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Posts from the ‘Disease’ Category

Save yourself a bunch of hassle, a small fortune, and years of poor health – JFDI

This post, in a nutshell:

  • I was a fat yo-yo dieter for 20 years, in and out of obesity, trying fad diets and fad bouts of exercise
  • I finally ‘figured it all out’ and lost 101 pounds of fat, or 7 stone 3, or 46 kilos
  • Now I have spent 11 years obsessed with health and fitness and read 847 books and research papers on all-things-health related
  • I have spent the last five years trying to teach the best of what I learned – no gimmicks, no fads, no selling snake-oil supplements, no bullshit, just the truth
  • Most folks don’t want this truth, it’s too boring. It’s not very sexy, it doesn’t sell
  • Ugly as it sounds, the reality is that ‘most’ doctors and ‘experts’ are disinclined to teach healthy diet and lifestyle modification as preventive medicine. Instead they wait for people to mess themselves up, then when they come for help, they prescribe drugs or surgery
  • And most ordinary people are turned off by honest advice to eat healthily and exercise more, and instead they prefer to live the hedonistic life, wait til shit goes wrong, then take those prescription drugs in the hopes that can fix things
  • This strategy falls apart when the NHS goes bust and everyone has type-2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer
  • The solution? Follow my boring and sensible advice, follow the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet, and stop using food and alcohol as cheap thrills and anxiety drugs to make up for the fact that other areas of your life are less than fulfilling

The size of the problem

If you follow this blog then you know my back story and there is no real need for me to go through it again. For those who are new to this blog, here is the super-short version. I struggled with my weight from age 14 to age 35, yo-yo diets, exercise fads, in and out of obesity. I smoked for 20 years, drank pretty heavily for 26 years, had skin problems, nasal congestion problems, took prescription meds for 17 years, and fought low self-esteem my entire life. Mid-30s, I started to learn about nutrition and turned it all around. Lost 7 stone 3 (101 pounds, 46 kilos), got fit, ran a bunch of marathons, had some injuries and accidents (including every running injury in the book, knee surgery, fractured spine, busted some ribs, bust a few bones) and then studied and became a Personal Trainer. Long version here.

Along the way, I read hundreds of books, hundreds of research papers, attended dozens of training events, seminars, conferences and more. I learned a ton about health, nutrition, disease prevention, fitness, training, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, weight loss, mindset, personal development, farming, agriculture, the environment, history, anthropology and a whole lot more. Along the way I got really pissed off with all the confusing and conflicting research and advice.

  • Meat is good for you : no, meat gives you cancer!
  • Dairy is good for you, it’s a superfood : no, dairy is full of pus and gives you breast cancer!
  • Running is good for you : no, running trashes your knees and hips!
  • Low-fat is the secret to losing weight and avoiding heart disease – so just eat less fat and more carbs! : No! Fat is essential…it’s the carbs that cause heart disease and make you fat!
  • Coconut oil is good : no, coconut oil is bad!
  • Put butter and fat in your coffee : no, coffee is already bad for you, it’s worse with butter in it!
  • Weight training is good for you : no, weights will make you bulky and you’ll end up damaging your joints and taking steroids!
  • Calories are all that matter for weight loss : no, calories don’t matter at all!

And so it goes on and on and on. I read every book, paper and blog on every topic for 27 years and it all drove me nuts. Every expert disagrees with every other expert! And today, if anything, it’s only Read more

The BIG Issues…in troubled times

With major public health and global health issues on the agenda, we need more unity and collaboration, not isolation and division.

It is absolutely not my intention to use the this blog to discuss politics or share or promote my own personal political opinions in any way. However, in the current political environment, with Brexit negotiations now in full swing, and the question of Scottish independence again coming in and out of the news, I find the political climate in Europe deeply saddens me.

And worldwide, with tensions between the US and North Korea, and terrible troubles in Yemen, Syria and Myanmar, among other places, I am struck with an overall sense of sadness, that such issues of isolation, nationalism and political and religious division seem to be dominating national and international politics, at a time when I believe what we need more than ever is more national unity and international collaboration, to address the really big issues that affect us and our children and grandchildren.

I believe our world needs more tolerance, understanding and unity, not less.

As I see it, we face some really big, deadly serious problems, in our lifetimes.

