Getting Healthy Is Simpler Than You (and Your Doctor) May Think
©2008 Level1Diet.com, Rights granted for unlimited duplication and dissemination as long as the references to Level1Diet.com are left unchanged, and a working link is provided pointing back to /.
Making only a few changes in your diet and getting a little exercise everyday can lengthen your life, reverse most diseases, reduce aches and pains, improve your mood, help you sleep, and fill you will joy. Reading this little health essay can save your life, and give you more of it...
Building a Solid Foundation
God bless our doctors. In today's American medical industry, family or general practice doctors are treated merely as the sales people for the pharmaceutical industry or collection agents for the insurance industry. Focusing on health gets lost somewhere, as they shuffle between these two mega-corporate forces.
Furthermore, health care professionals are paid very poorly by insurance companies. Their payments per patient visit may end up being as little as $20-$30 or perhaps a bit more per visit. Their expenses are increasing at astonishing rates as educational, malpractice insurance, equipment costs, staff salaries, and office costs are skyrocketing.
Considering these factors, it is not surprizing that many physicians are quitting the business and finding other careers. These are talented people. They are not without options. Being a doctor today is not what it appeared to be, back when they entered the profession. Thousands of doctors are taking an early retirement every year in the USA.
This trend can be reversed. When doctors begin to understand the new science behind anti-inflammatory medicine, they see a way to develop a new practice... a way to stay in the profession, to revitalize their own enthusiasm for helping people, and a even way to begin to actually improve their financials.
However, at present, most physicians in the USA are still practicing "disease management" medicine instead of health medicine. The object of each patient meeting is to prescribe medication. Without a "drug therapy" for each symptom presented by a patient, they feel they are wasting their time.
But, when physicians refocus themselves and their patients toward the FOUNDATIONS OF HEALTH, the complexity they see in their clinics every day becomes much simpler to handle. Simpler for the doctors and simpler for the patients.
If the proper foundation is established, successful treatment is possible. Without it, no combination of patented medicines can fix the endless list of painful, degenerative symptoms of modern diseases.
This essay discusses this simple, easy-to-understand foundation. You may read terms and ideas that are not familiar to you. Continue reading. Each of the 12 steps in this program is backed by solid science. Most patients and many of their physicians will not have tried these ideas before. We encourage you to try them. Give yourself a few weeks to discover how easy it can be to build a solid foundation of health.
The Central Problem -- Inflammation
Inflammation is behind ALMOST every single problem you have, and that most of us have. Of course after years of neglect and abuse, the body does develop chronic malfunctions and pains. Those may need separate treatment with different medical therapies from a physician. But you can do a lot to help yourself now, and to help prevent things from getting worse.
There are some things you need to avoid, some things you need to eat, and some supplements you should add to your diet.
But first, there is something you need to understand about inflammation. Inflammation in the body develops as a chronic condition primarily from the balance of fats you are eating: The kind of fats, and the amount of fats.
There is a digestive enzyme called delta-6-desaturase or D6D that controls this process, acting like a train conductor or engineer and telling your body which way to use fats. Too much of some kinds of fats and you become chronically inflamed. The fats flowing through your system need to be in balance, so that your D6D is properly working to minimize your inflammation.
You need to eat about as much omega-3 as omega-6 oil. These oils are essential, meaning your body cannot make them by itself. But they need to be in balance for your D6D to work right -- about a 1-to-1 ratio, roughly two (2) tablespoons of each per day or 10-20 grams each. Most of us Americans eat at least 20 times that much omega-6. Some eat up to 50 times that much. Omega-6 comes in fried foods, salad oils, mayonnaise, processed foods, baked foods, candies, and even in many so-called "heart healthy" products like vegetable-oil margarines, and food bar snacks or meal replacement products.
When omega-6 to omega-3 ratio rises above 2-to-1, we are in trouble. If we're eating little or no omega-3, then we're in trouble all the time, since our ratio is roughly infinitely lopsided in favor of omega-6.
When D6D fails, fats and oils are sent through a process that converts them into inflammatory agents. This process is called the "arachidonic acid inflammatory cascade". During this malfunction, the Cox-2 enzyme is over-stimulated in a runaway chain reaction. This develops into increasing sensations of pain, and other chronic inflammatory problems like arthritis, Alzheimer's, hardening of the arteries, neuropathies, and so on. Powerful "Cox-2 inhibitor" drugs are prescribed to slow this process. But, for many of us, there is a more natural, simpler and less dangerous way to get relief and to slow or even reverse our conditions.
The main job we need to do is simply -- get the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 back in proportion. We will reduce omega-6 and increase omega-3. This will help us get D6D to work again. At least mostly. Of course there is a bit more...
