Friday, October 29, 2010

This Isn't the Whole Equation to Manhood But it is To Health

Just read this article and had to laugh.  It's funny but true.  In my opinion there is more to manhood but achieving manliness without following principles of this article is impossible.
Man or Woman?
You SUCK as a MAN
"You can’t stop sucking when anything more vigorous than abusing an elliptical causes serious injury."
"You can’t stop sucking when the only way you could do 10 pushups is by finishing the last 8 in the modified position, like a girl – remember, you’re turning into a woman."
"You can’t stop sucking when you eat low-fat, no protein, and whole grains (any grains, really), like pasta, wheat bread and Cheerios. Or snack wells. Or M&M’s. Those food groups jack with your manliness, bind up testosterone, increase body fat and reduce muscle tissue (not to mention a bunch of other things)."
Are you healthy, are you strong, do you not SUCK as a MAN?


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hand Sanitizers

So, going through my normal routine today, I realized how often I use hand sanitizers or alcohol wipes. Whenever I drop my son off at pre-school, it's the first thing I do when I get back in the car. Yah I'm probably a little obsessive about it. You know (or at least you've been told) that school or daycare is a breeding ground for germs. My question would be, is it really helping me from getting sick from the spread of germs? I think so, but that's only because of the past 30 years of becoming a germaphobe from everything you read or hear. You hear it all the time - the gas pump has more germs on it than anything else. Or you want to know where most germs hang out? Your computer keyboard. Or your steering wheel.

So given the fact that I pretty much work at a keyboard all day and I'm not spraying it with disinfectant, could it be that I'm just wasting my time and money with these sanitizing products? We can't live in a bubble and you're going to be exposed to germs no matter how much you sanitize. Cavemen certainly didn't have sanitizers. Should we? Could I be putting myself at more risk of getting sick by using them?


Monday, October 11, 2010

Gotta Eat That Fat

A Surgically Repaired Hip Fracture
Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble vitamins.  These vitamins need dietary fat to be absorbed.  Eating a low fat diet can cause malabsorbtion of these vitamins and cause nutritional deficiencies.  These vitamins are responsible for optimizing health in multiple ways.

Vitamin A helps heart health, vision, bone health, and fertility.   Great sources are green vegetables, butter, sweet potato, liver and milk.

Vitamin D is fast becoming a well known nutrient in the nutritional world.  Problems that can be blamed on deficiency of this vitamin are cancers, weak bones, mutliple sclerosis, rheumatoid artritis, and possibly cardiovascular and peripheral vascular diseases.  The body naturally synthesizes Vitamin D via sun exposure and cholesterol in the skin.  This is by far the best way to get vitamin D but it still requires dietary fat for absorbtion.  Foods high in Vitamin D are fatty fish, eggs, and mushrooms.

Vitamin E is known as a powerful antioxidant that is good for general cellular health.  Good food sources of for Vitamin E are green leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds, pumpkin and asparagus.

Vitamin K has been found to also be important in preserving bone strength.  Some other benefits of K are blood clotting regulation and prevention of cognitive diseases.  Again, green leafy vegetables are a great source of vitamin K.

I used to be in the business of fixing bone fractures.  The statistics associated with late life fractures like those of the hip, wrist, and spine, are scary to say the least.  Women especially are at a real risk to suffer these fractures after the age of 50 and they can greatly impact quality of life and length of life.  

The popular recommendation to consume Omega 6 rich vegetable oils could cause bone loss.  Don't count on drugs to help your bone density either.  One long time trusted osteoporosis drug, Fosomax, was recently shown to INCREASE risk of hip fractures.  Couple that with your antacid drug causing fracture issues and you have the perfect storm of mush for bones.  Gweneth Paltrow didn't eat right and avoided the she has low bone density at age 37.  Yes, it can happen that young.

Here are some pretty powerful quotes from a researcher at The Ohio State University:
"What we're finding is that if you don't have some fat in the meal, all these wonderful" compounds are missed, says Steven Clinton, program leader for molecular carcinogenesis and chemoprevention and the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus. "If the nutrients don't get into your system, then what good are they?"
Study researchers say they were not only surprised by how much more absorption occurred with the avocado was added to the meal, but they were taken aback at how little the body absorbed when no fats were present. "The fact that so little was absorbed when no fat was there was just amazing to me," says Dr. Clinton.

So basically, if you are eating a low fat diet, you are putting yourself at risk for nutrient deficiencies that will lead to possible health problems.  Besides bone health there are also many other reasons to be sure you get your fat soluble vitamins absorberd.  Eat a well balanced diet of meats, fish, eggs, and veggies and you should cover your bases pretty well.  On top of eating fat, avoid gluten containing grains because they can also interfere with the absorption of these nutrients.  Remember though, without dietary fat, you will have deficiency in the long term of vitamins A, D, E, and K.  So find healthy fat sources like butter, fatty fish and meats, avacodos,  have eggs with the yolks, put olive oil on your leafy greens,  and eat those "fattening" nuts.  The alternative is something you don't want to suffer through.  


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Are You a Victim of 30 Years of Misinformation?