1) There are only 60 to 100 years of arable soil left on Earth. Just exactly what does anyone think we are going to eat when there is no soil left to grow any plants? I see vegans promoting the movie Cowspiracy saying we should all eat more plants and less animals. Yet as I see it, properly farmed animals eat grass and help built soil fertility and depth, where growing more plants for food means more ploughing and further soil erosion.

2) Climate change is real and it’s happening. We need to radically, massively tackle this issue now. I genuinely believe that every tax paying citizen in the developed world should be putting their hand in their pocket right now, probably to the tune of around a 5% tax rise for all of us, to completely eliminate the use of fossil fuels and stop all further greenhouse gas emissions and start wide scale implementation of renewable energy production and carbon sequestration techniques.

But they won’t. And no politician will suggest it, as that would be wildly unpopular and political suicide.

And our children and grandchildren are going to Read more

Get yer kit off!

Strip off, that’s my advice!

It’s August, the summer holidays are finally here and the weather forecast for the UK for the summer break is generally excellent. Most people will probably be taking some time off work and getting away for some rest. So make the most of it and get your skin exposed to the sun. Vitamin D is an immensely important nutrient, which actually converts to a steroid hormone inside our bodies. That hormone then plays many important roles, it helps to regulate hundreds of genetic, cellular and metabolic functions, including playing an important role in bone mineral density and it helps our bodies to regulate a number of anti-cancer activities.

We can get vitamin D from some foods, such as oily fish, fortified orange juice or free range egg yolks, but skin exposure to sunlight remains the absolute best way to get plenty of vitamin D. In fact, taking your top off for just 10 to 15 minutes in the middle of the day and getting warm summer sun on your skin will give you as much vitamin D as eating over three pounds of fresh salmon!

The aim of the game is RESPONSIBLE sun exposure.

I find so many people get all caught up on this idea of sun exposure, through years of scare mongering about skin cancer. Let me help you with this.

‘Responsible’ sun exposure means little and often, and spending time outside every day all year round.

Irresponsible sun exposure means spending 350 days of the year inside an office, sat inside watching TV, and wearing long trousers and long sleeves, then flying 2000 miles south for a fortnight and laying out for hours in blazing midday sun in a bikini. That’s just dumb and you’re going to get burned.

But responsible sun exposure, and then going into the shade or covering up when you start to go pink, telling you that you’ve had enough, is highly beneficial. Research points out that worldwide, the anti-cancer benefits of a lifetime of adequate vitamin D far outweigh the small risks of skin cancer.

So enjoy the summer, and enjoy the sun, responsibly!

Who is influencing you?

In this post we look at the most influential people in health and fitness…and question if they are the people you really want to be influenced by?

A little while ago, I was catching up on news in my email inbox, and I found this, a list of The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness. I spent some time reading the list, and I was delighted to see some people on there who are positive influences on me, like the excellent Mark Sisson, and the dependable blogger Yoni Freedhoff, and the personal development guru Tony Robbins.

I was delighted to see some of the people I go to for learning, such as the always-brilliant Robb Wolf, the writer I aspire to emulate, Michael Pollan, and the excellent Natalie Jill who makes fitness so easy and approachable for so many people.

So I think there are some great people on this list, there is Dr Mark Hyman, the ever-inspirational Arnold Schwarzenegger, nutrition guru Gary Taubes and the highly agreeable Josh Axe. I am pleased to find two people on the list that I have actually met and shaken hands with.

But I also find some things about this list rather alarming. I decided to look at what skills it takes to become one of the most influential people on Earth in health and fitness. The article defines how they compiled the list –

“A note about our methodology: This list is intended to highlight people who had the greatest impact and reach in health and wellness—they’re not necessarily people we personally endorse.

The order is determined by a long list of criteria. We started with a list of nearly 300 individuals nominated by the Greatist staff and Greatist ambassador network. We then created a scoring system based on the following categories: followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube; studies published; professional degrees and certifications; number of Google News mentions; number of products created (including starring TV and film roles); brand partnerships; and an estimate of how much each person’s career focuses on fitness and health.

We purposefully excluded most health care executives, professional athletes, and spiritual leaders, unless we felt they strongly contributed to health, fitness, or mental health.”

