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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Flax: Good Source of Omega-3 Oils

As discussed in my previous post "How does Food Affect Your Cholesterol Level?" I recommend that you maintain constant intake of Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet to keep your heart healthy. In addition to popular cold water fish like salmon, I'd like to discuss a good plant source of Omega-3 in this post - flax seed.

First of all, the oils in flax seed contain high concentration of Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) - one of three primary Omega-3 fats. There is about 3000 mg of Omega-3 fat in one serving (14g) of flax seed as well as 800 mg of Omega-6 fat. Both Omega-3 and Omega-6 are equally important to our health. The former reduces inflammation in our body, while the later promotes. The ideal balance between Omega-3 and Omega-6 is 1:1. Since Omega-6 fats are commonly found in the western diets, the 3:1 ratio of Omega-3:Omega-6 in flax seed is very welcome.

The other unique property of flax seed is the high concentration of lignans. Lignans are plant estrogens or phytoestrogens that offer powerful
antioxidant properties including blocking estrogen activity in cells
and reducing the risk of certain cancers. Flex seed contains at least 75 times higher concentration of lignans than any other plants.

Lastly, flax seed is a good source of dietary fiber. In fact, 28% of flax seed is fiber. That's about 4 grams of fiber in one serving of milled flax seeds. Very nice.

Pumpkin and sunflower seeds share some properties of flax seed, and could serve as alternatives to flax seed. Unlike flax seed, though, both pumpkin and sunflower seeds have higher ratio of Omega-6 fatty acid than Omega-3.

Most of flax seed products are ground flax seed for easy digestion. Unfortunately, some ground processes generate heat spurring early Omega-3 oxidization. When selecting your flax seed product, be sure to choose those produced by "cold" milled processes.

At Fishtarian.com, we have selected a grand list of seed products based on a number of criteria. Feel free to tour around our Seeds store for the products that suit your need. Hope you enjoy these products and give us feedback.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Oat Bran Lowers Bad Cholesterol

About two years ago, I started adding oat bran to my daily oat meal in the morning. My blood test has consistently shown that oat bran helps lower my cholesterol levels; more precisely, it lowers only the bad cholesterol (LDL) not the good cholesterol (HDL). And, that's exactly what we want - increasing the HDL/LDL ratio.

Similar results have been found in many medical studies. So, how exactly does oat bran work to lower LDL? As you may already know, the liver use cholesterol to make bile acids, which contain cholesterol and are necessary in the digest process. Oat bran is very rich of soluble fiber and forms a gel in the digestive tract like what you see, when it is cooked in the pot. The gel binds onto bile and is eliminated along with the bowel movement. As the result, your body tries to produce more cholesterol to make up that loss by taking away cholesterol from your blood stream.

In addition, oat bran is one form of soluble fiber. As fermented in the colon, soluble fiber forms certain kid of fatty acids, which are absorbed by a vein in the abdomen and transported to the liver, where they inhibit cholesterol production.

I hope these facts give you enough incentives to start adding oat bran to you diet. To be effective, oat bran must be consumed along with a low-fat diet like the Fishtarian diet. If you plan to add oat bran to your muffins, you should consider removing ingredients, such as, york and butter from your recipe. Finally, wheat bran does not produce the same kind of result as oat bran.

Remember, we've got our new home. Visit and enjoy your stay at Fishtarian.com today.

[picture by: foodistablog]

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Fishtarian.com Launched

I'm glad to announce that the new Fishtarian.com website is officially launched today. With the goal to become your trusted partner in pursuing your heart healthy diet and living, we've designed Fishtarian.com featuring both blog posts and a variety of products. Our editors will continue to bring you the latest medical information about your health as well as share with your their personal experience. We look forward to your continuous support and working more closely with you to satisfy your needs in the Fishtarian living.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weight-Loss Diets and Lifestyle Change

There is a wide variety of weight loss diet plans on the market to choose from. Atkins, Zone, or Ornish? Low-fat, low-carb, or high-protein? "Which one is effective or the most effective?", you ask.

That used to be a hard question to answer, because of all the marketing twists and spins. A recent medical study published in New England Journal of Medicine was set to straighten this up. And, you may not be surprised by the findings, because your grandma already told you - burn off more calories than you consume.

