FACT OF THE DAY!

 

Top 10 Cholesterol-Fighting Foods

NOVEMBER 3, 2013
Lower cholesterol naturally with these foods

PHOTOGRAPH BY OLGAKR/GETTY IMAGES

Snack on nuts. Drizzle a little olive oil on your salad. Dine on salmon. Have a little chocolate—guilt-free! These eating strategies (and more) can help reduce your cravings for high cholesterol foods and lower “bad-guy” LDLs, maintain “good-guy” HDLs, AND help you reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.

What follows are Prevention‘s choices for the healthiest foods that lower cholesterol. If you’re already eating plenty of them, keep up the good work. If not, begin adding them into your diet today.

Prevention Recommends
1. Soy: The Smart, Delicious Alternative

Soy( PHOTOGRAPH BY LAUREN BURKE/GETTY IMAGES )

Reducing saturated fat is the single most important dietary change you can make to cut blood cholesterol. Used as a replacement for meat and cheese, soy foods help your heart by slashing the amount of saturated fat that you eat.Why is saturated fat so bad for your heart? The liver uses saturated fat to make cholesterol, so eating foods with too much saturated fat can increase cholesterol levels, especially low-density lipoproteins (LDL)—the bad cholesterol. Saturated fats are usually found in animal products such as whole milk, cream, butter, and cheese, and meats, such as beef, lamb and pork. There are some plant-based saturated fats you should avoid too, notably palm kernel oil, coconut oil, and vegetable shortening.

Beyond replacing saturated fat, research suggests that compounds in soy foods called isoflavones may also work to reduce LDL cholesterol.

How to get some: Not familiar with soy foods? The basics include tofu,soy nuts, soy flour, and enriched soymilk. Great-tasting, protein-rich meat alternatives include soy sausage, and breaded cutlets and nuggets that taste like chicken. Crumbled soy—an alternative to ground meat—works well in chili, burritos, lasagna, soups, and casseroles. Add tofu to chili, eggs, or casseroles. It absorbs the flavor of whatever you’re cooking. You’ll find many soy products in the produce section of the supermarket.

What about soy supplements? Research shows that isoflavone supplements alone don’t work. To lower cholesterol, you need the whole soybean with its unique protein, phytates, and isoflavones, which may all act together.

Eat this much: The FDA recommends getting at least 25 grams of soy protein each day. Consuming 25 grams of soy protein daily lowers high cholesterol.

2. Beans: The High Fiber Solution
Except for your morning wheat bran, no food is more fiber-rich than beans. And beans are especially high in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. Eating a cup of any type of beans a day—particularly kidney, navy, pinto, black, chickpea, or butter beans—can lower cholesterol by as much as 10% in 6 weeks.

Soluble fiber forms a gel in water that helps bind acids and cholesterol in the intestinal tract, preventing their re-absorption into the body. This may be why soluble fiber helps to lower cholesterol levels (and decreases the risk of heart disease). Soluble fiber is also found in oats and oat bran, barley, brown rice, beans, apples, carrots, and most other fruits and vegetables.

How to get some: Keep your cupboards stocked with canned beans of all kinds: black, white, kidney, fat-free refried, etc. (as well as instant bean soups). You’ll always have the makings of a delicious, healthful dinner on hand. Beans add protein and fiber to any dish and can be used in salads, stuffed baked potatoes, veggie chili, or pureed for sandwich spreads. And since they come in cans, beans are handy to use. But remember to rinse canned beans first—they’re packed in a high-sodium liquid.

Eat this much: Eat beans five or more times a week. For the greatest health benefits, both the FDA and the National Cancer Institute recommend that adults get 25 to 30 g of fiber each day.

MORE: Cook Once, Eat All Week With Black Beans

3. Salmon: Amazing Heart-Friendly Fat
Research has shown certain types of fat actually protect against high cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids—found in salmon and other cold-water fish—help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, raise “good” HDL cholesterol, and lower triglycerides.

Salmon is an excellent source of protein because it is high in omega-3fatty acids called EPA and DHA that are good for your heart while low in cholesterol and saturated fat.

How to get some: To get the most omega-3s, choose salmon, white albacore tuna canned in water, rainbow trout, anchovies, herring, sardines, and mackerel.

Eat this much: The American Heart Association now recommends eating at least two servings of fish every week, preferably fatty fish, by far the richest sources of fish-oil omega-3s.

