Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

Tag: heart disease

good nutrition advice

Inflammation Link to Chronic Disease

good nutrition adviceInflammation is linked to chronic disease.

If you are able to control inflammation you could reduce your risk of chronic diseases. A recent article published in the British Journal of Nutrition looks at the importance of managing inflammation. Inflammation is a very necessary process that can help your body to heal but, if this process gets out of control, it can cause damage to cells and result in disease.

The article authors from the International Life Sciences Institute believe that certain micronutrients could be linked to the control and escalation of the inflammatory response. These include folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin E and zinc. This research highlights that a typical Western diet is rich in fat, sugar and lacking in these micronutrients, which will encourage inflammation.

In fact, after eating unhealthy meals there can be an immediate spike in inflammation, linked to an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Inflammation is also thought to be responsible for conditions like food allergies, atopic dermatitis and obesity.

You can lower your risk of inflammation-driven diseases with an anti-inflammatory diet: Include plenty of antioxidants from fruit and vegetables, lots of fibre from wholegrains, omega 3 fatty acids from oily fish, nuts and seeds.

References: Controlling inflammation to reduce chronic disease risk

Sugar increases risk of heart disease

The Link Between Sugar and Heart Disease

21-day sugar detoxWe now know that fat does not cause heart disease. So where does the sugar connection come in?

It all comes down to insulin, the hormone released when your blood sugar rises. When you have a meal, insulin normally sends a signal to your liver not to release fats into your bloodstream because your body is dealing with fat from the meal.

However, if you are living on that roller coaster of blood sugar swings, too much insulin is being released too often and your liver then ignores the message about not releasing fats and releases triglycerides (stored fats) into your bloodstream.  These triglycerides are contained in VLDLs (very low density lipoproteins), which are usually rendered harmless by enzymes in your blood. But the enzymes at that moment are dealing with the fat from your food so the VLDLs can end up forming plaque on your artery walls.

In 2009, the American Heart Association published a scientific statement in their journal Circulation entitled ‘Dietary sugar intake and cardiovascular health’ in which they expressed concern that sugar and refined carbohydrates can increase triglycerides (a known risk factor for heart disease) while lowering levels of HDL (‘good’ cholesterol’).

21 day sugar detox

This Simple solution beats heart disease

This Simple Solution Beats Heart Disease

Fiona Wilkinson.

You can make a difference to your cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease by changing your lifestyle. This simple solution beats heart disease…

A large study published in the European Heart Journal analysed data from almost 9,000 men and women, aged 25–74, from Northern Sweden to understand the effects of making lifestyle changes on heart disease. Over a 10-year period (1994 to 2014) blood cholesterol dropped from 6.2 to 5.5 mmol/L.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs only contributed to a third of this reduction so it is believed that the rest can be attributed to lifestyle changes such as diet; lower fat intake and increased fibre from fruit, vegetables and grains. An encouraging finding from this study is that those who showed the most improvement initially were the most at risk (e.g. with diabetes and previous history of heart disease).

Limit fat from animal sources apart from oily fish, include heart-healthy plant oils such as olive oil, increase your fibre intake by ensuring that you have a minimum of 5-a-day every day and enjoy wholegrains such as brown rice, oats and quinoa in your diet.


European Heart Journal: Greater decreases in cholesterol levels among individuals with high cardiovascular risk than among the general population: the northern Sweden MONICA study 1994 to 2014

Fiona WilkinsonAbout Fiona

I am a Nutrition and Behavioural Psychologist with an MSc in Clinical Nutrition and a PhD in Mental Health. I specialise in long-term weight loss, disordered eating and binge eating. I run both online and in-person programmes to help you with any weight or eating issues you may have picked up over the years. We’re all different and have different needs so I work very much with you as an individual and together we’ll work out a programme to fit you.

Healthy Weight Loss

Read more about me here…


Fish Roe is Best Source of Omega-3

Fish roe best source of omega-3

Fish roe best source of omega-3

Did you know? A tablespoon of caviar has as much omega-3 fat as a 1,000 mg of fish oil?

But before you go rushing out and spending all your hard earned cash on this pricy delicacy, it is worth remembering the cheaper lump fish versions work just as well.