I ran some counts down the list, not exactly scientific, but the best I could do in just an hour or so, and I counted that the list includes, roughly, the following: Read more

Mother Nature’s Diet – 6 years later, and the experts are starting to agree…

You may be interested in reading this editorial, which includes a number of statements from one of the leaders of a study called the PURE Study.

The quotes I find to be particularly interesting are:

“…many of the most significant and impactful nutrition recommendations regarding dietary fats, salt, carbohydrates, and even vegetables are not supported by evidence.”

“Yusuf displayed data showing that the incidence of cardiovascular disease in the PURE population increases as carbohydrate intake (as a percentage of total calories) rises.”

“Previous guidelines said reduce fats and compensate for it by increasing carbohydrates … and so essentially we’ve increased carbohydrate intake in most Western countries and this is likely damaging. We were in for a big surprise. We actually found that increasing fats was protective.”

6 years later…

For the last six years we have been promoting Mother Nature’s Diet as the best all-round healthy lifestyle for living a preventive medicine lifestyle. It seems now that research, such as the findings from the PURE Study reported above, are coming out in support of the Mother Nature’s Diet way of life. We suggest laying off processed grains and starchy carbs, and we promote Read more

Prevention is infinitely better than cure

Here at Mother Nature’s Diet I teach healthy living to anyone who will listen, delivered as a blend of common sense, science-in-plain-English and real life examples from my own experience.

The goal is to live a preventive medicine lifestyle.

Does it work?

Hell yeah!
To quote this study:

“15 [studies] were included in the meta-analysis that comprised 531,804 people with a mean follow-up of 13.24 years. The relative risks decreased proportionate to a higher number of healthy lifestyle factors for all cause mortality. A combination of at least four healthy lifestyle factors is associated with a reduction of the all cause mortality risk by 66% (95% confidence interval 58%-73%).”

So they looked at 15 studies, covering more than half a million people, over 13 years. All in, adherence to healthy lifestyle factors (good diet, regular exercise, drink less alcohol, don’t smoke, avoid obesity) demonstrated a clear reduced risk of all-cause mortality. Folks maintaining at least four of these factors enjoyed a 66% reduction in mortality risk.

Healthy living during the decades before you become ‘old and sick’, helps you not to get ‘old and sick’ – live healthy now, you live longer. It’s so simple!

Take smoking OUT of the equation, and see this study:

Quote “CONCLUSION:
Adherence to cancer prevention guidelines for obesity, diet, physical activity, and alcohol consumption is associated with lower risk of death from cancer, CVD, and all causes in nonsmokers.”

So if we isolate these healthy living factors separate from smoking, in this study of 112,000 nonsmokers followed up for 14 years, adherence to a healthy diet, regular exercise, drinking less alcohol and avoiding obesity led to a substantial reduction in cancer mortality, heart disease deaths and all-cause mortality.

Jeez, it’s simple stuff.
Like I keep saying, HALF of our chronic disease burden is ENTIRELY preventable through dietary and lifestyle interventions.

  • No one wants heart disease
  • No one wants diabetes
  • No one wants to be obese
  • No one wants cancer

I cannot promise anyone a cure, but my life’s mission is to teach people how not to get these problems in the first place. Let’s start by slashing our chronic disease burden in HALF in a single generation by education our population in preventive medicine lifestyles.

1luvx

Sun bathing for cancer prevention

Phew, what a scorcher! Well, if you are even close to my age you’ll remember a few hot summers back in the day when the newspapers ran those headlines, and it certainly feels like that this week. I am sitting outside at my laptop typing this in 33 degrees and the black plastic keyboard is getting so hot it hurts my hands to type! I may have to retire inside before I finish this post!

I want to write about the benefits of sun exposure. In last week’s Weekly Weigh-In I explained that the benefits of regular, responsible sun exposure vastly outweigh the risks, and I explained the responsible bit, which I suggest you go back and read again! The goal is to spend some time outside every day, exposing some skin and making vitamin D naturally. The goal is not to stay inside for 50 weeks of the year and then burn for two weeks on holiday! And tanning beds are not the answer either!

I’m pretty much going to just repeat that message (it is worth repeating, as we swelter in summer heat) in this post, but before you close this and stop reading, we’ll add a bit more detail and back it up with a little bit more science.

Multiple studies show than overall, adequate levels of vitamin D have a protective effect against several common cancers, including some of the most common, such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer. Breast cancer and prostate cancer are the most common cancers in women and men (respectively) in the UK.

