Healthy Drinks to Beat the Bulge

By Betty Murray

Liquid diets are never recommended as a long-term diet solution (unless you have specific health problems that require you to be on a liquid diet), but weight loss drinks may help you shed a few unwanted pounds quickly, particularly if you have reached a plateau in your weight loss.

Replacing meals with protein shakes can reduce your daily caloric intake, resulting in weight loss. However, you will eventually need to return to eating solid foods, at which time you may regain any weight that was lost. Relying too much on protein drinks also means you’re missing out on the nutritional value of whole foods.

When Protein Shakes Can Help

The average adult should get at least 46 to 56 grams of protein per day (possibly more, depending on your weight). If you are already eating a healthy, nutrient-rich diet but are struggling to get adequate protein, adding a protein shake to your daily diet can help you get closer to the recommended daily dose of protein. Protein increases calorie burn, so upping your protein intake can boost weight loss.

When Protein Shakes (and other weight loss drinks) Can Hurt

Even though a shake or drink isn’t a solid food, it still contains calories—and you might be surprised just how many calories are in a drink. Protein powder, though it varies, generally contains about 140 calories per serving, so a protein shake made from protein powder could contain as many as 300 calories. One Special K Milk Chocolate Protein Shake contains 190 calories.

Unless your physician has prescribed a liquid diet to battle other health concerns, going on a strict liquid diet simply to lose weight is not ideal. If your weight loss has stalled out, or you just need to lose a few pounds before heading to the beach, try replacing one meal a day with a protein shake.

The best formula for weight loss is to maintain a healthy, nutrient-dense, protein-rich diet and to get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week.

Betty Murray, CN, IFMCP, CHC is a Certified Nutritionist & Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner with the Institute for Functional Medicine and founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Living Well Dallas and she is the Executive Director of the the Functional Medicine Association of North Texas. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. She specializes in autoimmune conditions, MTHFR, digestive disorders and complex health issues.  Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

 

Healthy Drinks to Beat the Bulge

By Betty Murray

Liquid diets are never recommended as a long-term diet solution (unless you have specific health problems that require you to be on a liquid diet), but weight loss drinks may help you shed a few unwanted pounds quickly, particularly if you have reached a plateau in your weight loss.

Replacing meals with protein shakes can reduce your daily caloric intake, resulting in weight loss. However, you will eventually need to return to eating solid foods, at which time you may regain any weight that was lost. Relying too much on protein drinks also means you’re missing out on the nutritional value of whole foods.

When Protein Shakes Can Help

The average adult should get at least 46 to 56 grams of protein per day (possibly more, depending on your weight). If you are already eating a healthy, nutrient-rich diet but are struggling to get adequate protein, adding a protein shake to your daily diet can help you get closer to the recommended daily dose of protein. Protein increases calorie burn, so upping your protein intake can boost weight loss.

When Protein Shakes (and other weight loss drinks) Can Hurt

Even though a shake or drink isn’t a solid food, it still contains calories—and you might be surprised just how many calories are in a drink. Protein powder, though it varies, generally contains about 140 calories per serving, so a protein shake made from protein powder could contain as many as 300 calories. One Special K Milk Chocolate Protein Shake contains 190 calories.

Unless your physician has prescribed a liquid diet to battle other health concerns, going on a strict liquid diet simply to lose weight is not ideal. If your weight loss has stalled out, or you just need to lose a few pounds before heading to the beach, try replacing one meal a day with a protein shake.

The best formula for weight loss is to maintain a healthy, nutrient-dense, protein-rich diet and to get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise every week.

Betty Murray, CN, IFMCP, CHC is a Certified Nutritionist & Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner with the Institute for Functional Medicine and founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Living Well Dallas and she is the Executive Director of the the Functional Medicine Association of North Texas. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. She specializes in autoimmune conditions, MTHFR, digestive disorders and complex health issues.  Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

 

The 1-2-3 of Calorie Counting

By Betty Murray

Calorie counting has been the standard formula for weight loss for years. Calories in < calories out = weight loss. But is there more too it than simply counting calories? Is calorie counting a waste of energy?

Lets take a look at the pros and cons of calorie counting.

