Category: CVD Prevention

Fasting Diets Reduce Risk Factors for CVD

Intermittent energy restriction diets, such as the 5:2 diet fasting diet–during which five days of the week are normal eating days, while the other two restrict calories to 500-600 per day–clears fat from the blood quicker after eating meals than daily calorie restriction diets – reducing an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, a new study in the British Journal of Nutrition reports.

In the first study of its kind, researchers from the University of Surrey examined the impact of the 5:2 diet on the body’s ability to metabolize, as well as clear fat and glucose after a meal and they compared it to the effects of weight-loss achieved by a more conventional daily calorie restriction diet. Previous studies in this field have predominantly focused on blood risk markers taken in the fasted state, which only tend to be, in for the minority of the time, overnight.

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Mindfulness Can Improve Heart Health

What’s good for the mind also tends to be good for the heart, and the mind-calming practice of meditation may play a role in reducing your risk of heart disease, according to a scientific statement published in the September Journal of the American Heart Association.

Experts reviewed dozens of studies published over the past two decades, and found that meditation may improve a host of factors linked with heart disease — making it worth including in an overall program for ongoing heart care. “Not only can meditation improve how your heart functions, but a regular practice can enhance your outlook on life and motivate you to maintain many heart-healthy behaviors, like following a proper diet, getting adequate sleep, and keeping up regular exercise,” says Dr. John Denninger, director of research at the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Meditation involves sitting comfortably with closed eyes and focusing on breathing, a mental image, or repetition of a single positive word or phrase. The goal is to keep the mind focused on the present: away from stressful or distracting thoughts. As your mind becomes calm, so too does your body.

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