Author Archives: Haylee

The Importance Of Diabetic Nutrition

Maintaining good health involves eating and absorbing the right kind of foods. If you have been diagnosed as suffering from diabetes, it is essential that you develop an understanding as to what would be the correct diet. Diabetic nutrition is centered around controlling the amount of glucose or sugar in the blood. What we eat directly impacts blood-sugar levels, therefore the right choice of foods is fundamental to prevent a deterioration in health and quality of life.

There is not one exact diet that medical experts suggest a diabetes patient should follow, it depends on factors such as the extent of the condition, as well as the weight and age of the individual. Those people suffering from diabetes should be referred to a registered dietician who would be able to put together a specific guide for meals.

Diabetic nutrition also needs to take into consideration the individual’s eating habits and personal schedule. Guidelines for suitable control of diabetes will focus on eating at the same time each day of the week, this will help in keeping blood sugar levels stable and ensure that insulin does work in the right way.

It is important to frequently check blood sugar levels, especially when starting a new diet, only by doing so would a diabetic understand which foods and drinks do have a positive or negative impact on their blood sugar levels. The best diet would usually be one that is high in fiber and low in fat, sugar, and salt. Fiber can be sourced from certain vegetables and fruit, as well as wholemeal products such as brown rice and brown bread.

A balanced approach is the best option, it can be dangerous to cut out certain food groups altogether as this can then lead to other health problems. For this reason, it is advisable to consume a limited amount of fat, especially through the eating of chicken and nuts and seeds. Red meat should be reduced to a negligible amount. For most diabetics, alcohol should not be consumed as it can be high in sugar. Also, soda drinks, fruit juices, and sugary teas need to be kept to an absolute minimum.

A dietician may suggest following an exchange diet, this is a plan which involves swapping various foods around so as to give the individual some choice and variety. It can be difficult at first giving up various foods, but it should be made clear that diabetic nutrition diets do not have to be bland or unappealing, there are plenty of mouthwatering dishes that can still be taken.

Alternative Health Careers – Five Occupational Options

As the field of natural healing therapies continues to grow, so does the demand for alternative health careers. Some of the diverse healthcare occupations that alternative and complementary medicine offer prospective students include healing arts disciplines in massage therapy, homeopathy, herbal medicine, natural health, and acupuncture, among many others.

Today’s alternative health careers like massage therapy require specific training and education; including an expanding minimum standard of 500 instructional hours comprised of basic sciences (anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and pathology), Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, and sports massage. Other related studies like CPR and first aid, as well as business management and client communications are commonly integrated into this program of study.

Homeopathy is also a unique option to those seeking alternative health careers. Similar to most medical programs, homeopathic courses require rigorous educational studies like anatomy, biochemistry, homeopathic philosophy, physiology, materia medica, and other comprehensive coursework. To successfully acquire alternative health careers in homeopathy, individuals should review educational prerequisites as most homeopathic colleges and schools typically require some formal training and education prior to enrollment.

If you’re drawn to alternative health careers that involve herbal medicine, a number of holistic education programs including Chinese medicine, naturopathy, homeopathy and natural health commonly offer herbology and aromatherapy as part of their curricula. Choose from beginner classes to more advanced training options like earning your degree in herbal sciences.

Natural health professions are also part of the vast array of alternative health careers. Earn your diploma or certificate as a natural health practitioner after you’ve completed an in-depth course in natural healing therapies like massage, aromatherapy, herbal medicine, Reiki, and reflexology. Healing arts schools vary in subject matter, so check with prospective schools prior to applying.

Of these alternative health careers, acupuncture and Oriental medicine practitioners probably have one of the most unique educational foundations. In addition to learning both Eastern and Western medicine philosophies, acupuncture education offers a rare look into Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles and theories; including needling techniques, Tai Chi, moxibustion, Chinese herbal medicine, Tuina, Qi gong, and even Chinese medical language, among others. Prospective students should be aware, however, that alternative health careers in acupuncture do require several years of dedication.

If you (or someone you know) are interested in learning more about these and other alternative health career options, let professional training within fast-growing industries like massage therapy, cosmetology, acupuncture, oriental medicine, Reiki, and others get you started! Explore training programs for alternative health careers near you.

Alternative Health Careers – Five Occupational Options
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What Is Malignant Hypertension: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention

High blood pressure or more commonly known as hypertension is an incredibly common condition that is known to affect as many as one in three Americans each year. Hypertension can easily be diagnosed simply by checking if your BP is above 120 systolic or 80 diastolic. Hypertension is often easily managed, as long as you make an effort to follow the advice from your family’s doctor’s. Although not as common as hypertension, some individuals with high blood pressure may suddenly experience a sudden increase in BP that is recorded above 180 systolic or 120 diastolic. This sudden increase in BP is known as malignant hypertension. This particular condition may also be referred to as arteriolar nephrosclerosis. If an individual suffers from the condition, it’s advised that they seek immediate medical attention. If emergency treatment is not received, the individual runs the risk of developing much more serious health problems, as a result, such as kidney failure, heart attack or even brain damage.

What is known to cause malignant hypertension?

Throughout many individuals, high blood pressure is known to be one of the primary causes. If these individuals also rely on some form of BP medication, missing a dose can also cause the condition to occur. Malignant hypertension is mostly discovered in patients who possess some form of history of high blood pressure. According to the official National Institutes of Health, approximately one percent of individuals who suffer from high blood pressure will eventually begin to develop malignant hypertension. Furthermore, there are also certain medical conditions that are also responsible for malignant hypertension. Some health conditions can significantly increase an individual’s chances of developing malignant hypertension such as:

– Forgetting or not taking medication for treating high blood pressure.

– Narrowing of the main blood vessel from the heart, aorta, or aortic dissection (a form of bleeding from the wall of the aorta).

– Narrowing of the arteries found in the kidneys (known as renal stenosis).

– A result of a spinal cord injury causing over-activity in parts of a patient’s nervous system.

– Autoimmune diseases (antibodies produced in a patient’s body to fight against its own tissues).

– Preeclampsia and pregnancy.

– Drug use such as anti-depressants, oral contraceptives, amphetamines and even cocaine.

– Kidney failure or disorders.

Who is at risk for developing malignant hypertension?

Approximately 1% of individual’s who have some form of history related to high blood pressure will develop this life-threatening condition. Studies have shown that you may be at greater risk of developing this disease if you are male or African-American origin. Unlike high blood pressure, the serious condition that is malignant hypertension is capable of producing very noticeable symptoms, some of which include:

– Reduced level of urination.

– Frequent headaches.

– Shortness of breath.

– Weakness or a level of numbness in the face, legs or arms.

– Vomiting and nausea.

– Increased level of anxiety.

– Frequent coughing.

– Regular chest pains.

– Changes in vision such as blurred vision.

Malignant hypertension can also lead to another condition which is referred to as hypertensive encephalopathy. Symptoms of this condition can include:

– Seizures.

– Lack of energy.

– Increased level of confusion.

– Blurred vision.

– Headaches.

This variety of symptoms may not be caused specifically by malignant hypertension, however, they may be linked to a variety of less serious health conditions. Nevertheless, this disease is incredibly serious and life threatening, which means if you experience any form of symptoms related to this condition you should seek immediate emergency treatment. Your family doctor will also be capable of providing you with a wide variety of information and important advice surrounding the condition. Hypertension, is known to really take its toll on our kidneys. It can make it exceptionally difficult for our kidneys to filter out toxins and unnecessary waste from our blood. Which is why malignant hypertension is one of the leading causes of kidney failure. Malignant hypertension is also capable of causing your kidneys to eventually and suddenly stop working altogether.

I have been diagnosed with malignant hypertension, what should I expect?

In the past decades malignant hypertension was known to be a fatal condition. Nevertheless, through modern medicine and the latest techniques, treatment is readily available for successfully treating this condition. Nevertheless, it’s known that during treatment of malignant hypertension, kidney function may become worse or decrease significantly. However, kidney function will often improve throughout the duration of the treatment as the condition is resolved, although this cannot always be guaranteed if the kidneys have received severe levels of damage prior to treatment. Typically a patient will begin to see forms of improvement within a week to 4 weeks respectively, even after receiving dialysis. Approximately 1 in 5 individuals who have suffered from the malignant hypertension condition will ultimately require long-term dialysis. Some individuals may experience some form of permanent damage to the eyes or brain.

How is the malignant hypertension condition treated?

