With all our cutting-edge technology and powerful drugs, and despite the sharp decline in the death rate, half of all Americans still die of preventable disease, often before reaching age 30. Every year more than a million Americans suffer heart attacks, and almost as many more million suffer strokes—a life-changing, irreversible injury that may result in serious disabilities.
Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a board certified family physician and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. He is the author of several books including The New York Times bestsellers Eat to Live; Super Immunity; The End of Dieting; and The End of Diabetes. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and research director of The Nutritional Research Foundation. He is also on the science advisory board of Whole Foods Market.
Question: We’ve been told to stay away from red meat, dairy and cheese—foods high in saturated fats—because saturated fat is bad for the heart. But today some people are arguing that sugar is the real culprit. What is the skinny on fat? (more…)
Waking Up Well. According to the glossy Retirement Community brochures and the sexy Cialis commercials, our golden years promise to include long walks on the beach, golf and games with friends, and loving physical contact when the “time is right.” So if you can handle a few laugh lines, age spots and gray hair, and find a trendy pair of reading glasses that enhance your intellectual demeanor, life is worth the wait as the final chapters are best.
But more and more of us are suffering as we age. Dementia, diabetes, heart disease and arthritis make us sore, stiff and slow. Our time is spent with specialists and our money goes to medications. Instead of waking up well, we wake up feeling disabled, depleted and disappointed.
Over the past decade, we’ve had a mind-boggling increase in what is fast emerging as the most serious and costly health problem in the U.S.: morbid obesity. About 35 percent or 72 million American adults are obese, and of that number, 7 million adults are morbidly obese, a health condition which substantially raises the risk of mortality (death) and morbidity (chronic disease).
The rate of obesity has increased by almost 25 percent but the rate of morbid obesity has grown even faster: people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) over 40 increased by 50 percent. Perhaps most alarmingly, people with a BMI over 50—extreme obesity—grew by 75 percent, three times faster than the rate of obesity. Our children are not immune from the epidemic; we’ve seen a 300 percent increase in overweight children. Obesity-conditions are the fastest growing cause of death, and the second leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.
The World Health Organization would really like it if you put down that soda.
In March, the United Nations’ health agency came out with new recommendations for sugar consumption that might ruin your next ice cream sundae. Citing research from 9,000 studies – because we needed 9,000 studies and an international coalition of health experts to tell us that Big Gulps are not a good idea – WHO dropped its recommended daily sugar intake to 5 percent of total calories consumed. (The previous recommendation had been 10 percent of total calories consumed.)
Under the 5-percent guideline, a person who consumes 2,000 calories a day should limit sugar intake to 25 grams. To give you some context, a 12-ounce can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar, which puts you well over your daily recommended limit before you dip a single French fry into that sweet ketchup, or consider the sugar in the cereal, milk, bagel or juice you had for breakfast. (more…)