Low Fat Non Fried Papadums!

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About Cardiatrics:  Preventing Cardiovascular Disease through comprehensive and personalised risk factor management. Taking a scientific approach to reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood glucose and optimizing weight control. For more information visit http://cardiatricshealth.com

 

Coach: Natalie Black
About: Natalie is an accredited Exercise Physiologist with a career spanning 14 years in the industries of nutrition, weight management, fitness, health promotion and clinical disease prevention. Natalie began her career instructing Clinical Pilates, providing Exercise Prescription for rehabilitation of injury and weight management; opened a Children’s Health & Fitness Studio in Brisbane, Australia and was a national trainer in Diet, Nutrition & Lifestyle Intervention for Weight Management and Proactive Health Care. She was offered an expatriate posting to Singapore in 2008 to continue her career within the industry of Preventative Health Care and Weight Management. And as the saying goes, the rest is history. Natalie is passionate about sharing her health knowledge and has a personal goal to live disease free until she’s 100. Natalie received her Degree in Sport & Exercise Science from James Cook University (Australia)

Heart Disease Prevention – “It is entirely within our control to prevent over 90% of heart attacks”

  1. To what extent is heart disease preventable?

Heart disease refers to a broad spectrum of disorders that can occur to the heart and its related structures.  The most common cause of heart disease is coronary heart disease (CHD) or coronary atherosclerosis. Coronary heart disease is very preventable. A landmark study in the Lancet in 2004 identified that nine modifiable risk factors, including high cholesterol, smoking, hypertension, diabetes, abdominal obesity, psychosocial factors, inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables, excess alcohol use, and sedentary lifestyles account for over 90% of the risk of first heart attack. This means that it is entirely within our control to prevent over 90% of heart attacks by modifying the way we behave. These same risk factors also apply in the prevention of stroke, which is due to the same disease process. Hence, we can not only prevent the majority of heart attacks, but also strokes.

 

  1. What do you think most Singaporeans get wrong about heart disease prevention? What are our main risk factors?

Most Singaporeans often act too late, waiting too long before instituting preventive measures or modifying their lifestyles. This is because they don’t realise that CHD is a chronic ongoing process with a long silent period. They can feel well, yet have CHD for many years before suddenly having a heart attack or experiencing chest pains. These are already late manifestations.

Singaporeans also overestimate the effectiveness of conventional health screening which consists of blood tests, ECG and a doctor consultation. Standard health screening often does not adequately detect the disease at its earlier stages, and can be falsely reassuring.

What they should be aware of is not whether they have symptoms or signs of severe CHD, but whether they already have early disease and what is their risk of developing severe complications such as heart attack or angina. This concept of CHD risk is less well understood. People believe that CHD is a dichotomy, you either have it or you don’t, but chronic diseases don’t behave like this. What they really should be aware of is their risk of developing the severe complications of CHD such as heart attacks or angina in the future.

 

  1. What do you think constitutes a heart healthy lifestyle?

A heart healthy lifestyle involves optimizing all the reversible risk factors. This means eating a heart healthy diet, regular exercise, moderating alcohol, no smoking, getting adequate sleep, managing stress, being socially connected and avoiding or controlling diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.  These may sound simple, yet are difficult to carry out consistently and effectively because our social and cultural environments and beliefs are not supportive enough of such practices.

 

  1. What fitness regime would you recommend for people of different ages? What about those with busy schedules who cannot spare time for the gym?

There is no single best exercise, but rather the best exercise for a person is one that he or she likes and can perform regularly. In general, everyone should spend time maintaining their cardiorespiratory (or aerobic) fitness, as well as performing some strength training. Aerobic fitness can be trained through walking, running, cycling, swimming or any sports that involve these. Strength training is important especially as we get older because we lose muscle mass progressively beyond the age of 40. It is recommended that we strengthen our functional muscle groups at least twice a week. This involves resistance exercises that train basic functional movements such as pushing, pulling, getting up or sitting down as well as core strength and balance. These activities require no special equipment and can be done conveniently anytime anywhere using just free weights or even one’s own body weight.

The age and ability of the person should also be taken into account when determining the intensity and duration of the activities in order to minimize exercise related injury which may increase with age.

 

  1. Diets – do fad diets work? What should we cut out/down or add to our diets? What’s your advice on how to eat right on a tight schedule without breaking the bank?

