Can The Mediterranean Diet And Statins Reduce The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease?

A New York Times reader inquired if switching over to a Mediterranean diet would be more effective in fighting against cardiovascular disease such as heart disease than taking statins. New York Times reporter Sophie Chan did some research on this subject. Here is what she managed to find out after doing research and asking a medical expert.


Sophie Chan reported that both the Mediterranean diet and taking statins can be effective in combating the risk of cardiovascular disease such as heart disease and stroke. One study done in 2013 found that switching to a Mediterranean diet can help cut the risk of heart disease and stroke by up to 30% in individuals at a high risk for developing such diseases. A study conducted in 2009 found the people who are at a high risk for heart disease had their risk of developing such diseases cut by up to 44% when they started statin therapy.


Both the Mediterranean diet and statin therapy can help you reduce the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. The best choice says is perhaps to utilize both. For those not familiar with the Mediterranean diet here is a quick explanation. It involves using olive oil for cooking and salad dressings, eating plenty of fish, drinking red wine with meals and consuming a significant amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. Nuts and poultry are also a staple of the Mediterranean diet. Red meat, sweets, dairy products and processed foods are consumed in small quantities if at all.


Dr. Meir Stampfer of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health recommends people first try the Mediterranean diet. He says in not only helps fight heart disease, but also helps fight against cancer, diabetes and cognitive decline. His view is that you don’t have to choose between statins and a diet. He suggests that you try a diet such as the Mediterranean one, and if you still have not seen a reduction in your cholesterol levels or heart disease risks, then you should go add statins as well. They can work in syngergy or together to help cut the risk of developing serious diseases.


Dr. Stampfer does warn those on statin therapy that just because they take these drugs, does mean that they are off the hook. Proper diet and exercise is still important. In fact, Dr. Stampfer says that constant exercise and a healthy diet is the best thing you can do to prevent heart disease and strokes from developing.


Comparing Red Cabbage To Bluberries In Terms Of Nutrition

One reader at the New York Times inquired about the nutritional content of red cabbage versus blueberries. The reader said that both red cabbage and blueberries seem to have the same color, which should suggest the presence of powerful nutrients and antioxidants. He also asked if red cabbage was superior overall because it is much cheaper and available year round. It is important to point out that red cabbage actually refers to purple colored cabbage as the cabbage is not actually red but purplish and similar in color somewhat to a blueberry.


Times reporter Roni Caryn Rabin inquired about the nutritional content of purple cabbage against that of blueberries to numerous experts. Here is what she found out. According to Amy Howell of the Amy Howell at the Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research at Rutgers University you will not get the same or equivalent quantity of antioxidants from red cabbage as you would from eating blueberries. The berries contain a significantly higher amount of antioxidants than purple cabbage, even if the cabbage is eaten raw based upon a study done by the United States Department of Agriculture. That being said, purple cabbage is still a highly nutrient dense and antioxidant rich food on its own that is extremely healthy to consume.


A closer look at the antioxidant compounds of red cabbage reveals that the cabbage has only one parent anthocyanidin. This parent anthocyanidin is what makes up the anthocyanins or plant pigment and antioxidants found in red cabbage. While red cabbage contains only one parent anthocyanidin, blueberries contain five anthocyanins and many other derivatives. According to Dr. Howell of Rutgers University, the greater number of different anthocyanins means that blueberries will have far more health benefits than red cabbage was has only one anthocyanidin that makes up the pigment and antioxidants.


Dr. Howell of the Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research continues by saying that blueberries eclipse red cabbage when it comes to nutritional value and antioxidants. Mary Ann Lila of North Carolina State University in Kannapolis says that the different varieties of anthocyanins is what gives bluberries their potent disease fighting and health boosting properties. Blueberries are said to be able improve memory, prevent chronic disease and help strengthen insulin sensitivity. Something that blueberries don’t have, that red cabbage does have is glucosinolates, which are bitter compounds believed to have anticancer properties.


Healthy Eating Tips for Business People Who Are Always On-the-Go

When you’re always on the go, it can be difficult to make time for healthy eating. This happens to everyone, including parents, teens, business people and other professionals. It’s hard to stay healthy and busy at the same time!


Fortunately, we have what you need to straighten up and get healthy without losing time. The following tips will help you stay healthy when you’re on-the-go.