The study included 811 overweight adults and randomly assigned them to one of four diets, each of which varied in fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Generally speaking, the group of dieters were recommended to cut 750 calories per day from their diet and exercise 90 minutes a week. After six months, the group reported an average loss of 13 pounds across the board. But, their weight climbed back up afterward and ended up only a loss of 9 pounds at two years.

In the end, the study found only 15 percent of the group achieved the goal of 10% weight loss from their starting weight. There was no winner among the four different diets. Dieters who stuck to their assigned diet plan and exercised as recommended reported better results.

So, the key to your success in weight loss is whether you can stick to your diet plan and continue to burn off more calories than you consume. Let's be candid. Practicing a diet plan for a long time or even for the rest of your life takes a personal commitment as serious as your marriage. The good advice for a successful marriage from your grandma has been the willingness to sacrifice some privileges as a single and compromise on a lifestyle that suits both parties in the marriage. That is perhaps the only sound advice to your successful diet plan - your commitment to a lifestyle change. And, that very same advice applies to people who look to manage their cholesterol levels with a heart-healthy diet like Fishtarian.

So, are you ready to make such commitment today?

(Click to see the full sized cartoon!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Daily Drinking Increases Womens Risks of Cancer

Many of us have enjoyed a small glass of red wine every night thinking that the moderate amount of alcohol would help improve blood circulation and reduces the risk of heart disease. The thought sounds like a conventional wisdom and is supported by many medical studies. While that's still true, what you don't know is the risks or side effects for women.

Reported by Washington Post, a new medical study involving nearly 1.3 million middle-aged British women found that a glass of any type of alcoholic drink per day increases the risk of a variety of cancers. More specifically, the researchers found that about 5 percent of all cancers diagnosed in women each year in the United States are related to the result of low to moderate alcohol consumption. Breast cancer is the most popular; accounted about 11% of those cases - about 20,000 cases per year.

Although men are excused by the study, I'm not certain how long it would hold. The findings are not at surprising for both men and women who have liver problems, such as, Hepatitis B - a common disease found among Asian communities. Alcohol consumption is arguably the most common cause of liver cancer. Even for people who don't have any liver disease, alcohol consumption should be avoided, if they find suspicious reactions of their body after consumption of alcohol. The alcohol-induced reactions, such as, red face or red rashes in the chest, are the results of the effort made by liver in its attempt to rid the toxic chemicals from the alcohol.

The findings are not specific to red wine only, but to any type of alcohol. Consider to drink less than a drink or 10 grams per day? Too bad; a dink with as little as 10 grams does not appear to be a threshold.

To find out more, read the article from Washington Post.

[picture source: www.californiawinehikes.com]

Monday, February 9, 2009

February Is Heart Healthy Month

Just want to pass on a good offer from one of my favorite restaurants, FreshChoice. FreshChoice is celebrating the heart healthy February with coupons to help keep our heart healthy. Although not a seafood restaurant that offers fish, this is a place where you find a wide variety of vegetables and soup so delicious and enjoyable. Enjoy a good meal at FreshChoice!

(Click to see the full sized promotion Ad!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How Global Warming Impacts The Ocean And Our Food Sources?

[From Cartoosh: Our Cartoons, Our Life]

More and more evidences have attributed the record number of hurricanes over the last couple of years to global warming. Using buoys that transmit readings directly, as well as remote sensing satellites, researchers have found record temperatures in the gulf and Atlantic Ocean. Based on those studies, the ocean temperature over the last 50 years has increased by one degree.

The other study has found that the salmon in the North Atlantic Ocean have lost significant weight, suggesting that the salmon are essentially starving from insufficient amounts in available prey. Scientists have attribute the low availability of prey to rising ocean surface temperatures.

(Click to see the full size cartoon. To see more cartoons, visit Cartoosh!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Note: Problem with Flash Player 10 on Vista x64

I'd like to give you a heads-up that you need the Flash Player 10 plug-in for your browser in order to see our blogs properly. The upgrade to Flash Player 10 is necessary due to the slide show widget from Amazon that displays the selected items I would recommend to you. The upgrade is normally painless except Flash 10 does not work with the 64-bit version of Internet Explore (IE7) on Windows Vista x64. To work around the problem, you can switch to run the 32-bit version of IE7 by following these steps:
  1. Create a new shortcut on your desktop and set the Target field to "C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" instead of "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe"
  2. You should consider giving a different name to the new shortcut to differentiate from existing ones that point to the 64-bit version.
  3. Use the new shortcut to launch the 32-bit IE7.
  4. The upgrade to Flash Player 10 for the 32-bit IE7 should be very easy and smooth.
  5. You can drag and drop the new shortcut to the Quick Launch list or the doc, if necessary.
Sorry for any inconvenience. If you still have problems, don't hesitate to drop me a note or send me an email. Otherwise, enjoy your reading...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

How to Naturally Raise Your HDL (Good Cholesterol)?