If you are on the internet reading this right now, then I would say unfortunately you are a victim.  You most likely do not live in a hut or a jungle.  I bet modern medical treatment is a luxury you can easily access (whether you can afford it is a whole other issue).  The problem is that modern medical care has been tainted by the flawed saturated fat/dietary cholesterol hypothesis that was first established almost 50 years ago.  Our government made official nutritional recommendations based on this hypothesis in 1980.  What those recommendations suggested is that we all eat more carbohydrates and less fat, much less saturated fat.  America listened.  See the graph below.
All is well then right?  We are following this advice and we should be healthier than ever.  There is no possibility that advice could be making things worse is there?  Take a look at the rise in obesity on this chart, notice anything interesting happen around 1980?

Appears obesity and extreme obesity follow a similar curve as the first graph above showing an increase in carbohydrate intake.  Not so coincidentally, obesity and carbohydrate intake increased after the USDA made their first recommendations.  Obesity increases risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancer, osteoarthritis, and a myriad of less common ailments.  

Take That Food Pyramid
A group of nutritional researchers published a paper on Friday titled In the face of contradictory evidence: Report of Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee in The International Journal of Applied and Basic Nutritional Sciences.  As you can tell by the title, the paper disputes the effectiveness and the "scientific" proof supporting the USDA recommendations.  It's a very big deal when such an anti conventional wisdom paper is published in a respected, peer reviewed journal.  Actually, it's a very public kick in the gonads of of the USDA's recommendations and their food pyramid.  Not a knockout punch...that will unfortunately come years down the road.  

Again, the first government dietary recommendations came out in 1980.  As noted in this paper, the American Medical Association pleaded with the USDA in 1977 not to make the national dietary recommendations.  Here are a few quotes from the AMA back in 1977 in direct response to the proposed recommendations:
"We believe that it would be inappropriate at this time to
adopt proposed national dietary goals as set forth in the
Report on Dietary Goals for the United States. The evidence
for assuming that benefits to be derived from the adoption of
such universal dietary goals as set forth in the Report is not
conclusive and there is potential for harmful effects from
a radical long-term dietary change as would occur through
adoption of the proposed national goals." 
"The Report suggests that the incidence of heart disease,
cancer, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and tooth decay could
be reduced by making qualitative and quantitative changes in
“the American diet.” The goals are laudable; however, the
American Medical Association believes that there are insufficient
data to recommend such changes in the diet on
a nationwide scale."
Well, the AMA's worst nightmare came true.  The dietary recommendations were released, America followed them, and the "harmful effects" came to fruition.  The dietary guidelines of then and today are no where near what our ancestors thrived on.  Animal proteins and fats and relatively low carb vegetation is what they ate.  The recommendations to ignore science and our evolutionary past have caused a huge burden in the form of chronic diseases.  Our primitive ancestors  suffered in harsh living conditions but they did not suffer from chronic diseases.  Because of the prevalence of these chronic diseases, the current generation of children is expected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents.  It's the first time that has happened in 200 years.   


Monday, October 4, 2010

Are You a Driver or Just a Passenger?

Which Seat Do You Choose?
This post inspired me a while back and has been in the back of my mind ever since.  It  makes you ponder whether you are just a passenger inside your own body or whether you are a driver.  Let me explain what I mean by this.  

I personally feel too many people (myself included in the past) are just passengers inside their own body allowing others to drive them.  People are more than willing to take control of their career.  In regard to health, people blindly let others steer them in whatever way they are told.  They go to the doctor, said doctor does what ever they want to, come to what ever conclusion they come to, and tell their patient to do certain things to improve their health.  You notice how that sentence transitioned the person into a patient.  At this point most people are not actively participating in their health anymore.  In general, the doctor steers the patient to take some medications to help improve the situation.  They sometimes also recommend exercise and diet change.  The patients rarely attempt to steer themselves in a different direction or even consult a map for a more direct and/or safer route.  They allow themselves to be steered and thus become a passenger.

The pill popping is easy and is typically adhered to for as long as the doctor tells them.  Exercise and diet change take some active participation and change by a person.  This is rarely adhered to because people aren't willing to do what it takes to drive their own health.  They want someone to do it for them.

My contention is you should drive your own health.  No one should care about your well being more than you.  Don't be afraid to do your own research.  Become an expert in whatever ails you.  Don't be afraid to question a doctor.  Don't be afraid to get a second opinion.  Find a doctor who is willing and patient enough to work with you toward the common goal of your health.  It is in fact your well being or that of a loved one that is at stake.  You only have one life to live......take the wheel and be the driver of your own health.  


Friday, October 1, 2010

Do Comedians Know The Secret to Health?

If you have ever looked at the links we put up on the right, you might have noticed one called Fat Head.  This is an extremely informative site done by part time comedian Tom Naughton.  He made a fun but also intended to be serious movie called Fat Head.  It's very entertaining while also being educational...HIGHLY recommended viewing.

Here is another comedian who also provides some entertaining education in regard to nutrition.  Although kinda tongue in cheek, it is spot on none the less.  Not necessarily kid safe though.

I think the reason why we are getting these messages from comedians is that what makes them so funny is they can point out unobvious societal flaws.  When they point these flaws out it is funny because at the moment they give the pitch the audience realizes how oblivious they were to this humorous truth.  I was a big fan of the sitcom Seinfeld....that is what made that show so great.  Oh well, you never know what will inspire change in somebody, maybe humor is the trick.  CP