MORE: 3 Ways To Cook Fish So It Doesn’t Smell

4. Avocado: Healthy Fat Superfood

Avocado( PHOTOGRAPH BY MARIUSZ BLACH/GETTY IMAGES )

Avocados are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat?a type of fat that may actually help to raise levels of HDL (“good”cholesterol) while lowering levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol). And these delectable green orbs pack more of the cholesterol-smashing beta-sitosterol (a beneficial plant-based fat) than any other fruit. Beta-sitosterol reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed from food. So the combination of beta-sitosterol and monounsaturated fat makes the avocado an excellent cholesterol buster.How to get some: Avocado is a bit high in calories. Your best strategy: Use this luscious veggie in place of another high-fat food or condiment.

Eat this much: The American Heart Association recommends that you get up to 15% of your daily calories from monounsaturated fats like those contained in avocados, but some heart experts recommend an even greater percentage. (In an 1,800-calorie diet, 15% translates into 30 grams per day.) FYI: A whole avocado has about 300 calories and 30g fat. (Check out these 8 delicious ideas for avocados.)

5. Garlic: The Ancient Herb for Heart Health
For thousands of years, garlic has been used in nearly every culture in the world, and not just to repel evil. Its nutritional value and flavor have made it a kitchen staple. Ancient Egyptians ate garlic for stamina; in modern times, garlic has been found to lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, reduce blood pressure, and protect against infections. Now research has found that it helps stop artery-clogging plaque at its earliest stage (called nanoplaque). How? Garlic keeps individual cholesterol particles from sticking to artery walls.

How to get some: Next time you hit the supermarket, pick up a tub of freshly peeled garlic cloves, and challenge yourself to make sure it’s gone before the “best by” date. Chop up and toss on pizza, in soups, or on side dishes.

Eat this much: To reap benefits, try for 2 to 4 fresh cloves a day.

6. Spinach: The Heart Healthy Green Giant
Spinach contains lots of lutein, the sunshine-yellow pigment found in dark green leafy vegetables and egg yolks. Lutein already has a “golden” reputation for guarding against age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. Now research suggests that just a ½ cup of a lutein-rich food daily also guards against heart attacks by helping artery walls “shrug off” cholesterol invaders that cause clogging.

How to get some: Look for 9-oz bags of baby spinach leaves that you can pop in the microwave (ready in 3 minutes). Top with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan and 1 tablespoon of toasted sunflower seeds. Add a roll, and you’ve got a heavenly low-cal dinner for one.

Eat this much: Spinach is the richest source of lutein. Shoot for a ½ cup a day.

Are you at risk for the #1 cause of heart-related death?

7. Margarine: Best Spreads for Your Breads
Two margarines are proven to help lower your cholesterol numbers: Take Control and Benecol. They do so by blocking the absorption of the cholesterol contained in your food and bile.

Take Control margarine is made with plant sterols that are proven to lower both total and LDL cholesterol by up to 14%. The plant stanols in Benecol margarine work the same way. Both the National Cholesterol Education Program and the American Heart Association recommend these margarines.

How to get some: Spread these margarines on your toast or bagel in the morning or for a mid-day snack. The only side effect is reduced beta-carotene absorption. To compensate, make sure you eat extra carrots, spinach, sweet red peppers, or sweet potatoes.

Eat this much: In studies, three servings a day of Benecol helped drop total blood cholesterol by an average of 10% and LDL cholesterol by 14%. Take Control helped drop total cholesterol an average of 6 to 8% and LDL by 7 to 10% with one to two servings a day. Check labels for serving size.

8. Tea: The Hot and Cool Superdrink

Tea( PHOTOGRAPH BY ALBERTO BOGO/GETTY IMAGES )

Tea, whether it’s iced or hot, delivers a blast of antioxidant compounds. Studies prove that tea helps to keep blood vessels relaxed and prevent blood clots. Flavonoids, the major antioxidants in tea, have been shown to prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol that leads to plaque formation on artery walls. These powerful antioxidants may even reduce cholesterol and even lower blood pressure.How to get some: Enjoy a cup of hot or iced tea. Although convenience iced teas still have high antioxidant levels, most homemade iced tea (both hot-brewed and fridge teas) have even more antioxidants. So, if you want the very max, make your own.

Drink this much: A cup of hot tea actually contains more antioxidants than a serving of any fruit or vegetable. Both green and black teas have high antioxidant levels. Enjoy at least one cup of tea every day.

MORE: How To Brew The Perfect Cup Of Tea Every Time

9. Walnuts, Cashews, and Almonds: Go (Mixed) Nuts!
A moderate-fat diet that’s rich in the healthy monounsaturated fats found in nuts may actually be twice as good for your heart as a low-fat diet. Nuts also have vitamin E, magnesium, copper, and phytochemicals that have been linked to heart health. And walnuts are also rich in omega-3s. People who eat nuts regularly have less heart disease and other illnesses than people who don’t. The heart-healthy monounsaturated fats they contain are also better for your joints than the polyunsaturated fats found in corn and safflower oils.

