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Who says we have to suffer...to live a healthy happy vibrant life?

Red wine and dark chocolate... might seem decadent...but these guilty pleasures also might help us live longer...and healthier lives. Red wine and dark chocolate definitely improve an evening..but they also contain resveratrol..which lowers blood sugar. Red wine is a great source of catechins..which boost protective HDL cholesterol. Green tea? Protects your brain..helps you live longer..and soothes your spirit.

Red Wine, Green Tea and Dark Chocolate, the blog, is about living the good life...a life we create with our thoughts and our choices...and having fun the whole while!

I say lets make the thoughts good ones..and let the choices be healthy...exciting...and delicious! Bon Appetit!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Do you know your omega-3 blood levels?

Although regular intake of the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA is believed to have several health benefits, some questions remain unanswered. Do we all need more omega-3 or just some of us? Is eating fish sufficient or do we need to take supplements? Is there a way to tell if the cells in our body are getting enough omega-3 or if we are deficient? Yes. The Omega-3 Index may provide answers to some of these questions.

The Omega-3 Index reflects the relative amount of omega-3 fatty acids within red blood cell membranes. The index can be measured using a simple blood sample. Your doctor can order this test for you. Measurements of fatty acids in red blood cell membranes can provide important information about fatty acid intake. Recently, the relative amount of omega-3 fatty acids in red blood cells has attracted interest as it
may provide information about the future risk of heart disease.
Studies show that a low Omega-3 Index is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and it has been proposed that raising the index may help to reduce risk.
The Omega-3 Index reflects the relative amount of EPA + DHA in red blood cells. It is expressed as the percentage of the total amount of fatty acids present. In fact it’s quite simple; if 8% of all the fatty acids present in red cell membranes is EPA+DHA, the Omega-3 Index is 8%.
The Omega-3 Index and Cardiovascular Risk
It has been hypothesized that the Omega-3 Index may predict the risk of future cardiovascular events such as coronary heart disease and cardiac arrest. If that’s correct, a low Omega-3 Index may be regarded as a risk factor, similar to smoking, high blood pressure and high blood levels of LDL cholesterol.
The average Omega-3 Index in the United States is believed to be between 4-5 %. In Japan, where coronary artery disease is less common and life
span longer, the average Omega-3 Index is 9-10%. This is because the population in Japan eats more fish than the population in the US.
Data from epidemiological studies and randomized controlled trials demonstrate that the Omega-3 Index was inversely associated with the risk for mortality from coronary heart disease. An Omega-3 Index of ≥8% was associated with the greatest protection, whereas an index of ≤4% was associated with the least.

Another study, published 2008 showed that the Omega-3 Index as independently associated with the risk of developing acute coronary syndrome.
An Omega-3 Index >8% is optimal while an index of <4% may be regarded as deficient.
The simplest way to improve the Omega-3 Index is to increase the intake of EPA and DHA by eating marine products rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Recommendations For the Intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
For people without cardiovascular disease, most experts recommend eating a variety of fish (preferably oily) at least twice a week to maintain a mean intake of 4-500 mg of EPA+DHA daily.
For those with documented coronary heart disease, a daily dose of EPA+DHA of 1.000 mg per day is recommended.
For someone wanting to achieve the suggested ideal Omega-3 Index of 8% 1500 mg of EPA + DHA is suggested.
Finally for individuals with elevated serum triglycerides a daily dose of EPA + DHA of 2000 mg to 4000 mg per day is what doctors suggest. Since fish may be contaminated with mercury and other pollutants, be sure the fish oil supplement you choose is purified and has been third party tested.
IFOS, The InternationalFish Oil Standards program offers consumers a way to compare the highest quality fish oil brands. Carlson offers a wide array of potent pure fish oil supplements that have been tested by IFOS.










Friday, December 16, 2016

Want to really improve your chances of preventing heart disease?

