5 Ways to Use less Salt

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  • Use spices and other flavor enhancerssuch as spices, dried and fresh herbs, garlic and ginger, citrus, vinegars and wine. Flavors can be black pepper, cinnamon and turmeric to fresh basil, chili peppers and lemon juice.
  • Use the right healthy fats from roasted nuts and avocados to olive, canola, soybean and other oils.
  • Searing and sautéing foods in a pan builds flavor. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of many vegetables and the taste of fish and chicken. If you do steam or microwave food, perk up these dishes with a finishing drizzle of flavorful oil and a squeeze of citrus.
  • Get your whole grains from sources other than bread. White bread contains salt, not just for flavor but to ensure that the dough rises properly.
  • Shop for raw ingredients with maximum natural flavor, thereby avoiding the need to add as much (if any) sodium. (Harvard)

High fat diet, prostate cancer prone

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Diets high in saturated fat increase the risk of prostate cancer. A study from University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston published in the International Journal of Cancer observed that men who eat high saturated animal fat diet are two times more likely to experience disease progression after prostate cancer surgery than men with lower saturated fat intake. Obese men who eat high saturated fat diet also have a shorter “disease–free” survival time vs non–obese men consuming diets low in saturated fat.

Men with a high saturated fat intake had the shortest survival time free of prostate cancer (19 months). Non–obese men with low fat intake survived the longest time free of the disease (46 months). Non–obese men with high intake and obese men with low intake had “disease–free” survival of 29 and 42 months, respectively.

Take home messages

  • High saturated fat diet has been linked to cancer of the prostate
  • Reducing saturated fat in the diet after prostate cancer surgery can help reduce the cancer progression.
  • Cancer prostate has the same risk factors as that of heart blockages and both are linked to high saturated fat intake.
  • With an increase in number of heart patients, a corresponding increase in prostate cancer patients is also seen in the society.

Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Fatal CVD

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Vitamin D deficiency is much more strongly linked to fatal than nonfatal CV events (27% increased risk), as suggested by a large prospective study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

The population–based cohort study enrolled 9949 adults aged 50 to 74 years recruited during regular health check–ups at primary–care practices in 2000 to 2002. There were more women than men (59% vs 41%); most participants (59%) had inadequate vitamin D levels (<50 nmol/L). Blood samples were collected at baseline, five, and eight years.

Mean follow–up was 9.2 years for mortality and 6.5 years for the end points of CVD, CHD, and stroke. A total of 854 patients had a nonfatal CVD event, 176 had a fatal CVD event, 460 had a nonfatal CHD event, 79 had a fatal CHD event, 313 had a nonfatal stroke, and 41 had a fatal stroke. Overall, the proportion of individuals who had no events was significantly lower among those with vitamin D deficiency.

Even after adjustment for other potential confounders, including smoking and physical activity, vitamin D deficiency still conferred a significant 27% increased risk for total CVD, and a 62% increased risk for fatal CVD.

There was no association between vitamin D deficiency and nonfatal CVD events. Individuals with low vitamin D levels also had a significant 36% increased risk of total CHD and a nonsignificant 33% increased risk of total stroke. (Source: Medscape Cardiology)

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