….no, I am not talking about having your palms read recently! Look closely at your palms…if you see yellow streaking, it could be a sign that your blood levels of fat (also known as triglycerides) are too high. Having a high level of triglycerides (above 200 mg/dL or 2.3 mmol/L) raises your risk of diabetes and heart disease. The picture shown above is from a patient who came to see me…turns out his triglyceride level was over 700!
After treatment that included a diet rich in salmon (see my last blog), his triglyceride levels came down to normal and…his yellow streaks disappeared!
Bottom line: check your palms and if you see yellowish streaks, ask your physician to check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. You’ll be glad you did!
Dr. Michael Miller is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Check out his latest book, “Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease“
Wild salmon is one of my favorite foods, not only because it can be very flavorful and delicious, but also because it is packed with heart healthy nutrients. Among the most celebrated of these nutrients is astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant and inhibitor of inflammation that may reduce blood pressure and improve vascular function. Recent studies also suggest that astaxanthin may be helpful for lowering blood fats (triglycerides), glucose and improving weight control.
The best natural sources for astaxanthin are wild (sockeye) salmon, red trout, shrimp, lobster and (Maryland) crabs, of course! And did I mention that astaxanthin may also improve your mood and protect against aging and degenerative changes to your brain?
Just a single serving of wild salmon or better yet, add a 2nd astaxanthin rich food each week….your heart (and soul) will be most grateful.
Dr. Michael Miller is a cardiologist and Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. His bestselling book is: “Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease”
The dead of winter can be a bit dreary so here are 5 heart healthy foods to brighten your mood and add some spring to your step as we count down to…spring (of course)!
- Chick peas (garbanzo beans): Adding a handful ~¼ cup to your salad daily will provide 70 calories of heart healthy nutrition and is an excellent source of the mood enhancer compounds folate, magnesium, tryptophan and Vitamin B6.
- Red or yellow raisins: Adding ½ handful of the crimson red or yellow raisins to your salad or as a snack daily will provide 60 calories, is a good source of iron and potassium and has a higher antioxidant concentration than darker raisins.
- Peanut butter is an excellent source of resveratrol, a compound that is not only a potent antioxidant but also possesses mood enhancing properties. Just 1 teaspoon of natural peanut butter a day (60 calories) may improve your mood.
- An Apple (a day): The original expression that dates back to the 19th Century, ‘Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread”, holds true today. An apple a day will not only brighten your day but also packs a powerful punch of the heart protective antioxidant, quercetin. My favorite is Fuji…what’s yours?
- Chocolate: In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, there is little doubt that chocolate improves mood. Try 1 ounce (~30 grams) of dark chocolate 70% (or greater) each day- it’s good for your heart and vascular health too!
- Dr. Michael Miller is a cardiologist and Professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. His bestselling book is: “Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease“
Does a high level of the good cholesterol (also known as HDL) protect against heart disease? Average HDL levels are 45 mg/dL (1.2 mmol/L) in men and 55 mg/dL (1.4 mmol/L) in women. Our latest research provides good news for good cholesterol.
In the new study, we identified genetic changes associated with very high HDL (greater than 100 mg/dL or 2.6 mmol/L) that was linked to longevity and excellent overall health.
Want to raise your HDL…try these 3 things:
- Exercise: Aim to burn a minimum of 1200 calories per week and HDL levels may increase 10-20%.
- Weight loss: For each 10 lbs of weight loss, HDL increases ~5%.
- Have a drink or 2:Moderate alcohol consumption (1-2 drinks/day) raises HDL 15%. Dr. Michael Miller is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine-check out his latest book: “Heal Your Heart: The Positive Emotions Prescription to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease“