February is Heart Month. Let's show our hearts a little love. Do something healthy for your heart. What do you want to do to love your heart? Cut down on alcohol? Train for that couch-to-5K? Walk to school once a week with your kids? Make a pledge and share it with your family and friends so they can support you in your effort.
In the span of roughly 50 years, the government and mainstream media condemned dietary fat before making a now near-complete 180. In 2016 butter is no longer bad, and in case you missed the headlines, the U.S. government declared cholesterol no longer "a nutrient of concern for overconsumption" and completely removed it from their dietary guidelines.
As Canadians, we pride ourselves on our universal health care system. But the reality is that it isn't reaching everyone. Unless we work together to build the relationships that foster good health, people and communities across Canada will continue to be left out of the "universal" health care system. So here is what we are doing about it.
There's one thing in common between the eating habits of our ancestors: no one counted carbs or fat. They simply ate the foods that were natural to their environment and experienced remarkable health. Living under these conditions for thousands of years led to genetic changes in each group that were then passed on to you and I.
The push for doctors to treat social issues like poverty is starting to change the way we practice medicine and how we work with community agencies and those with expertise in income benefits, food security and poverty law. Many health organizations now are right in the middle of advocacy for better social conditions. Major medical organizations, including the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian College of Family Physicians have been vocal in their support for this approach. This demonstrates a real acceptance by the medical mainstream that reducing patients' poverty is a core part of a doctor's job.
If your cholesterol score is proving tricky to lower, and you've tried other methods, then it's possible these drugs can help you. And the next trick? Cutting the costs for these drugs as effectively as the drugs cut cholesterol levels -- solve that, and we'll be that much closer to a revolution in cardiac care.
Twenty years ago, heart disease was the number one killer of Canadians. That number has dropped over the years thanks in part to research examining the causes of heart attacks and recommendations for better preventative behaviours. Despite this drop, there is still much to be learned about how heart attacks happen. One of the most studied causes is the atherosclerotic lesion, better known as plaque. This accumulation of cells, fats, minerals, and other organic material tend to accumulate in the arteries as we age. If buildup happens to occur in the coronary artery, cardiac arrest may inevitably happen.
Once again, expert opinion and the official stance on fats have changed. Haven't we been down this road before? That's right, earlier this year we had to apologize to cholesterol. We've certainly heard the flip flop even prior to that as we've journeyed from the fat-free craze to the acknowledgement of good fats.
With slow carbs, your blood sugar will go up slowly, won't go up as high, and will peter off gradually, looking more like a gentle wave than a tsunami. This means you avoid the Spike-Crash-Crave cycle. Research suggests that the most effective long-term weight loss diet features moderate amounts of protein along with slow carbs.
The rise of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease motivates some people to become more careful about the food choices they make. If you are looking for an easy tool to help make healthy choices and help prevent the onset of chronic disease, the glycemic index has been shown to do just that.