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Top Health Tips on Managing High Cholesterol

Dark Chocolate - Why Eating It Is NOT A Sin?

Certificate In Food / Nutrition
Dietitian/Nutritionist, Dehradun
Dark Chocolate - Why Eating It Is NOT A Sin?
Do you feel guilty about consuming too much chocolate lately? Well, don t. Chocolate has various health benefits that even chocoholics are unaware of, which makes moderate amounts of chocolate a must add to your diet.

Here are a few reasons why you should be consuming more chocolate:

High nutritional value: Switching to dark chocolates is a wise choice as they are packed with a number of nutrients, which makes it equivalent to any other healthy food nutritionists recommend. 100 grams of dark chocolate contains 11 grams of fibre and is packed with zinc, iron, phosphorous and potassium, which classifies it as a nutritious choice.
Helps in promoting better sexual health: Chocolate is a popular aphrodisiac, which has been known to stimulate blood flow to the different parts of the body. Indulging in chocolate also helps you to get rid of apprehensions; which is why consuming chocolate acts as a sex stimulator.
Helps in preventing diabetes and reduces cholesterol: It is ironic how the intake of dark chocolate in moderation prevents the onset of diabetes. The cocoa present in chocolate is proven to improve insulin sensitivity thereby delaying diabetes. The high content of flavonoids in chocolate also helps in reducing cholesterol which lowers hypertension and the risk of suffering from coronary diseases and ailments.
Chocolate might prevent cancer: Cocoa present in chocolates contains pentameric procyanidin which restricts the ability of cancerous cells to multiply and spread. When cancer patients were treated with pentameric procyanidin, it was observed that the required protein for multiplication of cancerous cells was restrained and their division was blocked.
The major health benefits of eating chocolate coupled with the relief a bar provides during PMS and pregnancy, advances the delicious food item to the category of healthy food. Hence, consumption of chocolate in moderate amounts daily is something you shouldn t refrain from.
9382 people found this helpful

Can Homeopathy Help In Dissolving And Removing Gallbladder Stones?

Diploma in Diet and Nutrition, M.Sc - Psychology, BHMS
Homeopath, Delhi
Can Homeopathy Help In Dissolving And Removing Gallbladder Stones?
Are you experiencing a sudden pain in the right upper part and at the center of your abdomen? This might be an indication of the presence of gallbladder stones. These stones are deposits of digestive fluid which may form in your gallbladder.

Risk Factors Associated With Gall Stones:

Family history of gallstones

Women are twice as likely as men to develop gallstones

Overweight

High cholesterol

High-fat diet

Rapid weight loss

Over age 60

In the case of gallbladder stones, you need to dissolve and remove them. Among the different modes of treatment of gallbladder stones, homeopathy is considered to be an ideal method.

Homeopathy successfully dissolves small and medium-sized gallstones and help you avoid the gallbladder removal. Homeopathy also provides fast pain relief in gallbladder attacks and can be used for prevention and treatment of biliary colic. The medicines are natural, effective and have no side effects. In patients with gallbladder removal homeopathy can alleviate the digestive disorders after surgery. Here is a list of the top homeopathic medicines, which help in dissolving and removing gallbladder stones:

Chelidonium: This is an effective homeopathic medicine used in the treatment of gallbladder stones. It treats the pain caused because of the stones and jaundice when the bile ducts are obstructed. The medicine is used when the skin turns yellowish, stool turns clay colored and the urine becomes dark. The patient may have an urge for having hot drinks. This medicine is also ideal for gall bladder problems in women during pregnancy.

Lycopodium: This medicine is the best natural cure for gall bladder stones when accompanied by gastric symptoms such as acidity, a bloated abdomen, or gas in the abdomen. Distension in the abdomen may occur even after taking a small meal. Gas rolls in the abdomen and it is difficult for it to pass out. Acidity is likely, which worsens after taking flatulent food containing starch. The patient s appetite may decrease and the craving for sweet and hot drinks increases.