Calorie Counting: Pros

Counting calories allows you to better track what’s going into your body and can provide some structure to help you stick to your weight loss goals. If you hit a plateau in your weight loss, counting calories can help you find out why, and help get you back on track.

Calorie counting may help you learn to identify—and seek out—lower calorie options. For example, it may give you the information you need to choose a non-fat latte over a full fat one for your morning coffee.

Keeping track of your calories is also a way to see if you’re eating to much…or too little. If your body is not getting the fuel it needs, it will go into survival mode and your metabolism will slow down, making it even more difficult to burn calories.

If mindless eating or emotional eating is your struggle, counting calories forces you to be more mindful of what you’re putting in your mouth and help you regain some control in order to change your behavior.

Calorie Counting: Cons

There are cons to everything, and calorie counting is not exempt from this rule. Counting calories can certainly give you a general idea of the amount of calories you consume on a daily basis, but I cannot give you exact information. It’s nearly impossible to count every calorie that goes into your mouth, in part because most food labels are not always accurate.

Calorie counting means you stop listening to your body and simply rely on the numbers to decide what to eat. Losing weight and staying healthy is all about listening to the cues your body is giving you. Eat when you’re truly hungry, don’t eat when you’re not. Pay attention to how different foods make you feel. Many people react to foods in different ways. Learn to pay attention to what your body is telling you about the foods you eat, and stick to the foods that make you feel great.

For some people, calorie counting is a slippery slope on the way to disordered eating.  If you only allow yourself a set number of calories every day, you may not be giving your body the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Tips for Safe Calorie Counting

1. Focus on nutrition. Rather than strictly counting calories, focus on getting the right amounts of nutrients—healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals—you need to really be healthy. It’s also important to learn to recognize portion sizes so you do not eat too much.

2. Listen to your body. Pay attention to those cues your body is giving you. Eat when you’re hungry, and stop eating when you are satisfied.

3. Pay more attention to inches than pounds. Take your measurements once a week and pay attention to how your clothes fit. The number on a scale isn’t always an accurate depiction of whether you are getting healthier or not—and that is the ultimate goal.

4. Put technology to use. There are some apps available that can help you track not only your calories, but your nutrition as well. MyFitnessPal is just one of the many available for iPhone and Android.

Betty Murray, CN, IFMCP, CHC is a Certified Nutritionist & Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner with the Institute for Functional Medicine and founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Living Well Dallas and she is the Executive Director of the the Functional Medicine Association of North Texas. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. She specializes in autoimmune conditions, MTHFR, digestive disorders and complex health issues.  Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

The 1-2-3 of Calorie Counting

By Betty Murray

Calorie counting has been the standard formula for weight loss for years. Calories in < calories out = weight loss. But is there more too it than simply counting calories? Is calorie counting a waste of energy?

Lets take a look at the pros and cons of calorie counting.

Calorie Counting: Pros

Counting calories allows you to better track what’s going into your body and can provide some structure to help you stick to your weight loss goals. If you hit a plateau in your weight loss, counting calories can help you find out why, and help get you back on track.

Calorie counting may help you learn to identify—and seek out—lower calorie options. For example, it may give you the information you need to choose a non-fat latte over a full fat one for your morning coffee.

Keeping track of your calories is also a way to see if you’re eating to much…or too little. If your body is not getting the fuel it needs, it will go into survival mode and your metabolism will slow down, making it even more difficult to burn calories.

If mindless eating or emotional eating is your struggle, counting calories forces you to be more mindful of what you’re putting in your mouth and help you regain some control in order to change your behavior.

Calorie Counting: Cons

There are cons to everything, and calorie counting is not exempt from this rule. Counting calories can certainly give you a general idea of the amount of calories you consume on a daily basis, but I cannot give you exact information. It’s nearly impossible to count every calorie that goes into your mouth, in part because most food labels are not always accurate.

Calorie counting means you stop listening to your body and simply rely on the numbers to decide what to eat. Losing weight and staying healthy is all about listening to the cues your body is giving you. Eat when you’re truly hungry, don’t eat when you’re not. Pay attention to how different foods make you feel. Many people react to foods in different ways. Learn to pay attention to what your body is telling you about the foods you eat, and stick to the foods that make you feel great.

