Protein-rich foods that are good for your heart

September 7th, 2015; By Leslie Beck

Eating more foods rich in certain amino acids – the building blocks of protein – may be as good for your heart health as cutting sodium, getting more exercise and quitting smoking, rang headlines about a study published this month in the Journal of Nutrition.

Long chains of amino acids are found in protein-rich foods and, once consumed, these amino acids are used to make proteins in the body such as muscle tissue, hormones, enzymes and immune compounds.

Evidence suggests certain amino acids may benefit heart health. Some have been shown to influence levels of nitric oxide, a molecule that regulates blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels. Others may help the body use insulin properly and increase glucose (blood sugar) uptake. And a higher intake of certain amino acids has also been tied to a lower risk of stroke.

Read more here: The Globe and Mail

Research Article

Absence of Meat Makes the Heart Grow Stronger

September 2nd, 2015; by Julienna Hever

A recent study found that working long hours could increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, something we should all keep in mind as we struggle to find a work-life balance in our competitive, fast-paced world. Try as we might to work less and de-stress, however, many of us simply have jobs that require extreme overtime hours.

But there is something we can do to prevent America's deadliest disease no matter our career path: improve the way we eat. Studies show that heavy consumption of meat, eggs and dairy products significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular problems. On the flip side, consuming plant-based foods such as beans, nuts, whole grains, fruits and vegetables is associated with a sharply reduced risk. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that compared with meat-eaters, vegetarians have a 32 percent lower risk of heart disease.

When it comes to heart disease, food isn't just a preventative medicine. It can even be a cure. Back in 1998, Dr. Dean Ornish, whose signature diet is consistently ranked the top for heart health today, shocked the medical community when he found that patients put on a plant-based diet reversed their heart disease. That is, they essentially cured themselves by changing what they ate and adjusting their lifestyle. His and other studies show this treatment comes with only positive side effects, too: significant, lasting weight loss, lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, lower risk of diabetes and, for men, even freedom from the little blue pill.

Read more at: U.S.News

Research Abstract 

For the new review, researchers at several Canadian institutions, including McMaster University in Hamilton, included data from 41 studies of the association between saturated fat intake and health outcomes, covering more than 300,000 people, and 20 studies of trans fat intake and health outcomes that covered more than 200,000.

Saturated fat intake was not tied to coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke or type 2 diabetes, but its link to risk of death from coronary heart disease was unclear.

Consuming industrial trans fats was associated with a 34-per-cent increase in all-cause mortality, a 28-per-cent increased risk of heart disease mortality and a 21-per-cent increase in the risk of heart disease, the study team reports in The BMJ.

Via The Globe and Mail