Saturday, March 28, 2015

More Diets to Consider

Obesity is associated with a number of ailments including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, some forms of cancer, and other diseases. And some studies show a connection between obesity and periodontal disease. There are surgical and nonsurgical approaches for treating obesity. The nonsurgical approaches include pharmacotherapy, and behavior modification which includes diet, exercise and a change of lifestyle. Diets continue to get attention. One of these diets, the Mediterranean diet, has been around for some time, and one of these diets, the Nordic diet, is relatively new.
The Mediterranean diet has its origin in the Mediterranean basin in what "historians call 'the cradle of society.'" The diet's foundation consists of the following: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts, olive oil instead of butter, herbs and spices rather than salt, red meat only a few times a month, and fish and poultry. In one study, "a five-meal modified Mediterranean-type of diet with two daily portion-controlled sweet snacks was effective for weight management in a self-help setting for overweight and grade 1 obese subjects."
The Nordic diet was created in 2004. The diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet with an emphasis on seafood, nuts and seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. So the Nordic diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet, except the Nordic diet emphasizes venison and elk. The Nordic diet can improve health. One investigation concluded that "a healthy Nordic diet reduces inflammatory gene expression in subcutaneous adipose tissue compared with a control diet independently of body weight change in individuals with features of the metabolic syndrome."
Of course, there are other good, well-known diets in use today, including diets offered by Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and Nutrisystem.  The DASH diet is another good diet. In fact, the DASH diet is often touted as one of the best diets around. While any of these diets, if adhered to, can lead to weight loss and weight loss maintenance, the Mediterranean and Nordic diets offer additional options to consider.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

C-Reactive Protein and Flaxseed

The amount of C-reactive protein (CRP) in the blood is an important marker for cardiovascular risk. A high level of CRP is associated with a high cardiovascular risk. CRP is produced by the liver.  Dietary fiber has been found to lower the level of CRP in the blood. And flaxseed, which contains a good amount of dietary fiber, apparently lowers CRP levels.
According to one study, CRP is related to inflammation or swelling of the arteries. And this swelling is associated with cardiovascular problems. In the study, which was a Harvard  women's study consisting of 18,000 subjects, researchers noticed that CRP appeared to do a better job of predicting cardiovascular risk than cholesterol levels. In fact, a high CRP level could increase the risk of cardiovascular problems by a factor of three.
Further, the study showed that high levels of  CRP increased the risk of dying from coronary disease by a factor of four. Also, high levels of CPR can increase the chances of experiencing a nonfatal heart attack or nonfatal stroke. And just as with cholesterol, a simple test of the blood can measure the CRP level in the blood.
Flaxseed, which contains a large amount of dietary fiber, has been shown to lower the levels of CRP in the blood. In one study, consisting of 27 men who had cardiovascular risk factors, there was a decrease in CRP after the men were given flaxseed. The researchers indicated that "a decrease in inflammatory markers (CRP and TNF-alpha) was observed after flaxseed intake." The researchers also stated that the study results suggest "that flaxseed added to a weight loss diet could be an important nutritional strategy to reduce inflammation markers such as CRP and TNF-alpha."
Weight loss providers are always looking for ways to enable a person to improve his or her health through diet. Using flaxseed as part of a healthy diet may be a way to improve a person's health. Therefore, the use of flaxseed may be something some weight loss providers might want to consider.


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