For some people, calorie counting is a slippery slope on the way to disordered eating.  If you only allow yourself a set number of calories every day, you may not be giving your body the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Tips for Safe Calorie Counting

1. Focus on nutrition. Rather than strictly counting calories, focus on getting the right amounts of nutrients—healthy fats, protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals—you need to really be healthy. It’s also important to learn to recognize portion sizes so you do not eat too much.

2. Listen to your body. Pay attention to those cues your body is giving you. Eat when you’re hungry, and stop eating when you are satisfied.

3. Pay more attention to inches than pounds. Take your measurements once a week and pay attention to how your clothes fit. The number on a scale isn’t always an accurate depiction of whether you are getting healthier or not—and that is the ultimate goal.

4. Put technology to use. There are some apps available that can help you track not only your calories, but your nutrition as well. MyFitnessPal is just one of the many available for iPhone and Android.

Betty Murray, CN, IFMCP, CHC is a Certified Nutritionist & Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner with the Institute for Functional Medicine and founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Living Well Dallas and she is the Executive Director of the the Functional Medicine Association of North Texas. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. She specializes in autoimmune conditions, MTHFR, digestive disorders and complex health issues.  Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

And First Prize Goes To…

By Betty Murray

It’s important to eat a healthy diet every day, but there are some foods—called “superfoods”—that provide even more nutrients and health benefits. It you want to look great and feel great, here are seven superfoods you should eat every day:

Water. Your body needs water to live. Period. You cannot expect your body and its systems to function correctly without water. Every day, through sweat and tears, you lose water, and that water must be replenished. Of course, the best option is to consume pure water, but you may also increase your water intake by consuming food and drinks with high water content (such as tea, cucumber, celery, peppers, lettuce and spinach, strawberries, cabbage, grapefruit, and watermelon).

Greens. Dark, leafy greens, such as spinach and kale are high in vitamins and antioxidants that your body needs to fight illness, stay healthy, be strong, and reach peak function. In addition to kale and spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, and asparagus are other great green veggies you should incorporate into your diet.

Nuts. In moderation, of course, nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats and polyphenols that promote a healthy heart. They are also high in protein, fiber, monounsaturated fats, and antioxidants, and can help keep your cholesterol low. Some of the best nuts include peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, and some pine nuts.

Blueberries. This sweet, tiny fruit contains more antioxidants that at least 40 other common fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants in blueberries can help protect against heart disease, cancer, memory loss, urinary tract infections, and age-related vision loss.

Garlic. With antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, garlic is one of the best foods to fight disease and illness. It also has many heart health benefits, and can drastically reduce your risk of cancer. All you need to do is eat at least one clove of garlic a day to get the health benefits of this superfood, so chop or crush it up and add it into your next meal.

Olive oil. Olives contain one of the healthiest fats in the world in their oil. Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), raises good cholesterol (HDL), and can protect artery walls from a buildup of cholesterol. Olive oil also contains high amounts of antioxidants. The healthiest olive oils are virgin, extra virgin, or cold-pressed oils.

Flaxseed. If you need to up your fiber intake (and who doesn’t?), eating just a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed a day will do the trick. Flaxseed is also linked to lower rates of certain hormone-related cancers, including breast cancer. Flaxseed also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent acne and asthma. (Be sure you’re consuming ground flaxseed to get all the health benefits!)

Eat this one superfood with every meal:

Spinach is one (of a handful) of superfoods you could eat with any meal. Because of its subtle taste, spinach is very versatile. Throw it into a smoothie, sauté it with your eggs in the morning, or eat it as a healthy side or salad with your lunch or dinner. The more spinach you can fit into your diet, the healthier you will be. There’s no such thing as too much spinach!

Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

And First Prize Goes To…

By Betty Murray

It’s important to eat a healthy diet every day, but there are some foods—called “superfoods”—that provide even more nutrients and health benefits. It you want to look great and feel great, here are seven superfoods you should eat every day:

Water. Your body needs water to live. Period. You cannot expect your body and its systems to function correctly without water. Every day, through sweat and tears, you lose water, and that water must be replenished. Of course, the best option is to consume pure water, but you may also increase your water intake by consuming food and drinks with high water content (such as tea, cucumber, celery, peppers, lettuce and spinach, strawberries, cabbage, grapefruit, and watermelon).

