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Is Your Gray Hair Increasing Your Risk for Heart Disease?

December 2, 2017

Unless you’ve been sequestered from television news and social media, you probably know that heart disease is the leading killer in the U.S., responsible for killing over 800,000 people a year. That’s more people than cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease combined. Over 92 million Americans are currently living with some form of cardiovascular disease, to the tune of $316 billion in health costs and loss of productivity.

Common risk factors for heart disease include:

  • Hypertension
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Family history
  • Gender
  • Age

The newest risk factor for heart disease is gray hair. Yes, you heard that right.

Before you go running for a box of “Just for Men,” it’s important to understand that it’s still early – researchers are only beginning to understand the relationship between gray hair and heart disease; more specifically, atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.

One widely-accepted risk factor for heart disease is advancing age. Along with gender and family history, age is considered one of the non-modifiable risk factors. Almost from birth, coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart) begin to accumulate plaque, made up from cholesterol, fat, calcium and other material on the lining of the arteries. The result over time is a narrowing of the internal diameter and inflexibility of the artery walls. read more

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Betty Crocker Means Good Nutrition

November 11, 2016

As a rambunctious kid growing up in southern California, I was lucky enough to live at home under the loving dictatorship of two middle-income parents. In exchange for a few menial tasks like mowing the lawn, pulling weeds and cleaning out the septic tank, my parents gave me a comfortable place to live, a weekly allowance and home cooked meals.

After I joined the Navy, it still didn’t dawn on me that I couldn’t cook. Why would it? Every day at five o’clock, we sauntered over to the mess hall, grabbed a dented aluminum tray, a knife and a spork and stood in line for whatever slop they were pushing on us that night. We spent the rest of the evening debating over exactly what it was that we just ate and how bad it tasted. But at least I didn’t have to prepare it.

It wasn’t until several years later that I had to figure out how to feed myself. By the end of my tour of military duty, I was too old to go back home and couldn’t afford a personal chef, so I was on my own. I’d either have to get married, learn how to cook or wither away to nothing. read more

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