Our nation is in the midst of a national epidemic. It has become a worldwide pandemic. We have become a population that is overweight or obese. It is an epidemic because being overweight is directly linked to a cause of chronic illnesses including cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and dementia. It is also the cause of chronic fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Fifty five percent of our population is overweight or obese. This is projected to increase to over 60% by 2020.
The leading causes of death today are these tragic chronic illnesses – cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and dementia – which were relatively obscure until approximately 70 years ago. What has happened? What can we do about it? Major medical associations, supported by current research, estimate that up to 80% of the incidents of these chronic illnesses can be eliminated by some “simple steps” (according to the American Heart Association) that involve diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight. It is clear we need to get rid of excess fat.
How to Lose Weight. Finding a Diet Plan That Works.
The next series of posts on this blog site will detail how you can lose weight. If you have a desire to lose weight and get rid of extra fat, you will find these posts valuable. I will provide specific steps you need to take to lose weight based upon recent medical research that wasn’t known until a few years ago. This is not “secret” information that you can only find in this diet plan. The information is available to anyone.
Medical research has made major discoveries since the popularity of the major diet plans of the 90’s – the low-carb diets, the low-fat diets, the Atkins diet, the South Beach diet, etc. These new medical discoveries must be incorporated into any diet plan you use if it is going to be healthy, effective, and sustainable.
There are some key principles of physiology that are important for you to understand before beginning a diet plan. To begin dieting to lose weight without an understanding of how our bodies work will, at best, probably be unsuccessful; and, at worst will be unhealthy.
A healthy body weight supports a healthy immune system.
The purpose of this website is to provide information on how to restore the health of your immune system. If your immune system is healthy, it will keep you healthy. It will protect you from harmful bacteria, viruses, and rogue cancer cells. A healthy immune system will stop cancer in its tracks.
Medical research has recently proven that being overweight is a direct cause in suppressing the immune system. Specifically, excess body fat is a direct causal factor of immune suppression. Reading these research studies was an “Aha” moment for me. It connected many of the dots concerning immune suppression and sugar.
Major Medical Associations
Major medical associations are in one accord in recommending lifestyle changes that involve maintaining a healthy body weight. The following information is taken directly from their web sites. I have included the links to each organization. Each of these web-sites provide extensive research concerning “lifestyle changes” connected to good health.
Research has shown that poor diet and not being active are two key factors that increase a person’s cancer risk. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of several cancers. The evidence is strong, cancer is linked to poor diet, physical inactivity, and carrying too much weight. According to the American Cancer Association, the good news is that you can do something about this. Some of the most important things you can do to help reduce your cancer risk are:
- Get to and stay at a healthy weight throughout life.
- Be physically active on a regular basis.
- Make healthy food choices with a focus on plant-based foods.
American Cancer Society – Diet and Physical Activity. The Cancer Connection
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Stroke is number four. One reason these statistics are facts is undeniably a lack of commitment to a heart healthy lifestyle. Your lifestyle is not only your best defense against heart disease and stroke, it’s also your responsibility. By following some “simple” steps you can reduce all of the modifiable risk factors for heart disease, heart attacks and stroke. The simple steps include:
- choose good nutrition
- be physically active every day
- aim for a healthy weight
American Heart Association – Lifestyle Changes
The recently completed Diabetes Prevention Program study conclusively showed that people with pre-diabetes can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes by making changes in their diet and increasing their level of physical activity. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented through modest lifestyle changes and losing about 5 to 7% of body weight.
American Diabetes Association – Small Steps to Your Health
Four of the most prominent chronic diseases – cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and type 2 diabetes – are linked by common and preventable biological risk factors, notably high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and overweight, and by related major behavioral risk factors: unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and tobacco use.
Regular physical activity and the maintenance of a healthy body weight, along with a healthy diet, will considerably reduce cancer risk. The key message to protect heart health:
- Tobacco use, unhealthy diet,and physical inactivity increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Engaging in physical activity for at least 30 min. every day of the week will help to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
- Eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and limiting your salt intake to less than 1 teaspoon a day, also helps to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
- Unhealthy diets and physical inactivity are key risk factors for the major non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes.
World Health Organization – Diet, Physical Activity, and Health
The American Medical Association has published The American Medical Association Complete Guide to Prevention and Wellness which stresses that, based upon the latest clinical research, eating certain foods, increasing physical activity, and maintaining the proper weight can help you avoid some of the most common chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure.
American Medical Association – Prevention and Wellness