The Benefits of Dietary and Lifestyle Changes
Poor diet contributes to more illness and premature death than physical inactivity, smoking and alcohol combined. Diet is key. More and more data proves that even if you exercise and have a normal body weight, if you eat ‘junk’ you are increasing your risk of adverse health consequences.
Here are some nutrition, diet and lifestyle tips, based on the current science:
o Focus on dietary changes aimed at good health. Weight loss will follow. Do not focus on weight loss.
o Reduce sugar and refined carbohydrate consumption and increase saturated fats. This will help increase HDL levels and drive down triglycerides and total cholesterol.
o The good news is that it takes decades to develop heart disease but it can take months to start benefiting from dietary changes. In fact some benefits start within weeks.
o Start by increasing your intake of fatty fish (sardines, anchovy, salmon, mackerel) and adding 1 to 2 portions of nuts weekly to your diet. Remember food is medicine.
o Stay away from the harmful trans fats - artery-clogging fats found in fried foods, biscuits, pastries, French fries etc. These increase levels of LDL, lower levels of HDL and increase risk of diabetes 2 and heart disease. Remember FOOD is also POISON.
o Exercise more – exercise helps raise HDL levels.
o Stress less. Stress is a well-accepted risk for heart attacks. Look out for upcoming blogs on stress-management on my website.