2019-02-21 / Health

TOTAL well-being

The best (and worst) foods for heart health

No one wants to hear from their doctors that they have joined the millions of people across the globe to be diagnosed with heart disease. The Heart Foundation reports that heart disease, which includes diseases of the heart and cardiovascular system and stroke, is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States, affecting both men and women and most racial/ethnic groups. Heart disease also is one of the leading causes of death in Canada, claiming more than 33,000 lives per year.

Many factors contribute to the development of heart disease, including smoking, lack of exercise and stress. Diet and whether a person is overweight or obese also can have a direct link to heart health. Diet, particularly for those with diabetes and poorly controlled blood sugar levels, is a major concern.

A variety of foods are considered helpful for maintaining a strong and healthy heart and cardiovascular system, while others can contribute to conditions that may eventually lead to cardiovascular disease or cardiac arrest. Moderation enables a person to sample a little of everything, but not to make any one food a habit. The following are some foods to promote heart health and some foods you might want to avoid. Good

• Tree nuts: Tree nuts contain unsaturated fats that can help lower LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff ) and improve HDL (the good stuff ). Nuts also are a filling source of protein and other healthy nutrients.

• Whole grains: Whole grains contain complex carbohydrates for energy, as well as protein and fiber. Fiber can help scrub cholesterol from the blood, lowering bad cholesterol levels.

• Fatty fish: Many cold-water, fatty fish, such as halibut, herring and salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are heart-healthy. Omega-3s also can be found in walnuts, flaxseed and some soy products.

• Beans: Beans and other legumes are an excellent source of protein and can be a stand-in for meats that are high in saturated fat. Beans also contain cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber and folate, which can reduce blood homocysteine levels. The Bean Institute reports that consuming beans may reduce cholesterol levels by roughly six to 10 percent.

• Yogurt: Researchers in Japan found yogurt may protect against gum disease. Left untreated, gum disease may elevate a person’s risk for heart disease. Yogurt contains good bacteria that can counteract bad bacteria and boost immunity.

• Raisins: Raisins contain antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation. Inflammation is often linked to heart disease and other debilitating conditions. Fresh produce also is a good source of antioxidants. Poor

• Fried foods: Many fried foods have little nutritional value, as they tend to be high in saturated and trans fats. French fries are particularly bad because they are carbohydrates fried and then doused in salt.

• Sausage: Processed meats have frequently earned a bad reputation among cardiologists, but sausage can be a big offender, due in large part to its high saturated fat content.

• Red meats: Enjoying a steak is probably not as bad as eating a deep-fried brownie, but it’s best to limit red meat consumption to about 10 percent or less of your diet. Red meats can have a considerable amount of cholesterol, saturated fat and calories.

• Added sugars: Sugar can increase blood pressure and triglyceride levels. Sugar often hides out in foods that you would not associate with the sweetener. Plus, many people unwittingly consume too much sugar simply through sugar-sweetened beverages and ready-to-eat cereals.

• Salty foods: Leave the salt shaker in the spice cabinet and opt for herbs for flavoring, advises the American Heart Association. High-sodium diets often are to blame for hypertension, a major risk factor for heart disease.

• Dairy: Artery-clogging saturated fat also can be found in dairy products, particularly the full-fat versions. Butter, sour cream and milk can be problematic when people overindulge. Opt for low-fat dairy when possible.

Providing home care for you & your loved ones

At New England Family Healthcare, we strive to provide the best in-home services for you or your loved ones at affordable rates. Since 2001, we’ve been helping people with personal care (bathing/dressing), light housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, companionship and the like. If you or a family member have had surgery, are going through a course of treatment, or can no longer do some of the everyday household chores you’ve always done, call us at 699-4663 for a free consultation.

Sweetfern Center for Wellbeing, LLC

A new wellness center is open; located at Kennebunk Professional Center, 58 Portland Road (Route One), Suite #4, Kennebunk, Maine.

A space to relax and restore!

The mission is to support people in healing, in personal growth and during life changes, easing physical and emotional pain, using energy healing, AromaTouch, therapeutic art and wellness classes.

A beautiful, relaxing Himalayan salt room is open to clients receiving treatment and for private bookings. Studies prove salt therapy results in fewer symptoms for people with respiratory, skin, and other health issues.

Specials thru February - $20 off Salt Room package of (5) 25-minute sessions $79 or Buy a $100 Gift Certificate receive $20 BONUS!

Specialty, local, hand-crafted, gift items available for purchase.

Owner Tammy Miller Traniello, certified practitioner of Reiki, Melchizedek, AromaTouch Technique; trained in energy healing, meditation, restorative yoga, essential oil and medicinal herb usage.

Book your healing session www.SweetfernHealing.com; call 207-805-3885

Southern Maine Integrative Health Center

Gloria Oppen, MS, BSN, RN, FNP-C, PhD Candidate, is a graduate of Rivier College, Nashua New Hampshire, where she received her BSN, and Regis College’s (Weston, MA) family nurse practitioner program. Mrs. Oppen recently relocated to Maine from Massachusetts where she was employed in the occupational health department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Prior to that, she had worked in a college health clinic, and in the first New England Holistic Health Center (in the 1980s). She has been involved in public health initiatives and has an interest in Lyme disease, Functional Medicine, preventive health, weight management, and tobacco cessation.