Fad diets can work for weight loss, however quite often that is their main focus. While they can be effective in the short run for that, they are often not sustainable and may not even be overall beneficial to health. A good diet should focus on providing the essential nutrients for healthy growth and development, and be enjoyable and sustainable in the long run.

There is a lot of confusion and misinformation about how best to eat, and an overemphasis on individual nutrient components and their healthfulness. However, people don’t eat individual nutrients (such as fats, carbohydrates, fiber, protein), they eat real food that almost always contain a mixture of these components. The food composition is important but so is the way it is processed or prepared.

To put simply, the best way to eat is to take whole foods, mostly plants and not too much. This means processed foods including processed meats, refined sugars or carbohydrates should be minimized or avoided. Animal proteins especially red meats should also be reduced.

The diet with the best evidence of reducing CHD is the Mediterranean diet, which is consistent with the above. A Mediterranean diet is high in fruits and vegetables, healthy oils, whole grains and nuts with some animal protein (mostly seafood).

 

  1. Is taking supplements or medications necessary to keep your heart healthy? What would you recommend?

If you’re generally healthy and eat a wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, lean meats and fish, you likely don’t need supplements. Certain situations may warrant supplementation: pregnant women should get additional folic acid and iron. As we age, we may also be more likely to have vitamin B or D deficiencies. This may be worth checking with a blood test, and appropriate supplementation given if found deficient. Certain restrictive diets such as pure vegans may also require dietary supplementation. For those who don’t obtain 2-3 servings of oil fish a week, some experts recommend adding a fish oil supplement.

 

  1. What screenings would you recommend for heart disease prevention, when should we start going for screenings and how often?

Heart disease prevention should begin as early as in childhood, where parents should ensure their children pick up good lifestyle habits, and maintain an optimal weight.  From the age of 20 years one should go for periodic screening for traditional CHD risk factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes every 4-6 years. Adults from the age 40-79 years should have yearly screening for these risk factors and in addition have their 10-year and lifetime cardiovascular disease risk calculated every 4-6 years.

Conventional health screening typically involves a doctor’s evaluation, together with laboratory tests for blood sugar, cholesterol and other major organ functions. An Electrocardiogram (ECG) which is a tracing of the electrical activity of the heart, chest x-ray and treadmill ECG test are optional depending on the situation.  However, these tests still detect problems or diseases at a more advanced stage.

Ideal health screening should take into account the health and behavioral risks of the patient and not merely the presence of disease.  This can be done by assessing the root determinants of health such as nutrition, physical activity levels and fitness, mental wellness, adequacy of sleep, exposures to toxins and social, cultural and genetic determinants. Quantifying these risks can there allow measured interventions to modify these root causes of ill health.

 

  1. What new breakthroughs are there in heart disease prevention? What are you most excited about?

Drug therapy has till now been the mainstay of both treatment as well as prevention of heart disease. However more recently there is a growing trend to incorporate therapeutic lifestyle interventions as part of the treatment and prevention of CHD. This stems from a large body of evidence that shows that making appropriate and consistent changes to one’s lifestyle habits can have a profound effect on the development and progression of a variety of chronic diseases including CHD.  The increasing use of monitoring devices has also allowed people to better quantify their lifestyle habits and correlate this with their health status in order to come up with more personalized lifestyle prescriptions. Better connectivity through technology also allows better and more timely interactions with healthcare providers to deliver preventive care. Another exciting development is the field of cardiac genetics.  We are beginning to understand how our genetic makeup and its interactions with the environment can influence the development of CHD.  All these will help us to better personalize preventive treatments and strategies for different individuals. For example, not everyone will need to eat the same way, exercise the same amount, or need medicines in order to maintain optimal health. A personalized preventive prescription will take into account a person’s demographic profile, current clinical status, genes, socio-economic circumstances and personal preferences.  This is the future of preventive medicine.  Cardiatrics is one such preventive program, and is the first of its kind in Singapore. It assesses and monitors health behaviors then correlates it to one’s health status and profile in order to give a personalized and sustainable lifestyle prescription to promote optimal health and prevent CHD and other chronic diseases.

