With Valentine’s Day right around the corner and boxes of chocolates spilling over in store aisles everywhere, it’s time to set the record straight about the health benefits of chocolate.
Dark chocolate rich in antioxidants
The good news about chocolate pertains to cocoa — the dark chocolate rich in plant compounds called flavonoids — which originates from seeds from the cacao tree. Flavonoids are natural antioxidants that help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the heart and brain, raise “good” HDL cholesterol levels and lower “bad” LDL levels — all of which protect against heart attack and stroke. And although cocoa is not considered a health food, it certainly can play a role in helping to keep the heart healthy. Continue reading →
As the holidays approach, many of us become increasingly aware of opportunities to donate household items, especially food, to those in need.
In support of FeedMichigan.org, U-M Frankel Cardiovascular Center employees and patients will find a convenient donation cart located at the 3rd floor Frankel CVC entrance. But before you make your donation, consider tips for healthy holiday donations from U-M Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Kathy Rhodes and Sarah Meyers. The two stress the importance of donating food items that will help recipients stay in good health.Continue reading →
The theme for this year’s Nutrition Month (throughout March) is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle.” In honor of this, as well as today’s Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist Day, we asked the U-M Cardiovascular Nutrition Team to share tips for heart-healthy eating. Here’s what they had to say …
1. There’s no one size fits all
“Diets abound, from vegetarian to meat-based, from low carb to ‘the right carb’ — and everything in between. The truth is, the same diet is not right for everyone. When it comes to the best eating pattern, there is no ‘one size fits all.’ Our genetics, weight, blood pressure, cholesterol values and blood sugar are just a few of the measures that can guide us to learn the best eating pattern for each of us individually. Working with a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist is one way to learn the best eating pattern for you.” — Kathy Rhodes, PhD, RDNContinue reading →
While sea salt is unprocessed and carries trace levels of minerals, it has as much sodium as table salt.
When you reach for that bag of chips labeled “sea salt,” you might be surprised to know it’s not a healthier choice than traditional salted chips, even though the discussion about sea salt vs table salt continues.
Sea salt, which comes from the evaporation of seawater, is unprocessed and carries trace levels of minerals such as magnesium, potassium and calcium. However, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), the minute amounts of trace minerals found in sea salt are easily obtained from other healthy foods. And, because particles of sea salt are coarser than table salt, less sea salt may be used.
Calcium in food is absorbed more slowly throughout the day than that in supplements, which may cause harmful spikes of calcium in the blood.
Men taking calcium supplements totaling more than 1,000 milligrams per day may have an increased risk of death from heart disease, according to researchers with the National Cancer Institute and several other research groups. Calcium from food sources did not increase risk.
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