Malignant hypertension is a serious medical emergency that requires sufficient levels of treatment in a hospital, which usually involves some form of intensive care unit. Individuals diagnosed with the condition will receive advice from a doctor who will be able to consider their symptoms and health upon deciding what form of medical treatment is the best solution for their personal case. The result of the treatment should be to carefully and steadily lower the patient’s BP. BP medication is received through an IV which is one of the quickest methods in order to treat extremely high levels of BP. Once the patient’s BP returns to an acceptable and safe level, the medications received via the IV will often be switched to a form of oral medication. If the patient develops kidney failure throughout their condition, they may need to receive kidney dialysis.

How can I prevent malignant hypertension?

Thankfully, some forms of malignant hypertension can easily be prevented. If you are known to have a high blood pressure, it’s essential that you receive regular BP checks with your doctor to make sure it’s safe and not increasing. If you have high blood pressure, you will no doubt be provided with a form of medication, which must be taken as instructed without missing any doses. Always remember to take your medication and follow the advice given by your doctor. Other ways that you can help to keep your BP down can be:

– Limit salt intake.

– Lose weight.

– Reduce stress levels.

– Change your diet to include more fresh fruit and vegetables.

– Reduce alcohol intake.

– Quit smoking.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Alternative Medicine

There are reasons why people chose alternative medicine and reasons why they avoid it, preferring conventional medicine. Alternative medicine is safer than standard health treatments and usually works. It’s true that it can’t be used in severe conditions like car accidents or other severe emergencies, but be that as it may, there are enough situations in which alternative medicine is recommended. When it comes to emotional and spiritual needs, non-conventional medicine may come up with the solution. Furthermore, it’s better for preventing illnesses than standard medicine. More and more physicians nowadays agree upon the benefits of alternative medicine and also even advise their clients to choose the best natural treatment for them.

One of the advantages of alternative medicine is that it encompasses a broad range of therapies, treatments and products, thus the search for obtaining positive results doesn’t flow on a narrow path at all.

A pretty important disadvantage states the idea that, even though the expenses of using acupuncture or chiropractic are sometimes covered by health insurances, the majority of alternative treatments are not reimbursed.

There are certain risks that come along with the usage of natural remedies. Despite the use of herbs throughout the years and even ancient times, not all of them have been studied regarding their safety and efficiency. There are issues concerning their purity and their possible interaction with other substances related to conventional therapies. The majority of information regarding herbs have been perpetuated throughout history and with the help of tradition. Many people assume that herbal medicines are better than synthetic drugs simply because, well, they are natural and not synthetic, therefore present no risk. But they are not risk free; they can do more harm than good if taken without having the details of their effects over the body.

People might abuse of natural medicines the same way as they do it in the case of synthetic drugs. They have the misconception that if unconventional medicine consists of herbal products which are natural, then there is no harm done if they triple the dosage or more. This is totally wrong and can have serious consequences. Take vitamins for example. They are just vitamins, right? They can’t possibly do any damage inside the body. But they do. Vitamin overdosing or vitamin toxicity can lead to unpleasant effects depending on the vitamin that has been taken one too many times. Vitamin A over dosage can cause liver problems, osteoporosis, hair loss and other dangerous effects and Hypervitaminosis D leads to dehydration, vomiting, anorexia and even kidney stones.

An advantage of using herbal remedies concerns the effectiveness related with chronic health issues that don’t respond well or even at all to traditional medicines. If long term medication is needed, then herbs are pretty much safer than conventional drugs. The alternative medicine industry takes advantage from this and keeps evolving and developing due to the constant need for natural remedies.

Another advantage is the low cost of herbal products compared to synthetic drugs which are highly priced for the simple reason that researching and testing the products is expensive. Furthermore, herbal products can be bought without a prescription and are easy to procure. The availability of natural remedies is outstanding; chamomile for example can be easily picked out from a nearby field.

The advantages of using herbal medicines are numerous, but so are the disadvantages. The best idea would be to consider modern medicine according to the severity of the illness, to consult a physician upon the proper medication and dosage and if you do chose the alternative medicine, try to gather enough information upon both kinds of treatments, natural or synthetic, so you may reassure yourself that you took the right decision to balance your health situation.

Fitness And Nutrition For Health

In the age which we live there is an unprecedented focus on getting and staying healthy. As more and more research points to the effect of fitness and nutrition on our overall health, the findings become more difficult to ignore. There is no doubt that the food that we eat and the physical activity that we perform significantly impact our weight and our body’s overall health and longevity.

When you look at fitness and nutrition and the consequences of ignoring their importance, it is not difficult to see how large a role they play in our health. First and foremost, it is important to understand how powerfully diet can affect us. Natural, whole foods – such as fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins – give our bodies the vitamins that it needs to function effectively. We have energy when we eat right. And when we have energy we burn fat. Eating properly allows us to maintain a healthy weight and keep undue stress off of our hearts; it also allows us to keep our blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the healthy range. Most importantly, good nutrition keeps our bodies stocked with antioxidants that fight off a range of illnesses including cancer.

But nutrition does go it alone; fitness and nutrition go hand in hand for achieving good health. When we keep our bodies active through a consistent exercise program, we are adding to our body’s ability to metabolize food and keep weight down. Further, good fitness means strong and limber muscles and a strong cardiovascular system. Exercise also lowers blood pressure and reduces stress levels.

Learning how to pair fitness and nutrition for optimum health means a commitment to a particular lifestyle. It is essential that you revamp your diet to eliminate fatty, high-sodium, and processed food and replace it with fresh, natural – and even organic – choices. But remember, fitness and nutrition work best as a team. Implement a consistent regime of physical activity into your daily schedule including cardiovascular work, stretching, weight training, and even yoga or Pilates.

When you truly understand the importance of fitness and nutrition in your life, you will understand how crucial these lifestyle changes are in order to live a long and healthy life.

Healthy Eating – Delicious Dip Ideas To Try

As part of your quest to start eating healthier, making sure you are taking in enough fresh fruit and vegetables is a must. Sadly, many people fall short because they just do not enjoy the taste of these nutritious choices. The good news is with a few small adjustments to your approach; you can hit your targets. How do you do that? Simply by adding a dip to the mix.

Let’s look at a few tasty dip ideas you can use to create healthy serving options to make it easier to take in more produce…

1. Fruity Whipped Dip. If you are looking for a fruit based dip light in taste and a sure-hit with even children, this dip is for you. Simply mix one cup of sugar-free, fruit-flavored yogurt along with one cup of light whipped topping. To this, add half a box of sugar-free vanilla pudding powder mix, stir, and you will have a dip that you can’t get enough of.

This one is so good; you will want to eat it right out of the bowl.

2. Dill Vegetable Dip. If vegetables are where you struggle, a delicious dill dip will be in order. This one is super easy to whip up and contains hardly any fat at all.

Mix half a cup of fat-free sour cream, half a cup of low-fat Greek yogurt and a quarter cup of reduced fat mayonnaise. To this, stir in half a packet of onion soup mix powder and two tablespoons of chopped fresh dill.

Mix and serve.

3. Salsa Cream Cheese Dip. If you want a dip with a little more zest to it, salsa is the perfect accompaniment to your vegetables. While you can just use regular salsa to dip your vegetables, if you mix it with a little cream cheese, you will be in for a treat.

Combine one cup of salsa with eight ounces of cream cheese in a bowl and you are set. This dip can be made in under two minutes so is a great on-the-go option when you have unexpected house guests.

4. Chocolate Mousse Dip. Finally, finishing off your dip options is a delicious chocolate mousse dip. This one is also a fantastic choice for serving with strawberries, bananas, raspberries, or any other fruit you desire.

Simply blend one package of sugar-free chocolate pudding powder mix with one and a half cups of skim milk. To this, fold in one cup low-fat whipped topping mix and a tablespoon of cocoa powder (if desired for an unyielding chocolate taste). Add stevia if you would like it sweeter, mix and serve.

Don’t let yourself fall short on eating sufficient fresh fruits and vegetables any longer. Give these dip options a try, and you will find yourself looking forward to eating these items.

Health Promotion Program – Benefits of Health Promotion in the Work Environment

Benefits of health promotion are not only for the workplace of a company it also touches the interest of the employees. There are various types of benefits that are transferred from the employee to their members of the family.

Teaching and supporting are the best feasible ways of communicating health tips to the employees. Already thousands of people get their health information from TV, Internet and magazines.

