Sunday, September 28, 2014

What's your one degree of change?

What is your one degree of change?  Since healthcare is such a big issue these days, it would only make sense to focus on our well care, not disease care.  In Florida the two counties that are home to my offices are Lake and Orange. The 2012 numbers register these counties as 64% of the adult population being overweight and obese.  In my own offices these numbers are accurate.  We are required by the powers that "Be" to record vital statistics.  My patients seem shocked when I test their body fat and BMI and they are in the overweight category or they have tipped into the obese stage.  How did this happen?  I eat well, I exercise and I try to get enough rest. This is what they tell me. 
"Eating well" means what? They are trying to do the right thing.  After a few questions it is clear that they just really don't understand what foods to eat. For example, a patient responds to the question, "What did you eat for breakfast?"  The menu was yogurt with granola and fruit, slice of toast, and OJ. Healthy enough?  Well not exactly.  All of those items contained sugar, maybe not spoonful's of sugar, but foods converted to sugar. And it is the sugar that makes you fat, not necessarily the fat.
Your liver is responsible for managing all that you eat and drink.  It has to manage all that sugar you eat.  It breaks it down into glucose.  Your blood sugar raises in the form of triglycerides. Then your LDL (the bad cholesterol) has to raise in response to the high triglycerides.  So this is why you hear about sugar causing heart disease. And if that is not bad enough, the liver communicates with the pancreas to distribute insulin to manage the sugar in the blood. It becomes challenged to manage the extreme amount of sugar in the system. Now you have diabetes.
How much sugar should you have in a day? According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the maximum amount of added sugars you should eat in a day are: Men: 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons). Women: 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).  A Coca-Cola (20 oz) has 16 teaspoons of sugar! There are 1.7 billion cans of Coca-Cola sold worldwide each day.  Now you understand why our world is soooo fat!
Your one degree of change: eliminate all sodas, including diet sodas from your diet.  If you drink three a day, drink one less.  And decrease over the next month.  I'm not saying you can never have another soda for the rest of your life, but now that you know better, you have to do better!
Remember, if you don't take care of your body, where will you live?!

Monday, September 22, 2014

One Degree of Change

One Degree of Change
I invite you to take a moment and imagine what your life will look like in your 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.  Are you full of energy?  Are you enjoying your grandchildren?  Are you traveling the world?  Do you see yourself healthy and happy?  Unfortunately, for our society that is not what most of our retirement years will look like.  Instead our calendars are filled with doctor appointments and we spend our mornings counting out our prescription dosages for the day.  A majority of us will have difficulty getting around and for some they will be wheelchair-bound at early ages.  What if I told you that by making a one degree shift in your lifestyle you could dramatically change what your golden years look like? Would you be willing do it? Really sit with that for a moment.  How much is the quality of your life worth and what are you REALLY willing to give up to have a lifetime of health, energy, happiness, and enjoyment?

Now remember the commitment and thoughts you just had because the one degree of change I am going to ask you to make is to eliminate one ingredient from your life - sugar!  What are your thoughts now?  Do they sound anything like these?  Is she crazy? That is impossible!  Really, how does she expect me to do that? 

Sugar has many dangers, but the top three are heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.  For years cholesterol was thought to be the cause of heart disease.  Recently there are a growing number of physicians like Dr. Stephen Sinatra who feel inflammation is the real culprit.  Inflammation is caused by a number of things, but eating sugar is at the top of the list.  Obesity is at an all-time high here in the United States. Why? Because we consume a lot of sugar.  Sugar is everywhere and in everything.  The problem with sugar is that it drives fat storage and makes our brain think we are hungry, setting up a “vicious cycle.”  Obesity leads us to our next danger, diabetes.  Type 2 diabetes for years has been solely related to weight gain, but new research indicates that sugar intake may also be directly linked to diabetes.
We can make a significant difference in the quality of our life just by making better choices.  Choose not to consume products that contain table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup.  Choose not to eat processed foods or soft drinks.  In addition, pass up artificial sweeteners and instead choose natural sweeteners like raw local honey and Stevia. Replace sugar with whole foods such as vegetables, nuts, avocados, fish, and olive oil.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better do better.”- Maya Angelou

One choice to give up sugar will yield so many benefits!  You will enjoy health; have more energy, and age gracefully. The quality of your life is completely in your control.  How do you see your future?

Live well, think well, move well, be well!   Written by Dr. Kimberly Besuden, Chiropractic Physician and Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner.  She is a frequent speaker and contributor to articles on the subjects of wellness, health, and nutritional issues. Dr. Besuden’s knowledge of human behavior concerning nutrition and the most effective ways to make change happen have helped thousands of people and hundreds of organizations over the years.