Fats, like margarine, increase your risk for heart disease if you eat more than four teaspoons of it a day. That’s not a lot. The trans-fatty acids found in margarine increase the bad cholesterol over the good. So, do many of the oils used commercially—especially in a baked goods and to deep fry foods. Even butter was better than margarine for reducing heart disease risks. Your best solution is to eliminate all the hydrogenated and trans-fat in your diet, such as margarine. In their place, use fresh oils such as extra virgin olive oil and flax-seed oil. These should be kept refrigerated to prevent them from becoming rancid.
Add vitamin E to your diet—about 400 IU a day. It appears to work directly on reducing the LDLs and removing free radicals, adverse chemicals formed from eating excessive fats.
Also add up 800 mcg a day of folic acid, which helps maintain healthy fibrinogen and homocysteine levels. Folic acid is abundant in leafy green vegetables.
High triglycerides increase your risk for heart disease and drinking more than 300 mg of caffeine a day increases these fats. This translates to three five-ounce cups of protective against tumors, contains 40-60 mg of caffeine per cup. How about one cola or coffee and then drinking green tea?
Aerobic, stress-bearing exercise will reduce your risk for heart disease in addition to good diet. You need five days of exercise a week doing something aerobic for a half an hour. Fast walking, biking, home exercise equipment, and mild jogging are all effective.
Note: Esther Diaz is a health education teacher who lives in suburban Atlanta. She is our contributor.
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