Friday, June 30, 2006


1∙ Cholesterol is an important part of every tissue in the body - in other words, our bodies require it to function. But we don't necessarily have to eat cholesterol-laden foods to fulfil those needs because the body is able to manufacture cholesterol by itself.

2∙ Cholesterol only becomes a problem when it becomes attached to the walls of the arteries (blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart). This narrows the arteries and so increases the risk of heart disease. The higher your cholesterol level is, the more likely this is to happen.

3∙ Cholesterol travels through the blood in parcels called lipoproteins Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) are known as "bad cholesterol", as the LDLs stick to artery walls. But high-density lipoproteins (HDLs) are "good cholesterol", actually helping to remove LDLs from the blood. The type of food you eat plays a big part in determining the proportion of LDLs to HDLs in your blood.

4∙ Male sex hormones decrease HDL levels and so may increase the risk of heart disease in men. But in middle age, differences between the sexes diminish as levels in both rise.

5∙ There is a genetic condition, called hypercholesterolaemia, that raises cholesterol levels dangerously high. It is treatable with diet and drugs but the earlier it is diagnosed, the better. It affects one person in 500. If you think that it runs in your family, see a doctor about being tested for it.

6∙ High cholesterol levels are a major contributory factor to coronary heart disease, which kills more than 140,000people in the UK each year. It's our commonest cause of death - one in five of us will have a heart attack beforewe reach the age of 65.

7∙ A recent MORI poll showed that one in four Britons thinks all fats are bad for us. Despite this, fats account for more than 40 per cent of the calories in the average British diet. Newspaper reports about Frenchmen who live to theage of 100 on a diet of nothing goose fat and cigarettes and health-food fanatics who die of heart disease at 40 are misleading. Don't be fooled. Eat badly and you put yourself at greater risk of dying young.

8∙ Saturated fats or "saturates" are the real villains in the cholesterol story. Foods high in saturates include dairy products, red meats, lard, some margarines, cakes, biscuits, chocolates, puddings, pastries and crisps. Saturates raise LDL cholesterol levels. Don't let them make up more than 10 per cent of your daily intake.

9∙ Beware of labels that declare "contains hydrogenated vegetable oil/fat". They may not be telling the whole story - the product could contain saturated fats as well. They are lurking in many a "healthy" snack.

10∙ Not all types of fat are bad for you. Unsaturated fats can actually reduce cholesterol levels and may stop some of the damage caused by saturates. You'll find them in oily fish, sunflower, olive and corn oils and some margarines. But restrict them to 20 per cent of your calorie intake - fats, after all, are fattening.

11∙ The soluble fibre found in pulses and cereals can help lower your blood cholesterol. And fresh fruit and vegetables can reduce the deposition of cholesterol in the arteries. Make sure you eat plenty of them!

12∙ Shellfish, kidneys, liver and cod's roe are frequently said to be "high in cholesterol". They're high in dietary cholesterol, but eating them won't raise your blood cholesterol nearly as much as saturates will. Don't eat them every day, though.

13∙ Your cholesterol level maybe fine, but don't assume your heart is - raised cholesterol is only one risk factor. Being overweight, not exercising enough, smoking, drinking too much and eating the wrong foods all put a strain on it, too.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Exposing our skin to the sun can be good for our health

To many people the idea of naturism is unthinkable, but naturists claim that exposing our bodies to sunshine and fresh air has many health benefits. You can read more about it by clicking the link below. What are you waiting for... get

The only benefits I can think of are, your body produced vitamin D, you get an even all over tan and it is a great way of socializing.

A word of Caution.
Over exposure can damage your skin, leading to cancer, so cover up when the sun is too strong. Too much sun can also make your skin age quicker.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Tired / Allergy

Tired all the time?
Here's a test devised by Dr James K Walsh, Director of Sleep Medicine and Research at St Luke's Hospital in St Louis, US, to check if you're getting enough sleep. Mid-afternoon, take yourself off to a warm room, then sit and listen to a business presentation. If you find yourself dozing off, it's not a sign that you're bored, says Dr Walsh, but that you're short of sleep. Funny, we could have sworn that it was plain old boredom.

Allergy alert!
If you have a food allergy and your partner has eaten large quantities of the food that you are sensitive to, you might develop an allergic reaction after love-making. The allergen can be present in semen, according to recent research findings.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Walking on Air

A 10 minute walk can make you feel better than the "quick fix" of sugar or a cigarette, says Dr Robert Thayer, a psychologist at California State University, Long Beach.Whether you're stressed,depressed or seething with anger, Thayer's seven-year study showed that walking gives you a lasting energy high and a mood boost that can't be achieved by eating chocolate or smoking. So next time you're on the verge of a nervous breakdown don't turn to sweets or nicotine - take a hike.