Calcerea Carb: This is another effective homeopathic medicine for gallbladder stones. It is mostly used in case of obese patients who have a flabby and fatty constitution. The abdomen is full of excess fat with hardness and distension. Profuse sweating on the head and an increased sensitivity to cold air are other symptoms. The patient might crave for boiled eggs or unusual things such as lime, chalk and pencils. He may avoid hot food and crave for sweet drinks. The medicine is also used in relieving sour belching and sour vomiting.

Carduus Marianus: This is a very effective medicine in case of an inflamed gallbladder. Pain is experienced in the right upper abdomen and it is also accompanied by nausea and vomiting of burning fluid. It treats jaundice in gall stones as well.

Phosphorus: This homeopathic medicine is used in case of gall bladder stone patients who experience sour belching and vomiting after any meal. The patient will love cold drinks, chicken, ice cream and fish in his diet.

Homeopathic medicines treat gallbladder stones effectively without any side effects. In case you notice the symptoms of gallbladder stones, you should visit a homeopathic practitioner.
8750 people found this helpful

Know The Amazing Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds!

Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery (BAMS), PG Dip Panchakarma, PG Dip Ksharsutra For Piles, Pilonidal, Sinus & Fistula Management, Post Graduate Diploma In Hospital Administration (PGDHA), Certificate In Diabetes Update
Ayurveda, Navi Mumbai
Know The Amazing Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds!
Pumpkin seeds are a perfect choice for a healthy snack to munch on during boring afternoons. They are not just tasty, but immensely healthy. These seeds can be called as nutritional powerhouse that are packed with nutrients, which are required for the overall sustenance of health. Some of the most impressive benefits of pumpkin seeds include:

Magnesium for healthy heart: One-fourth cup of pumpkin seeds contains about half of the regularly suggested intake of magnesium which in turn helps the body in performing a wide range of vital physiological functions. When an individual takes the required amount of magnesium, it boosts the production of ATP, synthesis of RNA molecules, rhythmic pumping of the heart, proper formation of the tooth and bone and relaxation of the veins and vessels carrying blood. It has been shown that eating pumpkin seeds regularly keeps the blood pressure under control and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke as well.
Zinc for assisting immunity: Pumpkin seeds are also a good source of zinc, and one ounce of this seed contains about 2 mg of the mineral. Zinc is essential for the body for a host of reasons such as immunity, growth of cells, proper sleep, lifting mood, replenishing the senses and is critical to eye and skin health. It is also known to help in regulating the insulin levels and improving male sexual power. Quite many people around the world do not get the right supply of this beneficial mineral due to mineral depletion of soil, effects of harmful drugs and consumption of plant-based diets. One can consume pumpkin seeds daily to combat common health issues such as cold and flu, depression, skin problems and acne and chronic fatigue.
Omega-3 fatty acids to control cholesterol: Nuts and seeds including pumpkin seeds are known to be viable sources of Omega-3 fatty acids or alpha-linolenic acid. It is required by all individuals and the body then converts it to the more useful fats called the DHA and EPA. By eating an ounce of pumpkin seeds every day, one can intake an excellent source of good cholesterol.
Tryptophan for restful sleep: Tryptophan belongs to the amino acid group. This is a protein building block found in abundance in the pumpkin seeds. This tryptophan is converted into serotonin by the body which in turn is transformed into melatonin or the sleep hormone. Those who have trouble sleeping can take a handful of pumpkin seeds along with some fruit pieces right before going to bed to see desirable results. The pumpkin seeds will supply the body with the required amount of tryptophan which will be converted to the sleep hormone and promote a restful sleep all through the night.
The pumpkin seeds can be stored and carried easily and require no refrigeration. Charged with a lot of nutrients ranging from copper to manganese, zinc to protein, pumpkin seeds should be considered as a healthy snack that can regularly be taken to enjoy a host of health advantages.
8483 people found this helpful

Good Cholesterol Vs Bad Cholesterol and Factor involved in It

MD - General Medicine, MBBS
General Physician, Mumbai
Good Cholesterol Vs Bad Cholesterol and Factor involved in It
For a long time cholesterol in totality was seen as a bad thing for your body although the truth was a little more complicated than that. Cholesterol primarily is divided into two types, one of which can be categorized as bad cholesterol and the other as good cholesterol. Let's have an in-depth look at both the categories.

LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein aka bad cholesterol: Cholesterol is a wax like chemical, which is found all over the body and it has important functions to perform. Cholesterol is carried all over the body by Lipoproteins. The low density lipoproteins are denoted as bad cholesterol as they can accumulate on the walls of the blood vessels and cause blockages resulting in many ailments. LDL levels of 190 and above are considered dangerous.

Some of the risks associated with it are:
1. Heart disease
2. Stroke
3. Atherosclerosis
4. peripheral artery disease among many others

HDL or High Density Lipoprotein aka good cholesterol: This is a form of cholesterol which is usually desired in higher quantities as it removes LDL from the system by dislodging it from the arteries and then carrying it through the blood stream into the liver. The liver then breaks it down and removes it from the body. Thus, higher number of HDL cholesterol is always desirable.

Some of the ideal numbers for HDL cholesterol within the body are:

Women - Ideal: 60 mg/dl, dangerous: 50 mg/dl or lower
Men - Ideal: 60 mg/dl, dangerous: 50 mg/dl lower

The role of triglycerides
Good and bad cholesterol levels also depend on the levels of triglycerides within the body and not just LDL or HDL cholesterol. Triglycerides are another type of fat which are used to store energy within the body but can also affect your health. It is most associated with atherosclerosis when the levels of triglycerides are high within the body.

Some habits that contribute to high levels of it are:
a. Lack of physical activity
b. Obesity or being overweight
c. Excesses in alcohol consumption
d. Smoking
e. Bad diet and others

Thus the good cholesterol versus bad cholesterol war also includes other factors, most of which can be easily changed by making subtle changes in lifestyle and incorporating healthier habits. This will increase the good cholesterol and the other relevant elements and reduce the bad.
8189 people found this helpful

Good vs. Bad Cholesterol: What's the Difference?

MBBS
Diabetologist, Jabalpur
Good vs. Bad Cholesterol: What's the Difference?
For a long time cholesterol in totality was seen as a bad thing for your body although the truth was a little more complicated than that. Cholesterol primarily is divided into two types, one of which can be categorized as bad cholesterol and the other as good cholesterol. Let's have an in-depth look at both the categories.

LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein aka bad cholesterol - Cholesterol is a wax like chemical which is found all over the body and it has important functions to perform. Cholesterol is carried all over the body by Lipoproteins. The low density lipoproteins are denoted as bad cholesterol as they can accumulate on the walls of the blood vessels and cause blockages resulting in many ailments. LDL levels of 190 and above are considered dangerous.

Some of the risks associated with it are:

Heart disease
Stroke
Atherosclerosis
peripheral artery disease among many others
HDL or High Density Lipoprotein aka good cholesterol - This is a form of cholesterol which is usually desired in higher quantities as it removes LDL from the system by dislodging it from the arteries and then carrying it through the blood stream into the liver. The liver then breaks it down and removes it from the body. Thus, higher number of HDL cholesterol is always desirable.

Some of the ideal numbers for HDL cholesterol within the body are:

Women - Ideal: 60 mg/dl, dangerous: 50 mg/dl or lower
Men - Ideal: 60 mg/dl, dangerous: 50 mg/dl lower
The role of triglycerides

Good and bad cholesterol levels also depend on the levels of triglycerides within the body and not just LDL or HDL cholesterol. Triglycerides are another type of fat which are used to store energy within the body but can also affect your health. It is most associated with atherosclerosis when the levels of triglycerides are high within the body.

