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Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 85% of all CVD deaths are due to heart attacks and strokes. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are disorders of the heart and blood vessels and include coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, rheumatic heart disease and other conditions. Heart problems are on the rise, owing to the risk factors for developing heart disease like high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, stress, faulty eating habits, and following a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise. Most of these factors are controllable. Yes, we can choose to avoid problems related to lifestyles. Food is the most important aspect in all societies.

After undergoing heart surgery, your doctor will advise you to opt for a healthy, and a well-balanced diet. This is so because, adhering to healthy eating habits is crucial to your recovery, and to help you protect your heart against further problems. You need to eat well so that your incisions heal well. You should eat homemade food to avoid infections in first few months after surgery.

Most of the people should understand that our Indian homemade food habits are good enough except a few things that we must avoid. I do not advice our patients' drastic changes in their food habits after surgery as then they don't eat because they don't like the food as it becomes tasteless. You require to eat certain portions of food to recover from surgery to heal your incisions. Some food you must totally avoid but there are certain myths, which can be bothersome.
Dr. Bipeenchandra Bhamre helps us clear our misconceptions regarding the diet after heart surgery:

Myth: Eating certain 'super foods' will help you keep heart diseases at bay.
Fact: There is no super food. Yes, you have heard it right! Though, foods like blueberries, pomegranates, walnuts, and fish are good for your ticker. But, they will not prevent you from developing heart disease. Certain diets can, however, help you do so. According to tons of studies, the Mediterranean diet, which consists of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit, and monounsaturated fats like olive oil, once in a week fish and or Poultry chicken, has shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. One must avoid eating red meat as it contains loads of cholesterol.

Myth:Fats are not good for you.
Fact: Our body requires cholesterol in certain amount everyday as most of our hormones are made up from cholesterol. Our brain and some muscles require cholesterol as fuel. So, we need cholesterol or fat but the quality and quantity is important. Qualitatively, you must avoid fast food artificially made fats, some of the baked food, and processed food. Not only this, even high sugar foods like soft drinks etc. have also shown to be bad for heart. Saturated fats, which are derived from animal products like red meat and butter, also tend to raise one's LDL levels. Whereas, monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats may lower your LDL levels when used in place of saturated fats. This simply means that eating unprocessed food or natural food will not rise your cholesterol levels. Our daily need for fats should be kept 10% of our energy need, which roughly comes about 30-35gms per day.

Myth: Salt is not dangerous as it is a natural product.
Fact: Excess salt is more dangerous than fats and sugar. It not only rises your blood pressure but also puts lots of load on your kidneys. You must be aware that salt is naturally found in most of the food items, which we opt for. We should not add salt. But, when speaking about processed foods, the amount of salt is often above naturally occurring levels. Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure due to the extra water stored in the body. High blood pressure can put a strain on your heart, arteries, kidneys, and brain. Moreover, it can also increase your risk of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease. Thus, you must monitor your salt consumption, and eat foods, which contain less amount of salt. Also, speak to your expert regarding the amount of salt you should eat per day, as going overboard is a strict no-no.

Take-away message: Eat well, sleep well and exercise well after open heart surgery. Avoid oily fried junk foods. Control the quantity of food. The quantity of food is also important as the quality of food. Do not fall prey to fad diets. Our Indian eating habits are reasonably satisfactory. Try to eat homemade food all the time while recovering from surgery. Restrict your fat and salt intake. Likewise, cut down on alcohol and quit smoking and follow healthy habits to keep your ticker in top shape, and stay hale and hearty!

Genetic mutations that can be blamed for unusually high cholesterol are far rarer than previously thought, existing in only about two percent of the population, researchers said on Sunday. Previous studies have suggested that as many as 25 percent of people with very high cholesterol - defined as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels of 190 mg/dl or higher - could blame their condition on their genes. LDL is widely known as "bad cholesterol" because it leads to buildup of harmful plaque in the arteries.

"Many clinicians assume that patients with LDL above 190 have a familial hypercholesterolemia mutation as the major driver," said Amit Khera, a cardiology fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital and lead author of the findings presented at the American College of Cardiology conference in Chicago.

"But there are a lot of other causes that can lead to this very high LDL, such as poor diet, lack of exercise and a variety of common genetic variants that each have a small impact on cholesterol but can add up to a big impact when they occur together."

To perform the study, researchers compiled the largest gene sequencing analysis to date based on people with very high cholesterol, including more than 26,000 people.

There are three different known mutations that can lead to a diagnosis of familial hypercholesterolemia. Only two percent of individuals had mutations in any of the three known familial hypercholesterolemia genes.

