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Your blood glucose level affects the health of your blood vessels.

Posted by on 9:49 am Bloodsugar, Diet, Diseases, Eating, General Health, Glucose, The Learn to Eat Plan, Wellness | 0 comments

Everybody agrees that to be able to function well and live a long life, we need good blood circulation. This necessitates a healthy vascular system.

Your vascular system is especially important for your heart, brain, and the rest of your body because the blood delivers nutrients and oxygen. Without a supply of nutrients, the tissue will degenerate. So what can you do to keep your vascular system healthy?

Books can be written on that topic, but here is a simple strategy you can implement that can make a big difference.

First, since most of us eat several meals daily and the after effect of a meal can have a pronounced effect on your blood vessels, think about how the meal will affect your blood glucose level.

The reason you should be concerned with this is that high glucose levels after a meal and insulin resistance cause damage to the endothelium–the inner layer of the blood vessel wall (Shi Y, Vanhoutte PM, 2017).

Endothelial dysfunction is characterized by decreased release of nitric oxide, increased oxidative stress, increased production of inflammatory factors, and impaired endothelial repair.

This is one of the reasons you can end up with atherosclerosis and reduced blood circulation.

Since one of the reasons for endothelial function can be that the blood glucose level after a meal is too high, many are now recommending low carbohydrate meals. This is done as an attempt to lower the blood glucose.

This, however, may not be the the best strategy.

Research to date suggests that diets that are low in carbohydrates may negatively impact vascular endothelial function (Jovanovski E, et.al., 2015).

It appears that it is more favourable to maintain the carbohydrate intake and instead use low glycemic index foods. This generates more benefits for the vascular system.

An easy way to do that is to add some beans or lentils to the meal and reduce the amount of a higher glycemic index item.

References

Shi Y, Vanhoutte PM.Macro- and microvascular endothelial dysfunction in diabetes.J Diabetes. 2017 May;9(5):434-449.

Jovanovski E, Zurbau A, Vuksan V, Carbohydrates and endothelial function: is a low-carbohydrate diet or a low-glycemic index diet favourable for vascular health?Clin Nutr Res. 2015 Apr;4(2):69-75.

 

 

 

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How much do you have to exercise to improve your endurance and aerobic fitness?

Posted by on 7:28 am Exercise, Health, Intensity Training, Research, Sports performance, Vigorous Activity, Weight loss, Wellness | 0 comments

 

A lot of people don’t exercise because they think they have to spend a lot of time doing it every week, and that does not appeal to them.  Let’s see what research has found.

Several years ago research was conducted on what was called high intensity short interval training. Since the start of that, a lot of research has been published on that topic, experimenting with different durations of exercise.

The original research started using a stationary bike doing 30 seconds intervals, peddling as hard as possible, then resting for up to 4 minutes. This was then repeated 4 to 6 times.

This regime was very effective documenting that just 2 minutes of actual exercise time produced the same results as an hour of regular intensity aerobic exercise.

So how little can you exercise and still improve your performance? Is 30 seconds interval as low as you can go?

The following research tested six sub elite triathletes comparing them with 6 endurance-trained sub elite athletes maintaining their normal training routine .(Jakeman J, et.al., 2012).

These athletes were already in good shape. It’s harder to improve the performance at that level, compared to starting with people out of shape.

6 of the participants did 10, 6 seconds sprints on a stationary bike with a resting period of 1 minute in between, 3 times a week for 2 weeks. The resistance on the bike was set to 7.5% of the body weight.

Two weeks of the high intensity short interval training resulted in a 10% decrease in a 10-km time trial.

The time taken to reach the onset of blood lactate accumulation, defined as the point where blood lactate reaches 4 mmol·L⁻¹) was significantly increased. This is another way of measuring improved aerobic fitness.

The actual exercise time was only 1 minute 3 times a week.

It is amazing, spending only 3 minutes a week for 2 weeks can improve aerobic performance.

If you want to improve cardiovascular fitness, but want to spend as little time as possible exercising, this is the way to do it.

You need a stationary bike to implement this protocol, but if you have that at home, you don’t necessarily even have to do the 10 sprints at one time. You can split them up throughout the day depending on what’s most convenient for you.

Other studies has documented that it is more beneficial to be active several times a day compared to exercising longer only once a day.

Lack of time is no longer a valid reason not to exercise. Most people would most likely have 3 minutes a week to spend on exercise considering the benefits.

Reference

Jakeman J, Adamson S, Babraj J.Extremely short duration high-intensity training substantially improves endurance performance in triathletes. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2012 Oct;37(5):976-81.

 

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Do you want a bigger brain and better memory?