We're also going to minimize some other things that block D6D like saturated fats from animals, sugars, starchy foods, snacks, etc. And, while we're at it, we will add a few things to our diet that we're missing that will help us lower inflammation.
To do this job, you need to AVOID or cut down these 5 foods:
- Minimize the omega-6 vegetable oils like corn oil, salad dressings with mayonnaise, soybean oil, peanut oils, most other seed or nut oils, etc. Olive oil and small amounts of coconut oil are okay. Canola is a second choice and cheaper than olive oil. Olive or canola is okay for most uses. They are very low in omega-6. Coconut oil works for sautes and cooking, soups, etc. Use coconut oil sparingly.
- Minimize saturated animal fats from meats like pork, beef, the skin of chicken or turkey, fish skin, cows milk, cheese and other animal or dairy products. Cows milk products contain a protein called casein that causes chronic inflammation, so avoid all products made from cows milk. Eat either "free range", lean cuts of organic meats, chicken, turkey or fish, or none at all. Butter is a saturated fat, but when used in very small quantities for flavor only, it is okay. Butter's fat molecule is very tiny, only 4 carbon atoms long. When eaten in small amounts like one teaspoon or pad, it is usually burned for energy and not stored as fat in the body. Other animal fats are treated differently by the body due to their molecule size, 18-20 carbon atoms. They are to be avoided whenever possible.
- Minimize or eliminate all processed foods -- boxed, canned, or shrink-wrapped foods. Processed foods contain extra omega-6 oils, sugar, salt, food additives and other ingredients that raise inflammation, some of them directly block the working of D6D. Eat fresh, unpacked fruit and vegetables, meats and fish.
- Avoid adding sugar -- syrups, honey or sweeteners to anything you eat or drink. Avoid canned or bottled soft drinks with sugar or other sweeteners. Do not use or consume even artificial sweeteners.
- Avoid eating highly processed starches like mashed or diced potatoes, carrots or other carbs. Avoid breads, pies, cupcakes, pasta, pastries and other bakery products. Avoid cookies, crackers, biscuits, etc. These become sugar within minutes in the body. Sugar increases inflammation (and insulin resistance), which worsens your conditions.
You SHOULD DO these 7 things:
- Eat a diet based on fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, beans, peas, lentils, spices, teas, oily fish and very lean cuts of poultry (chicken or turkey), beef, venison, or very lean pork. Avoiding meats is best. If you choose to eat meats, eat organic free range meats that have been well trimmed to remove the fat. Your diet should consist of about 55-60% carbohydrates, 25-30% fats and 15-20% protein. Some people may prefer a bit more fat and less protein or carbohydrate, hence the sliding scale. More active people may need slightly more protein and fat, less active may get by with less protein and fat. But the variation is not very large. Everyone needs to be at least moderately active. Usually less total fat and more carbohydrate or protein is better. The fats should be balanced so that you eat about as much omega-3 fish oils as you do omega-6 vegetable oils plus saturated fats, altogether. Olive oils and avocado oils are neutral in this equation. Coconut oils are okay up to two tablespoons per day.
- Eat lots of spices like ginger (the king of spices), cinnamon, turmeric (contains curcumin, turmeric is also called "yellow curry"), red or cayenne pepper, and other "spicy" flavors like chili powder, curries, cardamom, etc. Eat fresh peppers, the hotter the better. These are powerful Cox-2 inhibitors and reduce pain sensations and inflammation throughout the body. They are also powerful anti-oxidant agents and will help you fight the free radicals that cause symptoms of aging. Add ginger powder to coffee, tea or other drinks. Add cinnamon, or turmeric powder to soups, oatmeal porridge, etc. Spice things up all through the day. Your pain will lessen and circulation will improve. It should also help lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Drink 4-to-6 cups or more of green tea. Green tea without sugar or honey sweeteners contains EGCG a powerful anti-oxidant that helps reduce inflammation and also helps kill cancer cells before they become a large tumor. Brown teas or coffee do not contain EGCG like green tea. Drink green tea in addition to any other drinks you may be consuming. Drink 10 or more cups of strong green tea per day. If caffeine bothers you, use the decaf kind. If you're overweight, the caffeine may help you lose weight faster.
