Everyone hears it, “You are what you eat”, that rings true for your heart health. There are many factors that can cause someone to have a stroke, and some of those factors are preventable. Some common risk factors are high blood pressure, heart disease, lifestyle choices and high cholesterol. Around 70-80% of strokes are caused by blood clots that block an artery that is supplying the brain or neck. Lifestyle changes are some of the more difficult changes to make, but we will help you know what to stay way from and what to substitutes to make that will help keep your heart healthy.

Bad for You Foods:

There is no denying that the following foods are tasty and usually seem to be lying around the office or in the hotels, but they are loaded with trans fats, cholesterol and other heart harmful ingredients.

Muffins, doughnuts, chips and pastries: These are the go-to morning snack for office goers and jet-setters alike. Trans fats are a well known artery blocker which is a top causing of strokes. Steer clear of these foods and opt for fruit and yogurt or check the list below.

Processed and smoked meats: Biggest offenders are hot dogs, bacon, sausages and pastrami. The reason why to stay away from these meats are loaded with sodium and nasty preservatives that are used to keep the meats from going bad. Sodium nitrate have been shown to over the course of time damage vessels and causing arteries to harden and narrow. Just incase you didn’t know, those are things you don’t want in your heart. Try this: if sandwiches are your thing, then try a tuna sandwich, but if you NEED your turkey then cook it yourself and slice thinly for your perfect sandwich meat.

Diet Soda: Don’t be mislead by the “diet” soda. This can increase your stroke risk by 48 percent, so if you are trying to cut down on your stroke risk then substitute the soda for water, iced tea or juice. The researchers don’t know exactly what causes the increased risk, but nutritionist recommend to stay away.

Red Meat: People that have large portions of red meat a day have a 42% higher chance of having a stroke because of the high amount saturated fat. Saturated fats gradually clogs your arteries with plaque and makes your blood thicker which ups your chance of a stroke. Instead of red meat try more poultry and other white, even tasty fish.

Good for You Foods:

Water: Drink 5 or more 8 ounce glasses of water a day can cut your stroke risk by up to 53%. Try drinking the water through out the day, not just chugging it before bed, so that your body can absorb it over time.

Fiber: Whole grains, cereal, bread and legumes are the perfect way to get some heart healthy fiber. Fiber lowers your bad cholesterol and provides nutrients that are heart healthy and the perfect combatant against heart disease.

Omega 3 and Protein: Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon, trout and walnuts can lower your cholesterol which lowers your risk of heart attack.

Low Fat Milk, Cheese and Yogurt: Get some fat free or 1% milk, low fat cheese and yogurt which will keep the saturated fats lower and that keeps your arteries healthier.

Chocolate: A new study shows the more chocolate women said they eat, the lower the risk of stroke. Chocolate is high in calories, fat and sugar, so consume in moderation.

Food isn’t the only activity you can do to prevent your risk of stroke. Some other major triggers of strokes are stress, aggression, loneliness and marital discontent. You can read what else you can do to prevent a stroke. If you think you have suffered a stroke, check the stroke symptoms because a small stroke can happen and almost go undetected. Do you have any foods that are tasty, and good for your heart and you? If so please share below.

5 Myths About Cataracts – southeastern michigan health association

Most people have heard of cataracts and most people probably think they know what they are but there are certainly a lot of misconceptions about them. Like with a lot of medical conditions, people often think the worse and tend to believe everything they hear from other people. In the simplest terms, cataracts are a clouding of the normally transparent natural lens within your in. Everyone has a lens within their eye, which just like in a camera, its function is to focus on the objects that you are looking at. Over time this lens changes from being completely transparent to cloudy and at this point your vision starts to deteriorate.

Listed below are my top 5 myths about cataracts

    Cataracts make you blind: In theory cataracts can make you blind but in the western world this is extremely rare due to the unbelievable success of cataract surgery. Most people have cataracts removed as soon as they start affecting their vision and removing them early makes the procedure easier.

    Not everyone gets cataracts: You may hear people say things like ‘my grandma lived until she was 90 years old and never had cataracts’ but this simply cannot be true. What is more likely to have happened is that their grandma had cataracts but chose not to have them removed due to various reasons such as being too old or afraid to have them treated. Everyone gets cataracts at some point in their lives and this is a fact of life in the same way that people get grey hair. The average age to get cataracts is about 70 years old but this will vary from one individual to another.

    Cataracts form quickly: Generally speaking, cataracts take around 10 years from first starting until they need treating. Occasionally cataracts grow quickly and this is especially the case if you have been involved in any sort of trauma such as a car accident.

    Cataracts are skin/film growing across your eye: This is one of the most common myths about cataracts but it is simply not true. Cataracts are merely a clouding of the lens inside your eyes.

    Cataract surgery is a big procedure: In the past having cataracts removed was a major surgical procedure which required a general anaesthetic and a long recovery period. With modern technology however, the procedure is now extremely quick and non-invasive. Cataracts are now removed under a local anaesthetic and you will be able to go home the same day with only minor discomfort experienced by most.

I hope this helps clear a few things up about cataracts as you are guaranteed to get one at some point in your life. Cataracts really are nothing to fear and having regularly eye tests will ensure that your Optometrist discusses with you the best time to have them removed.

This article was written by Tim Harwood, who is an Optometrist with over 10 years or diagnosing cataracts and other eye diseases. In addition to working in practice Tim also manages the content for his website Treatmentsaver.com which covers a whole range of useful topics from Botox to Botox prices. Without doubt the recipe for successful surgery is to be fully informed as to the risks and complications that could arise.