Posted by on 7:33 am Alzheimer’s, Anti-Aging, Cognition, Dementia, Exercise, General Health, Memory, Research, Stay healthy, Wellness | 0 comments

 

Is it really possible to increase the size of the brain later in life?

Data from a randomized controlled study of 155 older women, who participated in 52 weeks of resistance training showed reduced cortical white matter atrophy on MRI scans when compared with the control  group (Best JR, et.al., 2015).

This means that they ended up with a bigger brain than they would have had if they had not done the resistance exercise.

Twice-weekly resistance training also promoted memory and increased peak muscle power when they were followed up after 2 years.

The control group did balance and toning.

If you instead prefer aerobic type of exercise, that may also improve your cognition.

Research showed that an individual’s cardio-respiratory fitness was a better predictor of cognitive gains than the exercise dose (Vidoni ED, et.al., 2015).

To improve cardio-respiratory function you can do regular aerobic exercise, or you can do high intensity short interval training which will save you time.

This study compared the effects of long slow distance training with high-intensity interval training in rowers (Ní Chéilleachair NJ, et.al., 2017).

High intensity short interval training was more effective than long and slow distance training in improving performance and aerobic characteristics.

References

Best JR, Chiu BK, Liang Hsu C, Nagamatsu LS, Liu-Ambrose T.Long-Term Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Cognition and Brain Volume in Older Women: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2015 Nov;21(10):745-56.

Vidoni ED, Johnson DK, Morris JK, Van Sciver A, Greer CS, Billinger SA, Donnelly JE, Burns JM,Dose-Response of Aerobic Exercise on Cognition: A Community-Based, Pilot Randomized Controlled TrialPLoS One. 2015 Jul 9;10(7):e0131647.

Ní Chéilleachair NJ1,2, Harrison AJ2, Warrington GD,HIIT enhances endurance performance and aerobic characteristics more than high-volume training in trained rowers.J Sports Sci. 2017 Jun;35(11):1052-1058

 

Research has shown that sitting for a long time can be bad, but you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.

The program Exercise for Maximum Benefits incorporates the latest research to be sure that you really get maximum benefits.

Click here to learn more.

What else can you do to improve your cognition other than pay attention to the food you eat?

Posted by on 10:31 am Anti-Aging, Cognition, Exercise, General Health, Health, Vigorous Activity, Wellness | 0 comments

 

You actually have quite a lot of control over how functional your brain is going to be.

Research has shown we can slow down memory loss and even improve our memory.

The food we eat is extremely important, but another tool we have is exercise.  Resistance exercise is especially effective.

The following study included 155 older women participating in resistance training 2 days a week for a year (Best JR, et.al., 2015).

They were compared with a group doing balance and toning twice a week and were evaluated at the beginning of the study, after 1 year and after 2 years.

Resistance training improved executive function compared to balance and toning. It also improved memory, reduced cortical white matter.

Atrophy verified on MRI and increased peak muscle power at 2-year follow-up. The balance and toning exercises did not do that.

Men and women doing resistance exercises 2-3 times a week for 6 months significantly improved overall cognitive function, with maintenance of executive and overall benefits over 18 months (Fiatarone Singh MA, et.al., 2014).

They were compared with a group doing seated calisthenics which did not result in the same benefits.

Doing resistance exercise twice a week does not require a lot of time and can help to keep your brain healthier.

That’s time well spent.

References

Best JR, Chiu BK, Liang Hsu C, Nagamatsu LS, Liu-Ambrose T. Long-Term Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Cognition and Brain Volume in Older Women: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2015 Nov;21(10):745-56.

Fiatarone Singh MA, Gates N, Saigal N, Wilson GC, Meiklejohn J, Brodaty H, Wen W, Singh N, Baune BT, Suo C, Baker MK, Foroughi N, Wang Y, Sachdev PS, Valenzuela M. The Study of Mental and Resistance Training (SMART) study—resistance training and/or cognitive training in mild cognitive impairment: a randomized, double-blind, double-sham controlled trial. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2014 Dec;15(12):873-80.

 

Research has now documented that sitting for a prolonged time can be dangerous, but by implementing a specific principle, you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.

The program Exercise for Maximum Benefits incorporates the latest research to be sure that you really get maximum benefits.

Click here to learn more…

Can nuts reduce the formation of vascular plaque?

Posted by on 9:54 pm Antioxidents, Cholesterol, Diet, Eating, Fat, Health, Low glycemic meals, The Learn to Eat Plan, Wellness | 0 comments

 

Plaque formation in the vascular system is something we are better off without, not only because it will increase cardiovascular risk, but we need good blood circulation to all tissue we have. Blood vessels in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients have, for example, been found to have a lot of plaque.

What can we do to help reduce plaque formation?

