Eating more chicken to drop your cholesterol? Why that's actually a BAD idea.

Switching from beef to chicken with the hope of lowering cholesterol levels is a myth that needs dispelling. Contrary to popular belief, a 2019 study found that both chicken and beef equally raise cholesterol levels, showing that substituting beef with chicken does not bring the anticipated benefits for cholesterol management. It highlights the misconception that chicken is not meat or somehow healthier in terms of cholesterol impact, shedding light on the fact that all meat, regardless of its source, is problematic due to compounds like carnitine and choline which promote inflammation and can exacerbate cholesterol and heart health issues.

Fiber plays a crucial role in combating high cholesterol, yet neither chicken nor beef contains fiber, which acts like a sponge to soak up and eliminate cholesterol from the body. The high fat content in meat, combined with the absence of fiber, underscores the futility of choosing leaner meats as a solution for cholesterol management. The complexity in determining the fat content in meat based on various factors renders the effort nearly impossible, drawing attention to the need for alternative dietary choices.

Emphasizing plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils, whole grains, and vegetables presents a viable solution for those aiming to lower their cholesterol levels. These food items are not only rich in fiber and low in fat but also provide a clean, cholesterol-lowering protein alternative to meat. Adopting a plant-focused diet could significantly improve cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and blood pressure, offering a healthier lifestyle choice free from the unwanted side effects associated with other cholesterol management strategies like statin use.

2 Surprising Reasons Why You Need a Strength Training Routine

**Be sure to read to the end for a FREE Happy Healthy Holidays GIFT 🎁 for you.**

I’m asked a lot of questions to which I give the same answer, “Get a strength training routine.”

Do you have a strength training routine? 💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽


Here’s why you should get one.

Of the many reasons why strength training should be part of your exercise routine, here are my two favorites.

1. Strength training helps you to lose weight. 

Most people don’t equate strength training with weight loss. Most focus on doing cardio to lose weight. You know, exercises like walking, cycling, and swimming. They make your heart beat faster and burn calories. But to lose weight, strength training is more effective. Especially as the years go by.

Let me unpack that.

Strength training continues to burn calories even after you finish your exercises. It helps muscles grow and burn calories now, later, tomorrow, and a week from Tuesday. You get it. If you have more muscle mass, you’ll burn more calories. Always. Not just while you’re out walking your pooch or raking the fall leaves.

If your weight loss slows down or stops, try adding more weight training to get it moving again.

2. Strength training helps you live longer and better.

With every passing year, Father Time takes away more of our muscle mass. I’m sure you’ve noticed it yourself. Your muscles are smaller. You have more trouble climbing stairs. You’re wobblier on your feet. You have lost muscle that helps you burn calories and gives you strength and stability.

It’s called sarcopenia, and because of it, we’re less able to burn calories. If we’re less able to burn calories, we’re less likely to lose weight.

Being older, being overweight or obese, and having chronic diseases like diabetes and kidney disease can cause sarcopenia.

Sarcopenia can be a problem for weight loss. It can also make you frail and need help with daily activities and moving around.

Sarcopenia increases the rates of hip fractures.
  • 1 in 3 adults aged 50+ dies within 1 year of suffering a hip fracture. 
  • 10% of frail people who have a hip fracture die within 30 days. 30% die within a year.
Sarcopenia is the gradual loss of muscle mass, strength, and function. Muscle mass decreases about 3–8% per decade after the age of 30 and gets even worse after the age of 60.

Strength training also lowers blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. It improves sleep and memory.

The good news is that you can slow down how fast you lose muscle. A study found that people who do strength training 2-3 days/week are less likely to die than those who don't. That is even if they do the recommended 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week.

Everyday chores improve muscle strength and stem the tide of muscle loss.

·         Stand up straight with your head and shoulders pulled back. Tuck your buttocks under your hips. Good posture does wonders for strengthening the neck and back and preventing falls.
·         Divide your groceries into two totes and do biceps curls as you walk to the car.
·         Don’t bend over to pick things up. Bend your knees to get lower to the ground. You may not be able to squat all the way to the ground, but anything is better than not squatting at all. Kneeling can also get you closer to the ground and work your legs and your buttocks.
·         Don’t use your hand to rise out of a chair. Keep your legs strong by letting them lift you.
·         Take the stairs.

These activities are helpful to stay strong, but they’re not enough. 

That’s why I’m offering a fun and easy way to get and stay stronger.

I have a Happy Healthy Holidays gift for you! 
I want to give you the gift of a strong and lean body.

Join us on Zoom. Holistic Fitness is a fun class that helps you build muscle and stay fit for everyday tasks. You'll improve your physical strength by doing exercises with weights and resistance. Come to all of the classes or the ones that fit your schedule. 