Greens. Dark, leafy greens, such as spinach and kale are high in vitamins and antioxidants that your body needs to fight illness, stay healthy, be strong, and reach peak function. In addition to kale and spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, and asparagus are other great green veggies you should incorporate into your diet.

Nuts. In moderation, of course, nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats and polyphenols that promote a healthy heart. They are also high in protein, fiber, monounsaturated fats, and antioxidants, and can help keep your cholesterol low. Some of the best nuts include peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, and some pine nuts.

Blueberries. This sweet, tiny fruit contains more antioxidants that at least 40 other common fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants in blueberries can help protect against heart disease, cancer, memory loss, urinary tract infections, and age-related vision loss.

Garlic. With antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, garlic is one of the best foods to fight disease and illness. It also has many heart health benefits, and can drastically reduce your risk of cancer. All you need to do is eat at least one clove of garlic a day to get the health benefits of this superfood, so chop or crush it up and add it into your next meal.

Olive oil. Olives contain one of the healthiest fats in the world in their oil. Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), raises good cholesterol (HDL), and can protect artery walls from a buildup of cholesterol. Olive oil also contains high amounts of antioxidants. The healthiest olive oils are virgin, extra virgin, or cold-pressed oils.

Flaxseed. If you need to up your fiber intake (and who doesn’t?), eating just a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed a day will do the trick. Flaxseed is also linked to lower rates of certain hormone-related cancers, including breast cancer. Flaxseed also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent acne and asthma. (Be sure you’re consuming ground flaxseed to get all the health benefits!)

Eat this one superfood with every meal:

Spinach is one (of a handful) of superfoods you could eat with any meal. Because of its subtle taste, spinach is very versatile. Throw it into a smoothie, sauté it with your eggs in the morning, or eat it as a healthy side or salad with your lunch or dinner. The more spinach you can fit into your diet, the healthier you will be. There’s no such thing as too much spinach!

Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

And First Prize Goes To…

By Betty Murray

It’s important to eat a healthy diet every day, but there are some foods—called “superfoods”—that provide even more nutrients and health benefits. It you want to look great and feel great, here are seven superfoods you should eat every day:

Water. Your body needs water to live. Period. You cannot expect your body and its systems to function correctly without water. Every day, through sweat and tears, you lose water, and that water must be replenished. Of course, the best option is to consume pure water, but you may also increase your water intake by consuming food and drinks with high water content (such as tea, cucumber, celery, peppers, lettuce and spinach, strawberries, cabbage, grapefruit, and watermelon).

Greens. Dark, leafy greens, such as spinach and kale are high in vitamins and antioxidants that your body needs to fight illness, stay healthy, be strong, and reach peak function. In addition to kale and spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, and asparagus are other great green veggies you should incorporate into your diet.

Nuts. In moderation, of course, nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats and polyphenols that promote a healthy heart. They are also high in protein, fiber, monounsaturated fats, and antioxidants, and can help keep your cholesterol low. Some of the best nuts include peanuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, and some pine nuts.

Blueberries. This sweet, tiny fruit contains more antioxidants that at least 40 other common fruits and vegetables. The antioxidants in blueberries can help protect against heart disease, cancer, memory loss, urinary tract infections, and age-related vision loss.

Garlic. With antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, garlic is one of the best foods to fight disease and illness. It also has many heart health benefits, and can drastically reduce your risk of cancer. All you need to do is eat at least one clove of garlic a day to get the health benefits of this superfood, so chop or crush it up and add it into your next meal.

Olive oil. Olives contain one of the healthiest fats in the world in their oil. Olive oil lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), raises good cholesterol (HDL), and can protect artery walls from a buildup of cholesterol. Olive oil also contains high amounts of antioxidants. The healthiest olive oils are virgin, extra virgin, or cold-pressed oils.

Flaxseed. If you need to up your fiber intake (and who doesn’t?), eating just a tablespoon or two of ground flaxseed a day will do the trick. Flaxseed is also linked to lower rates of certain hormone-related cancers, including breast cancer. Flaxseed also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent acne and asthma. (Be sure you’re consuming ground flaxseed to get all the health benefits!)

