Have you tried to lose some weight? How is that coming along? If you are like most folks, it is very difficult to do. And even if you do, there is a likelihood the weight will come back. Is there any approach that works?
One of the people that seemed to be the first to single out fat and processed foods as the culprit in a bad diet was Nathan Pritikin. He advocated a lower fat level than the American Heart Association. Of course, since he was suffering from heart disease himself when he started, it is interesting to see where he wound up. In his book Live Longer Now, Pritikin went into some detail about the early diets of man. And how evolution did not appreciably change man's metabolism. As a result, he believed that if we followed the eating habits of early man, we would be healthier. He found that vitamin pills were of questionable benefit since many people excreted most of the pill in their feces. The body had not evolved to process nutrients in pill or synthetic form.
Pritikin was called a lot of names, mostly an imposter. In one article, it is pointed out that Pritikin committed suicide, implicating his diet as the genesis of his cancer. The fact is that Pritikin suffered from leukemia early in his life and went into remission. It was after he was convinced to try chemotherapy after 27 years of remission, that the leukemia returned. In pain and being told he would die soon, Pritikin chose to leave this life early. But it did not diminish the idea that processed foods and fats were responsible for our poor health. The Pritikin Longevity Centers continue to help folks reclaim their health.
More recently, the Caveman Diet is being extolled. It is also called The Paleolithic Diet or the Stone Age Diet. The idea is that if it did not exist in caveman days, don't eat it. This includes breads, grains, refined sugars, dairy and processed oils.
The Mayo Clinic states that metabolism won't change much. As a result, their recommendation is similar to Pritikin's. Eat a healthy diet and exercise more. And as more research takes place, we are finding that the foods we eat can either make us sick or cure our ills. One such example is watermelon. It has been found to prevent kidney disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, heat stroke, macular degeneration and impotence.
Other research has shown an association between the consumption of diets rich in fruits and vegetables and a lower risk for diseases like cancer and heart disease. A closer study of these plants has provided evidence of health-promoting potential. For example, phytochemicals are bioactive compounds that not considered to be traditional nutrients. Strawberries have ellagic acid and certain flavonoids. These compounds have antioxidant power that help to lower the risk of heart events. Strawberries also furnish anticancer activity. Preliminary animal studies indicate that diets rich in strawberries may also provide benefits to the aging brain.
If you are looking for a nice breakfast, consider making french toast with sour dough bread. Instead of using syrup, top the toast with a dollop of whipped topping and sprinkle with cut fruit rich in berries and watermelon. The result is a refreshing repast that is actually good for you.
And then there is tuna, a fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids that is known to raise the good cholesterol and lower the bad stuff. It seems to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Although some folks prefer to use omega-3 capsules, eating the fish itself may provide additional nutrients that help us to thrive. There is the niacin contained in tuna that helps prevent the onset of certain degenerative neurological disorders. One study indicates that niacin prevents the loss of cognition in mice suffering from Alzheimer's. There is speculation that if healthy people ate tuna, some aspects of their memory might improve.
By understanding the correlation between our health and the foods we eat, we can improve our body's functions. Less disease leads to lower insurance claim costs. Lower claim costs leads to lower premiums. Obamacare does not encourage people to live a healthier life style. One thought would be to receive a premium credit if you have a gym membership or have exercise equipment in conjunction with normal blood pressure results and normal A1c lab test results.
Most of all, following a healthy diet with moderate exercise will help you take advantage of the additional years that come along with the medical advances of the 21st century. Those so-called golden years will become golden. But before you embark on that voyage, talk to your doctor to make sure you won't be harmed by either the diet or the exercise. Some people may have allergies or health conditions that can be worsened by the suggestions contained here.
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