  1. Do all your prepping on one day.


First, do all your healthy meal prepping on one day. Sunday is a great day to do this. You can shop in the morning and meal prep in the afternoon for the rest of the week.


  1. Find a healthy fast food joint near you.


There are will always come a time when you simply cannot make lunch or dinner. In these cases, you’ll need fast food, but you’ll want to choose a fast food joint that isn’t terribly unhealthy. Find a go-to place ahead of time so that you’re covered.


  1. Set up your breakfasts ahead of time.


Breakfasts can be difficult for busy people. If you tend to skip breakfast or grab something unhealthy, you’ll need to prepare your breakfasts ahead of time. Breakfasts aren’t usually prepared during meal prep time because those are focused on snacks, lunches and dinners. Fortunately, preparing your breakfast the night before is fairly easy. Get some oatmeal out, cut up some fruit and put in a bowl or create a breakfast sandwich that you can pop into your Panini press as soon as you wake up.


  1. Always have healthy snacks in your computer bag, purse, car and office.


Finally, never leave home without a healthy snack. When you’re always on the go, it can be all too easy to grab unhealthy snacks at gas stations or fast food restaurants. Instead of resorting to this, keep healthy granola bars or a banana in your bag, purse, desk drawer and car all the time. This will make it much less tempting to turn to junk food when you’re hungry.


The Healthy and Easy Chicken Soup You’ll Want Every Day

Chicken soup is something that everyone can get behind. But it’s not as hard as you think it is to make. In fact, here’s one of the best chicken noodle soup recipes that you’ll ever find, and you can make it in less than 30 minutes.


For this recipe, you’ll need carrots, a medium white onion, celery, frozen corn, olive oil, garlic, fresh ginger, salt, pepper, basil, parsley, two chicken breasts and the pasta of your choice. This is an easy recipe because there are no measurements. You just have to eyeball everything, and don’t worry because it will turn out fine.


To start, add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a large Dutch oven. Put it on medium high heat on the stove and add your chicken breasts. Cook them until they’re done and set them aside. Add your diced onion, carrots and celery to the oil. You may need to have a little bit more oil as well.


Sauté these veggies until the onions are translucent. At this point, add a few cloves of garlic and a little bit of fresh ground ginger. Sauté this for one minute further. Add four to eight cups of chicken stock to the pot and turn to high. Now, you can add your frozen corn, salt and pepper and other spices. Basil and parsley are great dried spices to add at this point, but that’s up to you. You can also add the few red pepper flakes to give the soup a little kick.


You’ll be bringing the soup to a boil at this point. While you wait for the soup to boil, shred your cooled chicken, removing any fat, grizzle and bones. Once your soup reaches a boil, you can put the chicken in, cover the pot and turn down the heat. You’ll want your soup to cook for approximately 20 to 30 min. In the last 5 to 10 minutes of cooking, add the pasta of your choice and cook until the pasta is done. Fresh parsley or basil can be added at this point as a kind of garnish. This is a great soup that’s healthy and delicious.


The Top Things You Can Do to Eat Healthier This Week

Eating healthy is on most people’s to-do list, and if it’s on yours, you’re probably looking for ways that you can implement this task without too much fuss. The following is a list of great healthy eating ideas that you can implement this very week!


Participate in meatless Monday.


You don’t have to be a complete vegetarian or vegan to swap out meat in some of your meals. For many people, meatless Monday is a weekly event. This Monday, try making your own veggie burgers at home. There are tons of recipes on the Internet that you can use for tasty burgers that almost seem like the real thing.


Store your greens for longer and save money while eating healthier throughout the week.


Many people end up throwing out baby spinach and spring greens after a few days in the fridge because they become wilted and smelly. But did you know that there’s a way to can store your greens for longer and save money? All you need to do is put a clean paper towel into the container where you store your baby greens and spinach. This will help them to stay dry and avoid the accumulation of moisture. Excess moisture is what will cause your greens to wilt early and become bad. This means you’ll be able to enjoy salads throughout the week instead of having to scarf down your greens all at once.


Make a healthy salad dressing for delicious salads.


