Wednesday, 30 October 2013


Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death, a number of factors including hyperlipidemia, cigarette smoking, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity, age, sex, genetics have been recognized as contributing to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Hyperlipidemia refers to elevated levels of lipid and cholesterol in the blood and is also identified as dyslipidemia. 
The medical term for high blood cholesterol is lipid disorder, or hyperlipidemia.


For many people, abnormal cholesterol levels are partly due to an unhealthy lifestyle -- most commonly, eating a diet that is high in Fat. Other lifestyle factors are:
  • Being overweight
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Lack of exercise and living an inactive lifestyle 
There are many types of cholesterol. The ones talked about most are:
  • Total cholesterol - all the cholesterol combined
  • High density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol - often called "good" cholesterol
  • Low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol - often called "bad" cholesterol                                                                                                                                                                           
  • Your General targets should be:                                               -LDL: 70-130 mg/dL (lower numbers are better)                        -HDL: more than 40-60 mg/dL (high numbers are better)     -Total cholesterol: less than 200 mg/dL (lower numbers are better)                                                                             -Triglycerides: 10-150 mg/dL (lower numbers are better)        
Dietary modification is effective in achieving and maintaining improved serum lipid levels.
Nutritional care is provided by a dietitian, ensure you see a dietician for nutritional care that includes individual dietary and self assessment, formulating an appropriate dietary regimen, education and follow up assessment.

The key nutritional interventions are as follows

  • Reduce dietary fat and cholesterol
  • Read food labels and choose foods with low cholestorol and saturated fat levels
  • Choose whole grains instead of refined flour
  • Choose low-fat protein source
  • Remove skin of chicken or turkey to reduce fat
  • Limit or exclude red meat as it high in saturated fat
  • Choose less fatty fish
  • Limit Fried food, and use healthy oils in cooking
  •  Increase the amount of fiber you eat, by increasing your fruit and vegetable group
  • Many diary product are extremely high in fat, they should be avoided or replace with a low fat or fat free diary products  
  • Lose extra weight, a weight loss of 10 percent can go a long way to reversing your risk of hyperlidemia                                                                                                       
Check your family history of high cholesterol, Are you prone to high cholesterol based on genetics? If so take steps to minimize your risk through diet and exercise

Monday, 28 October 2013


Cancer is a disease characterized by abnormal cell growth and can occur in any organ. In some ways the genes lose control of cell growth, and reproduction becomes unstructured and excessive.

The recent alarm on rising global incidence of cancer by the World Health Organization (WHO) should worry African countries including Nigeria, where the disease is most prevalent. 

Breast cancer accounts for 40 per cent of women cancers, closely followed by cervical cancer of 17.9 per cent, lymphomas and ovarian cancer are next. Experts have predicted that by 2020, the number of cancer patients in Nigeria is going to rise from 24 million to 42 million as speculated 21 years ago. It is also feared that by same 2020, death rates from cancer in Nigerian males and females may reach 72.7/100,000 and 76/100,000 respectively.

Good nutrition may reduce the incidence of breast cancer and risk of breast cancer progression or recurrence.There appear to be associations between food and cancer- both good and bad. For example certain substances in food are thought to be carcinogenic, nitrites in cure and smoked food such as bacon, and ham can be changed to nitrosamines (carcinogens) during cooking, also high fat diets have been associated with breast cancer.

Newer studies point to dietary changes that can offer the most hope for preventing breast cancer or re-occurrence.

What increases the risk of developing breast cancer:

  • Over the age of 50(though younger women also develop breast cancer)
  • Having a family history of cancer
  • Exposed to a high level of the hormone Estrogen. This may occur if you have never, given birth or if you had your first menstrual period at a young age.
  • Overweight or obese especially after menopause
  • Drinking alcohol, whether you choose beer, wine or liquor, drinking too much alcohol may increase breast cancer risk
  • Eating a high fat diet, a low fat diet may help prevent weight gain, which in turn may prevent breast cancer risk

Guidelines for a Healthy Diet

  • Plant Based Diets 
  • Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables. Note; Vibrant intense color is one indicator of Phyto nutrient content
  • High Fibre- whole grains and beans/legumes
  • Limit Red Meat; avoid processed meat such as sausage, delimeat and hot dogs
  • Low fat diet with emphasis on Healthy fats
  • Limit processed and refined Grains (flours) and sugar
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Be physically active to help achieve and maintain healthy weight                                                                                                                                                                                              Eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains daily, avoiding processed and high-sugar foods, and being physically active are very important ways we can take control of our risk of cancer.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Number 1 Protein Source.......BEANS!

 More than just a meat substitute, beans are so nutritious. Throughout history,  beans have been used as a staple of the diet, and the health benefits derived from them have been well recognized.  
Proteins are the most notable nutrient in beans, the protein percentage in beans varies according to variety between 21% and 24% which is equal to or even greater than animal based foods such as fresh tuna, beef, or chicken.

Sixty to 65% of the calories in dry beans are from carbohydrates, predominantly in the form of starch, resistant starch, and small amounts of non-starch polysaccharides.   

Beans are low in sugar, which prevents insulin in the bloodstream from spiking and causing hunger. When you substitute beans for meat in your diet, you get the added bonus of a decrease in saturated fat. The properties of the carbohydrates found in beans, along with their fiber content, make them ideal foods for the management of abnormalities associated with insulin resistance, diabetes and hyperlipidemia.

