Addiction Sameness

Alcohol, Opiates, Fat and Sugar are all Addictive Substances: this blog is about that "addiction sameness".

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dean Ornish +How To Have A Healthy Heart For Life

By Aviva Patz
Ready for some exciting health news? "Ninety-nine percent of heart disease is preventable by changing your diet and lifestyle," says Dean Ornish, M.D., a clinical professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco and author of Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease.
What's more, scientists are discovering that we don't have to ban all fat and salt to stay healthy. Instead, you just need to cut back on saturated fat (which comes from meat and whole-fat dairy) and trans fats (found in partially hydrogenated oils in fried and many processed foods). These types of fat seem to increase levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol, which lines arteries with plaque and can cause a heart attack or stroke.
Good fats, on the other hand -- such as monounsaturated (think olive oil and avocados) and polyunsaturated fats, like omega-3 fatty acids (found in sunflower oil, soybeans, and some fish) -- lower LDL levels and raise levels of "good" HDL cholesterol. Meanwhile, a 2011 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association challenges the notion that we all need to slash our salt intake, suggesting that going low-sodium is more important if you're at high risk of heart disease -- say, you have a family history of the condition, you have diabetes or you smoke.
Whether or not you have these risk factors, though, prevention is key. And it starts on your plate. See how three women staged their own heart-healthy dietary interventions, and follow in their footsteps to keep your heart pumping strong now and in the decades to come.
Build a better diet
Lily Lin, 31, recently got a serious health wake-up call: She was diagnosed with prehypertension at 30, then prediabetes the next year -- both conditions that up your chances of developing heart disease. She was placed on blood pressure medication as a result. Then her maternal grandmother died from a stroke. Lin knew that her dad had high blood pressure and her mother had high cholesterol -- heart disease risk factors that she had a chance of inheriting. "I'd thought I had years before I needed to worry about those things," she says.

Lin, a business analyst in New York City, decided to take charge of her health and went to the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, which focuses on reversing heart disease and other conditions through lifestyle changes. Pritikin doctors advised Lin to lower her intake of animal protein, due to its saturated fat content, so she traded her deli meat lunches for tofu, beans, and grilled fish.
Lin also learned to limit refined carbohydrates, including muffins and her 100-calorie cookie snack-pack breakfasts. Moderate to heavy consumption of simple carbs like these can double your risk of heart disease, a 2010Archives of Internal Medicine study suggests. Instead, she now fills up on fiber-full complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal. "I learned that fiber carries cholesterol out of my body instead of into my bloodstream," Lin says.
Adding in more fruit made a difference, too; in fact, scientists have just discovered that the effects of the gene most closely linked with heart disease can actually be modified by eating plenty of fruits and raw vegetables.
Lin's efforts have paid off: She was recently told she could stop taking her blood pressure meds. "I've never felt so good," she says. "My friends and family see the changes in me. I used to live to eat, but now I eat to live."
Moves to make in your 30s: Talk to your M.D. about your family history of heart disease, and ask about any other personal risk factors to watch for. For example, if you had gestational diabetes or preeclampsia when you were pregnant, your risk of heart disease is at least doubled. If you're at low or no risk, get your blood pressure checked every year and get a cholesterol baseline, too. "If results are normal, you can wait till your 40s to repeat the test," says Jacob DeLaRosa, M.D., author of theHeart Surgery Game Plan.
Go for the best new tests
At 45, Stephanie Corn looked and felt healthy. Her cholesterol tests were normal. But because her mother had suffered three arterial blockages and undergone open-heart surgery in 2008, her doctor decided last year to go beyond the standard screenings and give her a new type called an LDL particle test which, while not routine, can give a fuller picture of heart-disease risk.
In fact, major organizations like the American College of Cardiology and the American Diabetes Association now believe that your concentration of LDL particles -- which adhere to the arterial wall and deposit cholesterol there -- is a better predictor of heart disease risk than high LDL cholesterol levels in and of themselves.
The verdict: Corn's particle number was about 1,700. The ideal number is under 1,000 -- meaning she was at high risk of heart disease. "I just about cried," says Corn, a finance officer for the city of Claremont, North Carolina. To get her out of the danger zone quickly, Corn's doctor put her on statins -- drugs that lower cholesterol -- but for long-term results, he encouraged her to change her diet, which, for this Southerner, meant saying good-bye to her beloved fried fish and its trans fats.
He also warned her to stay away from soda: A 2011 study from the University of Oklahoma shows that women who drink two or more sweetened beverages a day are more likely to gain weight, increase waist size and develop other risk factors for heart disease. In just one year, Corn brought her particle number down to 900 and is no longer at high risk. "I wouldn't have known I was in any danger without the test," Corn says. "It saved my life."
Moves to make in your 40s: If your chances of getting heart disease are above average, ask for a blood test to measure your LDL particles in addition to a standard cholesterol test. Women without risk factors should still get a standard cholesterol test at least every five years beginning at age 40, since plaque on your arterial walls can become more problematic with age. Being overweight or obese ups your odds of getting heart disease, too, so now's a good time to get your diet in check to help halt the middle-age spread.
Eat your superfoods
Maryann Chiaro, 54, of Valatie, New York, had gotten a clean bill of health at every checkup for decades. So when she saw a new doc last year, she was surprised to learn that her total cholesterol was high. "He told me that if I didn't get my levels down, I'd be going on Lipitor," says the upstate New York mom. Chiaro does have a family history of hypertension; her mother suffered a heart attack at age 62. She'd thought being a vegetarian was keeping her healthy, but, she admits, she was only getting in two veggies a day -- "barely." Instead, she built meals around her favorite food: cheese.
To avoid following in her mother's footsteps, Chiaro worked with her doctor and a dietitian. They identified superfoods that Chiaro makes sure to eat every day, including oatmeal, dark green veggies, nuts and olive oil. "I'm eating kale, turnips -- things I'd never had before," she says. She also lowered her saturated fat intake by giving up cheese entirely, getting her protein instead from hummus, beans and salmon.
In only five months, Chiaro has lowered her cholesterol from 181 to 138 -- without medication. Those are results anyone can achieve: "The more you change," Dr. Ornish says, "the more your heart health improves."
Moves to make in your 50s: Have your cholesterol and blood pressure checked every year, and ask your doctor about getting a blood-sugar test to rule out diabetes. On a daily basis, simply eating well and staying slim will go a long way toward keeping the cardiologist away.