Some habits that contribute to high levels of it are

Lack of physical activity
Obesity or being overweight
Excesses in alcohol consumption
Smoking
Bad diet and others
Thus, the good cholesterol versus bad cholesterol war also includes other factors, most of which can be easily changed by making subtle changes in life style and incorporating healthier habits. This will increase the good cholesterol and the other relevant elements and reduce the bad.
8007 people found this helpful

Know Your Cholesterol: Good Vs Bad

General Physician (AM)
Alternative Medicine Specialist, Chandigarh
Know Your Cholesterol: Good Vs Bad
Know Your Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body. The term cholesterol is often directly related to a heart condition. But the truth is that not all types of cholesterols are harmful for your body. It is important that one knows about the different types of cholesterol, having healthy levels of both types of lipoproteins is important, deal with them appropriately and lower the chances of having a stroke or getting a heart disease. Bad cholesterol levels can be high in people irrespective of them being thin, if it is genetic or if they are smokers.

Types of Cholesterol.

The Bad One:

LDL cholesterol sometimes is called “bad” cholesterol. A high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. Lowering your cholesterol may slow down, reduce, or even stop the buildup of plaque in your arteries. It also may reduce the risk of plaque rupturing and causing dangerous blood clots.

The Good One:

HDL cholesterol sometimes is called “good” cholesterol. This is because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver removes the cholesterol from your body and is important for the body as it reduces the risk of heart attack, disease and strokes.

Cholesterol count of the body is counted by adding the two types of cholesterols (LDL and HDL) along with body's triglyceride level. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. Too much of this type of fat may raise the risk of coronary artery disease.

The level of your cholesterol shows the level of risk your body is in, to have a stroke or a heart condition. Other factors which determine the risk are whether the person is a smoker, diabetic, has high blood pressure along with their age, sex and race.

Cholesterol levels are affected by:

1. Genetics: Genetics have a direct effect on your cholesterol level. If the levels have been high in the previous generations, you are automatically at higher risk of this condition.An inherited condition called familial hypercholesterolemia causes very high LDL cholesterol.

2. Age and Weight: Once we cross the age of 20, our cholesterol level starts to rise. Being overweight however is also a high risk factor of increased levels of bad cholesterol in the body as well as developing heart disease.

3. Lifestyle: Less or no exercise is another reason which reduces the good cholesterol in the body, as does being overweight. Regular exercise however reduces LDL and increases HDL in the body. Also a diet rich in saturated fats makes your LDL levels shoot up and puts you to higher risk.

If you would like to consult with me privately, please click on 'Consult'.
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Obesity - A Leading Cause Of Death Worldwide!

Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Physician, Bangalore
Obesity - A Leading Cause Of Death Worldwide!
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess accumulation of body fat creates an adverse effect on health. Obesity is a leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with increasing rates in adults and children. In 2015, 600 million adults and 100 million children were obese. Obesity is more common in women than men.It is defined by body mass index (BMI) and further evaluated in terms of fat distribution via the waist-hip ratio (WHR) and total cardiovascular risk factors. Body mass index is closely related to both percentage body fat and total body fat.

It is defined as the subject's weight divided by the square of their height and is calculated as follows:

BMI = m/h2(Where m and h are the subject's weight and height, respectively)Waist-hip ratio is the dimensionless ratio of the circumference of the waist to that of the hips. This ratio is calculated as waist measurement divided by hip measurement (W H)The WHR has been used as an indicator or measure of health and the risk of developing serious health conditions.

The BMR of the body is classified into the following types:

BMI (kg/m2)
Classification up to 18.5
Underweight18.5 25.0
Normal weight25.0 30.0
Overweight 30.0 35.0
Class I obesity 35.0 40.0
Class II obesity

40.0 and above

Class III obesity
Causes-

Diet: Excessive food energy intake
Sedentary lifestyle
Genetics
Other illnesses: Hypothyroidism, Cushing's syndrome, growth hormone deficiency, and eating disorders
Certain medications: Insulin, sulfonylureas, thiazolidinediones, atypical antipsychotics, antidepressants, steroids, certain anticonvulsants, pizotifen, and some forms of hormonal contraception
Gut bacteria Health risks associated with obesity
Bone and cartilage degeneration (osteoarthritis)
Coronary heart disease
Gallbladder disease (gall stone)
High blood pressure (hypertension)
High total cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides (dyslipidemia)
Respiratory problems
Several cancers
Sleep apnea
Stroke
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Management of obesity
Conservative management