Personally, I think it is important to remember that while skin cancers are quite common, they are also among the easier cancers to detect and treat, so survival rates are high. Skin cancer mortality in the UK is very low compared to breast, prostate and bowel cancer. In my opinion, if good high levels of vitamin D offer proven protection from breast, prostate and bowel cancer, then the small risk of Read more

The dose makes the poison

Research shows further links between sugar consumption and certain cancers, such as pancreatic and colon cancer.

Regular readers of this blog will not be at all surprised to be reading ‘the evidence against sugar’ again today, sorry to keep banging this drum!

This week has been a busy week for news and I have lots to share with you today. Of particular interest was this article from 2013, which identifies a clear pathway by which high dietary sugar intake directly increases the risk of cancers forming. As the article notes, the dose makes the poison. I have said many times before, we should think of eating sugary foods the same way we think of smoking cigarettes. You could probably smoke one cigarette every month for your entire life and it would never cause you ill health, but we all accept that if you smoke a pack-a-day for decades, then you massively increase your chances of suffering from lung cancer.

So it is with sugar. You could eat one chocolate-chip cookie per month for your entire life and it would likely never cause you any ill health, but if you eat a whole packet of cookies every day, you would almost certainly end up with all manner of health problems – type-2 diabetes, obesity, possibly heart disease and maybe cancer. The dose makes the poison.

Non-communicable disease

As we have covered before, non-communicable diseases are the main things that kill us these days, and a hefty proportion can be avoided or delayed by adopting a handful of simple healthy lifestyle habits, such as not smoking, eating more vegetables, and maintaining a healthy body weight. Being overweight or obese is a direct cause of 13 types of cancer, and being overweight is the second largest preventable cause of cancer in the UK. One major worrying problem is that the public are just not aware of this information. As we are heading for a situation where three quarters of the UK population will be overweight or obese just 20 years from now, there seems no end to this growing problem. Read more

Time to look at alcohol consumption…again!

Here we are, back on the subject of alcohol. I have written about alcohol for you several times before. If you are interested, you can go back and look at the MND ‘official’ stance on alcohol, or you can read about some of the ridiculous alcohol-related stories we see in the media, or you can read how ‘the dose makes the poison’ whether we are talking about alcohol, sugar, cigarettes or almost anything else!

For most of the last decade or two, the prevalent opinion has been presented that moderate drinking is actually considered to be beneficial to complete abstinence. Many media reports have told us that moderate drinking will help us avoid heart disease and live longer than people who do not drink at all.

This is how the media present such ‘research’ to the public. While 99% of the population get their ‘health and lifestyle’ education from newspapers and television, for the 1% who dig deeper, the reality has always been less conclusive. When we look at a meta-analysis of all the research available, we see that in fact moderate drinking confers no life-extending benefits at all. At this point, it’s also worth remembering that alcohol is one of the leading preventable causes of cancer in the UK, responsible for 4% of annual UK cancer deaths.

Alcohol consumption is back in the press again this week.
With the prevalent view supporting moderate alcohol consumption as part of a healthy lifestyle, and government advice that drinking moderately is fine as part of a healthy lifestyle, and with newspapers regularly running headlines that Read more

Epic battle strategy – get sick!

Interesting fact I learned today.

For most of history, germs have killed far more people than wars.

Often invading armies defeated nations by bringing diseases with their soldiers.

Quote (from Guns, Germs and Steel, Jared Diamond)

“Until World War Two, more victims of war died of war-borne microbes than of battle wounds. All those military histories glorifying great generals oversimplify the ego-deflating truth: the winners of past wars were not always the armies with the best generals and weapons, but were often merely those bearing the nastiest germs to transmit to their enemies.”

I love it! History was never this interesting at school.

Image credit: By Robert Alexander Hillingford, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3278768 

Fire alarms and heart attacks

Who/what saves the most lives – fire fighters or fire safety officers and smoke alarms?

Second day on the trot that our boiler has broken down, second gas engineer on site, all fixed now.

Had a conversation about carbon monoxide alarms. The gas engineer was explaining that in a house in the next town along from me, they have this awful boiler where the flu runs right through the loft, and the pipes have high potential for sagging over time. Two years ago he pushed the people hard to spend out and buy four carbon monoxide alarms (they cost £30 each)…he installed one on the boiler, one in the loft, and one each in the two bedrooms below the run of the flu pipes.