For vitamins and minerals, beans are an excellent source of copper, phosphorus, manganese and magnesium. Most dry beans are a rich source of iron, which makes them ideal for vegans who do not get an animal source of iron. The nutritional content of most dry beans is very similar, with the exception of iron content.  White beans have almost twice the iron of black beans, while kidney beans are somewhere in between.

Dry beans are an excellent source of the water-soluble vitamins thiamin and folic acid and a good source of riboflavin and vitamin B6. Beans are an excellent source of folates, persons at high risk for coronary disease should increase folates intake.

Beans act to protect the  skin and mucosa because they are a good source of two vitamins factors (Niacin and Pantothenic Acid), they are recommended in cases of eczema, itching skin, dry skin, and general dermatosis.
Beans are very rich in vegetable fiber as in the case with all legumes. One hundred grams of dried beans provide 15.2g of fiber, more than half the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for an adult (25g). The fibre in beans lower blood cholesterol levels. Beans also provide substantial amounts of insoluble fiber, which help attract water to the stool and enhance transit time of waste through the colon.  This may help to combat constipation, colon cancer, and other conditions that afflict the digestive tract.

Beans are high in antioxidants, a class of phytochemicals that incapacitate cell-damaging free radicals in the body. (Free radicals have been implicated in everything from cancer and aging.

The fat content of dry beans is very low (less than 2% of total content), and they contain predominately unsaturated fatty acids.  There is some variation based on variety and growth conditions, but most beans contain about 85% of their fat as unsaturated fatty acids.  Because beans are plant foods, they are cholesterol-free.

Beans are ideal for those with high blood pressure (hypertension) because they are low in sodium and high in potassium.

Beans contain some complex sugars of the raffinose family.  These are the sugars that cause digestive issues with bean consumption.  These sugars must be broken down by enzymes that are not available in the human digestive system and are therefore available for microbial action in the colon, resulting in gas production and flatulence.  These sugars can be removed effectively from the beans by soaking the beans, and then cooking them, discarding the soaking and cooking liquids.

Including 3 cups of cooked dry beans in the diet on a weekly basis  will enhance health-promoting aspects of the diet, longevity and will be important in reducing risk for chronic diseases such as obesity, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Ginger ‘A Good Source of Antioxidant’

Ginger has been used as a spice and as natural additives for more than 2000 years, ginger has many medicinal properties, studies have shown that the long term dietary intake of ginger has hypoglycemic and hypolipidaemic effect.

Ginger has been identified as an herbal medicinal product with pharmacological effect. In traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, ginger has been used to treat a wide range of ailments including stomach aches, diarrhea, nausea, asthma, respiratory disorders.

Ginger is a good source of antioxidant, the herb root contains 80calories per 100g, it composes many essential nutrients and vitamins such as vitamin B6, vitaminB5 that are required for optimum health, they contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. 

Other health benefits include:
  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties Help with Many Conditions
Ginger possesses awesome anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, it may be what the root is best known for. The anti-inflammatory compounds responsible for significantly reducing inflammation are called gingerols. These compounds make ginger an amazing beneficial tool for various inflammatory-related health conditions.
  • Ginger is found effective in decreasing pain from arthritis. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties also help reduce hip and knee pain in some osteoarthritis patients. In a recent study, daily small dose of ginger reduced pain, swelling and morning stiffness in arthritis patients. Ginger is believed to block formation of prostaglandins and other inflammatory substances. Further antioxidant properties of ginger breaks down inflammatory acids in joint synovial fluids. It has been found that powdered dry ginger powder is effective in combating pain and swelling from the inflammation of osteoarthritis.
  •  Ginger is an effective treatment for Nausea originated by seasickness, motion sickness, morning sickness, chemotherapy. It is used for relieving nausea during pregnancy.
  • Ginger good on Diarrhea, compounds in Ginger mainly Zingerone is very effective on diarrhea. Ginger root and Ginger oil is often used for stomach upsets. It is one of the best remedies for indigestion, stomach ache, dyspepsia, colic, spasms, diarrhea, flatulence and other stomach and bowel related problems. Chewing a fresh piece of ginger after meals regularly is an insurance against these ailments
  • Ginger is effective remedy for cough and cold. Extracted ginger juice along with honey should be taken 3-4 times a day for relief on cough. People also drink ginger tea made from dried or powdered ginger during Coughs.
  • Ginger is an antibiotic and antiviral and helps fight infection. It has been used for centuries for treatment of infectious diseases like cholera, chest congestion, and whooping cough.
  • Ginger as an anti-cancer agent: Gingerol, the main active component in Ginger and the ones responsible for its distinctive flavor, may also inhibit the growth of human colo-rectal cancer cells. Gingerol, the active phytonutrients in Ginger, kill ovarian cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death)
  • Ginger can be used in the kitchen in the following ways:
Ginger is used mostly to flavor sweet dishes, desserts and even some savory dishes. It is used in various ways, chopped, minced, crushed, sliced, grated etc. Ground ginger and fresh ginger taste very different and hence to get a recipe right, you need to use ginger in its right form. Ginger can be pickled with sherry or vinegar. Slices of ginger can be used as garnish as seen in Japanese cuisine. Ginger tea is very popular for its invigorating effect as well as potent health benefits. Ginger is a strong tasting spice and imparts a slight heat to all the dishes. Ginger tea can be brewed by steeping grated ginger in water or alternately, grated ginger root can be added to hot black tea for almost similar effects. Ginger root is used to flavor ginger ale and ginger beer.