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About Cardiatrics:  Preventing Cardiovascular Disease through comprehensive and personalised risk factor management. Taking a scientific approach to reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood glucose and optimizing weight control. For more information visit http://cardiatricshealth.com

 

Author: Dr Peter Ting
About the Author: Peter Ting is a cardiologist who studied and trained in medicine at the National University Singapore, National Heart Centre Singapore, Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute Canada and Harvard University School of public health. He is an expert with extensive experience in preventive cardiology, cardiac rehabilitation and lifestyle medicine. He currently has a private clinical practice at Harley Street Heart and Cancer Centre, and is also Co-Founder and Medical Director of Lifestyle Therapeutics which designs and delivers customized virtual lifestyle therapy programs to patients to reverse or slow the progression of coronary artery disease, as well as treat other lifestyle related conditions such has hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity. He was on several National guideline committees for cardiovascular risk factor assessment and management, and currently is on the board of Exercise is Medicine Singapore, an American College of Sports Medicine initiative. An approachable mentor, his passion is to help people achieve their fullest potential in terms of physical and mental wellbeing.

PUMPED! – Resistance band exercise workout

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About Cardiatrics:  Preventing Cardiovascular Disease through comprehensive and personalised risk factor management. Taking a scientific approach to reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood glucose and optimizing weight control. For more information visit http://cardiatricshealth.com

 

Author: Ling Sze-An
About the Author:  Sze is a Health and Exercise specialist with a degree in Sport & Health Science. He is passionate in helping his clients achieve the best version of themselves, constantly exploring new ways to make healthy eating and exercise more enjoyable. Sze is also a fitness enthusiast who enjoys exercising through calisthenics in his spare time.

Heart Disease ranks among the top 3 causes of hospitalisation in Singapore – you can prevent this happening with Cardiatrics.

Heart disease consistently ranks among the top three causes of hospitalisation in Singapore and accounts for nearly one in three deaths in 2016.
Today CNA featured an article “The road to a healthier heart doesn’t stop at the hospital”- indicating what can be done to help improve heart health after a heart attack and avoid further ones.
Did you know, in order to completely minimize your risk for heart disease, action needs to begin as early as in your 20’s and is as simple as managing your weight, controlling your blood glucose and blood pressure, move your body and eat a nutritious diet, with a focus on controlling your cholesterol levels.
Move More. Eat Well. Manage Weight.
Cardiatrics can help you manage your health and prevent heart disease with the guidance of a personalized coach and telemedicine platform. Find out more: http://cardiatricshealth.com

Original article: Channel News Asia – link here

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About Cardiatrics:  Preventing Cardiovascular Disease through comprehensive and personalised risk factor management. Taking a scientific approach to reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood glucose and optimizing weight control. For more information visit http://cardiatricshealth.com

Coach: Natalie Black
About: Natalie is an accredited Exercise Physiologist with a career spanning 14 years in the industries of nutrition, weight management, fitness, health promotion and clinical disease prevention. Natalie began her career instructing Clinical Pilates, providing Exercise Prescription for rehabilitation of injury and weight management; opened a Children’s Health & Fitness Studio in Brisbane, Australia and was a national trainer in Diet, Nutrition & Lifestyle Intervention for Weight Management and Proactive Health Care. She was offered an expatriate posting to Singapore in 2008 to continue her career within the industry of Preventative Health Care and Weight Management. And as the saying goes, the rest is history. Natalie is passionate about sharing her health knowledge and has a personal goal to live disease free until she’s 100. Natalie received her Degree in Sport & Exercise Science from James Cook University (Australia)

Microwave Myths – Do you know the truth?

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About Cardiatrics:  Preventing Cardiovascular Disease through comprehensive and personalised risk factor management. Taking a scientific approach to reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood glucose and optimizing weight control. For more information visit http://cardiatricshealth.com

 

Author: Jacqueline Joose
About the Author: Jacqueline is a qualified dietitian who is passionate about translating nutritional science and communicating them through simple messages. Jacqueline has worked across a wide range of clinical wards in major metropolitan hospitals in Brisbane as well as in the areas of food service management, community and public health nutrition. Her previous experience also include private practice where she individualised her nutrition interventions to clients with various health conditions according to their needs and preferences, helping them to achieve their nutrition goals and attain optimal health. She is interested in what works for clients to sustain behaviour and realistic lifestyle changes, and seeks to continually keep herself up to date with the current scientific evidence to inform her care plans. Jacqueline obtained her Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics (Honours) from Queensland University of Technology, Australia.

