Slow Down! Life is not a race!

Todays life is fast paced!

Everyone wants everything fast: Meals delivered at a click of a button! Things delivered within minutes. A rush to reach their destinations within seconds. No patience to wait in queues. Everything at a click of a button. Even meals are cooked fast. Even expect our kids to grow up fast and achieve more in a short time. Surfing channel to see whats being played in different channels at the same time. No time to stand in grocery queues.

However, nature does not want us to live our lives so fast paced..

Living fast paced can give rise to anxiety, high blood pressure and stress.

It wants us to slow down!

Enjoy the things around us!

Even in cities there is so much of nature around us.

We should be watching the sunrise through our windows.

Listen to the birds chirping and the wind blowing.

Listen to the dogs barking.

Listen to the rain drops falling on a tin roof.

Enjoying our morning cuppa of coffee at an leisurely pace.

Enjoying its aroma.

Strolling leisurely in a park.

Not be bound by time.

Read the hard copy of “A Book of Simple Living: Brief Notes from the Hills” by Ruskin Bond!

Cooking a slow meal and enjoying the process of cooking the meal.

Eating leisurely with kids and family.

Lazing on a sofa with your favourite novel.

Going for a slow jog without attention to timing or pace.

Practising mindfulness in our lives!

Keeping our electronic gadgets shut for a day!

What a life that would be.

It would add Chi to our daily lives.

So SLOW DOWN!

Make your day pleasant!

 

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Latest ACC Guidelines for managing Overweight and Obesity

Latest ACC Guidelines for managing Overweight and Obesity

The ACC and American Heart Association Guideline for the Management of Overweight and Obese Adults addresses the appropriateness of the current BMI and waist circumference cut points used to determine risk in overweight and obese adults across diverse populations; the impact of weight loss on risk factors for CVD and type 2 diabetes; optimal behavioral and dietary intervention strategies; lifestyle treatment approaches, such as community-based programs, for weight loss and weight loss maintenance; and benefits and risks of various bariatric surgical procedures.

What should be your Ideal Cholesterol?

What are the types of Fats in our body?

The human body contains different types of fats or lipids. Lipids are important chemicals present in the body and needed for various cellular functions. The fats in our body are of different types. They can simply be divided in Bad and Good fats.

Which are the Bad fats/ lipids? How do they harm us?

The Bad fats get deposited in our arteries thereby causing blocks. These blocks decrease the blood supply of the organs causing various serious illnesses like heart attacks (decrease blood supply to the brain), paralytic strokes (decrease blood supply to the brain), or gangrene of the limbs (decrease blood supply to the limbs). Thus it is important to keep our Bad cholesterol below the normal range.  There are 2 types of Bad Cholesterol in our body: LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides. Higher levels of Bad Cholesterol can be harmful in the long run.

Which are the Good fats/ lipids? Do they harm us?

The Good Cholesterol is protective and higher levels are better. The Good Cholesterol in our body is HDL Cholesterol.

How do we know our fat/lipid level?

One needs to do a Complete lipid profile (blood test) after 12 hours of fasting.

What should be your LDL (Bad) Cholesterol level?

If one suffers from any of the below mentioned illnesses, then the LDL Cholesterol needs to be below 100 mg/dl. These disorders are

  1. Diabetes
  2. Heart attacks 
  3. Blocks in your coronary artery causing angina (chest pain)
  4. Undergone angioplasty or bypass surgery
  5. Renal failure
  6. Blocks in any of your arteries: carotid artery or peripheral arteries
  7. Dilatation of your aorta.

 

Does diet and exercise help to reduce Bad Cholesterol?

Yes, they do. Brisk walking every day for 30-45 minutes can help reduce your bad cholesterol and increase your good cholesterol. Avoiding foods rich in fats like fried food, cakes, sweets can also help reduce the bad cholesterol.

 

Are there medicines which reduce Bad Cholesterol and prevent heart attacks?

Statins are called the wonder drugs which reduce LDL cholesterol. These drugs are extremely safe and also decrease triglyceride levels and increase the good cholesterol! They have been proven to prevent heart attacks and in some cases reduce the blocks! These drugs need to be taken on a daily basis and need to be continued lifelong.

Ride in the Tour de France, live a little longer.

 

Elite French cyclists participating in the Tour de France over the past 60 years have a significantly lower rate of mortality than French men in the general population, according to the results of a new study.

In evaluating the overall mortality rates of French cyclists who rode in the prestigious event between 1947 and 2012, investigators found the cyclists had a 41% lower mortality rate than men in France and that this lower mortality rate was consistent over time, including periods of reported heavy performance-enhancing-drug use. The lower rate was significant for deaths resulting from cancer and cardiovascular causes, and while it wasn’t statistically significant for other causes of death, the mortality trends all favored the cyclists.

 

Presenting the results at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) 2013 Congress, senior investigator Dr Xavier Jouven (Paris Descartes University, France) said that among the cyclists who rode in the Tour de France from 1947 to 1951, a period accounting for more than 60% of the deaths in the analysis, the elite athletes lived six years longer than men in the general population.