Eat this one superfood with every meal:

Spinach is one (of a handful) of superfoods you could eat with any meal. Because of its subtle taste, spinach is very versatile. Throw it into a smoothie, sauté it with your eggs in the morning, or eat it as a healthy side or salad with your lunch or dinner. The more spinach you can fit into your diet, the healthier you will be. There’s no such thing as too much spinach!

Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

What’s Your Score?

By Betty Murray

Do you know what your blood pressure is? Knowing your score is important in maintaining your health.

Blood pressure is generally recorded as two numbers in ratio form. The top number— systolic pressure—is a measure of the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle is contracting). The bottom number in the ratio—diastolic blood pressure—is a measure of the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting).

What should my blood pressure be?

This chart reflects the various blood pressure categories as defined by the American Heart Association.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 11.25.48 AM

Adults 20 and older should have their blood pressure checked at their regular healthcare checkups every one to two years, unless you are known to have low or high blood pressure, in which case your doctor may want to monitor your numbers more closely.

Systolic blood pressure is generally of more concern to doctors, as it is systolic pressure that is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in people over 50. It is typical for this number to rise steadily with age, but a healthy individual should be able to maintain a systolic blood pressure below 140.

What are the dangers of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure has been identified with increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. Due to these serious risks associated with high blood pressure, if you consistently have higher than normal readings, you should speak to your doctor about treatment.

There are several risk factors for high blood pressure, including:

• Race — African-Americans are at the highest risk for high blood pressure.
• Age — More men age 45 and under have high blood pressure than women in the same age group, however. women age 65 and older are at a higher risk for high blood pressure than men. Though rare, children can also develop hypertension.
• Family history — If you have a close relative who has high blood pressure, you are more likely to develop high blood pressure. Be sure your healthcare provider is aware of your family history.
• Poor diet — A diet that is high in salt has been linked to high blood pressure. Consuming high amounts of calories, fat, and sugar content can increase your chances of obesity, which is also a risk factor for high blood pressure.
• Weight — Being overweight increase your risk of high blood pressure. Losing just 10 to 20 pounds can lower your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
• Alcohol — Regular, heavy alcohol use significantly increases your risk for high blood pressure.

Stress, smoking, and sleep apnea may also be connected to high blood pressure, although science has not proven these factors to be a cause of high blood pressure.

It’s important to know that a single high blood pressure reading does not mean you have pre-hypertension or hypertension, but consistently high readings over time might be an indicator that treatment is needed.

For more information on high blood pressure, click here.

What are the dangers of low blood pressure?

Unless you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, low blood pressure is generally no reason to be concerned.

• Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
• Dehydration
• Lack of concentration
• Blurred vision
• Nausea
• Fatigue
• Depression
• Rapid, shallow breathing
• Cold, clammy, or pale skin

There are several conditions that may cause low blood pressure, including:

• Prolonged bed rest
• Pregnancy
• Decreased blood volume
• Certain medications
• Heart or endocrine problems
• Severe infection
• Allergic reaction
• Nutritional deficiencies

For more information on low blood pressure, click here.

Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

 

What’s Your Score?

By Betty Murray

Do you know what your blood pressure is? Knowing your score is important in maintaining your health.

Blood pressure is generally recorded as two numbers in ratio form. The top number— systolic pressure—is a measure of the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle is contracting). The bottom number in the ratio—diastolic blood pressure—is a measure of the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting).

What should my blood pressure be?

This chart reflects the various blood pressure categories as defined by the American Heart Association.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 11.25.48 AM

Adults 20 and older should have their blood pressure checked at their regular healthcare checkups every one to two years, unless you are known to have low or high blood pressure, in which case your doctor may want to monitor your numbers more closely.

Systolic blood pressure is generally of more concern to doctors, as it is systolic pressure that is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in people over 50. It is typical for this number to rise steadily with age, but a healthy individual should be able to maintain a systolic blood pressure below 140.

What are the dangers of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure has been identified with increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. Due to these serious risks associated with high blood pressure, if you consistently have higher than normal readings, you should speak to your doctor about treatment.

