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Thursday, August 11, 2016

We NEED a healthy dose of lifestyle medicine

Numerous attempts of attaining, keeping and maintaining good health and wellbeing is at the top of many people's minds. How could it not when there is so much information in the media with regard to the right diet to follow or the correct cholesterol level that we should have or what the right blood pressure is for you....the list is endless. 

According to Asseem Malhotra, a cardiologist at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, "governments have issued 'low fat' dietary advice, while consumption of sugars and refined carbohydrates has soared. The result has been twin epidemics of type 2 diabetes and obesity". Along with all of that, don't forget that there will be a hefty-sized bill attached to that elusive medical finding.

Furthermore, he believes that a myth exists regarding the dangers of saturated fat which "should" be removed in order to minimize cardiovascular disease. Once again, a myth. He also believes that millions of people have been wrongly overmedicated with statins for lowering cholesterol levels. Instead, he looks at how sugar has caused such problems in the role of diabetes.

On the topic of diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, it seems that its management has been counterintuitive for quite a long time. The current understanding of this disease is that it is both a chronic and irreversible condition. This can be seen as quite debatable and even incorrect. The recent findings about diabetes is that it is treated with drugs that are expensive. Additionally, these drugs may work only slightly to reduce complications from kidney, eye and nerve disease as well a bring a host of side effects that can tack on about 100,000 emergency room visits a year in the United States alone.

Another finding and more meaningful conclusion with regard to medical research was made by John Ioannidis, professor of medicine and health policy at Stanford University, stating that the most published medical research is likely to be incorrect. "The greater the financial interests in a given field, the less likely the research findings are to be true".

There is no doubt -- and it has been proven by recognizable, reliable sources -- that combining a nutritious diet with the right type of exercise and stress reduction is compelling enough evidence to ward off chronic disease and even slow the aging process. To learn more about why a healthy dose of lifestyle medicine is the best medicine, refer to documentary film, The Big Fat Fix, with the co-producer being the author of this article, Asseem Malhotra. Another great resource is found in the Blue Zones, a study on longevity which was begun in 2004 by Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and New York Times best-selling author. Eat well, be well.

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