Dr. Mercola, in an article written recently identifies four dietary and lifestyle factors that can make you sick and lead to premature death. And the first of these factors is our old enemy, SUGAR! A diet high in sugar, processed fructose and grains causes a host of health problems as we have seen in past posts on this site. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, depression and dementia are but a few of the consequences of excess sugar consumption. Dr. Mercola goes on to show how processed foods are the main culprit. Added sugars hide in processed foods using more than 60 different names. It is really difficult to be aware of just how much sugar you eat on a daily basis. And to compound the problem, the food industry continues to use hidden sugars to promote take and make these processed foods addicting. Obesity alone is associated with one in five deaths in the United States but sugar can also directly adversely affect specific genes that govern youthfulness and longevity. By eliminating non-vegetable carbohydrates investigators are able to make animals including roundworms, mice and monkeys live six times longer than normal, keeping their health and youthful vigor till the end. Humans also have these same genes, indicating that these results should also apply to us.
Artificial sweeteners do take a toll on your health. They stimulate appetite and increase cravings for carbs. They also produce metabolic disequilibrium resulting in fat storage and weight gain. Artificial sweeteners also promote other health problems associated with excess sugar consumption including heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, artificial sweeteners have been found to induce gut dysbiosis ( an imbalance of good to bad bacteria in the GI tract) and glucose intolerance in otherwise healthy people!
The third factor that can rob your life of years is trans-fat consumption. Remember, for decades, saturated fats were said to cause heart disease. The food industry, in response replaced saturated fats with trans fats creating a whole new market of low fat but high sugar foods. Americans’ health has plummeted ever since. Trans fat is a pro-oxidant causing cellular damage. They can cause clotting, stroke and dementia and you can succumb to sudden death. And moreover, there is no safe threshold for trans-fats. These are to be avoided. Read ingredients carefully!
The forth factor which can raise your mortality rate is low Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is really a hormone and there are Vitamin D receipts on all of the major organs of the body. You need to optimize your levels so that you can prevent disease and live a longer, healthier life. Vitamin D is important inCardiovascular disease for reducing high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Vitamin D is also a potent immune modulator and can prevent autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D supplementation can reduce flare-ups of COPD by 40% in lung disease patients. Vitamin D also fights infections including colds and the flu. Vitamin D is needed for brain health and to decrease incidences of depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s. And Vitamin D also has a number of anti-cancer effects including the promotion of cancer cell death. The question is: WHY WOULDN’T YPOU OPTIMIZE YOUR VITAMIN D LEVELS?
Your health and your life are in your hands. Only you can prevent disease and only you have the choice of living a healthier, longer and more productive life. Thanks for reading!