Benefits of Health Promotion

  1. Health Awareness — Most of the employees like to follow these tips for the benefit of working together. Some of the areas of health awareness are such as awareness concerning alcohol and tobacco, recreation, fitness, nutrition, heart health, urology problem, diabetics etc. Also workplace safety areas and workplace health promotion are very effective.
  2. Workplace Health Promotion — It will lead to a general shrink of health care expenses, health maintenance, health education and other preventive measures for various diseases. These are all crucial for generating a solid institution within an association. Workplace health promotion is having the strong evidence to supports the success of wellness programs or health programs. This type of inventions is making the important difference in the managerial structure.
  3. Health Programs — Most of the popular companies would like to implement the wellness programs. They are encouraging not only their employees to improve their health lifestyle but the members of family as well. Mental health programs are part of health support on the workplace. It can function as a barometer to show the state of wellbeing of the employees. This is the significant factor for mental health programs.
  4. Positive Working Environment — Company employees enjoy many of these types of strategies for they reduce behavioral problems and suicide rates. Stress management classes and/or mental health programs have resulted in a decrease of domestic aggressions due to a positive working environment for the employees. On social level there is an important reduction of child abuse and also spousal abuse.

Generally the safety and health promotion or occasional health both help to reduce the number of disabilities and deaths at the workplace. Safety and health issue of employees are part of their workplace environment therefore wellness programs and common health promotion occurs in the work environment. Training workers while implementing wellness and safety procedures results in a significant decrease of injuries. As job injuries reduce, workers asking for a compensation claim reduce. To conclude workplace health promotion is an excellent tool for the company to show the employees that their health is the most important to the organization.

Advantages to Computers in the Food & Beverage Industry

Computers have revolutionized the food and beverage industry as they have nearly every other industry. Computers have had positive, measurable effects on the front end and back end of hospitality operations. Computers systems have improved employee performance, and food and beverage quality and consistency. Within the food and beverage industry there is no longer a question of should technology be used, but rather a question of which technology to use? In the food and beverage business, computers are here to stay.

In the hospitality industry, customer service is an absolute critical factor for success. Computers are helping in this area in several ways. In many restaurants, the wait staff can process various forms of payment at guest tables, which allows guest to leave directly from their table without the need to stop at a centralized checkout station. This has removed long unsightly lines, which annoy customers, and disrupt the flow of traffic in food and beverage businesses. This service is made possible by either small hand held computers which handle credit card transactions using wireless technology, or via remote point of sale systems that interact with a central computer system. This improves the customers dining experience, which should be the goal of any food service business.

A key management concern of any food and beverage business is the profit margin. In this vital area of business, computers have also proven to be an indispensable tool. Computer systems help manage the entire food service process from ordering the ingredients needed to produce menu items, to forecasting the amount of items to prepare for each dining period based on historical patterns. This helps to reduce wasted food, which is very expensive and comes out of the businesses profit. It also helps in preparing menu items before hand, which reduces customer wait time. Computer can also forecast with high accuracy rates the volume of business to be expected which allows managers to properly staff their business. This is vital because having too much staff on hand can consume unnecessary amounts of payroll, and not having enough staff on hand will cause customer service problems.

Computers are also being used in very innovative ways by some food and beverage businesses. For instance, Darden Restaurants that owns and operates the Red lobster and Olive Garden chains uses computers to help choose new building sites. This computer system uses a software program called the Darden Site Analyzer. The software gathers critical information needed to select a site, such as demographics, distance to other restaurants and customer information specific to the Darden business model. The program then analyzes the site and provides a series of reports to help Darden make the final decision. Darden plans to improve the software so that it can evaluate things such as whether a new Darden restaurant will negatively effect other Darden restaurants in the same area.

Computer systems have become a vital part of all aspects of the food and beverage industry, they help with purchasing decisions, inventory control, employee scheduling and training, and customer acquisition and retention. A leading indicator of this growing trend is the fact that many hospitality training programs now include computer and technology courses in the curriculum.

Each year innovators are creating more unique ways that technology can be used to enhance the overall commercial dining experience. Computers make out of home dining a more enjoyable experience for the consumer and a more profitable manageable experience for business managers and owners.

