Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Protecting Your Heart

No muscle in your body works harder than you heart. That's why you should always strive to take good care of it!

But - What's the best way to do that?

Well, I'm sure you've already had it pounded into your head that working out and eating right are the first two major steps to protecting your 'ticker,' but here's something you probably haven't heard:

A simple essential mineral can practically "bulletproof" your heart against disaster (and disease).

I'm talking about magnesium. So what exactly can this commonly overlooked mineral do for you?

A study in the American Heart Journal found that magnesium is incredibly effective at slashing the risk of sudden cardiac death.

In fact, the researchers found that folks with high amounts of magnesium circulating in their bloodstream are 41 percent less likely to die of a sudden heart disaster. [1]

But that's not all...

A study published in the Journal of Hypertension links low magnesium levels to the development of heart disease (the formation of plaque on the inner lining of your arterial walls). [2]

On the other hand, if you get plenty of magnesium, you're in luck.

The University of Virginia School of Medicine studied over 7,000 men for 30 years. After the long study, researchers concluded that the intake of dietary magnesium is associated with a significantly reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

In fact, the men in the study that had the lower intake of magnesium had a 50-100 percent GREATER chance of developing heart disease than those with higher intakes.[3]

Bottom line? Get your magnesium!

The USDA reports that 68 percent of Americans don't get enough - and that's just for the basic Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium.

The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) states that "...many people may not have enough body stores of magnesium because dietary intake may not be high enough. Having enough body stores of magnesium may be protective against disorders such as cardiovascular disease and immune dysfunction."

Magnesium is not only important to protect your heart - it's involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps bones strong, and even keeps your heart rhythm steady.

No, I’m not here to “Sell” you anything. In fact, magnesium supplements are so common-place, you can probably find it at your local grocery store. But if you need a place to go, try my friend Fred Walters at Expert Nutrition.

Start off with 200mg a day. Taking too much may have a laxative effect. Other than that, there are no reported dangers according to the National Institutes of Health. [4]

You can also get your daily quota of magnesium by eating plenty of legumes (beans) and dark, leafy vegetables like spinach and kale.

And by the way ... if you're serious about taking your overall health and fitness to the next level, why not consider my guys at Muscle Mechanics and take advantage of your FREE Fitness Consultation? (an $87 value)

During this consult, you'll receive detailed information on how to get fit and trim that's tailored to YOUR body.

There's no obligation and it's totally and completely free. To sign up, click here

And always – Live Your Life Well!

John Aaron Villarreal

The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.

[1] Peacock JM. Serum magnesium and risk of sudden cardiac death in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. American Heart Journal. 2010;160: 464-470.
[2] Adrian M. A long-term moderate magnesium-deficient diet aggravates cardiovascular risks associated with aging and increases mortality in rats. Journal of Hypertension. 2008;26:44-52.
[3] Abbott, RD, American Journal of Cardiology, Sep 2003; 92 (6):665-9.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Why Choose Low-Fat Foods?

So most fitness trainers believe that the only way to make certain you were eating the "right amount" of food was to count calories. And, in some respects (like competitive bodybuilding) this is true. However, it is not just the quantity of calories that is important, it's the quality of those calories consumed that really matters for overall health. The old adage "a calorie is a calorie" isn't true.

A gram of fat yields more than twice as many calories as a gram of carbohydrates or protein - that's not new. What is new is that studies now indicate that calorie for calorie, fat is more fattening (duh).

In one study, two groups of people were fed the same number of calories per day but with different amounts of fat. After several months, the group that was fed a larger percent-age of the calories from fat gained more weight than the group on the lower fat diet.

The explanation has to do with metabolic efficiency. Since dietary fat is already fat, it converts to body fat much quicker and more easily than does carbohydrate or protein. If you eat a 100 calorie pat of butter, which is 100% fat, only 3 of those calories are needed to "break down" the fat. The remaining 97 calories head for storage in the fat cells.

Evolution has primed our bodies to store fat as a survival mechanism. In fact, we can store enough fat to provide for two to three months of starvation. On the other hand, our bodies store only enough carbohydrates to last a few days at most.

Most health professionals recommend that you keep your fat intake below 30 percent of your total calories. Learning to read labels helps you determine what the fat content of a food is. Use this knowledge to make informed choices with regard to the quality of calories you consume.

And always – Live Your Life Well!

John Aaron Villarreal

The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose,
cure, treat or prevent disease. Please consult your physician
prior to starting any exercise or diet program.