The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just released a study that many are concluding gives us the go-ahead on eating lots of pumpkin pie during the holiday season. On a serious note, this may not be the best conclusion from the study, but the study did find that there is a link between high levels of alpha-carotene in the blood and a lower likelihood of dying of heart disease and cancer. Alpha-carotene is found in orange fruits and vegetable, including pumpkin. It is also found in squash, oranges, tangerines, and of course, carrots. According to the study, higher levels of alpha-carotene in the blood indicated less risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer.
The brighter or deeper the color of the vegetables and fruits, generally the better they are for you. The pigments are where many of the nutrients that are so heart healthy. So, maybe pass on the pumpkin pie that is full of fats and sugar but do say yes to an extra helping of winter squash or carrots. Your arteries will thank you.
Banning Trans Fats for Better Heart Health
Although not the latest news, it’s worth a look at how the effort to ban trans-fats in foods is going. Starting in 2003 the public began to be educated on the health risks of this destructive fat. Along with education, they targeted companies that used the artificial oil in an effort to get them to remove the oil from foods. This fat has been implicated in heart disease. When trans fat are banned, they encourages companies and localities to remove this dangerous fat from foods. One of the first cities to ban the unhealthy fat, New York City, now has a new reputation for heart healthy foods. Following their lead, Philadelphia also banned trans fat. California now has a ban as well.
A team of doctors in the United Kingdom added their voices to the chorus demanding a ban on trans fats in 2010. They noted the link between this man made fat and the increased risk for heart attack and stroke due to its implication in raising the levels of LDL, the bad cholesterol. The World Health Organization has also spoken out about artificial fats, asking that they be eliminated from foods. Other countries that have banned unhealthy fats include Denmark, Switzerland and Austria. Trans fats are much more harmful to human heart health than saturated fats.
If you desire to have heart health, you can follow these tips. Your heart will thank you for it!