(c) 2006, Marcus Barber

The Importance of Boot Camp Fitness Program

Boot camp fitness programs are scientifically designed workouts to suit a wide range of people who value physical fitness and are serious about remaining physically agile and trim. The fitness programs may vary in style, rigor and intensity to meet individual needs. Boot camp techniques and exercises can burn the extra fat and calories and also initiate you into a different lifestyle.

Losing weight and getting into shape seems nearly impossible for a lot of people and the only way to achieve results is through enforcing discipline and the fitness boot camps just do that. Understanding what needs to be done to make you physically fit and trim is winning half the battle and fitness boot camp trainers know what you need to do.

Boot camp fitness participants are made to perform a wide assortment of strengthening, stretching, and cardiovascular drills, so the entire spectrum of bodily fitness – anaerobic, aerobic, and mobility – is trained with every session.

Not long ago, boot camp fitness programs were terribly excruciating and you almost killed yourself with workouts that largely resembled the rigorous military training imparted to soldiers. Things have changed a lot and in a fitness boot camp, you need no longer train like a soldier to lose weight and get into proper physical shape. But still boot camp fitness programs are challenging and you need a lot of self-discipline.

Boot camp workouts are productive because you work your entire body-nerves, tissues and muscles-through successive exercises one after the other with no respite in between. The workouts involve jumping jacks, crunches, body-weight squats, push-up with rotation, single-leg straddle, step jumps, explosive push-up, running, bicycling and lot more.

In boot camp, the challenge is to test your physical endurance and to take your body to its farthest limits. They are are aimed at:

• Effectively burn out a lot of unwanted calories leading to shedding of excess fat

• Making you work your entire body within in a short span of time and increase your powers of endurance and enhanced muscle strength

• Having each exercise differently so that you are not bored and remain enthusiastic

• Keep you motivated as you will do the workouts in the company of peers

• Easy to perform exercises that you can do anywhere with little equipment

• Boosting your levels of self-confidence and achieving overall body fitness

Some select fitness programs for free fitness assessments to determine the type of workout you will require and also supply participants with nutrition booklet including guidelines & tips to speed up results.

Each person’s program is individualized to make it result-oriented – from the type of food and nutrition and the physical workout program design and behavioral education and changing of lifestyle. Before enrolling in fitness programs, please verify if they are reliable and whether they have qualified nutritionist, therapist, trainers and other health care professionals.

Make sure the trainers at these fitness camps also undertake to build a program for you to pursue even after the session is over so that you sustain the levels of physical fitness you attained at the camp. This is critically important if attending a fitness camp is to guarantee long-term benefits and you get your money’s worth.

The Heart Un-Healthy Western Diet

“God sendeth and giveth both mouth and meat.” Thomas Tusser

“The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of `real food for real people,’ you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.” Dr. Neal D. Bernard, MD

The ‘Western’ Diet is a ‘meat-sweet’ diet. This diet is high in red and processed meats, sweets, fried foods, refined grains, and desserts. And after almost a century, it has finally become clear that this diet has become a serious threat to our health.

Obesity is primarily related to excessive caloric intake. The meat-sweet diet of USA has resulted in sixty-five percent of adults aged 20 y being either overweight or obese. Unfortunately, the numbers are increasing and the estimated number of deaths ascribable to obesity growing. The western diet is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and cancer. Cardiovascular disease is the cause of 38.5% of all deaths in the US. Almost 65 million Americans suffer from cardiovascular disease. The second leading cause of death is cancer in the US. It is estimated that one third of all cancers (25% of all deaths ) are related to diet and obesity. Other chronic diseases strongly related to and influenced by the western diet are hypertension (50 million Americans), diabetes (11 million), elevated cholesterol (37 million) and osteoporosis (7.2 million) and osteopenia (39.6 million). Hip fractures greatly increase the mortality, and osteoporosis plays a major role in this disease.

Indications of the dangerous nature of the western diet started emerging almost a century ago. In 1916, Dutch physician De Langen published a study of showing the higher cholesterol levels of Dutch immigrants as those of the native Javanese. This almost double cholesterol level was associated with metabolic diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes, obesity, and nephritis. In 1950’s, Keys and coworkers found that cholesterol levels and coronary heart disease mortality rates were high in United States and Finland, while being low in Japan and southern Europe. They attributed this to the substantial differences in the dietary patterns – an early indication that the ‘Western” diet was heart unhealthy.