The roe from hake, lumpfish and salmon contains the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids according to research published in the European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology.

The study found minimal consumption of lumpfish, hake or salmon roe provides the body’s daily requirements for omega-3 due to their high levels of EPA and HDA.

A lack of omega-3 has been linked to cardiovascular disease, depression, hypertension, diabetes and inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s.

Lumpfish is a great topping for  salads, sandwiches or a baked potato.

Sugar Increases Risk of Heart Disease

Sugar increases risk of heart disease

Sugar increases risk of heart disease

Eating large amounts of sugar increases risk of heart disease according to research. 

The Journal of the American Medical Association published studies that found added sugars in processed foods were linked with lower levels of HDL cholesterol, or ‘good’ cholesterol.

The study followed 6,113 patients and found the higher their sugar levels, the more likely they were to have higher risk factors for heart disease. Eating a healthy high fibre diet can help lower cholesterol levels.

High triglyceride and high cholesterol levels have been linked with heart disease since the 1970s. Today we know how to lower cholesterol with foods high in fibre, and the benefits of diets such as the Mediterranean diet in lowering cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol is a sterol in the fat family and is found in food as well as in the bloodstream. Cholesterol is transported through the blood in two forms: LDL and HDL cholesterol. LDL is considered the “bad” cholesterol while HDL which transports cholesterol out of tissues, back to the liver and out of the body is often called “good” cholesterol.

Do you have a health challenge that you’d like to discuss with me? I offer online Naturopathic and Nutrition Consultations. Fill out my forms here to book your personal consultation with me.

Or if you don’t have any particular health issues, perhaps you’d prefer one of my off-the-shelf  Health Programmes? Choose from Colon Cleanse, Detox Programme, Ultimate Cleanse or my comprehensive Supplement Programme. All packages include a full consultation.

Thank you for reading!


Nuts and Olive Oil Equal Statins for Reducing Heart Attack Risk

nuts and olive oilAlready this month we have seen new research that demonstrates how increasing our daily portion of pulses can lower LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol.

This is confirmed by a new clinical trial that says you can protect your heart by eating a diet high in fruit, vegetables, fish, nuts, whole grains and ‘healthy fats’ such as those in olive oil, and by reducing your intake of red meat and dairy products.

This is the prescription for a healthy heart, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. It found that changing the balance of your diet can lessen the risk even before heart-related illness strikes, while previous studies have compared the effects of the diet on people after they have suffered a heart attack or stroke.

In fact, this approach to eating was so beneficial for the people in the study that it was halted early as it would have been unethical not to recommend the diet to all those taking part!

Walnuts: omega 3 and heart disease


Walnuts contain good levels of omega 3

YES, I’m going nuts again …! This time it’s walnuts and they’re getting more good press. A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that eating whole walnuts and using walnut oil as a salad dressing reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Senior author Penny Kris-Etherton, Distinguished Professor of Nutrition at Penn State, stated that although we already know that eating walnuts as part of a heart-healthy diet can lower blood cholesterol levels, we didn’t know which component of the walnut was providing this benefit. The research pointed to the alpha-linolenic acid, gamma-tocopherol and phytosterols in walnuts.

Alpha-linolenic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid found in plants. Gamma-tocopherol is a major form of vitamin E found in many plant seeds, and phytosterols are compounds found in plants that can lower cholesterol levels.

Walnuts, depression and omega 3

Walnuts contain more omega 3 than any other nut. Apart from lowering triglyceride levels, omega 3 is particularly important for the brain to function properly. Other studies have shown that eating more omega 3, either from walnuts or fish, can significantly lower depression. Many people who suffer from depression have low levels of omega 3 in their bodies. Several other studies have also linked omega 3 deficiency in children with ADHD.

The FDA has also recognised the benefits of eating nuts to control heart disease. Nuts that contain less than 4g of saturated fat per 50g include walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, peanuts and some pine nuts. A study in 2009 published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed those who ate walnuts had a significantly higher decrease in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. The study also showed that walnuts provided good levels of antioxidant protection with no adverse effects on body weight.

A handful of walnuts provide 2.5g of ALA, the plant-based source of omega 3, 4g protein, 2g fiber and 10% of the daily recommended allowance of magnesium and phosphorus.


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