Posts from February 2011

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Got a Dime? Make Your Own Sports Drinks

Maintaining proper hydration is extremely important whenever you perform physical tasks – even more so when you exercise heavily. Many an athlete has lost a big game because of improper hydration. Replacing fluids – that is, water, carbohydrates and electrolytes – that you’ve lost during exercise is essential to keeping your body well hydrated. It’s this need that’s driven development of the lucrative sports drink industry.

10 Tips for Controlling Cholesterol Naturally

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 100 million Americans have elevated cholesterol. When the level of cholesterol exceeds 200 mg/dL, cholesterol becomes a key contributing risk factor for future heart disease. Cholesterol is necessary for many bodily functions, such as hormonal production and cellular health, but when it occurs inside the lining of an artery, it’s bad news. By controlling cholesterol – and especially LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol – you can reduce your risk of future heart attacks and strokes.

You Asked: Is it healthy to drink protein shakes? If so, what brand or recipe do you recommend?

To: Wade in Iowa

Your question: Is it healthy to drink protein shakes? If so, what brand or recipe do you recommend?

You Asked: Do you have a cookbook?

To: Debbie in Colorado

Your question: Do you have a cookbook?

The Cooking Cardiologist’s answer: Actually, there are three cookbooks available. The original cookbook, The Cooking Cardiologist, was published in 1998. This cookbook is out of date, and I don’t recommend it because food technology has changed so much since it came out. On the plus side, about 98% of the recipes in the cookbook are vegetarian, based on the Dr. Dean Ornish diet. You might still find a few old copies on

You Asked: What is your position regarding sodium intake?

To: Erland in Minnesota

Your question: What is your position regarding sodium intake? I am 66, have a mitral insufficiency and high blood pressure that is controlled.

I notice that your recipes in The Well Workplace have high sodium content. For example, the February 2011 issue contains a recipe for spinach dip that has 436 mg of sodium and curried salmon pita that has 1,066 mg of sodium. Based on the recent federal guidelines of 1,500 mg per day for people like me, that takes care of it!

You Asked: Which is better, cooking with olive oil or canola oil?

To: Marcia in Flordia

Your question: Which is better, cooking with olive oil or canola oil?

You Asked: What are other oils for cooking?

To: Michele in Oregon

Your question: What are other oils for cooking?

The Cooking Cardiologist’s answer: Rice bran oil is excellent. Grape seed oil, while it can take the heat, is rich in omega-6 oils (not beneficial to the heart). Coconut oil, while taking the heat, is heavy in saturated fat…stay away from this oil even though there is a marketing push to get you to use more coconut oil.

You Asked:

To: Ronda in Ohio

Your question: When is olive oil worse than trans fat?

The Cooking Cardiologist’s answer: There’s no comparison between the two. Trans fats raise cholesterol and lower HDL. Olive oil helps to raise the good HDL. However, when you heat olive oil beyond its smoke point, free radicals develop and the oil becomes just as bad as trans fats.

You Asked:

To: Vicki in Texas

Your question: Baked chicken, any healthy recipes?

The Cooking Cardiologist’s answer: Well, Vicki, baked chicken without the skin is healthy. I like to take pieces of chicken breast, make nuggets, bake them and place them over a bed of lettuce with spinach and a slight drizzle of dressing. Another option: Bake two chicken breasts, place low-fat mozzarella cheese over the top, melt in a broiler, add pasta sauce and sprinkle a touch of parmesan cheese on top for a wonderful chicken parmesan!

You Asked: Can drugs or food control cholesterol when a person is Apo E 4/4?

To: Steve Chase in Colorado

Your question: Can drugs or food control cholesterol when a person is Apo E 4/4?

The Cooking Cardiologist’s answer: Apo E genotype 4/4 requires an ultralow-fat diet, with less than 20% of calories coming from fat. This fat limitation includes alcohol. Every ounce of alcohol, such as in a glass of wine, counts as 5 grams of fat. This gene decides how you process fat. For a good resource, search the Web for The Apo E Diet book. Diet is just as important as medications – perhaps even more so.