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Should I go back to saturated fats?

Thursday 3rd April

Read the original article - Guardian 

What’s the problem? For decades, saturated fats have been blamed for high levels of cholesterol and, consequently, heart disease. As opposed to full fat butter and cream, we’ve been told to switch to low fat spreads and other substitutes.

However, there is growing evidence that saturated fat may not be the culprit after all.

What you need to know. Nutritional advice changes over time - it’s not that long ago that we were told to limit ourselves to just two eggs a week. What’s confusing about saturated fat is that recent studies suggest there’s no clear link to stroke and heart disease, yet advice currently being given out by health practitioners suggests the opposite, recommending that saturated fat be avoided.

Whilst the link between saturated fats and heart disease may be in question, it does not mean that we should gorge on sausages with reckless abandon. High levels of fat in your diet can lead to a range of problems, not just heart disease. The daily saturated fat guideline allowance of 20g for women and 30g for men is still a good rule of thumb. And remember that you should look at your diet as a whole, instead of just one part of it. A Mediterranean diet is a good idea as it gives you all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need.

Useful Links 

Should I avoid saturated fat?
Saturated fat is not good for your heart.
Why almost everything you've been told about unhealthy foods is wrong.

Lose your temper and risk a heart attack - up to two HOURS after calming down - Daily Mail

What’s the problem? A study from Harvard Medical School has suggested that a sudden angry outburst could trigger a heart attack or stroke. So are we risking cardiac arrest every time we blow a gasket?

What you need to know. Long-term stress and anxiety have been associated with a higher risk of heart disease for some time, but this headline is suggesting that one single outburst could bring on a heart attack or a stroke. The study looked at data taken from many other studies from different time periods and countries, and showed that the people who suffered from heart problems had higher levels of anger beforehand.

Whilst there is a clear correlation, the risk of one angry outburst causing a heart attack is unlikely - only one in 10,000 heart attacks are thought to be triggered by this. However those who get angry frequently are much more likely to be affected.

If you do find yourself getting angry on a regular basis there are some simple techniques you can try. Counting to ten, deep breathing and increasing exercise can help. If you’re worried about your anger levels, speak to your GP, who will be able to help.

Anger is just one factor that could increase your chance of suffering from a heart attack or a stroke. Your age, weight, gender and whether or not you smoke are just some of the things that will influence how likely you are to have a heart attack. Read more about these risk factors here. (link to benenden page on risk of heart attack)

Useful Links 

Could angry outbursts trigger a heart attack?
Rein in the Rage: Anger and Heart Disease
How to control your anger

Stress doubles risk of infertility in women - The Telegraph

What’s the problem? A study monitoring the stress hormones in women’s saliva has shown that those with higher levels took longer to become pregnant, and were more than twice as likely to be clinically infertile as those who had less.

What you need to know. The results have been described as “potentially clinically meaningful”, but it is important to remember that stress is not the only, or most significant, factor in becoming pregnant. Managing stress is, however, generally beneficial. A one-size-fits-all approach to stress reduction is unlikely to be useful, but there are techniques that can help. Yoga and meditation have been cited as useful ways to cut stress.

If you are trying to conceive and think stress may be affecting your chance of becoming pregnant, speak to your GP- they will be able to recommend ways to handle stress and look at any other factors that may be having an impact.

Useful Links 

Stressed women 30% less likely to become pregnant 

 

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