First and foremost, the most important step you can take is: Stop eating all refined, processed, and manufactured food. It is that simple. These chemical, food like products are full of all the elements that undermine health, shorten life, promote obesity and cause disease. This is strongly documented in all the recent research. It has the omega 6 fatty acids in huge quantities, the unhealthy fats like trans fats, sugar and all the chemical sugars(especially harmful is high fructose corn syrup), the food dyes, and most harmful to our bodies is the highly refined carbohydrates that spike our blood sugar.
We all think that fat is making us fat and inflammed, but in reality, it is the overabundance of these quick digesting carbohydrates that is making our obesity rates go through the roof and causing this inappropriate inflammation. Quick digesting carbohydrates are high on the glycemic index… they raise our blood sugar very quickly. This causes inflammation in another way. There are reactions between blood sugar and proteins in the body that should not be taking place. They produce was is called glycations or glycated proteins. These reactions are particularly harmful for many people that have genes that cause these interactions in the body. These Advanced glycated end proteins, or AGES, lead some people to insulin resistance, which is the basis for metabolic syndrome, and then diabetes. In fact, one of the AGES, hemoglobin a1c, is used to measure blood sugar in Type II Diabetes.
Choose lots of good quality fruits and vegetables, and include the entire spectrum of colors. Each of these pigments has very beneficial antioxidant affects and should therefore be a majority of our daily diet.
Reduce animal foods, especially meats. If you do eat meat, make sure it is organic, and comes from grass fed cows. Emphasize the smaller fish, like sardines and mackerel, and also sockeye salmon. This red salmon cannot be farm raised so is safe whether it is canned, fresh, smoked or frozen. The reason it cannot be farm raised is it eats very low on the food chain, and eats insects and algae, which gives it the dark red color.
Use olive oil as the main fat in the diet
Limited high quality cheese. Not the orange cheese that we see most often, but cheese from grass-fed cows with no dyes or preservatives
On occasion, choose fresh high quality yogurt. Dr. Weil has no problem with full fat either.
Dense, whole grain, chewy bread, very low on the glycemic index. It takes time to chew it, so our digestive enzymes have a chance to start working. And the fiber in this type of bread keeps our blood sugar from rising so dramatically. Fiber is so important. In fact, we need 40 grams a day.
Some pasta, occasionally, even lower on the glycemic index than bread Limit sugar
Green Tea Red Wine
Plain Dark Chocolate, at least 70% cocao. The research is very powerful that this dark chocolate has more antioxidant activity than green tea or red wine
He does believe in taking the following high quality supplements, but emphasizes that they do not take the place of eating a healthy diet. They should also be taken at the largest meal.
Because of certain gaps in our diet, he recommends:
A good quality, multi vitamin/mineral supplement everyday
2 grams of Fish Oil, which has the Omega 3 Fatty Acids…
2000 IU’s of Vitamin D. Our best source of vitamin D is the sun, but because we are all wearing sunscreen, we are not getting enough sunlight for our bodies to make this important vitamin. Most doctors now are giving routine blood tests to measure a patient’s level of vitamin D. Resistance to colds and flu is very high with high levels of Vitamin D.
Physical Activity: Oldest old are the fastest growing segment of our population, most are women….maintenance of activity is very important. Choose activities that correlate with your age group.
Maintenance of Social and Interactive Activity…stay connected…what gets better as we age… balance in dealing with the ups and downs of life, more wisdom of experience
Key component…learning how to manage stress…impossible to eliminate it..neutralize the harmful effects of stress…hormone cortisol, directly toxic to neurons or nerve cells in the part of the brain called the hypecampus…in other words, it kills nerve cells, and that in itself should be a reason to keep cortisol at bay.
Listening to music
Soaking in a long hot bath
Breath…master control of the involuntary nervous system
Breathing Technique….4/7/8…pranayama, energy circulation and breath…pay attention to your breathing…thoughts and images are our main source of agitation, discontent, and fear
Yoga breathing technique…only this you can do consciously and subconsciously
Single most effective medical intervention he has discovered…the trick is to practice it regularly
Imposing rhythms on the voluntary nervous system, which after 6-8 weeks of practicing this twice a day, influences our involuntary nervous system