domingo, 15 de junho de 2008

Scientists issue heart warning on fat content of doner kebabs

Crunchy salad, toasted pitta bread and a dash of chilli sauce have helped aficionados kid themselves and their taste buds that a doner kebab is one of the healthier takeaway options.
But scientists have found that the food contains up to the equivalent of a wine glass of cooking oil. One of the kebabs tested contained 140g of fat, twice the maximum daily allowance for women. Another contained 111g. Nutritionists said eating two a week could cause a heart attack within 10 years.

Food scientists from Hampshire county council tested the fat, salt and trans fat content of popular takeaway food, including Chinese and Indian meals, pizzas, kebabs and fish and chips. They found many of the dishes contained an entire day's fat in one meal. But by far the worst offender was the doner kebab.

Trans fat, which contributes to coronary heart disease by raising levels of "bad" cholesterol and lowering levels of "good" cholesterol, was found in all the kebabs tested. There is no UK legislation on trans fat in food, but health authorities recommend that consumption should be restricted to trace amounts and the only European standard, the Danish food act, stipulates no more than 5% trans fat in food. Sixty per cent of kebabs contained more than 5%, while the other meals were below the Danish benchmark.

The least fatty takeaway food was found to be Chinese char sui or barbequed pork, but shish kebab also scored low in fat.

The best in terms of low salt content was fish and chips.
Denise Thomas, head of nutrition and dietetics at Portsmouth Hospitals Trust, said that 111g of fat in a kebab was 1,000 calories, the equivalent of a wine glass of cooking oil. "The majority of that fat is saturated, so it's going to raise your cholesterol and give you thickening of your arteries," she said. "If you were eating that meal twice a week on top of your ordinary diet, it's a ticking time bomb of coronary heart disease."

The effect of eating doner kebabs was dependent on the rest of a person's diet. "If you eat lots of fruit and vegetables the rest of the time, it's not going to be a problem. But if you're eating pie and chips and fried breakfasts as well, you're heading towards a heart attack within 10 years."

What Are The Symptoms Of High Cholesterol?

Only a Blood Test Can Detect High Cholesterol
Heart disease has now surpassed cancer as the number one cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High cholesterol is one of the important components risk factors for heart disease. Unfortunately, there are no symptoms that are associated with high cholesterol. It is usually diagnosed through a routine blood test, and may come as a surprise to the person who is diagnosed, because he or she may feel OK otherwise.
In some cases, people may not find out that they have high cholesterol levels until they have had their first heart attack or stroke.

Although there are no symptoms associated with high cholesterol, it is the most modifiable risk factor for heart disease. This is why getting your cholesterol checked is extremely important.
Get Your Cholesterol CheckedThe current guidelines recommend that everyone over the age of 20 should get their cholesterol checked at least once every five years. However, if you have a family history of high cholesterol, or you have been diagnosed with a chronic condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, you may consider checking your cholesterol more frequently. Once diagnosed, lifestyle modifications, and possibly medication, may lower your cholesterol. Even if you have not been diagnosed as having high cholesterol, there are many preventative measures that can be taken to reduce your cholesterol, as well as your risk for heart disease.

Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (PDF), July 2004, The National Institutes of Heath: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
CDC. Deaths: Leading Causes for 2002. National Vital Statistics Reports 2005;53(17).

Need To Lower Your Cholesterol? Try Exercise!

Whether you are trying to prevent high cholesterol, or have already been diagnosed with it, exercise can be an important weapon in the fight against high cholesterol and heart disease. According to recent studies, regular exercise has the ability to lower LDL levels (also known as “bad” cholesterol) and raise HDL cholesterol (also known as “good” cholesterol).

How low can your cholesterol levels go if you regularly exercise? Current studies suggest that LDL cholesterol can be lowered by 5 to 10%, whereas HDL cholesterol can be raised by between 3 and 6% with regular exercise. While most of these studies involved aerobic exercises, such as swimming, running, and jogging, there are a handful of studies that have also looked at the healthy benefits of other forms of exercise, such as yoga and walking, in lowering cholesterol, too. Regardless of which type you select, exercise can be an important part of your cholesterol-lowering regimen.

Current guidelines suggest that you get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day for most days of the week. If you haven’t exercised in a while, it is important to start out gradually so that you don’t injure yourself or get burned out. For some people, just finding the time to exercise can be an issue. If this sounds like you, the 30-minute interval can be divided up. Additionally, there are shortcuts you can fit into the day that force you to get some exercise.
In any case, exercise has many benefits – besides lowering your cholesterol. Exercise can also strengthen your heart, bones, and other muscles of the body, in addition to helping you to lose weight.

Slentz CA, Houmard JA, Johnson JL et al. Inactivity, exercise training and detraining, and plasma lipoproteins. STRRIDE: a randomized, controlled study of exercise intensity and amount. J Appl Physiol. 2007 Aug;103(2):417-8.
Powers E, Saultz J, Hamilton A, et al. Clinical inquiries. Which lifestyle interventions effectively lower LDL cholesterol? J Fam Pract. 2007 Jun;56(6):483-5.

Are Heels Bad for You?

Wearing high heels can be fashionable and may make you feel taller, but at what price? High heels can cause foot problems and leg and back pain while also worsening foot problems you may already have. Read here why avoiding high heels will not only preserve your feet and body but also save you money on trips to the podiatrist's office.

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