Finally, consider swapping out your store brought bought salad dressing for something a little better and homemade. A great Caesar dressing can be made with ingredients you probably already have in your refrigerator and kitchen cupboards. You’ll need a cup of ground Parmesan cheese, a half cup of Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, one clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, a touch of lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Mix everything together and add salt to taste.


Use all of the tips listed above to change this week into a healthy eating week. You’ll love it so much that you’ll want to do it the following week as well!


How to Make Sure That You Get Enough Protein as a Vegetarian

One of the main concerns of being a vegetarian is making sure that you get enough protein in your diet on a regular basis. Protein is essential to everyone’s diet, and both men and women need it to grow strong muscles. This article will outline some of the ways that you can make sure you’re getting enough protein in your diet if you’re a vegetarian.


First, the good thing about being a vegetarian is that you likely still eat eggs and dairy products, which means that you can get a ton of proteins from these foods. The whites in eggs have lots of protein, and there are a number of dairy products that also contain a lot of protein. For example, cottage cheese and various types of hard cheeses have adequate amounts of protein in them.


But you can’t get your daily protein intake from eggs and cheeses alone. Not only would this be boring, but it wouldn’t provide enough variety where protein and other essential nutrients are concerned. Aside from eggs and dairy products like cottage cheese, you can also get protein from nuts and seeds. Pumpkin seeds, for example, have tons of essential protein, and nuts like walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts can also be a good source of protein for your body.


Another type of non-meat protein is beans. Beans are great as a meat substitute as well. You can make black bean burgers, refried bean tacos and even wraps that have white beans as the centerpiece. Beans are also easy to make. You can certainly cook up your own refried beans from pinto beans, but it’s just as easy to buy a can, and if you choose the low-sodium option, they’re just as healthy as making them yourself.


Finally, if you’re a vegetarian, you still technically might eat fish although this would be called being a pescetarian traditionally. If you do eat fish, this will be a main source of protein for you as fish has tons of great protein and other essential nutrients like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Use all of these tips to ensure that your body is healthy and has an adequate amount of protein even though you don’t eat meat.


The Top Foods You’ll Want to Swap Out for a Healthier Diet

For most of us, there are tons of foods that we’ve labeled as healthy since we were kids, but they’re not actually that healthy. The following list includes the top foods that appear healthy but actually aren’t. You’ll want to swap these foods out for healthier alternatives, and we’ll give you some ideas.


Fruit juice


How could fruit juice be unhealthy, you ask? It’s a shame, but most of the fruit juice that you see and buy at the grocery store is full of sugar. Some fruit juices even have as much sugar as regular soda drinks. Furthermore, many fruit juices have had their fiber taken out of them, so there’s really no reason to continue drinking them for health benefits. Instead of fruit juice, try an actual piece of fruit. It will quench your thirst and give you more essential nutrients and fiber.


Granola bars


Granola bars can definitely be healthy, but healthy granola bars are the minority. For the most part, the granola bars that you see in the cereal aisle at the grocery store are as bad as the candy bars that you see in the checkout lane. If you can’t live without your daily granola bar snack, however, consider swapping out the traditional granola bars that you’re used to eating for something that is low in additives and sugar. These healthier alternatives are usually in a small area next to the big brand granola bars, but they are there.


Oatmeal in instant, pre-flavored packets


Oatmeal in and of itself is definitely healthy, but the pre-flavored packets of instant oatmeal are not healthy. These have tons of sugar in them, and they are actually highly processed so that they can cook faster. This takes all of the good stuff out of oatmeal and just adds sugar and artificial ingredients. Instead of opting for these little packets, make your own oatmeal with regular oats. Steel cut oats are the best because they have their wheat germs still intact. To give them more flavor, use vanilla flavored almond milk, cinnamon and a little bit of honey on top.


These Are the Tips That Will Help Keep You Healthy for the Year

Making vow to stay healthy at the beginning of the year is one thing, but actually following through is quite another. If you want to be sure that you’ll keep your New Year’s resolutions to stay healthy this year, follow the advice below.


Start swapping out bad foods for healthy foods.


A number of bad foods that have integrated their ways into your diet can easily be switched out for healthier alternatives. For example, consider switching mashed avocado for mayonnaise. Similarly, you can use a lettuce leaf instead of a tortilla when making wraps. Finally, consider using a portobello mushroom instead of a beef burger when making hamburgers.


Keep track of your progress.