A year later, one alarm was going crazy, he went in and found the flu pipes were leaking and the loft was full of carbon monoxide – invisible, odourless, a silent killer. If they hadn’t spent £120 quid on alarms, the first warning might have been a dead child in her bed at night.

As we continue to build a safer world, alarms, warnings, safety measures and precautions save far more lives than the fire fighters, gas engineers and maybe even ambulance crews who attend emergencies.

Yet as a society, we’re not taking this same approach to our health. The NHS allocates around 2% of it’s annual budget to “prevention and detection” and most of that is for early detection – things like breast cancer screening, well-man and well-woman clinics looking for signs of diabetes or heart disease, and so on. The rest goes on smoking cessation and then a small amount, only around 0.12% of total NHS annual budget is spent on promoting healthy lifestyle – 5-a-day, Drink Aware, and so on.

Given that the NHS experts acknowledge that “Making lifestyle changes is the most effective way to prevent having a heart attack” and given that the NHS say heart disease and stroke is costing us over £30 billion per year and 16 million working days lost every year across the nation, wouldn’t it make more sense for us to massively increase ‘health promotion’ and encourage people not to develop heart disease in the first place?

  • Regular varied exercise
  • Healthy balanced diet
  • Don’t smoke, drink less alcohol
  • Maintain a healthy body mass, and blood pressure

Ummm, all seems familiar… 

What saves more lives – a healthy lifestyle, or heart surgeons?

Prevention is better than cure.

I know which is cheaper.

#personalresponsibility

 

Vote to save our NHS…

There are several ways we can save the NHS – let’s look at the one you and I can do today.

I do not intend to start using this blog to talk politics, so apologies up front for the slightly provocative political tease in the title this week. As we approach a general election in the UK, there is an even greater than usual amount of talk in the media about the NHS being sold off, privatised, deliberately run into financial ruin and going broke.

Sadly, much of this talk is based in the uncomfortable reality that the NHS truly is in huge financial trouble. Doctors working long hours; A&E departments struggling to cope; patients on beds in corridors; nurses forced to go to food banks; the rising cost of treating an ageing population; the huge cost of treating obesity-related ill health; and the massive rise in the cost of treating our diabetes epidemic. These costs, along with the massive and constant cost of treating heart disease and related circulatory conditions and cancer treatments are crippling the NHS, and unless funding is increased, the system faces breaking point.

As a nation, we spend around 19% to 20% of our tax receipts on running the NHS, roughly the same as we spend on pensions. These two things – the NHS and pensions – are the biggest single areas of government expenditure in the UK. Be under no illusion, the NHS is a big deal, we spend many billions on healthcare annually, and no doubt private profit-making corporations would just love to get their hands on some of those big contracts.

But I’m pretty sure we don’t want an American-style system, we really don’t.

It seems that once nationwide healthcare provision comes under the influence of the joint forces of profit making insurance companies, profit making private medical facilities, and profit-making drug companies, then the whole system starts to Read more

Stop reading crap in The Daily Fail!

Stop reading crappy articles in the media! They do almost everyone more harm than good, they really are hopeless, they serve only to sell newspapers and attract online traffic, to help the media site sell to advertisers.

We see all this garbage, news articles like “Drinking red wine does you as much good as going to the gym” and “Drinking coffee helps fight bowel cancer” and “Just 6 minutes of exercise is better for you than hours every day…” and “Eat more cabbage to prevent heart disease” or “Study shows eating sausages cures Parkinson’s” or whatever crap they write. What newspapers and media sites do, is take a grain of truth from a study and turn it into some kind of statement of fact. But the information we start with is NOT a statement of medical or biological fact in the first place, it’s often just an observation…only the dumbass newspaper tries to make it a fact.

The limitations of studies

So for instance, let’s look at a made-up, but realistic, example scenario. Maybe a team of researchers in Canada, or Finland, or California, conduct an observational study, known as a cohort study, to track a large group of people over a fairly long period of time. It may be that they follow 17,450 people for 14 years. At the start of the study, the people recruited were aged 30 to 50 and did not have heart disease, or at least no diagnosed condition or symptoms, such as high blood pressure. The study follows these people’s lives for 14 years, asking them to complete an online survey 4 times per year for 14 years, tracking a couple of hundred questions every time, to understand their behaviour, such as how much they smoke, how much they drink, how many coffees per day they drink, how many times per week they eat fish, how many times per week they eat meat, how many times per week they exercise, and so on. At the end of the study, the researchers primary target is to see how many people developed heart disease or signs of heart disease, such as obesity and high blood pressure.

Once the study is finished, the researchers will have a mass of data about 17,450 people (maybe 20,000 or 25,000 started, but a bunch dropped out along the way) which shows rates of obesity, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and so on, at the start, and rates at the finish, including who developed heart disease or cancer along the way. They also have all this data on what those people ate and did in between times, so they can then look for trends in the data, like xx% of heavy smokers developed xx condition, or xyz% of people who took no weekly exercise, gained the greatest % of weight gain…and so on.

There are many strengths and weaknesses of these kinds of studies, which we won’t look into in detail here. The point is this; often such a study will generate a finding such as “People who drank 3 or 4 cups of coffee per day were at 17% less relative risk of developing coronary heart disease or suffering a myocardial infarction (a heart attack), than people who drank only 1 cup per day or less.”

This makes it to the average trash newspaper or media site as “Good news coffee lovers, drinking 4 cups per day prevents heart attacks!” Read more

Gimme the pills…I want value for my money!

“Don’t tell me to look after myself doc, just give me the pills! I want some value for money!”

Some months ago I interviewed an NHS GP for a monthly newsletter that I write called Against the Grain. I publish Against the Grain every month for members of the Mother Nature’s Diet subscription Community. If you’d like to read a sample of Against the Grain, you can download it here – and that sample is actually the first half of the GP interview. If you would like to know more about MND Community Membership, you can learn more here.

Back to our GP. In our interview, he shocked me by revealing that even when he gives patients lifestyle and dietary advice, in a whopping 9 cases out of 10, people just say “Thanks doc, but to be honest that all sounds like hard work, can’t you just give me the pills?”

I personally find this astounding! He has people who come to him every month for years on end complaining of coughs and chest infections, yet they refuse to quit smoking. Are they addicted? Maybe, but the NHS offer a great, proven, successful smoking cessation program, for free, and these people won’t even try it out.

The doctor has patients who come to him obese, smoking, drinking, eating a poor diet, out of shape, complaining of chest pains and shortness of breath. They have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and they are stressed with busy careers. Prime candidates for heart disease and heart attack, yet they refuse healthy lifestyle advice, instead they just want pills, the quick fix.

If you want to read more of that interview in depth, check out that edition of Against the Grain linked above.

I was chatting about all this to a friend the other day. Obviously, here at Mother Nature’s Diet I promote personal responsibility, I encourage people to take charge of their own health and live by the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet as a way to maintain a healthy body weight, resist the signs of ageing and stave off ill health for as long as possible. So I cannot understand this ‘quick fix’ mindset, this notion of ‘just give me the pills’ seems crazy to me. And that’s when my friend came out with something very insightful.

He said “Oh I can totally understand that. I mean, you go to the doctor because you want a solution, you want some pills, because they are something solid, something material you can take away. I mean, we pay our taxes, we pay for the NHS, we want some value-for-money. Don’t just tell me to go home and eat my veg and get some exercise, that’s rubbish, I can call my mother for that advice!”

Wow! What an insight, it had never occurred to me that anyone would think that way! If I visit my GP, I want to understand what has gone wrong, and the best way to fix it, ideally with no surgery, no pills, and a swift return to good health. It would never occur to me to seek ‘value for money’ in that way – personally, i think the mere fact that we have the NHS, a world-leading public health service free at the point of entry for everyone, is in itself all the value-for-money that I need.

But clearly, other people see it differently to me.

So what do you think? Are you one of the 9 out of 10 people who is happy with ‘the quick fix’ or are you the 1 in 10 who is ready to make changes to your lifestyle and diet in order to try to fix your health problems without resorting to prescription medications?

To your good health!

The third leading cause of death…

Is it true that medical errors and prescribed drugs are really the third leading cause of death in our society?

There seems to be a fairly persistent news story going around that suggests that medical errors and prescribed drugs are killing so many people that they have actually become the third leading cause of death in our society after heart disease and cancer. Personally, I find this very dubious.