It’s totally *FREE!* 

Happy Healthy Holidays--Holistic Fitness schedule
Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays 
Begins: November 28
Ends: December 28th
Time: 6:30-7:30pm ET**

**Classes will be recorded, so it you can't make it at 6:30pm, you'll get the link to the recording.

Your instructor will adjust intensities for participants as needed. The exercises will challenge your strength and cardiovascular ability. You’ll be able to do more work with less effort and fewer rest periods. We encourage the use of low weight dumbbells and/or resistance bands. Learn more about your instructor here.

Sign up for Holistic Fitness TODAY so you can get the Zoom link and the links to the recording.

More info on other Happy Heathy Holidays offerings coming soon!

To thank you for following me this year, this is my holiday gift to you.

Abrahamsen B, van Staa T, Ariely R, Olson M, Cooper C. Excess mortality following hip fracture: a systematic epidemiological review. Osteoporos Int. 2009 Oct;20(10):1633-50. doi: 10.1007/s00198-009-0920-3. Epub 2009 May 7. PMID: 19421703.
Mann S, Beedie C, Jimenez A. Differential effects of aerobic exercise, resistance training and combined exercise modalities on cholesterol and the lipid profile: review, synthesis and recommendations. Sports Med. 2014 Feb;44(2):211-21. doi: 10.1007/s40279-013-0110-5. PMID: 24174305; PMCID: PMC3906547.
Ouellet JA, Ouellet GM, Romegialli AM, Hirsch M, Berardi L, Ramsey CM, Cooney LM Jr, Walke LM. Functional Outcomes After Hip Fracture in Independent Community-Dwelling Patients. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 Jul;67(7):1386-1392. doi: 10.1111/jgs.15870. Epub 2019 Apr 9. Erratum in: J Am Geriatr Soc. 2020 Feb;68(2):450. PMID: 30964203; PMCID: PMC6941577.
Schuijt, H.J., Bos, J., Smeeing, D.P.J. et al. Predictors of 30-day mortality in orthogeriatric fracture patients aged 85 years or above admitted from the emergency department. Eur J Trauma Emerg Surg 47, 817–823 (2021).
Sheoran S, Vints WAJ, Valatkevičienė K, Kušleikienė S, Gleiznienė R, Česnaitienė VJ, Himmelreich U, Levin O, Masiulis N. Strength gains after 12 weeks of resistance training correlate with neurochemical markers of brain health in older adults: a randomized control 1H-MRS study. Geroscience. 2023 Jun;45(3):1837-1855. doi: 10.1007/s11357-023-00732-6. Epub 2023 Jan 26. PMID: 36701005; PMCID: PMC9877502.
Volpi E, Nazemi R, Fujita S. Muscle tissue changes with aging. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2004 Jul;7(4):405-10. doi: 10.1097/01.mco.0000134362.76653.b2. PMID: 15192443; PMCID: PMC2804956.

Tired of being overweight & taking medication?

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Use these 5 simple yet powerful diet tips to speed you on your way.

Oatmeal. The ultimate super-slimming dinner. And much more!

"What's the best breakfast?" people often ask me. Expecting that I might say eggs or whole wheat toast, I say this, "Oatmeal. It's not just for breakfast anymore."

According to Quaker Oats, the average American eats 15 bowls of oatmeal each year. Quaker man might think that’s ok, but I think that it’s awful! When I consider oatmeal’s potential for lowering body weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels, I get on my soap box and scream.

I might shout, “Oatmeal is high in fiber and essential nutrients! It has impressive health benefits! Oatmeal deserves its place, not only in your morning routine, but at any time during the day!”

That's right. Any time of day.

Rotten eggs. It's not just their smell that's bothersome

"Why aren't eggs a healthy breakfast option?" -- asked by many people

Eggs. Not all they're cracked up to be.

Cracked egg

The widespread misinformation about eggs has become accepted as truth. And unfortunately, too many people are suffering because of it.

Yes. Eggs have become a popular source of protein. But relying on protein from eggs increases your risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and liver disease. 

Baby aspirin and blood thinners for blood pressure? What works and what doesn't

Does baby aspirin lower blood pressure? 
Can it be taken with a blood thinner? 
What are the natural ways to lower blood pressure?

Do you remember this little aspirin bottle? And the orange-creamsicle-tasting tablets inside? YUM!
                                                                            A bottle of Bayer baby aspirin Photo credit: Science History Institute*
                                                          Photo credit: Science History Institute*   

Here's a little bit of aspirin trivia. In 2000, experts found that children who take aspirin can develop Reye’s syndrome. Reye's syndrome is a rare disease that causes brain and liver damage after a viral infection or the flu. So production of these tasty tablets stopped.

Now-a-days, you don’t have to be a kid to take baby aspirin. Almost 29 million Americans take it to “thin the blood.” 

I don’t know how much “thinning” happens with that, though. Aspirin doesn’t change the thickness, or viscosity, of the blood. But it does prevent heart attacks and strokes in people who have already had a cardiac event or stroke. 
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