Dough not be fooled by this!

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About Cardiatrics:  Preventing Cardiovascular Disease through comprehensive and personalised risk factor management. Taking a scientific approach to reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood glucose and optimizing weight control. For more information visit http://cardiatricshealth.com

 

Author: Trina Lam
About: Trina is Clinical Nutritionist with previous experience in tackling unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, and prescribing specialized meal plans for weight management, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. She is passionate in helping her clients find healthier alternatives that are both realistic and enjoyable. Trina is a strong advocate in sustainably achieving healthy eating habits through a balanced diet. Trina received her Master’s in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Nottingham (UK).

Easy Peasy sandwich with protein & salad

Preparing a healthy lunch to take to work daily is really so easy to do (and it saves money as well). The more often you can control how your meals are made, and load them with heart healthy ingredients, the better it is for your body and health.

INGREDIENTS LIST

  • 2 slices of Wholemeal bread or 1 bread roll (as seen in photo)
  • 2 boiled eggs OR 1 tin of tuna in springwater
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato

Other stuff: Add in more salad ingredients that you like

NOW IT’S TIME TO COOK:

  1. Boil egg (if choosing egg)
  2. Place water into saucepan and add eggs into water immediately.  Put onto stove and boil for 7 minutes.
  3. If you prefer tuna, open can and drain well
  4. Prepare salad ingredients by washing and chopping
  5. Add all ingredients in layers
  6. Wrap in plastic wrap and you’re ready!

Hint:  You can prepare all ahead and pack separately into a box. Prepare fresh at lunch time so your bread doesn’t go soggy.

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About Cardiatrics:  Preventing Cardiovascular Disease through comprehensive and personalised risk factor management. Taking a scientific approach to reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood glucose and optimizing weight control. For more information visit http://cardiatricshealth.com

 

Coach: Natalie Black
About: Natalie is an accredited Exercise Physiologist with a career spanning 14 years in the industries of nutrition, weight management, fitness, health promotion and clinical disease prevention. Natalie began her career instructing Clinical Pilates, providing Exercise Prescription for rehabilitation of injury and weight management; opened a Children’s Health & Fitness Studio in Brisbane, Australia and was a national trainer in Diet, Nutrition & Lifestyle Intervention for Weight Management and Proactive Health Care. She was offered an expatriate posting to Singapore in 2008 to continue her career within the industry of Preventative Health Care and Weight Management. And as the saying goes, the rest is history. Natalie is passionate about sharing her health knowledge and has a personal goal to live disease free until she’s 100. Natalie received her Degree in Sport & Exercise Science from James Cook University (Australia)

 

Healthy 3 ingredient breakfast

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About Cardiatrics:  Preventing Cardiovascular Disease through comprehensive and personalised risk factor management. Taking a scientific approach to reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood glucose and optimizing weight control. For more information visit http://cardiatricshealth.com

 

Coach: Natalie Black
About: Natalie is an accredited Exercise Physiologist with a career spanning 14 years in the industries of nutrition, weight management, fitness, health promotion and clinical disease prevention. Natalie began her career instructing Clinical Pilates, providing Exercise Prescription for rehabilitation of injury and weight management; opened a Children’s Health & Fitness Studio in Brisbane, Australia and was a national trainer in Diet, Nutrition & Lifestyle Intervention for Weight Management and Proactive Health Care. She was offered an expatriate posting to Singapore in 2008 to continue her career within the industry of Preventative Health Care and Weight Management. And as the saying goes, the rest is history. Natalie is passionate about sharing her health knowledge and has a personal goal to live disease free until she’s 100. Natalie received her Degree in Sport & Exercise Science from James Cook University (Australia)

Pumpkin, a nutritious fruit for your heart health!

Over the years, pumpkins have become synonymous with Halloween and the autumn season. However, these vibrantly orange, hydrating fruit bear a plethora of nutritional benefits that can be enjoyed all year round. And yes, a pumpkin is a fruit! In fact, a pumpkin has incredibly high water content,  which is just slightly higher than that of a watermelon! (pumpkin: 91.6% watermelon: 91.45%)

Aside from its juicy content, the pigment that provides pumpkin with its orange hue comes from the antioxidant beta-carotene. When ingested, your body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A. Not only is vitamin A crucial for eye health, it might possibly prevent one from cardiovascular disease (CVD). One cup of pumpkin exceeds 200% of most people’s recommended daily allowance of vitamin A. Rest assured, excessive consumption of beta-carotene isn’t deadly, but it may cause the skin to turn yellow, a harmless and reversible condition called carotenemia.

