce the risk of death in only 3% of people who receive them), while ignoring that heart disease is a lifestyle and social disease that requireslifestyle medicine and a social cure which would prevent over 90% of all heart disease.

Immune Suppressing Medication Prevents Diabetes

In another study of nearly 14,000 patients, published in today’s issue of JAMA, researchers from Harvard found that those treated with powerful immune suppressing medications (TNF alpha blockers like Remicade or Enbrel), reduced their risk of getting diabetes.

Sounds great. We have an explosion of diabetes.  By 2020 one in two Americans will either have pre-diabetes or diabetes.  The authors said “there is evidence suggesting a possible role for … immunosuppression in diabetes prevention”. But the side effects of these drugs are overwhelming infection, increased cancer risk and death.  And they cost about $50,000 per year per patient. Were the authors serious about using these drugs for diabetes, another lifestyle and social disease?

Yes diabetes is an inflammatory disease. And yes, reducing inflammation can prevent and even reverse diabetes.  But it won’t be by taking aspirin, Advil, or some high-powered immune suppressing, toxic, expensive medication.  The major cause of inflammation is our processed, high sugar, low fiber, fast food, junk food, calorie-dense, nutrient poor industrial diet and our couch potato lifestyle.  A plant based, whole foods, real food diet without sugar and flour in pharmacologic doses along with anti-inflammatory omega 3 fats and a good dose of exercise can dramatically reduce the risk of and even reverse heart disease and diabetes. And they cost a lot less.

Last week a study in JAMA found that the risk of diabetes, heart attacks and death increased significantly with more than 2 hours of television watching per day.  The average American spends seven to nine hours in front a screen every day.  We have a social problem, a host of chronic diseases driven by a food industry and screen dominated culture and the breakdown of communities.  Cooking real food takes a bit more time, but people spend more time watching cooking shows on television that actually cooking.

The answer to our exploding health care costs and burgeoning chronic disease is not going to be found at the bottom of a pill bottle, but at the end of our forks and the soles of our shoes.  Please save us from Pharmageddon.

Avatar of Dr Mark Hyman

About Dr Mark Hyman

MARK HYMAN, MD is dedicated to identifying and addressing the root causes of chronic illnessthrough a groundbreaking whole-systems medicine approach called Functional Medicine. He is a family physician, a five-time New York Times bestselling author, and an international leader in his field. Through his private practice, education efforts, writing, research, and advocacy, he empowers others to stop managing symptoms and start treating the underlying causes of illness, thereby tackling our chronic-disease epidemic. More about Dr. Hyman .

Baby Boomers Embrace Vegetarianism, But Such Diets Have Risks as Well as Benefits WashingtonPost

I agree that being vegetarian or vegan requires planning.  You can be fat and unhealthy or slim and healthy while shunning animal products.  Consider:  onion rings, fries, cheese on a stick, double cheese pizza, white bread, white rice are all vegan or vegetarian.  Eating “clean,” whole foods: fresh fruits, leafy greens, brown rice, whole grains, fresh vegetables, beans, lentils, tofu, non-dairy milk, nuts and seeds will provide you with optimum nutrients.  Laura

By Marta Zaraska, Published: August 13

For many baby boomers, former president Bill Clinton among them, vegetarian diets — including vegan ones, which eschew all animal products — have become a way of life. Much of the reason for that, doctors say, is that this demographic group is heading into prime time for health issues and sees vegetarianism as a way to protect their bodies. Yet for boomers these diets can carry some risks that don’t concern those in their 30s or 40s. As we age, our nutritional needs change and are harder to meet.About 2.5 million Americans over the age of 55 are vegetarian according to a 2012 Harris poll conducted for the Vegetarian Resource Group, and doctors and researchers say interest in such diets is growing. The prominence of some aging vegetarians stokes this trend: In addition to Clinton (age 65), there is Paul McCartney (70), retired tennis player Martina Navratilova (55) and actor Ian McKellen (73). Less famous but nevertheless impressive vegetarians include Fauja Singh, an India-born Briton who at 101 years old runs marathons.

It’s clear from research that forgoing meat can improve health. “Vegetarianism can be used as a way to combat many conditions that plague boomers: heart disease, Type 2diabetesobesity. We now know, for example, that such a diet can lower your blood pressure,” says Boston University registered dietitian Joan Salge Blake, citing numerous recent studies.

In an article published in 2005, Susan Berkow, a certified nutrition specialist, and physician Neal Barnard analyzed 11 observational studies and found that vegetarians tend to have lower blood pressure than meat-eaters. The reasons behind this are not well understood. According to the authors (both of whom are affiliated with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which promotes a vegetarian diet), probably one of the most important is the generally lower body weight of vegetarians due to the abundance of fiber in their diets, which causes them to feel full faster and helps with insulin control.

Since the risk of death from a stroke in middle age rises significantly as blood pressure rises, it is no surprise that vegetarians tend to face fewer cardiovascular issues than the rest of us. In an article published in April in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Harvard researchersfound that the more red meat you usually consume, the more likely you are to succumb to heart disease. Adding three ounces of meat to your daily diet (above what you normally eat) elevates the risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 16 percent. For processed meat (think sausages and bacon), the numbers are even more striking: Increasing consumption by one serving a day — that would be just one more hot dog — elevates the long-term risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 21 percent.

Beyond damaging your heart, researchers tend to agree, eating red meat increases the risk of colorectal and other cancers. Similarly, a 2004 investigation by researchers from the Harvard Medical School found that middle-aged and older women who ate red meat more than five times a week had a 29 percent higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than those who indulged in it less than once per week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calculated that in 2010 almost 27 percent of Americans over the age of 65 had diabetes.

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/baby-boomers-embrace-vegetarianism-but-such-diets-have-risks-as-well-as-benefits/2012/08/10/becfa7ce-a996-11e1-96ad-ddffdd8199e9_story_1.html

 

9 Surprising Foods That May Raise Your Cholesterol Web MD

Did you know that ground turkey could boost your cholesterol? Learn about these nine surprising artery-clogging foods. Which one shocked you the most?

9 Surprising Foods That Do Increase Cholesterol

  1. Ground turkey. Even when ground turkey is labeled as 85% lean, it has 12.5 grams of fat in a 3-ounce portion, says Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, Georgia State University nutrition professor emerita. Her advice: Ground turkey breast can be a heart-healthy substitute for ground beef, but watch the portion size because it’s not without fat.”
  2. Added sugars (such as table sugar or high fructose corn syrup). One of the biggest surprises is that added sugars in processed and prepared foods are associated with decreased HDL levels. A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in April 2010 found an association between added sugars and blood lipid levels and discovered adults averaged 21 teaspoons of added sugars daily. “Increased added sugars are associated with blood cholesterol levels and heart disease risk,” says Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, author of Guide to Better Digestion.  Everyone would benefit by reducing the amount of added sugars in the diet because they can also lead to obesityand type 2 diabetes, Bonci says. The AHA recommends getting no more than 100 calories from added sugars on a 2,000 calories-per-day diet.
  3. Mashed potatoes. “Most mashed potatoes, especially at restaurants, include hefty portions of butter, cream, whole milk, sour cream, and/or cream cheese, turning a perfectly healthy potato into a saturated fat bomb,” says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Marissa Moore, MBA, RD. Order a plain baked potato and top it with vegetables, salsa, or low-fat sour cream. Another option: Enjoy the natural sweetness of a vitamin A-rich plain baked sweet potato.
  4. Pizza. Just one slice of plain pizza has 10 grams of fat and 4.4 grams of saturated fat — and we all know that one slice without any pepperoni is not the usual order. Stick to one slice and top it with lots of high-fiber, filling vegetables.
  5. Whole-fat dairy products. “Dairy foods are nutrient-rich, loaded withcalciumprotein, vitamins, and minerals, but if your choice is full-fat, you could be getting a hefty dose of saturated fat,” says nutrition consultant and author Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD. For example, one cup of Fage Total Plain Classic Greek yogurt has 18g saturated fat, but if you choose their 0% variety, it has no fat. When you choose nonfat or low-fat, you get all the nutritional benefits without the extra calories or fat. If you love full-fat cheese, “portion control is the answer,” Ward says.
  6. Plant foods from the tropics. Coconut, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, and cocoa butter all sound healthy but they are the only plant foods that contain saturated fat, says Connie Diekman, Med, RD, Washington University nutrition director. “Read labels for these terms and enjoy them in small doses so they won’t sabotage your cholesterol level,” she says. Karmally calls pina coladas “heart attack in a glass — there are 602 calories and 20 grams saturated fat in a 12-ounce glass.” And Moore says, “Don’t forget about chocolate, when eaten in excess can lead to increased cholesterol levels.”
  7. Ghee (clarified butter). In India, ghee is associated with healthful eating and honoring your guests but it is very high in saturated fat, just like butter, says Karmally. “It is also high in palmitic acid which is artery clogging.” Use heart healthy olive oil or a trans fat-free margarine instead of ghee.
  8. Pie and pastries. “Flaky crusts, streusel topping, custard filling, cheese filled pastries — these all promise a hefty dose of saturated fat because they often include butter, shortening, cream, cream cheese, and/or whole milk,” Moore says. It is the butter or shortening that makes the crust so nice and flaky. Choose fruit pies and eat mostly filling and only a few bites of the crust for a lower-fat and calorie treat.
  9. Movie theater tub popcorn. Regal Cinema’s medium-sized popcorn has a whopping 60 grams of saturated fat and 1,200 calories. Why? Because it is popped in fats, then topped off with more fat, earning it a spot on foods that can wreck your cholesterol level. Shave the fat and calories by skipping the buttery topping and opt for a smaller portion.

Read the Label

Reading food labels can help you avoid foods high in saturated and trans fats. To limit trans fat, avoid fried foods, foods with vegetable shortening, margarine, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.

When reading labels, keep these numbers in mind: Saturated fat should not exceed 7% of calories and trans fats less than 1%, according to the AHA. That’s less than 16 grams saturated fat and 2 grams trans fat on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Read more at:  http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/features/9-surprising-foods-that-may-raise-your-cholesterol

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