How to get some: The key is moderation: Nuts are high in calories. Keep a jar of chopped nuts in your fridge, and sprinkle 2 tablespoons a day on cereal, veggies, salads, or yogurt. Or add them to your diet by sprinkling chopped nuts on stir-fries. Almonds, hazelnuts, or walnuts can be added to pilafs. Make a trail mix with your favorite nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

Eat this much: Aim for 2 tablespoons of chopped nuts five times a week, or a small handful as a snack 3-4 times a week.

10. Chocolate: The Sweet Heart Bonus
Want to help your heart the next time you indulge in chocolate candy? Choose the dark or bittersweet kind. Compared to milk chocolate, it has more than three times as many antioxidants. These flavonoid antioxidants work to keep blood platelets from sticking together and may even help keep your arteries unclogged. Milk chocolate is good too, having as much antioxidant power as red wine. And what about white chocolate? Sorry, it has no flavonoids at all.

How to get some: The levels of flavonoids in chocolate vary, depending on where it is grown and handled and how it is processed. Researchers have been studying a variety of chocolate, developed by Mars, Inc., with guaranteed high-flavonoid levels. You can find it now in Mars Dove bars. To control the calories, buy Dove dark chocolate Promises. Indulge in one flavorful, high-flavonoid morsel daily, for just 42 calories and 2.6 g of fat.

Eat this much: Research shows that about an ounce of chocolate a day increases good cholesterol and prevents bad cholesterol from oxidizing.

FACT OF THE DAY!

shutterstock_135430526.jpg

8 fascinating poker facts you didn’t know

So you’re a decent poker player, but do you know anything of the game’s history? Check out these facts and share them with novice players you meet! (Shutterstock image)

Poker’s colorful history is chock-full of amazing facts and crazy stories. Here, we’ve selected eight of the most significant moments from the game’s first 200-odd years.

Poker Is as American as Gumbo
Like jazz music and cocktails, poker got its start in New Orleans. While no one knows when the exact first hand was played, historians do know that the game as we know it today developed in the early 1800s in the Louisiana Territory. Popular as poque among the territory’s French speakers, the name poker evolved following the arrival of more English-speaking settlers after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803.

Poker Used to Be Played With Only 20 Cards
The most common form of early poker was played with a 20-card deck and four players. Players were dealt five cards and then bet on who had the best hand. The first documented mention of playing with a 52-card deck is from 1834.
The Longest Poker Game in History Lasted Eight Years, Five Months and Three Days
Although impossible to verify, the Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone, Arizona, lays claim to hosting the longest-running game in history. Beginning in 1881, the Bird Cage tourney required a $1,000 buy-in and featured several legendary Old West personalities.

The Origin of the Poker Chip
Until the late 1800s, poker “chips” consisted of just about any small valuable object—anything from gold nuggets, or even gold dust, to coins. Desperately in need of standardized units, saloons and gaming houses crafted chips out of ivory, bone, clay and wood, decorated with unique symbols. However, these were often copied by cheats. By the early 1900s, commercial firms sold manufactured clay chips that were more difficult to copy.

The Birth of Texas Hold’em
While it’s a bit hard to definitively pinpoint exactly when and where the first round of Texas Hold’em was played, that didn’t stop the Texas State Legislature from passing a resolution in May 2007 declaring the south Texas city of Robstown as the game’s birthplace. According to the legislature, “The game’s invention dates back to the early 1900s.”

The World Series of Poker Debuts
The year was 1970, and the place was Las Vegas. A handful of hot shot players assembled to go head to head to determine the first world champion poker player. Unlike ensuing years when the winner has been decided by a freeze-out tournament, the first was decided by voting.
The First Televised Poker Tournament
CBS tapped into the drama of poker in 1973, nationally televising the World Series of Poker from Las Vegas. The first place prize money for the tournament was $130,000.

Poker Today
According to research cited by the non-profit Poker Players Alliance, approximately 70 million Americans play poker live and/or online—more than 20% of the population.
This could be your chance to show the pros just how good you really are, and score some big wins along the way. Check out all our , from freerolls to buy-ins starting from as little as $.50, and pick your route to a Sunday finale. .

Ok I Want In Too!
What would you tweet from the Borgata if you won New Jersey’s Next Poker Millionaire?

FACT OF THE DAY!

Animal House

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About ‘Animal House’

IMAGE CREDIT:
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS

Toga! Toga! Toga! Here are some fun facts about Animal House that’ll bring you right back to your college days.