Pumpkins are also a good source of potassium. This is particularly beneficial for those with hypertension (high blood pressure). Typically, decreased sodium intake is recommended to lower blood pressure. However, sufficient potassium intake is just as important in treating hypertension. These two minerals work hand in hand, as potassium helps to remove sodium from the body through urine. It also helps relieve tension in blood vessel walls, further lowering blood pressure.

This fruit also contains soluble dietary fiber which aids in lowering cholesterol, preventing atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in arteries). That’s not all! Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepita contain both phytosterols (plant sterols) and alpha-linolenic acid, also known as, omega-3 fatty acid which helps with lowering the LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels in our body. Omega 3 also have antioxidant properties that improve endothelial (tissue lining interior of blood vessels) function and ultimately boost our heart health.

Now that you know the many heart healthy benefits of pumpkins, you should consider having it more often! It is delicious steamed, roasted or can even be made into desserts. And the next time you cook it or carve it for halloween, don’t discard the seeds! They can be roasted and made into a delicious, nutritious snack.

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According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, the nutritional information of 100g of cooked, boiled, or drained pumpkin is as follows:

  • Total energy: 20 calories
  • Protein: 0.72g
  • Carbs: 4.9g
  • Fat: 0.07g
  • Sat. fat: 0.037g
  • Dietary fibre: 1.1g
  • Sodium: 1mg

 

References:
American Heart Association, 2016. How Potassium Can Help Control High Blood Pressure [online]. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/MakeChangesThatMatter/How-Potassium-Can-Help-Control-High-Blood-Pressure_UCM_303243_Article.jsp#.WeXVGluCzX5 [Accessed 17 Oct. 2017].
De Lorgeril, M. and Salen, P., 2004. Alpha-linolenic acid and coronary heart disease. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases [online], 14(3), pp.162-169. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15510909 [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].
Kerns, M., 2017. Pumpkins & Fiber [online]. Healthyliving.azcentral.com. Available at: http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/pumpkins-fiber-16921.html [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].
National Institutes of Health, 2013. Vitamin A [online]. Available at: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-
Consumer/ [Accessed 17 Oct. 2017].
Obenschain, C., 2014. 6 surprising health benefits of pumpkins [online]. Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/
2014/10/21/health/health-benefits-of-pumpkin/index.html [Accessed 17 Oct. 2017].
Organic Facts, 2017. 11 Surprising Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds [online]. Available at: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/seed-and-nut/pumpkin-seeds.html [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].
Tavani, A. and La Vecchia, C., 1999. β-Carotene and risk of coronary heart disease. A review of observational and intervention studies. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy [online], 53(9), pp.409-416. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10554676 [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].
Theuwissen, E. and Mensink, R., 2008. Water-soluble dietary fibers and cardiovascular disease. Physiology & Behavior [online], 94(2), pp.285-292. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/
S0031938408000024 [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].
United States Department of Agriculture, 2016. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28 [online]. Available at: https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3142?manu=&fgcd=&ds= [Accessed 17 Oct. 2017].
University of Maryland Medical Center, 2015. Omega-3 fatty acids [online]. Available at: http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].
Ware, L., Charlton, K., Schutte, A., Cockeran, M., Naidoo, N. and Kowal, P., 2017. Associations between dietary salt, potassium and blood pressure in South African adults: WHO SAGE Wave 2 Salt & Tobacco. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases [online], 27(9), pp.784-791. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/
28800936 [Accessed 19 Oct. 2017].

 

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About Cardiatrics:  Preventing Cardiovascular Disease through comprehensive and personalised risk factor management. Taking a scientific approach to reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blood glucose and optimizing weight control. For more information visit http://cardiatricshealth.com

 

Author: Trina Lam
About: Trina is Clinical Nutritionist with previous experience in tackling unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, and prescribing specialized meal plans for weight management, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. She is passionate in helping her clients find healthier alternatives that are both realistic and enjoyable. Trina is a strong advocate in sustainably achieving healthy eating habits through a balanced diet. Trina received her Master’s in Clinical Nutrition from the University of Nottingham (UK).