There are several risk factors for high blood pressure, including:

• Race — African-Americans are at the highest risk for high blood pressure.
• Age — More men age 45 and under have high blood pressure than women in the same age group, however. women age 65 and older are at a higher risk for high blood pressure than men. Though rare, children can also develop hypertension.
• Family history — If you have a close relative who has high blood pressure, you are more likely to develop high blood pressure. Be sure your healthcare provider is aware of your family history.
• Poor diet — A diet that is high in salt has been linked to high blood pressure. Consuming high amounts of calories, fat, and sugar content can increase your chances of obesity, which is also a risk factor for high blood pressure.
• Weight — Being overweight increase your risk of high blood pressure. Losing just 10 to 20 pounds can lower your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
• Alcohol — Regular, heavy alcohol use significantly increases your risk for high blood pressure.

Stress, smoking, and sleep apnea may also be connected to high blood pressure, although science has not proven these factors to be a cause of high blood pressure.

It’s important to know that a single high blood pressure reading does not mean you have pre-hypertension or hypertension, but consistently high readings over time might be an indicator that treatment is needed.

For more information on high blood pressure, click here.

What are the dangers of low blood pressure?

Unless you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, low blood pressure is generally no reason to be concerned.

• Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
• Dehydration
• Lack of concentration
• Blurred vision
• Nausea
• Fatigue
• Depression
• Rapid, shallow breathing
• Cold, clammy, or pale skin

There are several conditions that may cause low blood pressure, including:

• Prolonged bed rest
• Pregnancy
• Decreased blood volume
• Certain medications
• Heart or endocrine problems
• Severe infection
• Allergic reaction
• Nutritional deficiencies

For more information on low blood pressure, click here.

Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.

 

What’s Your Score?

By Betty Murray

Do you know what your blood pressure is? Knowing your score is important in maintaining your health.

Blood pressure is generally recorded as two numbers in ratio form. The top number— systolic pressure—is a measure of the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle is contracting). The bottom number in the ratio—diastolic blood pressure—is a measure of the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting).

What should my blood pressure be?

This chart reflects the various blood pressure categories as defined by the American Heart Association.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 11.25.48 AM

Adults 20 and older should have their blood pressure checked at their regular healthcare checkups every one to two years, unless you are known to have low or high blood pressure, in which case your doctor may want to monitor your numbers more closely.

Systolic blood pressure is generally of more concern to doctors, as it is systolic pressure that is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in people over 50. It is typical for this number to rise steadily with age, but a healthy individual should be able to maintain a systolic blood pressure below 140.

What are the dangers of high blood pressure?

High blood pressure has been identified with increased risk of heart attack, heart disease, and stroke. Due to these serious risks associated with high blood pressure, if you consistently have higher than normal readings, you should speak to your doctor about treatment.

There are several risk factors for high blood pressure, including:

• Race — African-Americans are at the highest risk for high blood pressure.
• Age — More men age 45 and under have high blood pressure than women in the same age group, however. women age 65 and older are at a higher risk for high blood pressure than men. Though rare, children can also develop hypertension.
• Family history — If you have a close relative who has high blood pressure, you are more likely to develop high blood pressure. Be sure your healthcare provider is aware of your family history.
• Poor diet — A diet that is high in salt has been linked to high blood pressure. Consuming high amounts of calories, fat, and sugar content can increase your chances of obesity, which is also a risk factor for high blood pressure.
• Weight — Being overweight increase your risk of high blood pressure. Losing just 10 to 20 pounds can lower your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
• Alcohol — Regular, heavy alcohol use significantly increases your risk for high blood pressure.

Stress, smoking, and sleep apnea may also be connected to high blood pressure, although science has not proven these factors to be a cause of high blood pressure.

It’s important to know that a single high blood pressure reading does not mean you have pre-hypertension or hypertension, but consistently high readings over time might be an indicator that treatment is needed.

For more information on high blood pressure, click here.

What are the dangers of low blood pressure?

Unless you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, low blood pressure is generally no reason to be concerned.

• Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
• Dehydration
• Lack of concentration
• Blurred vision
• Nausea
• Fatigue
• Depression
• Rapid, shallow breathing
• Cold, clammy, or pale skin

There are several conditions that may cause low blood pressure, including:

• Prolonged bed rest
• Pregnancy
• Decreased blood volume
• Certain medications
• Heart or endocrine problems
• Severe infection
• Allergic reaction
• Nutritional deficiencies

For more information on low blood pressure, click here.

Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.