When we hear the words high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or heart disease, we often imagine older adults, not children! But with today’s technology, we have the power to spot the early signs of heart disease before any symptoms manifest, and the results are shocking.
By measuring cholesterol in healthy children, and examining the arteries of kids and teens that have passed away, we have learned that heart disease start young- very young. In one study, 70% of overweight children had at least one risk factor for heart disease, and 39% had two or more factors.
Risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and insulin resistance. The more risk factors one has, the greater the chances of developing heart disease that damages the cardiovascular system. As overweight and obesity increased, the proportion of children with at least two risk factors increased from 5% to 59%. And excess weight starts early, with more than one third of children and adolescents now overweight or obese.
Need another reason to build exercise into your week, month and so on? Here comes one, with a new analysis of the research suggesting that those who are the most aerobically fit for better heart health have almost half the risk of dying from cancer compared to those least fit. The study was published in the Annals of Oncology.
With heart disease and cancer the top two causes of death in the US, the analysis adds to a growing body of evidence that people can protect against top diseases with similar healthy lifestyles.
This study focused on a physical fitness indicator often used for heart health called cardiorespiratory or aerobic fitness. In order to produce energy, our exercising muscle cells need to pull oxygen from the blood. Cardiorespiratory fitness measures how well muscles get oxygen when exercising at a high intensity by looking at the maximal volume of oxygen used (called the VO2 max).
Cardio or aerobic exercises that get your heart rate up and your blood moving – jogging, biking and dancing — help improve your cardiorespiratory fitness. Continue reading
Read an article about foods you shouldn’t eat and white potatoes may well be on the list. The starchy staple is linked in some studies to overweight and obesity and we lag far behind in getting enough non-starchy veggies, like leafy greens, summer squash, broccoli and colorful peppers, all shown to lower risk for several kinds of cancer. But are potatoes so nutrition-poor we should never eat them?
Potatoes’ bad nutritional reputation probably stems more from how we are eating them, rather than the spud itself. A recent report from the USDA Economic Research Service shows that, depending on where we eat them, one-third to two-thirds of our potatoes are chips or fries. Even at home, we eat potatoes as chips more than any other way.
Consider that a small serving of fries or chips is double the small potato’s calories, 10 times the fat and less than half the vitamin C. We just need to re-think the potato on our plate, not eliminate. Continue reading