Diet: Limit energy intake from total fats and sugars and increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and nuts.
Eat consistently: Resist the urge to overeat. Your food intake should follow a regular routine. Overeating not only upsets your routine but also impacts your metabolism.
Breakfast: Never miss your breakfast. Breakfast is a crucial meal; it also helps stave off hunger later on in the day, which often leads to overeating and snacking.
Monitor yourself: Keep a close check on what you eat and regularly weigh yourself.
Physical activity: Perform at least 200 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week. This schedule should be spread out over at least 3 days.
Watching TV: Limit watching TV to no more than 10 hours each week.
Surgical management

The surgical management of obesity involves the following two procedures:

Restrictive procedures
Malabsorptive procedures
7608 people found this helpful

Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Multi Speciality Clinic
Multi Speciality, Pune
Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome
'Metabolic' are the biochemical processes that are involved in the normal functioning of your body. Risk factors are common traits, habits or conditions that raise your risk of developing a disease. Metabolic syndrome is the term used for a group of factors that increase your risk of developing the cardiac diseases and other health issues, like stroke and diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is becoming a prevalent disorder due to a sharp rise in the rate of obesity among adults. Metabolic syndrome may soon overtake smoking as the dominant risk factor responsible for heart disorders.

The following are some of the dominant symptoms of metabolic syndrome:
1. Abdominal obesity
2. A high level of Triglyceride( 150 and higher)
3. A lowered level of HDL (good cholesterol)
4. Blood pressure of 130/85 and above
5. Increased level of blood sugar(fasting) of 110 or more

It is not impossible to prevent the onset of metabolic syndrome. Slight lifestyle alterations can help to delay the onset of the disorder. In order to control metabolic syndrome effectively, you need to require long term dedication towards your health.

The following are some tips that may help you to control your metabolic syndrome:
1. Lead an active life: Studies suggest that if you lead an active life, you run a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome. If you exercise on a regular basis and participate in physical activities, it will help you to reduce your blood pressure level. Active lifestyle is also known to improve your insulin sensitivity, which will help you to control your metabolic syndrome effectively.

2. Healthy diet: A healthy and balanced diet that comprises of fresh leafy vegetables, seasonal fruits and whole grains carbohydrates is good for your overall health and helps to prevent or slow down the onset of metabolic syndrome.

3. Drink in moderation: A glass of wine on a daily basis is beneficial for your health. According to recent studies, moderate intake of wine may lower a person's risk of developing metabolic syndrome. It must be kept in mind that wine is only helpful when consumed in moderation. In fact, over indulgence in wine is actually injurious to health.

4. Maintain an ideal body weight: Obese people are more prone to suffer from high blood pressure and increased blood sugar level; all of which fuel the risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Reduce your excessive body fat to achieve an ideal body weight to lead a healthy life.
7392 people found this helpful

Low Cholesterol Diet - Seven Food Items To Try!!

MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, Post Graduate Program in Diabetology
General Physician, Delhi
Low Cholesterol Diet - Seven Food Items To Try!!
Cholesterol is generally regarded as something bad for the health. As a part of diet, everyone tries to avoid anything that has cholesterol in it. What needs to be understood is that not all cholesterol is bad. There is also good cholesterol, which is actually very essential for body functions. This is required for the production of essential hormones. Inadequate amounts of good cholesterol can lead to problems ranging from simple hormonal imbalances to severe issues like infertility.

The following are some food items, which contain sufficient amounts of good cholesterol and should find a place in your plate. They are essential for various body functions including hormone formation.

Avocado oil: Most oil is considered bad, but avocado oil contains about 70% of good cholesterol and should be used for its heart-healthy benefits. Being a great antioxidant, it protects the heart by reducing inflammation and by improving blood pressure. Eating whole avocado is also beneficial for the heart and the body as a whole.