Flickr photo by John Seb Barber


The DASH diet took the No. 1 spot in best overall diet in the U.S. News and World Report's Best Diets 2012, which also rates other popular diets in various categories.

That diet plan also took top ranking as the best diet forhealthy eating and the best diabetes diet (tied with the Biggest Loser diet). The DASH diet (it stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) may also help lower cholesterol, as it's big on whole grains, fruits, vegetables and lean proteins -- not a bad program for a number of people.

A 2008 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that among 88,517 women who were followed for 24 years, the DASH diet was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke in middle age.

Weight Watchers ranked high as well, voted best weight-loss diet, best commercial diet plan and easiest diet to follow. Weight Watchers also came out ahead in a September 2011 study in the journal the Lancet, in which 772 overweight and obese adults were randomly assigned to be treated by a doctor, or to Weight Watchers. Those in the Weight Watchers program lost about twice as much as those under a doctor's care.

The Ornish diet, which groups foods from most healthful (fresh fruits and vegetables, vegetarian protein sources) to least healthful (cakes, cookies, bacon, sausage) , ranked first in best heart-healthy diets.

Also on various lists were the Mediterranean diet (ranked fourth in heart-healthy diets), the Mayo Clinic diet (ranked third among best diabetes diets) and Jenny Craig (ranked second among best commercial diet plans).

The 22-person volunteer panel that chose the diets included Brian Wansink of the Cornell University Food and Brand lab, Dr. JoAnn Manson of Harvard Medical School and Dr. David Katz of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. The rankings were chosen, said a news release, based on information from sources such as government reports and scientific journals. The panelists used seven criteria to rate the diets, including how well they generated short- and long-term weight loss.

Have you tried any of the above plans? Which ones do you recommend--or not recommend?

Controversial Pictures


What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Can of Coke?

Have you ever wondered why Coke comes with a smile? Because it gets you high. They removed the cocaine almost 100 years ago. Why? Because it was redundant.

In the first 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavour, allowing you to keep it down.

20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (And there’s plenty of that at this particular moment.)

