In today's hectic, grab-and-go world, it can be difficult to resist fast foods and processed meals. But paying more attention to what we eat and taking time to prepare more nutritious foods can help improve our health, our hearts -- and our lives -- tremendously.
In our fast-paced world, we are used to looking for quick-fix solutions to our health challenges, not realizing that these "solutions" in fact may contribute to our problems.
Does our present high-sugar diet do to us what the "garbage dump diet" did to the baboons? Weight gain, pre-diabetes and alarming cholesterol elevations are all results of our diet too. Like the baboons, we humans will certainly respond to dietary insults in a variety of ways.
Midway through the 20th century, heart disease caused one of every two deaths in the United States. While doctors traced the heart problems to clogged arteries, they didn't know what caused those clogs. It was exactly the kind of riddle Dr. Ancel Keys loved trying to solve.
An old hippy seeker once told me that after investigating all religions and beliefs, he came to the conclusion that life is about the daily struggle within ourselves to conquer our temptations: i.e. to let our better natures overcome our baser instincts... Since I was too lazy and pre-occupied to check it out myself, I accepted his conclusion and tried to live by it.
Critics don't want to admit that they've run out of criticisms of Obamacare. The website is working, enrollments are surging, and millions of Americans are getting affordable, high-quality health insurance.
Oops. Fifty years of doctors' advice and government eating guidelines have been wrong. We've been told to swap eggs for cereal. But that recommendation is dead wrong. In fact, it's very likely that this bad advice has killed millions of Americans.
It should go without saying that cardiovascular disease is a very serious issue; however, many people are simply unaware of what exactly heart disease is and how to recognize the signs.
If it were truly clear exactly what criteria for statin use were best, there would be no controversy in the first place. There appear to be strengths and weaknesses to both sets of criteria, the old and the new.
Whether we're talking about broad public health prescriptions or individual prescriptions, it's all a matter of benefit versus risk, and that requires a careful look at the evidence. Doctors and patients alike may find themselves understandably confused by changing guidelines and the uncertainty inherent in predicting the future.
The new cholesterol guidelines represent a sea change in that they no longer recommend patients shoot for a target cholesterol level. Instead, they recommend options based on an individual's risk of a heart attack or stroke.
If there's one number the health-conscious know, it's their cholesterol level.
Remember, not all fats are bad! Eliminating all fats from your diet will result in missing out on essential nutrients found in unsaturated fats.
All told, we have here an unsafe, unnecessary product that will now be recommended to healthy people to make them sicker, all when simple, health-fortifying lifestyle changes have been proven to be effective and globally transformative in ways no pill could ever hope to be.
We currently have a statin epidemic, with 25 percent of adults over the age of 45 taking the pills, a large majority of whom do not have heart disease and have not seen the numbers.
Demonizing saturated fat never helped us much. Canonizing it now won't help us any either. All who share a concern for eating well and the health advances that can come from it must band together to renounce the perennial branding of this, that, or the other food component as scapegoat or saint.