As discussed in my previous post "Does Food Matter with Your Cholesterol Level?" the total cholesterol (TC) is calculated using the following formula:
TC = LDL + HDL + (Triglycerides/5)
  • LDL refers to Low density lipoprotein or the "bad" cholesterol, because it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain.
  • HDL refers to High density lipoprotein or the "good" cholesterol, because high levels of HDL seem to protect against heart attack.
  • Triglycerides is a form of fat. People with high triglycerides often have a high total cholesterol level, including high LDL (bad) cholesterol and low HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
At clinics, the doctor typically looks at the following chart regarding TC:
  • Desirable: Under 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
  • Borderline high: 200 to 239 mg/dL
  • High risk: 240 mg/dL and higher
While desirable to keep our TC under 200 mg/dL, it's even more important to keep our LDL/HDL ratio as low as possible. Published in Current Medical Research and Opinion, the 15 years prospective evaluation and study shows that a LDL/HDL ratio greater than 8.0 predicts an adverse CHD event. To keep a low LDL/HDL ratio, you either lower LDL or increase HDL. In this article, I'll discus my personal experience in raising my HDL level without any help from medicines such as statin.

Many medical studies have found Omega-3 fatty acids very effective in elevating HDL perhaps only next to Niacin. Over the past 10 years, I have practiced the Fishtarian diet which emphasizes on the consumption of cold-water fish (e.g. salmon and kampachi) rich in polyunsaturated fats.

The result has been incredible. My HDL has consistently stayed in between mid-60 and mid-70 over the course of 10 years. A year ago, I started adding flax and pumpkin seeds in my oatmeal every morning. In my most recent blood test, my HDL raises to 81 - the highest level in my medical history. Flax, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds contain significant concentration of Omega-3 fatty acids as good as those in the cold-water fish.

If you have difficulty in accommodating fish in your diet, consider the formulated Omega-3 supplements commonly found at your local pharmacies. They are proven to be as effective in some clinic studies.

Keep in mind that consumption of Omega-3 rich fish is only a small part of the Fishtarian living. The Fishtarian diet excludes all red meats to avoid saturated fats, but allows occasional consumption of chicken, when fish is not available. The diet also includes regular consumption of vegetables and fruits. The Fishtarian living also imposes exercises or fitness at a regular basis. It's a lifestyle change designed to keep your heart health. I'll get into more details in my future posts. Stay tuned.

This post is also available on eHow and HubPages.

[picture source: http://flickr.com/photos/jlastras/]

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Celebrate 2009 New Year with PageRank 2/10

I wish all of you had a wonderful holiday break. It's still not too late to enjoy the quiet and peaceful time with your family over the next couple of days, before you head back to the office and the schools start.

First of all... a good news and a great gift I'd like to share with all of you. The parent blog of Fishtarian, Project BKO: Online Business Incomes is currently ranked 2 out of 10 by Google PageRank. This is an incredible accomplishment, given that Project BKO has done no advertisement and little in search engine optimization (SEO). Although I have some experiments with keywords and back links, I attribute the PageRank result primarily to readership. For that, my kids and I are truly thankful to have you visiting our blog and giving feedback to our posts.

The two month old Project BKO currently has two sister blogs - Fishtarian for health diet and lifestyle for wellness and Online Business Review that aims to provide the best reviews and recommendations to online business starters and Internet entrepreneurs. Over the next few weeks, we plan to launch an exciting blog featuring series of cartoons that hopefully bring some fun to you and your family. We also plan to launch our online printing business in Spring. We are committed to making our blogs valuable and useful to your own online business, your personal health and daily life. We look forward to having your continuous support in growing Project BKO to the next level.

Lastly, let me propose a toast to... our health, prosperity, and success in 2009. Happy New year to you all.

[picture source: www.californiawinehikes.com]