 

Results consistent across the different race eras

Of the 786 French cyclists who rode in the tour since 1947, 208 have died. Of these, 59 cyclists died from cancer, mainly neoplasms of the digestive tract, lung, and prostate, a number that is 44% lower than what would be expected if the cyclists had the same mortality rate as the general male population. Similarly, deaths from cardiovascular causes were reported in 53 cyclists, a 33% lower rate than what would be expected based on estimates in the general male population.

 

via Ride in the Tour de France, live a little longer | theheart.org.

Severe obesity now in 5% of US kids.

Around 5% of children and adolescents in the US are severely obese and therefore at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes and premature heart disease, says the American Heart Association (AHA) in a new scientific statement, also endorsed by the Obesity Society.

While childhood obesity rates are starting to level off, severe obesity has increased, say Dr Aaron S Kelly (University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis) and colleagues in the statement, published online September 9, 2013 in Circulation.

They therefore propose that “severe obesity” among kids and teens be a newly defined class of risk and stress the grave consequences of this condition. “Accumulating evidence suggests that severe obesity in childhood is associated with an adverse cardiovascular and metabolic profile, even compared with obesity and overweight,” they note.

The definition of severe obesity in children over the age of two years is a body-mass index (BMI) that’s at least 20% higher than the 95 percentile for the child’s gender and age or an absolute BMI score of >35.

Treatment options limited, greater awareness needed

Kelly and colleagues note that treatment options for children with this level of obesity are limited, as most standard approaches to weight loss are insufficient for them.

For example, lifestyle-modification/behavior-based interventions in youth with severe obesity have demonstrated modest improvement in BMI, but participants have generally remained severely obese and often regained weight after the conclusion of the treatment programs, they observe.

And the role of medical management is minimal, because only one medication is currently approved for the treatment of obesity in adolescents.

Also, while bariatric surgery has generally been effective in reducing BMI and improving cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors, reports of long-term outcomes are few, many youths with severe obesity do not qualify for surgery, and access is limited by lack of insurance coverage.

Hence, the AHA is calling for greater awareness of this condition as a chronic disease requiring ongoing care and management. And future research aimed at closing the gap between lifestyle, medication, and surgery is vital, the authors add.

 

via Severe obesity, in 5% of US kids, should be new risk class | theheart.org.

Carnitine in red meat may up CVD risk via altered gut flora

Research in mice and human volunteers has suggested a mechanism that may contribute to an association between eating red meat and increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It involves microbes in the gut.

 

People who regularly eat red meat have an increased colonization of intestinal bacteria that break down the carnitine in red meat into a metabolite that promotes increased cholesterol deposition in the artery wall, the researchers report. Their study was published online April 7, 2013 in Nature Medicine.

 

Energy drinks are another major source of carnitine, senior author Dr Stanley L Hazen (Cleveland Clinic, OH) told heartwire. If someone regularly eats red meat or drinks energy drinks, “microbes that like carnitine become more abundant [in the gut], and now you are much more capable of making this metabolite . . . trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO),” he said. “This paper showed [that TMAO] . . . essentially leads to an enhanced capacity to deposit cholesterol on the cells of your artery wall.

 

 

Does this mean that physicians should advise all their patients to become vegetarians and avoid drinking energy drinks? Hazen says that people need to be aware that “a can of an energy drink can have more carnitine than a porterhouse steak.”

 

For now, “it makes sense to adhere to a lower-cholesterol, lower-saturated-fat diet [that will be] more heart healthy in terms of decreasing the nutrients that give rise to forming TMAO, [since] this may be one of the hidden contributors to heart disease.”

 

via Carnitine in red meat may up CVD risk via altered gut flora | theheart.org.

PURE: Few people with CVD worldwide follow healthy habits!

 

Only a fraction of people who have established heart disease or a past stroke are adhering to the most basic lifestyle recommendations known to reduce their risk of a future event. Those are the latest findings from the sweeping Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study, a global snapshot of cardiovascular disease risk factors and health status encompassing both rich and poor nations and urban and rural communities.

 

Previous analyses from PURE have highlighted the underuse of proven medications for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease-CVD (particularly in underdeveloped countries), published in the Lancet in 2012.

 

PURE was conducted in 17 countries, across more than 600 communities, and enrolled 153 996 adults.

 

In their latest paper, published in the April 17, 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Teo and colleagues, with senior author Dr Salim Yusuf (McMaster University),  zero in on the 7519 PURE study participants who had self-reported coronary heart disease or previous stroke.

 

 

As Teo and colleagues note, 18.5% continued to smoke following their index diagnosis, only 35% took up high levels of work- or leisure-related physical activity, and just 39% reported following a healthy diet.

 

In all, 14% reported not engaging in any of the three healthy lifestyle behaviors defined by the study, while just 4% tried to adopt all three.

 

“This study shows that a large gap exists between actual and ideal participation in the three key lifestyle behaviors of avoidance of (or quitting) smoking, undertaking regular physical activity, and eating a healthy diet after a CHD or stroke event,” they write.

“Nearly one-fifth of individuals continued to smoke, only about one-third undertook high levels of physical activity, and only two-fifths were eating a healthy diet.”

It is time that the Consultant Physicians pull up their socks and started emphasizing on these aspects of treatment.

 

via PURE: Few people with CVD worldwide follow healthy habits | theheart.org.