In 1958 a major scientific study called the Seven Countries Study, involving 12,763 men between the ages of 40 to 59 years began. These countries were the United States, Finland, the Netherlands, Italy, Greece, the former Yugoslavia, and Japan. Over a period of 25 years, about 6000 men died, of which 1500 men died of coronary heart disease. Populations with the highest consumption of animal food groups, with the exception of fish, had a much higher 25-year coronary heart disease mortality rates, when compared to populations with the highest vegetable, grains, fish and wine consumption. During the start of the study, the consumption of milk, potatoes, butter, and sugar products was very high in Finland. Netherlands had a similar but lower consumption pattern. Meat, pastry and fruit consumption (meat-sweet diet) was high in the United States. The Italians ate a lot of cereal and drank moderate amounts of wine while bread consumption was high in the former Yugoslavia. Greeks consumed high amounts of olive oil and fruit, while the Japanese were fond of fish, rice, and soy products. Heart attacks… God’s revenge for eating his little animal friends. -Author Unknown

How did the western diet emerge? The Western diet developed gradually over the last 200 years and was mainly a result of industrialization. In the prehistoric times, milk intake was limited to mother’s milk as it was impossible to milk wild animals. “The human body has no more need for cows’ milk than it does for dogs’ milk, horses’ milk, or giraffes’ milk.” -Michael Klaper, MD, author of Vegan Nutrition: Pure & Simple. With domestication of cows and other animals and subsequent ability for refrigeration, a whole host of dairy products became a staple of the western diet. The mechanized steel roller mills and automated sifting devices of today remove most of the germ and bran of the cereal grains, leaving mainly the endosperm as flour. The recent production of high fructose corn syrup greatly increased refined sugar consumption. Industrialization also produced more atpical vegetable oils for consumption that are high in trans fatty acids, as is seen in margarine and shortening. Salt intake is very high in the United States. Unfortunately 90% of the salt in the typical US diet comes from manufactured salt that is added to the food supply, and not from salt added while cooking or from the table.

“Meat, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores.”William C. Roberts, M.D. and Editor in Chief, American Journal of Cardiology, vol. 66, October 1, 1990. Unlike meat from wild animals or pasture raised cattle, 99% of all the beef consumed in the United States is high in the unhealthy saturated fatty acids and n-6 fatty acids and low in the beneficial n-3 fatty acids. This meat is mainly produced from grain-fed, feedlot cattle. “The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined. If beef is your idea of `real food for real people,’ you’d better live real close to a real good hospital.” -Neal D. Barnard, M.D.

The western diet is also deficient in micronutrients (At least half the US population fails to meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin B-6, vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, and zinc, and 33% of the population does not meet the RDA for folate), is conducive to an acidic body status (fish, meat, poultry, eggs, shellfish, cheese, milk, and cereal grains are net acid producing, whereas fresh fruit, vegetables, tubers, roots, and nuts are net base producing.), has less potassium (Industrial periods caused a 400% decline in the potassium intake while simultaneously initiating a 400% increase in sodium ingestion ) and fiber (refined sugars, vegetable oils, dairy products, and alcohol, are all devoid of fiber. Refined grains contain about 400% less fiber when compared to whole grains, and the former represent 85% of the grains consumed in the United States). These are all detrimental to the health, especially cardiac health. Because normally with Western cuisine, you’ll serve vegetables separate from the meat, so kids will eat the meat and never touch the vegetables. Martin Yan. Vegetables and fruits are mainly side dishes or desserts in the Western Diet.

More die in the United States of too much food than of too little. -John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society. The western diet has also become an excessive calorie diet, resulting in the obesity epidemic in the western world, with all its health consequences. Americans eat 3,770 calories a day, and have the highest per capita daily consumption in the world. This is more than a Canadian at 3,590 calories or an Indian at 2,440, according to data from the UN Food and Agricultural Organization. Unfortunately switching to diet sodas does not help – a recent report has shown the diet soda drinkers may be more prone to the dangerous metabolic syndrome.

When combined with inactivity and smoking, the western diet has become lethal. So cut down on red meat, especially beef and change to a prudent heart healthy diet. So, as an old English Proverb warns: don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork.