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Heart Disease Prevention & Wellness
Welcome to NutrActive's Heart Health section of the site. Tools found on this page will help you assess your health and promote a heart healthy lifestyle. Knowledge is key to successfully cleaning up your diet. First, know your heart disease risk -- then get all the information you can to reduce your risk!

Heart Disease Risk Assessment
It’s essential that you measure your risk of heart disease and make a plan for how to prevent it in the near future. Below is a link for a Risk Assessment Tool for people age 20 or older and do not already have heart disease or diabetes. Learn your risk -- http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3003499


ARTICLE: Cholesterol - All You Need to Know
Why does the body NEED cholesterol?
The body needs cholesterol to make several important hormones including estrogen and testosterone. In addition, cholesterol is part of the protective covering that surrounds nerves and other cell membranes.

What foods contain cholesterol?
Foods of animal origin are the ONLY foods that contain cholesterol. Foods of plant origin, even those naturally containing fat, DO NOT contain cholesterol.

Quiz question:
Nuts are high in fat, 80-89% of calories coming from fat. Do they contain cholesterol?

Learn the answer to this question and much more by reading the full article at:   http://www.nutractive.com/articles.html#cholesterol

Complete Video Guide to Heart Disease
Videos include information on warning signs of heart problems, how to prevent heart disease, what to do if you suspect you may be at risk, science, research, and heart attack recovery. All information in video format, very easy to comprehend - go to:
  http://www.kwikmed.org/heartdisease.html

Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition
The link below takes you to Colorado State University's Healthy Heart Beats. Here you will find up-to-date information on a variety of nutrition topics -- all aimed at promoting a heart healthy lifestyle. Definitely worth checking out!
  http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/healthyheart/0704-06_cont.html

For Your Heart by Quaker Oats
It is never too late to start taking steps to improve your heart health. There are many simple changes that you can make to your lifestyle that will benefit your heart health. The Quaker Oats site addresses many areas related to heart health. Check it out at:
  http://www.quakeroatmeal.com

See How Easily You Can Reduce Bad Cholesterol [GUEST Article]
a. Cholesterol Myths – both Good and Bad
Most people view cholesterol as a bad thing, but the truth is there are actually two types of it. There is good cholesterol (HDL) and there is bad cholesterol (LDL). You’ll know you have too much LDL if you end up with plaques in your arteries. This results in a blood flow block in your arteries as the opening gets smaller. Your high blood cholesterol is not the result of taking in dietary cholesterol. The presence of saturated fat and Trans fat is the reason for the high cholesterol. Exercising often and taking in fibrous and unsaturated foods will keep your cholesterol down.

b. What Numbers Mean in Cholesterol
On an average, adults will usually need to have cholesterol checks every five years. Each time you get a cholesterol check it will yield four results – total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and Triglycerides. You will probably need more exercise and dietary change if you go above or below the healthy levels.

Total Cholesterol - less than 200 mg/dL (5.2 mmol/L)
LDL Cholesterol - less than 100 mg/dL (2.6 mmol/L)
HDL Cholesterol - greater than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L)
Triglycerides - less than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L)

c. Can Vitamin E Protect Your Heart?
Vegetable oils, nuts and leafy vegetables are good sources of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is not proven to stop you from getting a stroke, but it can lessen your heart disease risk level.

d. Five Fabulous Foods to Decrease Cholesterol Levels

1. Oatmeal and Oat Bran: These contain a high amount of soluble fiber, which can lower LDL.
2. Fish: Fish is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which lowers LDL and raises HDL.
3. Nuts: Not only are nuts high in fiber, but they contain the healthy fats you need to keep LDL in check.
4. Plant Sterols: This is found in foods like margarine, salad dressing, orange juice, and functional cookies. 2 grams per day will lower your LDL by 10-15%.
5. Soy: This popular meat replacement can lower LDL by up to 3%.

e. Health Benefits of Plant Sterols
Plant sterols can be found in foods such as Benecol Spread, granola bars, VitaTops Muffin Tops and fat free milk. To help your heart, you should eat a lot of plant sterols-packed food and stop eating foods with saturated fat. You should know that this does not balance out a diet rich in saturated fats. To be in control of your cholesterol, you should still eat healthy and exercise often.

About the Writer - Deborah H. Land writes for the cholesterol diet recipes site, her personal hobby blog she uses to help people lower bad cholesterol levels.  

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The information contained on this Web site is intended to help you better understand issues related to nutrition and exercise and help promote a healthy lifestyle. It is not intnded to replace the advice of a physician. If you read something on this site that contradicts what your physician tells you in any way, always follow your physician's advice. We advise you to consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program, especially if you have any serious medical conditions.