Friday, April 14, 2017

Lenten health re-run 6.2: Seven keys to reversing diabesity

 7 Keys to reversing diabesity

The Lenten Re-run of 3/31 was about “Five for Life” – 5 lifestyle changes that would help restore us to health. Some of these 7 Keys will sound familiar; Dr. Hyman’s recommendations definitely echo and reiterate those 5 lifestyle changes. Last week's update discussed the "new epidemic" of what he calls "diabesity," here are his seven keys to reducing risk and even reversing diabesity:

1.      Boost nutrition
The Standard American Diet is nutrient-poor, calorie rich, low fiber, and high sugar; it has led to a nation of overfed yet undernourished people who consume less than their body requirements of vitamin D, magnesium, chromium, zinc, and antioxidants. Whole fresh food is the most potent medicine to treat or prevent diabesity.

2.      Regulate hormones
Hormones are all interconnected and act together like a musical symphony. When it is playing out of tune, problems arise. Overcoming or preventing diabesity involves identifying and treating thyroid imbalances that control metabolism, overactive stress hormones that worsen insulin resistance and blood sugar levels, and insulin imbalance and its harmful effects on many body functions.

3.      Reduce inflammation
Inflammation causes insulin resistance, which in turn causes inflammation.  Other common sources are sugar, refined carbohydrates, omega-6 fats (soybean or corn oil), artificial sweeteners, hidden food allergens and sensitivities, chronic infections, imbalance in gut bacteria, environmental toxins, stress, and sedentary lifestyle. Locating and treating your particular sources of inflammation will help address many health-related issues.

4.      Improve digestion
The Standard American Diet has drastically altered the essential bacteria of our digestive tracts, and many other modern “inventions” – aspirin, acid blockers, steroids, antibiotics – injure the gut. Undertake the four “R”s – remove the bad choices from the diet; replace needed enzymes, fiber, and pre-biotics; reinoculate the gut with good bacteria and probiotics, and repair the gut lining with omega-3 fats, zinc, glutamine, and other leading nutrients.

5.      Maximize detoxification
Environmental toxins interfere with blood sugar and cholesterol metabolism and cause insulin resistance; they also may cause an increase in appetite and interfere with brain signals that control hunger. Toxins must be addressed in any plan to treat or prevent diabesity.

6.      Enhance energy metabolism
Metabolism turns calories and oxygen into the energy that fuels every cell in our bodies; people with diabesity don’t produce energy as efficiently, often because of “oxidative stress” - like the rust on a car or the brown coloration on the cut side of an apple. Many of us are familiar with the symptoms of low energy: fatigue, weight gain, memory loss, chronic pain. Combine the other 6 keys with an activity regimen that includes at least 30 minutes of exercise four times a week to enhance energy metabolism.

7.      Soothe your mind
In the face of chronic stress, our levels of insulin, cortisol, and inflammatory compounds all increase. This drives what Dr. Hyman calls “the relentless metabolic dysfunction” that leads to weight gain, insulin resistance, and, ultimately, diabetes. Managing stress – through relaxation therapies, meditation, yoga, exercise, massage, laughter, and many other strategies – is a critical component in the treatment or prevention of diabesity.

This two-part health update is certainly a lot of information; much more detailed research findings are available online. I have become more and more interested in the interrelationships of diet, exercise, mood, rest and sleep, light, vitamin D, etc. as we have gone through these 7 weeks of health-related topics. I hope to continue to change for the better and to be the healthy person that God intended!  Have a blessed Easter!
Donna Swope
"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV) (my favorite version!)

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