There’s no way to know whether or not you’re following through with your health goals unless you keep track of your progress. Great way to do this is to get a journal. Make a list of the habits that you want to keep along the left margin of one page, and along the top of the page, put the days of the week. Every time you fulfill a habit, mark off that day of the week alongside the habit that you’ve completed. By the end of the week, you’ll be able to look back and see how your habits have progressed.


Keep up your motivation


Finally, don’t forget that you’ll need to stay motivated so that you continue fulfilling all of the habits that you set out to accomplish. It’s easy to forget why you decided to stay healthy this year when you’re face to face with your favorite type of ice cream. A great way to stay motivated is to journal. Every day, write about the habits that you want to keep and fulfill. This will keep them close to your mind. Little notes that remind yourself of your goals are also a good idea to keep around.


It’s not always easy to fulfill health goals that you have at the beginning of the year, but by using the tips listed above, you’ll be better equipped to accomplish these goals, and your body and mind will thank you.


The Top Ways to Make Any Salad Extraordinarily Good

For healthy eating, salads are key. If you’d like to eat healthier, you’ll definitely want to start incorporating more salads into your diet. But the same old, boring salad base of lettuce, tomato, cucumber and carrot isn’t going to cut it for daily eating. Instead, you’ll want to get creative with your salads, and here are some ideas to do just that.


First, make sure that you have at least one type of cheese in every salad that you make. Various types of cheese will go good with other ingredients. For example, blue cheese goes great with a salad that has a little fruit in it. You might consider pairing green apple with blue cheese and a light vinaigrette. Cheddar cheese tends to go good with the more traditional salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrot and croutons. Finally, feta cheese is always great for a Greek or Mediterranean style salad.


You’ll want to make sure to add something crunchy to your salad as well. A great option is croutons, and you can even make your own with some old bread. Simply toast it a few times, cut it into pieces and add some spices. You can also sauté bread this way and also add a little olive oil and spices to them on the stove. If you don’t want croutons on your salad, consider adding tortilla chips for a Mexican inspired salad or seeds and nuts.


Protein on your salad is also a good idea. If you eat meat, consider putting a fillet of fish or a light chicken breast on top of your salad. You’ll get all the veggies from your salad and a little bit of protein from the meat. If you don’t eat meat but eat eggs and dairy, you can do hard-boiled eggs or some extra cheese on your salad for a little more protein.


Finally, don’t forget about tasty dressings. It’s easy to make your own dressing for salad at home. You’ll simply need an oil like extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil and an acidic base such as lemon juice or vinegar. Add a little bit of salt and pepper and other flavors if you’re so inclined. All of these things will make any salad excellent!


Tips for Healthy Eating and Weight Loss

It seems that every few years a new dieting fad comes about that becomes suddenly very popular with millions of people. While some people initially lose weight following these diets, many people end up struggling to keep the weight off. While diet fads tend to be tough to keep up with, a recent news article ( has found that dieters could follow several science-backed dieting tips to lose weight and keep it off.


One key tip is to eat the foods that you enjoy, but eat in modedration. While most people consider diets to be restrictive of their favorite foods, avoiding delicisous foods can be a recipe for disaster. All diets need to incorporate some level of food that you crave, otherwise you are unlikely to continue to follow the diet. The one rule to follow though is to ensure that you eat them in moderation and in smaller portion sizes.


Another tip that has been suggested is that you spend more time eating at home than in a restaurant. Most people can safely estimate how many calories and how much fat is in a meal that they eat at home. When eating at a restaurant, this can be much more challenging to estimate. Even in situations where you think you are eating healthy food, it could be covered in fat, butter, salt, or sugar to make it taste better. This can end up adding on hundreds of additional calories.


Those that are looking to lose weight should also change the focus on what food they consume. Those that are looking to feel healthy and satiated should try to eat foods that are full of fiber and protein. These typically include lean meats and vegetables, which will help you to feel full throughout the day. Dieters should also try to get their caloric intake from food rather than beverages. Juices, smoothies, and even alcohol is loaded with calories and sugar, which can derail any diet.


Most experts also agree that staying hydrated is a key when it comes to weight loss. Drinking plenty of water will help you to feel full between meals, will make you feel better, and will even help to give you the energy that you need to make it through the day.