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Entries in cholesterol (14)


Questioning Coconut Oil? Here Are the Facts.

Headlines erupted over the weekend with “new” research suggesting that coconut oil is inherently bad for everyone. If you’re confused or concerned about your health, you’re not alone. As a registered dietitian, I want to make sure you have the facts and feel more at ease about your health.

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The Insidious Story of Inflammation: What It Is and Why It Matters

Inflammation - it’s a technical process but not a complicated story.

In short, a long time ago our bodies evolved the incredible ability to respond to injury and infection through a rather ingenious process of self-repair.

What a lucky development, huh? But wait! Now we see inflammation all over health news with the media equivalent of emergency sirens blaring and public health officials’ urgent calls to action.

What gives? How did something so necessary to human survival become public enemy #1?

Are we really talking about the same bodily process? Is the media just inflaming the inflammation headlines?

In short, yes and no, respectively. Let’s back up a bit, however, and look at how A becomes B - how healthy inflammation becomes unhealthy inflammation - and what it all has to do with you

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The Real Lowdown on Lipids

You would be hard-pressed to think of many health topics covered more than cholesterol, yet most people know little beyond a few elemetary (and somewhat flawed) basics.

Cholesterol coverage in the media, as common as it is, generally offers more drama than information. Even in the doctor’s office, many of my clients come away with more of a vague impression than a concrete understanding of the role lipids play in their overall health, let alone the meaning of their individual numbers.

Nonetheless, significant decisions surrounding lifestyle and medications (along with their corresponding cost and side effects) are made based on simplified tests every day. Lipids are an important part of your health picture and of your longevity and vitality. Knowledge matters. Here's what you should know.


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10 “Hard Truth” Health Indicators 

How many ways do you measure your health?

 Our annual physicals are, indeed, essential. They offer us a basic check-in on certain numbers. Nonetheless, there’s so much more to the story than what standard tests gauge that I encourage my clients to look deeper with additional assessments.

When we’re interested in getting a sense of where we’re at health-wise and what kind of progress we’re making (or not making), certain numbers simply tell us more. In some cases, that means more detail around the basics. In other cases, it means examining additional dimensions that conventional screening doesn’t cover.

Many of these added assessments don’t cost anything. In fact, one you can even do before you finish reading this article. Check out ten health indicators that offer a clearer picture of your current health status.


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What You Should Know About Diet, Cholesterol and Health

When it comes to diet, cholesterol and heart health, you’ve probably heard something along these lines:

Eating fat raises cholesterol. Cholesterol causes heart disease. If saturated fat raises cholesterol and, cholesterol is supposed to cause heart disease, then eating saturated fat or cholesterol increases the risk of developing heart disease. Therefore, you should avoid foods containing saturated fat and cholesterol, like butter, bacon, red meat and eggs.

The above ideas have been repeated so many times by health and media organizations, most people think they’re proven facts. However, research going back more than 60 years has yet to show saturated fat or dietary cholesterol has any causal effect

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Fat Head Movie Review

Recently, thousands of 90-Day Challenge participants gathered for our very first Try-It Tuesday Nutrition Theatre event. We watched the hilarious nutrition documentary, Fat Head.  This film is not only one of the most entertaining in its genre, but also absolutely one of the best depictions on how so much of we’ve been told regarding obesity and healthy eating is false.  The film was directed by Tom Naughton, a writer, comedian, and blogger. In case you weren’t able to join us, below are just a few of our favorite lessons learned from Tom Naughton’s.  But there are many more, so to get the whole story make sure you rent or buy it for yourself! 

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Cholesterol, Health and Heart Disease

For decades, sound bites on the news, daytime television and mainstream magazines have warned us of the dangers of fat and cholesterol. When it comes to our heart health and risk of future disease, we’re often told:

  • High cholesterol is a sure sign heart disease is right around the corner
  • We should limit or eliminate dietary cholesterol to lower our blood cholesterol levels
  • Fat, especially saturated fat, should be avoided because it can clog our arteries
  • When diet and exercise don’t bring cholesterol levels to a “healthy” level, statins should be prescribed (or they’re prescribed before focusing on diet and lifestyle changes)
  • Whole grains should be increased in the diet to help reduce cholesterol levels, which will lower heart disease risk

Though these all seem logical based on what we’ve been told about fat, cholesterol and heart disease, thorough reviews of the research from the past several decades shows the statements above are not true. If the above advice doesn’t improve health, could it possibly increase the chance of disease?

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