Life Extension Magazine September 2012
Your Best Investment - Secrets To A Healthy Body And Mind
By Edwin Lee, MD, F.A.C.E.
"Your genes are like a loaded gun, and your lifestyle is the trigger."
The above quote leads off the introduction to Your Best Investment, setting the stage for a book that may turn some Americans' long-held beliefs about nutrition upside down, beginning with the classic Food Pyramid, released by the US Department of Food and Health. The pyramid was originally conceived in 1992 as a way to teach Americans how to eat better, however, like most government projects, special interests and lobbyists ended up influencing the final result to a point that Dr. Lee, and many others, believe the pyramid actually did more harm than good for the American people.
"Unfortunately it [the pyramid] had no science behind it and was instead 'written' by the big food industry," Dr. Lee writes. "The food pyramid heavily emphasized the consumption of grains, such as rice, pasta, bread, and cereals."For twenty years, the pyramid slowly evolved, but its government authors consistently ignored hard science about what foods harm humans in favor of whatever Big Agriculture wanted them to write.
"Since 1992, the food pyramids have appeared in countless books, magazines, hospitals, and textbooks; in schools, universities, and health clinics; and on websites. I am sure that before each food pyramid was released, there were many food industry lobbyists wanting their products on the pyramid. The resulting tragedy of this flawed process led to the recommendation of eating an astounding six to eleven servings a day of grains—bread, pasta, rice, white potatoes and so on—all of which increase insulin levels, increase obesity, and increase the risk of heart disease and cancer."
Over several pages, any reader of this book will likely draw a distinct parallel between the current obesity epidemic and the generation of children who have been raised with eating habits predicated on a government-written, lobbyist-led pictogram that put profits ahead of science.
Chapter 2 of Dr. Lee's book deals with the fallout of such a grain-heavy, sugar-heavy diet on the American public. For Life Extension® readers, this takes us to a common culprit when it comes to diabetes, obesity, and the metabolic syndrome: insulin resistance. In this chapter, there is no sugarcoating it. Dr. Lee clearly states that, "Insulin resistance can cause belly fat, dementia, loss of memory, depression, autoimmune disease, strokes, infertility, neurodegenerative brain disease, and—it is directly related to the one thing that will most likely kill you—heart disease."
There are some fascinating tips and thoughts about "fighting an epidemic battle of the bulge" when it comes to weight loss, including a chapter about food intolerance testing. In this chapter, Dr. Lee talks about how identifying certain food intolerances can be extremely beneficial to people battling obesity. He finds these tests valuable because they measure people's tolerance to foods that they commonly eat and can control eating. Dr. Lee even cites a study that demonstrated that dieters who failed other low-calorie eating plans found success when they followed meal plans based on their food sensitivity test results.
Another interesting chapter in the book is chapter 7, titled: "Nutraceuticals, Minerals, and Botanicals."
While we are all familiar at this point with the positive effects of fish oil, resveratrol, alpha lipoic acid, CoQ10, curcumin, green tea, vitamin D and a host of other well-researched supplements, this chapter provides insight into some fascinating studies that reinforce their benefits. For instance, when it comes to magnesium's effect on diabetes, the book cites a Nurses Health Study involving 85,000 women and a Health Professional Follow-Up Study involving 42,000 men that demonstrate that diets rich in magnesium may drastically reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
There are strong examples listed for nearly every supplement in the book, but some of the most compelling stories are those told on an individual level, about how a specific supplement helped one of Dr. Lee's patient's overcome a medical issue. From a man who overcame a variety of healthy problems by modifying his diet and taking vitamin D, vitamin B12, and magnesium, to a 50-year-old Ironman triathlete who overcame lethargy and a lack of energy by discovering that she was vitamin D deficient, the personal case histories of many of Dr. Lee's patients at his Institute for Hormonal Balance provide for an interesting, helpful read that shows how some simple, easy steps can have a huge impact on your health and longevity.To order Your Best Investment, call 1-800-544-4440 or visit www.LifeExtension.com.
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