1. THE MOVIE WAS ORIGINALLY ABOUT CHARLES MANSON.

The first draft of the screenplay by Harold Ramis and Douglas Kenney was entitled Laser Orgy Girls, and was about the cult leader and murderer in high school. The script was immediately rejected.

2. THE FINAL SCRIPT WAS THE RESULT OF A THREE-MONTH BRAINSTORMING SESSION ABOUT COLLEGE LIFE.

During a cram writing session, the writers all contributed stories about their Greek life hijinks: Chris Miller of his time in Alpha Delta Phi at Dartmouth, Ramis in Zeta Beta Tau at Washington University in St. Louis, Kenney in the Spee Club at Harvard, and producer Ivan Reitman in Delta Upsilon at McMaster University.

3. THE FILMMAKERS HAD OTHER ACTORS IN MIND FOR THE MAIN ROLES.

They originally wanted Dan Aykroyd to play D-Day, Brian Doyle-Murray to play Hoover, Bill Murray to play Boon, and Chevy Chase to play Otter.

4. CHRIS MILLER’S REAL FRATERNITY PLEDGE NAME FOUND ITS WAY INTO THE FILM.

His pledge name, like Thomas Hulce’s character in the movie, was “Pinto.”

5. DOUGLAS KENNEY HAS A BACKGROUND ROLE AS A FRAT BOY.

He plays Stork, the Delta brother everyone thinks is “brain damaged.”

6. YOU CAN THANK DONALD SUTHERLAND FOR THE MOVIE’S CREATION.

Universal Studios only greenlit the movie because Sutherland, who was a recognizable star, signed on to appear as Professor Jennings.

7. IT MADE JOHN BELUSHI A STAR.

Belushi had appeared on SNL for three years, but Animal House was his big screen debut. During the film’s production, he shot the movie Monday through Wednesday and flew back to New York to do SNL Thursday through Saturday.

8. ANIMAL HOUSE WAS KEVIN BACON’S FIRST MOVIE.

Bacon plays Omega pledge Chip Diller.

9. “FABER COLLEGE” IS ACTUALLY THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON.

It was the only school that would let the production shoot on campus.

10. THE OREGON DEAN ACQUIESCED TO FILMING BECAUSE OF A PREVIOUS MISSED OPPORTUNITY.

Years earlier, he had rejected the offer to have the production of The Graduate shoot on campus. Not wanting to let another go at Hollywood pass him by, he approved the production without reading Animal House’s script. He gave them such carte blanche that his own office was used to film Dean Wormer’s office in the movie.

11. THE STUDIO DIDN’T LIKE DIRECTOR JOHN LANDIS’S CHOICE FOR A COMPOSER.

Landis tapped composer Elmer Bernstein to do the score because Landis was childhood friends with Bernstein’s son. At that point his career, Bernstein was known for scoring epics like The Ten Commandments and serious dramas like To Kill a Mockingbird, so the studio was skeptical he’d be a good fit for a gross-out comedy. They were won over after Landis had Bernstein score the comedy as if it were one of his serious dramas, thus playing up the absurdity of what happens onscreen.

12. LIKE ANY GOOD FRAT, DELTA TAU CHI HAS A LATIN MOTTO.

Delta’s motto is “Ars Gratia Artis,” Latin for “Art for art’s sake.”

13. BELUSHI DIDN’T ACTUALLY CHUG A FIFTH OF JACK DANIELS.

Contrary to rumors, it was iced tea—and not real whiskey—in the bottle that Belushi chugs after Delta is expelled from campus.

14. OTIS DAY CHANGED HIS NAME TO HIS CHARACTER’S IN REAL LIFE.

Actor DeWayne Jessie played Otis Day, the leader of the band at the Dexter Lake Club, and legally changed his name to Otis Day after gaining popularity following the release of the movie. He stills tours with the band Otis Day and the Knights to this day.

15. ANIMAL HOUSE SPAWNED A SHORT-LIVED TV SPINOFF IN 1979.

Delta House, which aired on ABC, was cancelled after three months. Ramis, Miller, and Kenney wrote the pilot episode, while the actors who play Dean Wormer, Flounder, D-Day, and Hoover all reprised their roles. The show also featured the television debut of Michelle Pfeiffer, who played “The Bombshell.”

FACT OF THE DAY!

angina

an·gi·na

 

noun

noun: angina pectoris; plural noun: angina pectoris

  1. 1.
    a condition marked by severe pain in the chest, often also spreading to the shoulders, arms, and neck, caused by an inadequate blood supply to the heart.
  2. 2.

    any of a number of disorders in which there is an intense localized pain.

    “Ludwig’s angina”

    is·che·mi·a

     

    noun

    MEDICINE

    1. an inadequate blood supply to an organ or part of the body, especially the heart muscles.