17 Nov

High carbs plus protein could help heart

As I’ve mentioned many times here, I worry consistently about my heart’s health. I’m worried that I’m gonna have some type of heart disease, or that I am on-track for a heart attack. This fear has provided me with some motivation to get rid of weight. But it also makes me keep an eye out for studies showing anything beneficial to a person’s heart. And I do tend to find a lot of articles related to heart health.

One of my favorite recent articles is from Boston.com, regarding a change to diet that can help a person’s heart.

Deciding what to have for a healthy breakfast just got a little easier. While a healthy high-carb diet has been shown to be good for you, replacing a few of the carbohydrates with a little protein like scrambled egg substitute or beneficial fats like olive oil margarine could be even better, helping further reduce heart disease risks, a study found.

This is very encouraging, especially since it is something that I can easily do. I already tend to eat healthy high-carb breakfasts (bran flakes, whole-wheat breads). Cutting back a little on the carbs and adding in some protein really isn’t a problem for me. Using something like olive oil margarine fits right in with the Mediterannean Diet, which we are still following (when we have time to cook). And that is the key to any new diet: one has to be able to follow it. I can’t do low-carb diets. I can’t do high-protein diets. But I can do this.

17 Nov

Friends and family can sabotage weight-loss?

There’s an interesting article on GoArticles.com regarding a surprising challenge to someone trying to lose weight: sabotage by friends or family. I’ve actually talked with people who said they’ve had a friend or husband that subtly and apparently unconsciously sabotaged the person’s attempt at weight loss.

One of the biggest obstacles to any weight loss plan is getting around the many subtle and not so subtle ways that family and friends use to sabotage your diet. While they may not even be aware that they are doing it, the tactics used by those closest to us have the potential to be the downfall of even our most well intentioned efforts to lose weight.

In some cases, family and friends feel insecure regarding your plans to lose weight and thus may begin practicing various tactics that are aimed at de-railing your diet plans. They may complain about the amount of time that you spend working out; deliberately schedule other activities that conflict with your scheduled exercise times; shower you with tempting and fattening foods and in the worst case scenarios make pointed observations that you don’t look as though you’ve lost weight or make predictions that you will just gain all the weight you’ve lost right back.

I can’t recall this ever happening to me. Though I have done things like brought home a quart of ice cream while Erin is trying to eat healthily, which might amount to the same thing.

15 Nov

Scary studies regarding sleep apnea

The New England Journal of Medicine came out with a couple of very scary studies regarding sleep apnea. The first study regarded central sleep apnea and heart failure. The results aren’t good, even when patients are treated with CPAP. I don’t have central sleep apnea, so I just glanced over this study.

The second study provides strong support that obstructive sleep apnea is likely involved in causing strokes, transient ischemic attack or sudden death, he says.

The troubling part of this study is that most people in it were already receiving treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, Dr. Somers says. “So is the stroke risk even higher for people not being treated, and how much do patients benefit from treatment?” he asks.

Now that is scary. Stroke risk increased even when treated with CPAP? Eek! If there’s a possibility you have sleep apnea, go in to your physician and ask for a sleep study. It’s a scary condition, and you absolutely need to have it treated.