Learn how lifestyle factors cut your risk. Here they are:
1. Not smoking cigarettes 
2. Not being obese (having a B.M.I. less than 30) 
3. Performing physical activity at least once a week. 
4. Having a healthful diet pattern.
Here is what defines a healthful diet pattern. Do at least half of these things: eat more fruits, nuts, vegetables, whole grains, fish and dairy products; eat less processed meats, unprocessed red meats, sugar sweetened beverages, trans fats and sodium.
Every one of the four lifestyle factors was associated with a decreased risk of coronary events.
That’s the first bit of good news. Doing any one of these things makes a difference.
But the effect is cumulative. The researchers divided people into three groups based on these factors. “Favorable” required at least three of the four factors, “intermediate” required two of them, and “unfavorable” required one or none. Across all studies, those with an unfavorable lifestyle had a risk that was 71 percent to 121 percent higher than those with a favorable lifestyle.
More impressive was the reduction in coronary events — heart attacks, bypass procedures and death from cardiovascular causes — at every level of risk. Those with a favorable lifestyle, compared with those with an unfavorable lifestyle, had a 45 percent reduction in coronary events among those at low genetic risk, a 47 percent reduction among those with intermediate genetic risk, and a 46 percent reduction among those at high genetic risk.
What does this mean in real-world numbers? Among those at high genetic risk in the oldest cohort study, 10.7 percent could expect to have a coronary event over a 10-year period if they had an unfavorable lifestyle. That number was reduced to 5.1 percent if they had a favorable lifestyle. Among those at low genetic risk, the 10-year event rate was 5.8 percent with an unfavorable lifestyle and 3.1 percent with a favorable lifestyle. In the other cohort studies, similar relative reductions were seen.
These differences aren’t small. The risk of a coronary event in 10 years was halved. The absolute reduction, more than 5 percentage points in the genetic group at high risk, means that lifestyle changes are as powerful as, if not more powerful than, many drugs we recommend and pay billions of dollars for all the time.
There are important lessons to be learned. These results should encourage us that genetics do not determine everything about our health. Changes in lifestyle can overcome much of the risk our DNA imposes.
Lifestyle changes are hugely important not only for those at low risk, but for those at high risk. The relative reductions in events were similar at all levels of genetic risk.
Remember that changes in lifestyle also reduce your risk of cancer, the number two killer making it clear that a healthy lifestyle has implications for an even greater number of us!



Monday, December 12, 2016

Beans and peas increase fullness more than meat.


Sustainable eating.


Meals based on legumes such as beans and peas are more satiating than pork and veal-based meals according to a recent study by the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Nutrition, Excercise and Sports. Results suggest that sustainable eating may also help with weight loss.


Numerous modern dietary recommendations encourage high protein consumption to help with weight loss or prevent the age-related loss of muscle mass. Furthermore, consuming more vegetable-based protein from beans and peas, and less protein from meats such as pork, veal and beef, is recommended because meat production is a far greater burden on our climate than vegetable cultivation. Until now, we haven’t known very much about how legumes like beans and peas stack up against meat in satiating hunger. As a result, little has been known about the impact of vegetables and the possibility of them catalyzing or maintaining weight loss.


High protein vegetables increase satiety.
The recent study demonstrated that protein-rich meals based on beans and peas increased satiety more in the study participants than protein-rich veal and pork based meals. In the study, 43 young men were served three different meals in which patties – consisting of either beans/peas or veal/pork – were a key element. The study also demonstrated that when participants ate a protein-rich meal based on beans and peas, they consumed 12% fewer calories in their next meal than if they had eaten a meat-based meal.


Sustainable eating can help weight loss
Most interestingly, the study also demonstrated that a less protein-rich meal based on beans and peas was as satiating and tasty as the protein-rich veal and pork-based meals.

"It is somewhat contrary to the widespread belief that one ought to consume a large amount of protein because it increases satiety more. Now, something suggests that one can eat a fiber-rich meal, with less protein, and achieve the same sensation of fullness. While more studies are needed for a definitive proof, it appears as if vegetable-based meals – particularly those based on beans and peas – both can serve as a long term basis for weight loss and as a sustainable eating habit", concludes Professor Raben.