Buckwheat: This whole grain is rich in many vitamins, quite a few minerals, and is a good provider of dietary fiber. It is also gluten-free and is rich in antioxidants, making it extremely cardio-friendly.

Soy: Too much saturated fat in the diet cannot be digested and the liver converts these and stores it, which adds to obesity. Soy which is a good replacement for animal fat and even dairy products can help improve cholesterol levels and prevent fat accumulation.

Salmon: This is one of the most heart-friendly food items, which is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and good cholesterol. It lowers triglyceride levels and provides a good amount of protein for the body.

Spinach: The cholesterol which settles against the blood vessels is washed off by consuming spinach in regular quantities at regular intervals. It is also the richest source of lutein, which is known as guardian against aging diseases including hypertension.

Go the nutty way: While most would consider nuts as rich in oils, truth is they are loaded with good cholesterol. Therefore, whether it is almonds or pecans, ground nuts or walnuts, nuts are great for the heart. They are also rich in minerals including calcium, copper, magnesium, and potassium and contain various vitamins. So about a teaspoon of chopped nuts should be on your plate on any given day.

Dark chocolate: Again, like nuts, most of us tend to avoid chocolate, but these restrictions are only for the white ones with sugar. The dark one is extremely healthy for the heart with loaded antioxidants, which prevents clogging of arteries. It is also rich in flavonoids, which are useful in controlling blood pressure and other heart diseases.
7357 people found this helpful

What Causes High Cholesterol? 6 Factors That Put You at Risk

MBBS, DNB (General Medicine)
General Physician, Delhi
What Causes High Cholesterol? 6 Factors That Put You at Risk
Cholesterol is a vital component, which helps the body to make healthy cells. This wax like component is found in the lipid of the blood. An increased cholesterol count elevates the risk of heart diseases in a person. It thickens the vessels of the arteries resulting in less oxygen flow in the heart. This, in turn, increases the chances of a stroke. High cholesterol can happen from lifestyle habits and inheritance. It is completely treatable and preventable.

What causes high cholesterol?
The blood carries the cholesterol which is attached to the proteins. The combination of cholesterol and protein is known as the lipoprotein. Primarily there are two different kinds of cholesterol that the lipoprotein carries:

Low-density lipoprotein: LDL is the bad guy that carries all kinds of cholesterol present in the body. It eventually rests on the walls of the arteries, making it narrow and hard.
High-density lipoprotein: This is the good guy which scans the excess cholesterol and take them back to the liver.

Ideally, the body should have low LDL and high HDL. But often the reverse happens, resulting in high cholesterol and cardiac diseases. Factors such as unhealthy diet, inactivity for most of the day and obesity is responsible for the same. Even the genetic set up can play a hand in a high count of LDL in the body. There is nothing that can be done in this case except to seek medical help.

6 factors that put you at risk:

Poor diet: Cholesterol levels are dramatically increased when baked products and saturated fats are consumed in an excess amount. Other high cholesterol food products include dairy products, processed fats and red meat. Refraining from this food items will drastically reduce the chances of getting high cholesterol in the body.
Obesity: Obesity results from too much of fat storage in the body. It not only fatigues a person faster, but puts a person at high risk of getting cholesterol. The body mass index should be always lesser than 30 to abstain the risk of cholesterol.
Waist circumference: A waist circumference of more than 40 inches in men and 35 inches in women can increase the risk of cholesterol.
Diabetes: This is one of the major causes of high cholesterol. It not only damages the artery lining, but results in higher LDL and lower HDL.
Less workout: Leading a life which is devoid of exercise and jogging can increase the chances of getting high cholesterol. Exercise boost HDL count in the body and mitigates the risk of low HDL.
Smoking: The blood vessel walls get damaged with smoking. The blood vessels start accumulating fatty acids thereby increasing the chances of getting high cholesterol.
7307 people found this helpful