Now Accepting new patients. Please call (207) 985-3079 to schedule an appointment. Most health insurances accepted.

Southern Maine Integrative Health Center,

69 York Street, Suite 4, Kennebunk

MassageCraft, Your headquarters for injury specific therapies

Do you suffer from pain or injury that keeps you from doing what you enjoy? Let the experienced staff at MassageCraft put you on the road to recovery. Our practitioners have over 75 years of combined experience in eastern and western massage techniques and acupuncture. Not sure whether you need acupuncture or massage? Choose acupuncture for pain complicated by digestive distress, menstrual issues, respiratory problems, anxiety or depression. Too sore for a back massage? Acupuncture can alleviate back pain with a few needles placed in the hands.

Are you feeling the effects of too many hours at the computer? A deep tissue massage will work out the stiffness, soreness, and knots. Your muscles will be longer, suppler and less prone to injury. Having trouble sleeping? A good massage will improve your sleep. Acupuncture and massage have remarkably positive effects on your sleep and stress levels.

MassageCraft & Acupuncture Clinic was established in 1991, with convenient locations in Biddeford and Old Orchard Beach. We accept workers compensation and some private insurance upon benefit verification. We offer corporate discounts to UNE, SMHC and MBH. Weekend and evening hours available. Call 286-8416 or 934-0849 for an appointment. And please visit us at our web site: www.massagecraft.com.

Think you need a hearing aid?

If you need or think you might need a hearing aid, you should call Mark Vail today — he’ll test and evaluate you for the hearing aid you need in the comfort of your home and you’ll be happy with it.

By visiting people in their homes, Mark can make the best assessment of what the person’s needs are. Sometimes, he visits people at their places of work because of concerns there. This attention to detail shows up in the low return rate he has.

You can reach Mark Vail at 284-9600 or toll-free at 877-284-3400. Call today and you’ll be hearing better soon.

Portland Direct Primary Care

A New Approach to Primary Care Why is primary care important?

A good primary care doctor is a knowledge source, fixer, and advocate. I do everything from skin biopsies to cholesterol management. If I can’t manage it in the office, I know the right specialist who can. Having a doctor you know and trust is essential to getting the right care. Why choose direct care?

The key word here is value. In a direct care practice, a patient pays a monthly fee for a primary care membership. It is in the doctor’s interest to add value to the membership - timely appointment scheduling, deals on labs and medications, home visits, personalized care. It’s hard to find that kind of value in insurance based medicine. How do I sign up?

Visit the website or call Dr. Gersten to set up a free informational meeting to ask questions and check out the office.

Individual Care of Maine

Q. What makes Individual Care of Maine different from other In-Home Care companies.

A. A few things separate us from other in-home care companies.

First; We prioritize getting outside daily as it pertains to each client. depending on the physical abilities of each client we try to walk an move each day.

Second; We believe in cooking exceptional meals. There is just something about a home cooked meal that is good for the soul. When we train we also incorporate some cooking lessons to get our caregivers thinking about exceptional nutrition.

Third; We pay our caregivers way above the industry norm. We work as a team and help one another. When the caregivers are happy everybody is happy. In most situations the saying “the client comes first” is the norm. We believe this but we also feel that the caregiver also comes first. If the caregiver is well compensated and well supported by their employer, inevitibly ensures that the caregiver takes pride in the job that he or she is doing. When you take good care of your employees they, in turn take good care of the client.

Q. What was the inspiration for Individual Care of Maine

A. A dear friend was having a terrible time finding quality help with her mom who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago. She was going through many caregivers and was continuously stressed about what was going on at home while she was at work. Caregivers were calling in sick, not showing up, and sometimes just not a good fit for the family. Having been in a role as a caregiver as early as age 22 when my dad was diagnosed with a brain tumor and then with a son needing ongoing surgeries from a bone disorder, and then being a cancer survivor myself I understood both sides of caregiving. I understood the stress and worry of caring for a family member and also recognized the difference my caregivers made in my and my familys life while I was undergoing my own treatment for cancer. I was inspired and I knew how I wanted our company to look. More human and less corporate.

Are you Perplexed, Bewildered, Dazed or Confused about your health insurance?

Karen Vachon, License Insurance agent helps senior citizens, individuals, families, and small businesses, navigate their health insurance options. From Medicare to Obamacare, she tackles the individual needs of her clients and their situations – from rising health insurance premiums, prescription costs, doctor networks and closed enrollment periods, Karen taps into available resources and options to meet the lifestyle needs for life’s twists, turns, and surprises.

Whether you are a senior planning for retirement and transitioning from individual or employer coverage or an under 65 individual, family, or self-employed concerned about rising premiums, Karen not only helps people weigh their carrier options, she educates people on how to optimize the value of their plan from preventive care to Medicare 101. “Knowing how your coverage works is more important than simply having it!”

While the annual and open enrollment period is closed until fall, there may be qualifying events for a Special Enrollment – for example: Aging into Medicare, loss of employer coverage, MaineCare, or Medicaid; change in family status (marriage, divorce, birth); change in residence – to name just a few. If you a perplexed, bewildered, dazed and confused, call Karen 730-2664!

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