Heart Healthy Beats

Tidbits to keep your heart healthy

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Tidbit Tuesday – When the Weather is Cold, is your Diabetes Controlled?

I’ve been working on a few ideas for a diabetes fair and I thought I would share this information with you. This is for diabetics and anyone who knows someone who is diabetic.

A Minor Illness Can Result in a Major Rise in Blood Glucose Levels

Be prepared. As a person with diabetes, you know how important it is to take good care of yourself. Although we all hope to stay healthy year-round, there are always times when you do not feel well. During the winter and early spring many people catch a variety of illnesses such as colds, sore throats, and the flu.

sickIllness puts your body under extra stress. To help you fight an illness, your body releases hormones that cause your liver to release glucose (sugar), and interfere with the action of insulin. This can make your blood sugar rise, sometimes to dangerously high levels. High blood glucose makes your body’s immune system less effective at fighting germs and makes you feel sicker than you would with normal blood glucose.

Avoid a risky situation. Some simple planning can help you keep your blood sugar in control during times of illness so your body can recover quickly. Make a sick day plan and discuss it with your doctor before you become ill. Your plan should include a box of all the supplies and materials you will need to manage your diabetes during illness.  Continue reading


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Tidbit Tuesday – More about B vitamins

Yes, this school work is kicking my tail but I am determined not to let you guys down. Thanks for bearing with me.

This week a lot of research has been put into B vitamins. Mostly Biotin, Pantothenic acid, Folate & B 12.

One of our discussions asked, “Does biotin and pantothenic acid really improve your hair texture and preserve its color?”

I thought this would also be a good topic for us to discuss. Do any of you take these supplements? Hair, skin and nails supplement?










Biotin & Pantothenic acid are B vitamins essential for growth. They support energy metabolism by helping breakdown and use food.

During my research search.  I found very little scientific data supporting the use of either. Deficiency in these vitamins is very rare. These supplements would not prove beneficial unless deficiency is present and biotin deficiency is linked to incomplete parenteral nutrition and nursing infants whose mother is deficient in the vitamin. This deficiency, although rare, results in skin rashes and hair loss.

So, bottom line, continue to eat a varied, nutritious diet and do not waste your money on these products as they likely doing nothing more than the food you eat. Healthy nails and hair comes from plant based foods, eggs, salmon, sweet potatoes, liver

Biotin food sources

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Tidbit Tuesday – B vitamins

This was this weeks threaded discussion in Vitamin & Mineral Metabolism:

The B-vitamins are considered energy vitamins by many. In fact, marketers refer to energy when these vitamins are included in products. Discuss the legitimacy of referring to these vitamins as the energy vitamins. If you agree with this term, give evidence for the claim. If not, give good reason why this claim should not be used.


My post focused on the fact that b vitamins do not supply energy.


Carbohydrate, fat and protein supply the fuel for energy.


Continue reading

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Tidbit Tuesday – know your numbers

I had my Cholesterol checked last week and I wanted to share my results with you.



A1C: 5.7%



TC: 170 mg/dL      Goal: <200 mg/dL

HDL: 42 mg/dL     Goal: male >40mg/dL female >50mg/dL

TRG: 193 mg/dL     Goal: <150 mg/dL

LDL: 90 mg/dL       Goal: <100 mg/dL



What is Cholesterol? Cholesterol is a fat-like substance produced by the liver. It also comes from certain foods we eat.

What is “bad” cholesterol? Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) also is known as “bad” cholesterol. LDL is necessary in your body. However, high levels of LDL cholesterol can build up in your artery walls and contribute to heart attacks.

What is “good” cholesterol? High-density lipoprotein (HDL) also is known as “good” cholesterol. High levels of HDL cholesterol actually may help to clear away the damaging LDL cholesterol.

What are triglycerides? Fats in your blood that increase after you eat are known as triglycerides. High triglycerides in your blood in the presence of high LDL cholesterol increase your risk of heart disease.

What does total cholesterol mean? LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels make up the total cholesterol number. It is important that you know your numbers; so, ask your doctor to share the number with you and keep a record for reference. You want to see if the number is trending up or down, or if it is staying level.

What can I do for better results? 

Follow these recommendations:

  • Reduce saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and total fat in your diet
  • Control high blood pressure with diet and exercise, under a physician’s care
  • Avoid tobacco smoke
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Monitor diabetic risk or manage diabetes
  • Take any prescription medications your physician recommends to regulate your cholesterol, and continue with all of the above recommendations