Even though there were relatively few of these people, their risk for developing life-threatening plaque buildup in the heart's arteries by their 50s or 60s was extraordinarily high - 22 times higher than people with average cholesterol levels (LDL below 130 mg/dL), said the study.

"Our findings suggest that if you performed widespread genetic screening of all individuals with very high LDL cholesterol, your yield would likely be low, but for the people who do have the mutations, the results could be quite meaningful," said Khera.

"This knowledge would be relevant not only to people with familial hypercholesterolemia mutations but to their relatives as well."

For those without the inherited gene mutations, but who still had very high cholesterol, their risk of early-onset coronary artery disease was six times higher than people with LDL below 130. Researchers estimated that 412,000 of about 14 million adult Americans with an untreated LDL of 190 or higher have a familial hypercholesterolemia mutation.

Despite being a country with abundant sunshine, Vitamin D deficiency is fairly common in India. The country has also seen an increasing trend towards taking Vitamin D supplements, either as prescription medicine or as a nutritional input. A study comparing the effects of increased sunlight exposure versus Vitamin D supplementation, conducted by researchers at Jehangir Hospital in Pune and Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital in Manchester, found that the former not only led to an an increase in Vitamin D concentrations, it also brought down cholesterol.

Dr Vivek Patwardhan, Dr Anuradha Khadilkar and others at the research centre of Jehangir Hospital conducted the study on over 200 men and found that there was significant decline in total cholesterol concentrations in individuals who had increased sunshine exposure for at least six months. The study was published recently in the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Vitamin D deficiency is common worldwide, even in sun-rich countries such as India and those in the Middle East. Suboptimal concentrations of Vitamin D have been reported in over 50 per cent of the Indian population, possibly due to changing lifestyles, leading to reduced effective exposure to sunlight.

The effect of increased casual sunlight exposure on Vitamin D concentrations and lipid profile has not been studied earlier, said Khadilkar. “So, we tried to assess the effect of increased sunlight exposure, in comparison with Vitamin D supplementation, on Vitamin D status and lipid profile in Indian men (aged 40-60 years) with Vitamin D deficiency. A total of 203 men were enrolled in the study that was conducted in the last two years,” she said.

“Apart from other lifestyle changes, reduced sunlight exposure in populations that migrate from areas with higher sunlight to lower sunlight seems to have an unfavourable effect on lipid metabolism. But we do not have enough data on the issue,” said Khadilkar.

A large-scale study is being planned to find prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency, she said. A significant decline in total cholesterol in individuals, who had increased sunshine exposure, was also observed during the study.

“Our study demonstrates that with increase in sunlight exposure, there is improvement in Vitamin D concentrations and lipid profile, while, in comparison, orally administered Vitamin D had an adverse effect on lipid profile though it was not significant,” said Khadilkar

As a result of increased awareness in the medical community, and among the public, there is an increasing trend of consuming Vitamin D supplements either as prescription medicines or as a nutritional supplement. Although increased sunlight exposure may be a physiological alternative to oral supplementation in sun-rich countries, it is infrequently advised, possibly due to difficulty in implementing lifestyle modifications and the perceived risk of skin cancer, explained the researchers.

Tomato makes an indispensable part of the Indian and international cuisine. This beautiful red fruit not just adds a tangy flavour to innumerable delicacies but has several health and beauty benefits to offer. Not just tomato, but its juice is also nutrient-rich and low in calories and fat. So, if you are looking to lose weight, this drink is just for you. In fact, according to the book 'Healing Foods' by DK Publishing, one glass of tomato juice contains 74 percent of your recommended daily vitamin C intake. Other key vitamins include K, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals such as potassium, manganese and iron. If you haven't known the many benefits of tomato juice yet, there is a chance you are missing out on something important and beneficial.We tell you some amazing health and beauty benefits of tomato juice that will convince you to add the colourful drink to your daily diet.

Health Benefits Of Tomato Juice

1. Super Antioxidant Properties

One of the biggest selling features of tomato juice is its antioxidant properties. It is particularly rich in beta-carotene and lycopene, which are responsible for a tomato's deep red colour, and has been linked to reduce the risk of developing heart diseases. These powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients defend your body from free radicals that cause damage to your cells.

2. Helps Regularise Digestion
Consuming tomato juice regularly may help stimulate the bowel movement, further preventing constipation and boosting digestion. Tomato juice is rich in fibre and functions as a mild laxative that can help prevent constipation.

3. Helps Prevent Blood Clotting

The rich supply of phytonutrients found in tomatoes are known to prevent abnormal platelet cell clumping, which is beneficial for those who are at a risk of heart conditions.