40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate; your blood pressure rises; as a response, your liver dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked, preventing drowsiness.

45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production, stimulating the pleasure centres of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.

; 60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium, and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.

60 minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic pro....

he Science of Stress Physiology Emotions Fight Flight

The Science of Stress Physiology Emotions Fight Flight

ploaded by on Jun 4, 2008
Till 1994 we believed —a wild animal, whatever it happens to be—came through to a relay station called the thalamus, the thalamus sends the information to the cortex, or the pre-frontal cortex. What was believed was the cortex initiates an automatic knee-jerk response: Behavioural - we jump back; Physiological - we increase our blood pressure and adrenalin to fight or flight, and then an Immunological response in case the system is damaged in some way.
But in fact, back in 1994, Joseph LeDoux and his team discovered this pathway to this guy called the amygdala. Now the amygdala is a key emotional centre in the brain, and what they discovered was that it was the amygdala that initiates the response, not the cortex.
In fact, even more important than that, the amygdala initiates the response before the information reaches the cortex. Now, because the amygdala is there to keep us alive, it's actually not very accurate, but very high speed, and the cortex is very accurate, but relatively slow. So, we've initiated a response; activated a response before the information even reaches the cortex.
Why does that matter? Well, the cortex is where we learn new things; it's where we learn how to behave. So what we call default behaviours today—and a perfect example of that would be road-rage—so we might get involved in some altercation on the road, we get very frustrated and angry with somebody, then a moment later we realise we perhaps overreacted; because that's when the cortex has kicked in. And that's literally how we're designed to operate. We are hardwired to respond emotionally first, and think a moment later.
Now why does that really matter in the context of performance? Well, because it's getting in the way of performance. Whether its students in the examination hall, golfers out on the course, literally this process of perception is getting in the way of our performance.
Now, if you consider that the amygdala is programmed from birth—primarily during the first 6-8 weeks—and it sets us up as an adult to behave in a particular way. And if you think of the amygdala as the body's alarm bell, it has what's known as a "comparative function", so if it identifies anything at all that's a threat to us—so for a student revising the exam and taking the exam will feel a sense of anxiety, obviously, we've all experienced that, then the system activates.

Stress or Distress

Andrew Breitbart Dies: Most Controversial Moments (Video) - The Daily Beast

Andrew Breitbart Dies: Most Controversial Moments (Video) by The Daily Beast Mar 1, 2012 
Andrew Breitbart, the conservative blogger who died early Thursday morning, had several infamous confrontations under his belt. From his battles with Occupy Wall Street to his accusations against Shirley Sherrod, The Daily Beast takes a look back.

Andrew Breitbart was not a fan of the Occupy movement. Shortly after the protests began in New York, he posted leaked emails from a mailing list of OWS organizers in an effort to discredit the movement as a “conspiracy to ‘destabilize’ global markets.” Breitbart also made an appearance at Zuccotti Park to let the occupiers know what he thought of their little protest.

“Behave yourself, behave yourself,” Breitbart is heard repeating over and over in a video recorded by someone there. He then shouted, “You’re freaks and animals!” at the protesters, who countered his attacks by yelling, in unison, “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, right-wing bigots go away!” The conservative activist had to be pulled away from the protest by police as he yelled, “Stop raping people! You filthy freaks … you filthy, filthy, filthy, raping, murdering freaks!” At the end of the video, one protester laughed, “I’ve never raped anybody. I don’t know who he’s talking to.”

A new documentary, entitled Hating Breitbart was slated to be released this year. The film, which was previewed at this year’s CPAC, was clearly made to give Breitbart’s side of his own story. Against a black background and tense music, Breitbart declared, in an eerie whisper, “war” on the liberal media, which, he said, had tried to portray the Tea Party movement as racist..

Note: A. Breitbart has not been mentioned on this blog before because he does not interest me. On the other hand, his death is seen as an opportunity to talk about the dangers of Distress on the heart. The official cause of death is not public yet but I'm guessing heart

Dr. Hans Selye

Uploaded by on Jan 11, 2010
Dr. Hans Selye gained world-wide recognition for introducing the concept of stress in a medical context. A distinguished physician and endocrinologist, his theories on the role of organic responses to emotion, illness and injury have revolutionized our understanding of the causes and mechanisms of disease and of the mind-body connection.


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