A high nutrient, low-glycemic index plant-based diet is a good choice, but is it possible to only add one food, and see a significant reduction in vascular plaque?

That’s exactly what the researchers of the following study investigated.

They measured the internal carotid intima-media thickness and plaque height using ultrasound at the start and after an average follow up of 2.4 years(Sala-Vila A, et.al, 2014).

Carotid intima-media thickness is the thickness of the inner layer of the blood vessel.

The participants consumed a Mediterranean diet. One group added either virgin olive oil or 30 grams of nuts every day to their diet. The control group consumed a low fat diet.

These were the results:

Compared with the control diet, consumption of a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts was associated with delayed progression of  intima-media thickness and plaque.

It is also interesting that there were no changes after the Mediterranean diet with the added virgin olive oil.

What could be the reason for that?

A good assumption would be that nuts contain nutrients the olive oil is missing, especially antioxidants.

Oil even if it is a good oil is not as good as natural unprocessed food.

30 grams of nuts is only one big handful.

Get in the habit of reducing your intake of grains and use some nuts instead. That will work a lot better for you (unless you are allergic to nuts). 

Reference

Sala-Vila A, Romero-Mamani ES, Gilabert R, Núñez I, de la Torre R, Corella D, Ruiz-Gutiérrez V, López-Sabater MC, Pintó X, Rekondo J, Martínez-González MÁ, Estruch R, Ros E.Changes in ultrasound-assessed carotid intima-media thickness and plaque with a Mediterranean diet: a substudy of the PREDIMED trial.Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2014 Feb;34(2):439-45.

 

 

Learn to Eat Program


 Based on the most effective scientific strategies, this program was created to help
you reduce inflammation and feel great.

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What factors are playing a role in Alzheimer’s, cognitive decline and cardiovascular disease?

Posted by on 9:58 pm Alzheimer’s, Eating, General Health, Get in shape, Health Risk, Heart disease, Stay healthy, Wellness | 0 comments

Alongside oxidative stress and inflammation, altered cholesterol metabolism and hypercholesterolemia also significantly contribute to neuronal damage and to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease (Gamba P, et.al., 2015).

Levels of  oxysterols derived from cholesterol oxidation and inflammatory mediators have been found to be increased in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients (Testa G, et.al., 2016).

Oxysterols, the major component of oxidized LDL is responsible for the increase in endothelial stiffness and is a key step in atherosclerosis development (Shentu TP, et.al., 2012).

When 70 people with mild cognitive impairment were compared with 140 normal individuals, oxysterol levels were significantly higher in the people with mild cognitive impairment (Liu Q, et.al., 2016).

Where do we find oxidized cholesterol?

Oxidized cholesterol are commonly found in foods with high cholesterol content, such as meat, egg yolk and full fatdairy products (Savage GP, et.al., 2002).

Factors known to increase the production of free radicals and therefore oxidized cholesterol in foods are heat, light, radiation, oxygen, moisture and the storage of food at room temperature.

Processes, such as pre-cooking, freeze-drying, dehydration and irradiation, have all been reported to result in increased production of oxidized cholesterol in meats.

What can you do to reduce oxidized cholesterol?

The most obvious way to do it is to avoid the foods that contain the oxidized cholesterol.

The best way to do that is to eat plant based foods, since animal source protein is where you find oxidized cholesterol.

It would also be beneficial to take S-Acetyl Gutathione and Curcumin to reduce free radical damage and inflammation further.

References

Gamba P, Testa G, Gargiulo S, Staurenghi E, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G.Oxidized cholesterol as the driving force behind the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Front Aging Neurosci. 2015 Jun 19;7:119.

Liu Q, An Y, Yu H, Lu Y, Feng L, Wang C, Xiao R.Relationship between oxysterols and mild cognitive impairment in the elderly: a case-control study.Lipids Health Dis. 2016 Oct 10;15(1):177.

Savage GP1, Dutta PC, Rodriguez-Estrada MT, Cholesterol oxides: their occurrence and methods to prevent their generation in foods. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2002;11(1):72-8

Shentu TP, Singh DK, Oh MJ, Sun S, Sadaat L, Makino A, Mazzone T, Subbaiah PV, Cho M, Levitan I.The role of oxysterols in control of endothelial stiffness.J Lipid Res. 2012 Jul;53(7):1348-58.

Testa G, Staurenghi E, Zerbinati C, Gargiulo S, Iuliano L, Giaccone G, Fantò F, Poli G, Leonarduzzi G, Gamba P.Changes in brain oxysterols at different stages of Alzheimer’s disease: Their involvement in neuroinflammation.Redox Biol. 2016 Dec;10:24-33.

 

 

Learn to Eat Program


 Based on the most effective scientific strategies, this program was created to help
you reduce inflammation and feel great.

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