4. Heart-Friendly

Tomatoes have a high amount of lycopene, vitamin C and E, and beta-carotene, all of which support heart health. Lycopene helps strengthen the walls of blood vessels and remove cholesterol from the blood.

5. A Great Detoxifying Agent

Tomato juice works wonders in flushing out the toxin deposition from the body. Moreover, the presence of chlorine and sulphur content helps liver and kidneys to perform their detoxification function better. In fact, tomato juice is contains potassium, which reduces water retention, moreover, it helps the body remove fat-soluble toxins.

6. Lowers Cholesterol

The excess fibre content in the juice helps to break down LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol). The presence of niacin has also been found to have a beneficial impact on high cholesterol levels.

7. Boosts Eye-Health

Tomato juice is loaded with phytonutrients like beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin along with vitamin C that are known to protect your eyes from eye problems like age-related macular degeneration and cataract.

8. Makes For A Great Workout Recovery

Tomato juice provides the perfect balance of chemicals to help your body recover from strenuous exercise. So, ditch the fizzy energy drinks and choose to drink the healing juice instead.

कोलेस्टेरॉल म्हणजे काय आणि कोलेस्टेरॉल कमी करण्याचे उपाय कोणते ?
आजकाल कोलेस्टेरॉल हा शब्द सतत कानावर पडतो. जो शब्द पूर्वी फक्त तज्ञांनाच माहित असायचा तो आता सर्वसामान्य माणसालाही माहित झाल्यामुळे हा फरक झाला आहे. आपल्या जीवनात आधीच एवढ्या चिंता, काळज्या असतात, जसे वजनवाढ, मधुमेह, ब्लड प्रेशर वगैरे! त्यात आता कोलेस्टेरॉलची भर पडली आहे! कोलेस्टेरॉलच्या नावाने मार्केटिंग खूप केलं जातं! साबणाच्या किंवा टूथपेस्टच्या जाहिरातीत जसे कीटाणू हे खलनायक ठरवले जातात तसेच गोडेतेलाच्या जाहिरातीत कोलेस्टेरॉलला खलनायक ठरवले जाते! कोलेस्टेरॉलविषयी जेवढी उत्सुकता, भीती व गैरसमज आहेत तेवढे इतर कशाबद्दलही नसतील. त्याचे कारण आहे कोलेस्टेरॉलचा हृदयविकाराशी जोडलेला संबंध. कोलेस्टेरॉलयुक्त खाद्यपदार्थ खाल्ल्याने खरोखरीच हृदयविकार जडतो का? कोलेस्टेरॉलयुक्त खाद्यपदार्थ खाल्ल्याने रक्तातले कोलेस्टेरॉल वाढते का? असे अनेक प्रश्न आणि शंका सर्वसामान्य लोकांच्या मनात येत असतात.

इ.स.१९६० च्या सुमारास “फ्रॅमिंगहॅम हार्ट स्टडी” या नावाने हृदयविकाराविषयी एक अभ्यास केला गेला. या अभ्यासात कोलेस्टेरॉलचे रक्तातील प्रमाण व हृदयविकाराचा धोका यांचा संबंध या विषयावर अभ्यास केला गेला. हा अभ्यास सतत दहा-बारा वर्षे चालू होता. त्यानंतर असा निष्कर्ष काढला गेला की ज्या लोकांच्या रक्तातील कोलेस्टेरॉलचे प्रमाण वाढलेले असते त्यांच्यात हृदयविकाराच्या झटक्याचे प्रमाणही वाढलेले आढळले. म्हणजेच रक्तातील कोलेस्टेरॉल वाढणे म्हणजे हृदयविकाराला आमंत्रण !

आपल्या देशातील जनतेच्या सार्वत्रिक आहारविषयक अज्ञानामुळे अनेक धक्कादायक गोष्टी आपल्या लक्षात येतात. :