Cholesterol: Making Heart-Healthy Choices



Once in a While


Meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish—up to 6 ounces/day
  • Lean meats without visible fat
  • Poultry with skin removed
  • All fish
  • Shellfish
  • Fatty meats
  • Duck
  • Liver
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Processed meats
Dairy products—two or more servings/day; three or four servings for pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Skim and 1% milk
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2%-fat dairy products
  • Part-skim cheese
  • Imitation hard cheese
  • Lite cheese
  • Whole milk
  • Cream
  • Half-and-half
  • Whipped cream
  • Whole-milk dairy products
  • Egg whites
  • Cholesterol-free egg substitutes
  • Egg yolks—three or four/week
Fats and oils—5-8 teaspoons/day
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Canola oil for baking
  • Spreads that are trans-fat free
  • Most nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Peanut oil
  • Trans fat
  • Saturated fat
  • Lard
  • Bacon fat
  • Coconut
  • Palm and palm kernel oil
Breads, cereals, pasta, rice, dried peas, and whole beans—six or more servings/day
  • High-fiber grains—3 grams of fiber or more/serving, including:
  • Cereals
  • Breads
  • Pastas
  • Crackers
  • Rice
  • Starches
  • Commercial baked goods, including:
  • Waffles
  • Muffins
  • Quick breads
  • Pancakes
  • Danish
  • Croissants
  • Doughnuts
  • Products made with saturated/trans fat oils
Fruits and vegetables—five or more servings/day
  • Low-sodium fruits and vegetables:
  • Fresh
  • Frozen
  • Dried
  • Canned
  • Canned fruit in heavy syrup
  • Coconut
  • Creamed vegetables
  • Vegetables with sauces
Sweets and treats—limit to one or fewer servings/day
  • Sorbet
  • Ices
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Hard candy
  • Gummy candy
  • Gingersnaps
  • Plain popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Homemade cakes, cookies, and pies
  • Ice milk
  • Pudding
  • Commercial granola bars
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolate
  • Commercial chips and snacks
  • Store-bought desserts
  • Candy

Now that I know what I need to work on, go learn your numbers and let me know about your results.


Resources :




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Tuesday Tidbit – Salmon

You should be eating more fish, hell, we all should be eating more fish. There are so many benefits we are missing out on by not creating more meals containing fish. Tonight, in a rush after work, I threw together salmon patties and it brought me to this Tuesday’s tidbit.

Studies have shown that consumption of the fatty acid rich salmon can help you live longer and be healthier while you do it.

Salmon helps lower total cholesterol by lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and raising good cholesterol (HDL). Consuming a diet rich is omega-3 fatty acids can help repair heart damage and strengthen the heart muscles. It also helps lower blood pressure and even prevent hardening of your arteries which lessens your chances of having a heart attack. Two servings of salmon each week may reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 17 percent and your risk of having a heart attack by 27 percent.

Keeping all this in mind, I hope this recipe will give you an idea of how to incorporate more fish into your meals.

  • Canned Salmon
  • 1 tbsp. pepper
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 egg
  • canola or vegetable oil, a drizzle

In a pan, add a drizzle of oil and swirl pan. Heat oil on medium.

Drain juice off salmon and empty in bowl. Add pepper, dried parsley, bread crumbs and cornmeal. Mix well. Add egg and mix well.

Patty with hands and add to pan when oil is hot. Brown both sides. Enjoy!!!

Served mine with left over pasta and tomatoes, and vinegar cucumbers.

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Tidbit Tuesday – Beans

I’m a little late, please forgive me. 

“Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart
The more you eat, the more you fart
The more you fart, the better you feel
So let’s have beans with every meal!”


This little poem makes a great point, beans are great for your heart!!!

When I started eating a cleaner diet, I had to make important decisions. Groceries are expensive and when half your cart is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables your bill increases. In order for me to continue to provide my family with clean food, and not double my grocery bill, I had to cut out other things. I decided to decrease the amount of meat we eat. Ground beef started creeping closer to $5 per pound, that’s when I decided we didn’t need it. I’m not a huge fan of it anyways. But in order to still provide my family with the burgers we all love I turned to beans. Black beans makes a mean burger. I combine mine with a homemade tomato sauce, bell peppers, onions, garlic, bread crumbs, a few spices and an egg. Top it with avocado slices and home grown tomatoes. And the hubby loves it.


Not only does this method save me money but it also saves my body.

  • Unlike meat based protein, beans are naturally low in fat, free of saturated and trans-fat, and are a cholesterol free source of protein.
  • Research shows a diet including beans may reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Thanks to their high fiber and water content, beans help keep you feeling full and can help you shed excess weight.
  • Beans lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels instead of potentially causing them to increase, as some animal proteins have been proven to.
  • When paired with a whole grain such as whole wheat pasta or brown rice, they provide protein comparable to that of meat or diary foods.


How do you incorporate beans into your diet? How often do add beans to the menu?

For more inspiration check out my Pinterest board, all about beans.

Have a great Wednesday!!!

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Tuesday Tidbit – Smokin’ Hot

I confess, I don’t turn my head when faced with an attractive man. I totally believe in the saying, “Look but don’t touch.” But I have to admit, I’ve never said, “Look at that hottie, the one smoking the cigarette!!!”

There is nothing HOT about someone puffing away, in your face. Quite  frankly, I find it to be a disgusting habit. And I do recognize it to be an addiction but I believe quitting should be top priority if you desire to live a healthy lifestyle.

smoking is addictive

Most people associate smoking tobacco with breathing problems and lung cancer. While this is a major issue, I would like to point out the negative affect smoking has on your heart. Smoking damages the function of your heart and the structure and function of your blood vessels. It causes reduced circulation by narrowing the arteries and puts smokers at risk of developing peripheral vascular disease (PVD). This is the cause of nearly one in every five deaths in the US every year. In fact, smoking is the number 1 cause of preventable disease and death. Let that sink in for a moment… Continue reading