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Heart of the Matter, Issue #003 -- Celebrating with good food
December 27, 2014

Celebrate with good food

With the holidays almost over, how did you celebrate? I know in my family there's good food, friends and family. That is the recipe for a good holiday. It is the time of year to catch up with friends and family, especially those people that are close and dear to our hearts. Sometimes it's not possible to spend time with those we love throughout the year but around the holidays it's always good to let those people know we are always thinking of them. Send an email or a text or even a telephone call is all that is required. Spending time with friends and family is a great way to unwind and relieve stress with a few laughs and a smile. While spending time with your dear ones it usually involves alcohol and definitely good food. Be responsible when drinking alcohol don't consume so much that you forget the times spent with your friends and family, not only will you regret missing out on a good time, you will also begin damaging your liver that ultimately will lead to heart disease. A sick liver will undoubtably increase your chances for having a heart attack by causing high blood pressure, endothelial dysfunction and increase your fats such as cholesterol and triglycerides, just by simply over indulging in alcohol. Endothelial dysfunction is a condition that is starting to be recognized as a cause of heart disease resulting in damaging the lining of the cells that line the blood vessels. Those blood vessels have a special ability that keeps our cardiovascular system healthy and strong and damaging those cells will start an inflammatory process that leads to atherosclerosis and has shown to cause heart failure over time. So responsibility with controlling our alcohol intake will not only make law enforcement happy it will also make our livers happy. A happy liver leads to strong cardiovascular system. The damage caused by overindulging in alcohol is the same damage by overindulging in refined sugars. White granulated sugar contains glucose and fructose and it is the fructose that the liver can’t process. The more fructose that is ingested will cause the liver to work extra hard resulting in the same damage as by alcohol. Around the holidays confections are a mainstay in most households. Those confections that most people prepare are made with refined sugars. Don't get me wrong I make confections with refined sugar too sometimes, it's how much that is eaten that causes problems. The problem arises with the everyday intake of sweetened soft drinks, juices and alcohol combined with refined sugars in convections and sweets is a recipe for disease it becomes a volume issue, pure and simple. Enjoy your holidays, I know we've earned it, but remember drink responsibly, reduce the sugar intake and when possible switch out the refined sugars with natural sugars like honey, stevia, maple syrup and raw sugar. These sugars don't contain high amounts of fructose and will not damage the liver. Not only will your liver thank you for the simple switch but by switching the sugars it changes the flavour of the confections and can make an old favourite into a new one and as the saying goes "variety is the spice of life".

Have a great holiday everybody and great New year,

From Neil @ Heart-disease-and-prevention.com

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