- कोलेस्टेरॉल हा आपला शत्रू नसून मित्र आहे!
- कोलेस्टेरॉल हा एक मेणासारखा चरबीयुक्त पदार्थ असून तो शरीरासाठी आवश्यक आहे.
- कोलेस्टेरॉलशिवाय आपण एक मिनिटही जगू शकणार नाही कारण आपल्या शरीरातल्या प्रत्येक पेशीचे आवरण कोलेस्टेरॉलपासून तयार केलेले असते.
- ड जीवनसत्व (विटामिन D), टेस्टोस्टेरॉन (testosterone) व ईस्ट्रोजन (estrogen) सर्खेव हार्मोन्स, यांच्या निर्मितीत शरीराकडून - कोलेस्टेरॉल हा कच्चा माल म्हणून वापरला जातो.
- कोलेस्टेरॉल हा शरीरात सतत निर्माण होणारा पदार्थ आहे, आपण आहारातून कोलेस्टेरॉल घेतले किंवा नाही घेतले तरी हा आपल्या यकृताद्वारे सतत शहराची गरज भागविण्यासाठी पुरेशा प्रमाणात निर्माण केला जातो.
- आहारातून सेवन केलेल्या कोलेस्टेरॉलचा रक्तातील कोलेस्टेरॉल वाढण्या किंवा कमी होण्यावर नाममात्र परिणाम होतो.
- आपल्या शरीरात अनेक हार्मोन्स कोलेस्टेरॉलपासून तयार होतात.
- कोणत्याही वनस्पतीजाण्या तेलात निसर्गतः कोलेस्टेरॉल मुळीच नसते.
- कोलेस्टेरॉल फक्त काही प्राणीजन्य पदार्थांमध्ये असते. पण ते आरोग्याला घातक नसते, कारण
- ज्या लोकांना हृदयविकाराचा झटका येतो अशांपैकी ५०% लोकांचे रक्तातील कोलेस्टेरॉलचे प्रमाण नॉर्मल असते.

आपण कोलेस्टेरॉल व्यायाम करून जाळू शकतो का?
कोलेस्टेरॉल हा जरी चरबीसारखा पदार्थ असला तरी आपण जशी व्यायाम करून चरबी जाळू शकतो तसे कोलेस्टेरॉल मात्र जाळू शकत नाही.

कोलेस्टेरॉल हे चांगले की वाईट?
जर आपण तूप गरम दुधात किंवा पाण्यात टाकले की ते मिसळले न जात तरंगते. त्याचप्रमाणे कोलेस्टेरॉल हे जर थेट रक्तात सोडले तर ते मिसळले जाणार नाही. यावर उपाय म्हणून आपल्या शरीराने एक युक्ती केली आहे. चरबी किंवा कोलेस्टेरॉल रक्तातून वाहून नेण्यासाठी ते एका बुडबुड्यासारख्या वेष्टनात लपेटले जाते हे वेष्टन प्रथिनांचे असल्याने ते रक्तात विद्राव्य असते. या बुडबुड्यालाच लायपोप्रोटीन (लायपोप्रोटीन) म्हणतात. कमी-अधिक घनतेप्रमाणे लायपोप्रोटीनचे 2 ते 3 प्रकार आहेत.

1. लो डेन्सिटी लायपोप्रोटीन (LDLs) लो डेन्सिटी लायपोप्रोटीन हे वाईट समजले जाते, कारण, ते यकृताकडून शरीरातल्या विविध पेशींकडे कोलेस्टेरॉल वाहून नेते.
2. हाय डेन्सिटी लायपोप्रोटीन (HDLs) हाय डेन्सिटी लायपोप्रोटीन हे चांगले समजले जाते, कारण, ते शरीरातल्या विविध पेशींकडून यकृताकडे कोलेस्टेरॉल वाहून नेते. जितके जास्त रक्तातील HDLतितकी तुमची हृदयविकाराची जोखीम किंवा रिस्क कमी असते!

रक्तातल्या कोलेस्टेरॉलचा आणखीही एक प्रकार असतो
Very लो डेन्सिटी लायपोप्रोटीन (VLDLs) व्हेरी लो डेन्सिटी लायपोप्रोटीन.
VLDL, HDL आणि LDL हे फक्त रक्तातच असतात, अन्नामध्ये नाही!

कोलेस्टेरॉलबद्दल काळजी करण्यासारखे काय?
रक्तात कोलेस्टेरॉल जर ठराविक पातळीपेक्षा जास्त झाले तर हृदयविकार, पक्षाघात यांसारख्या विकारांची शक्यता वाढते असे तज्ञांचे मत आहे. रक्तातल्या जास्त कोलेस्टेरॉलमुळे हृदयासकट सर्व धमन्यांच्या भिंती कठीण होतात, त्यांची लवचिकता कमी होते आणि त्या हळूहळू अरुंद होऊ लागतात. अशा अरुंद झालेल्या धमन्यांमधून संबंधित अवयवाला ऑक्सीजन आणि ग्लुकोज यांचा अपुरा पुरवठा होतो. हृदयाच्या बाबतीत हे घडले तर हृदयविकार आणि मेंदूच्या बाबतीत घडले तर पक्षाघात हे विकार होऊ शकतात.

रक्तात किती कोलेस्टेरॉल हे जास्त समजले जाईल?
टोटल कोलेस्टेरॉल

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