- Take 10-12 grams (equals about 2 or 3 tablespoons) of enteric coated, "concentrated" fish oil per day, spread through the day with your meals. The fish oil contains high amounts of both EPA and DHA. Your body cannot make these for itself unless you take a vegetable source of omega-3 like flaxseed oil AND unless your D6D is not blocked by too much omega-6, too much sat-fat from animal products, etc. The fish oil gives you what you need even if your D6D is not working. That's terrific. This is why millions are taking fish oil instead of flax or other sources of omega-3. Fish oil works! This is a primary way to inhibit Cox-2 (the source of inflammation and arthritic pains). When you are eating fish oil, in the absence of high sat-fats from animals or omega-6 from vegetables, your body will produce extremely effective and powerful cox inhibiting anti-inflammatory cytokines called prostaglandin series 3. These directly block the downstream production of the pro-inflammatory compounds your body makes otherwise. Take the fish oil religiously. It will improve your health. The enteric coating will help prevent "fish burps" or tummy aches, especially if you take the capsules with food. A month's supply of enteric coated 1-gram fish oil capsule should cost about $15.00 at a store like Wal-Mart or Costco. Remember to take enough, which is about 10-12 capsules per day, totalling about 360 per month. A big jar or maybe two.
- Take about 400mg of absorbable magnesium (such as magnesium citrate, or any form ending in "-ate") per day. Divide it into 2 doses of 200mg each, take one in the morning and another just before bedtime. Most people with inflammatory diseases are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is essential for your body to fight inflammation. 400mg/day is the recommended dose for most of us.
- Add up to 20 grams of powdered fiber supplement like BeneFiber stirred into your drinks (5 grams per teaspoon), soups or other foods during the day to help insure that you are getting enough fiber. Also eat at least two cups of beans (20 grams fiber), lentils, or peas per day to increase fiber. Apples and pears (4 or 5 grams fiber) are also good sources of fiber. Try to get a total of at least 40 grams fiber per day. This will help eliminate fats from your gut, and lower blood sugar, insulin resistance and inflammation.
- Get at least 40 minutes of low-impact exercise per day. House cleaning, gardening, walking or biking are good. Swimming may be more comfortable to minimize pain. If pain prevents this at first, then slowly increase your movement program daily as your pain levels decrease.
There are other things to do, but these are the "BIG-12" step on the anti-inflammatory hit list. Try this strategy and you'll be doing about 80% of the job. You should start to feel better in a matter of days, Arthritic joint pain should lessen. With this program, you may be able to avoid worsening symptoms, stronger, more dangerous medicines, and surgery. There is hope.
Overall, you need to eat a diet that consists of about 60% colorful, high fiber, high anti-oxidant fruits, berries and vegetables. About 20-25% fats, mainly from fish or fish oil, olives, whole nuts (not the nut oils), avocados, coconut oil and perhaps a little butter. About 15-20% from proteins from beans, lentils, peas, whole nuts, lean cuts of fish and very lean "free range" and organic chicken, turkey, other poultry, and perhaps very lean cuts of well trimmed beef or venison. You should eat lots of spices and take the recommended supplements. As pain lessens, you should perform up to 40 minutes of low-impact, low-stress movement sessions, or activities per day.
WARNING: Your D6D cannot work properly if you drink more than one or two alcoholic drinks per day (1 for women, 2 for men). Also, you may not smoke. It has been proven that D6D is blocked by these activities. If you overdrink alcohol or smoke tobacco, you are limiting the possible success of this diet in reducing inflammation. Caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea are okay.
This diet is similar, but not exactly the same, as that tested by the UCLA Pritikin Longevity Center, and fundamentally supported in its basic outlines by many up-to-date medical authorities.
Share With Your Doctor
Share this information with your physician. Print it out and hand it to your doctor during your next visit. Chances are your physician will not know about the central role that D6D plays in your health. Print out a few more copies for your friends and family. It's easy to understand and can save their lives. For doctors, understanding the science behind the Level1Diet.com program will enrich their medical practice with thousands of healthier and very grateful patients. They will find new enthusiasm in helping people, and begin again to enjoy their work. And, as people begin to spread the word about how their newly-informed and enthusiastic doctor has helped them, they will reap well deserved financial rewards.
The Level1Diet.com anti-inflammatory health program is a very simple, healthy program that most doctors would also recommend. If your present physician does not agree with this program, you may want to look for a better informed health professional. Thousands of well-informed physicians across the country now understand the science behind this program. More are being converted every day, as they begin to learn about the science from medical journals. Much of the anti-inflammatory science is recently discovered. Little has made its way into medical school textbooks or class studies in medical university curriculums. Unfortunately in the past, many doctors were never traditionally well-trained in nutrition, nor even in the details of recent anti-inflammatory diet strategies. However, today many are coming around to supporting this approach.
Good luck to you, we know you can do it!
* All information on Level1Diet.com is for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Before changing your diet, or adding supplements to your diet, or beginning an exercise program, everyone should consult a qualified and licensed health practitioner; a physician, dietician or similar professional.
Biographical information on Dr. Paul Erlich was provided by WikiPedia.org