In various guises, this story has ‘done the rounds’ a few times in recent years, but the ‘current story’ comes from a study of hospital deaths in the United States which collated all sorts of data to reach this conclusion that medical errors were killing more people than most other things.

It comes by measuring the amount of people who are admitted to hospital but then die and some human error is found along the way – a better drug could have been used, a different surgical procedure may have had fewer complications, another piece of equipment may have been more efficient/effective.

But the thing is, we have to look at the fact that these deaths are only about 4% or 5% of hospital admissions. So in 96% of cases, medical staff are doing everything right, and patients are getting better.

And we need to remember that the patients were ill enough or injured enough to be admitted to hospital in the first place…so it’s not like we have 100% perfectly healthy members of society walking around, and doctors just ambush them in the street and kill them! It’s not like that…the reality is these folks may have died anyway, or may have died a few days, weeks, months later. They were sick and in need of life-saving surgical intervention, or they needed multiple medications, so they are not ‘typical populations’ to start with. In truth, many of these people were in hospital for heart surgery, or fighting cancer, in the first place. So if an error in surgery resulted in a death, do we say that person died of ‘medical error’ or did they die from heart disease, which was the reason for the surgery in the first place?

Additionally, the numbers used to come up with these “third largest cause of death” quotes are hotly contested numbers…they are not officially recorded figures at all. Many doctors and experts have criticised these studies as inaccurate, ‘twisting’ the data to show a contentious result.

Cause of death

There is a lot of this sort of thing online…twisting data to make it show what you want it to show. This goes on in the research business, in medicine and in most other fields of research too. I have talked about this in my seminars on a few occasions. Depending on where we chose to look, at the cause or the effect, changed how we can determine someone’s cause of death.

For instance, if someone smokes for 40 years and then dies of lung cancer, that person’s death certificate will record ‘cancer’ as the cause of death. But we could argue that ‘smoking’ was actually he cause of death, couldn’t we?

This gives us a different way of looking at causes of death. Smoking is a major causal factor in heart disease, and smoking is also a major cause of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and several other fatal lung conditions, as well as lung cancer, of course. So if smoking is the root cause of all those conditions, then perhaps it is more meaningful to consider smoking as the ’cause of death’ rather than recording all those deaths as ‘heart disease’, ‘lung cancer’, ‘COPD’ or whatever else.

  • According to official data, heart disease is the #1 cause of death worldwide
  • And cancer is the #2 cause of death worldwide
  • Diabetes, and then COPD and other closely related lung conditions are close behind in the top ten
  • These 4 conditions account for at least half of all human death every year.

But some people have pointed out, that obesity is a contributory factor to all of those conditions. Poor diet is a contributory factor to all of those conditions. Lack of exercise is a contributory factor to all of those conditions. And of course, poor diet and lack of exercise, in turn, are the leading causes of obesity. This has led some researchers to declare that in fact, the #1 worldwide cause of death is obesity.

If poor diet, too much sugar and a lack of exercise, cause obesity and diabetes, which in turn then lead to heart disease, stroke, cancer and more, then it’s easy to see how these researchers can claim that obesity is the leading cause of death.

I have read opinion pieces from some doctors and researchers taking that argument through to its logical conclusion and claiming that “Lack of exercise is the leading cause of death worldwide.”

They have a point.
Or maybe ‘poor diet is the leading cause of death worldwide.’

And I postulate, perhaps then…
“Apathy is the leading cause of death worldwide” …because people know what they should do, but they don’t do it.

They know they should exercise daily, eat a good diet, quit smoking, drink less, get some fresh air, drink more water…but they don’t do it, because they can’t be bothered. They think they are young and strong and it won’t catch up with them. They think they can get away with it. Despite the data.

Folks don’t appreciate their good health til it’s gone.

Apathy – the world’s biggest killer.
Yes or no?

What do you think?

Just something to think about.

To your good health!

Karl

You have a choice…

You have a choice…
But a lot of people don’t realise this.

Sorry, today the topic is rather morbid – disease and death. I am working on a presentation called ‘You have a choice’ and so I thought I would share the basic idea with you.

Over the years, the things that kill us have changed. 20,000 years ago, our caveman ancestors were killed by predators, accidents and infectious diseases. High infant mortality was almost certainly the #1 cause of death.

Then for a long time, in more recent history, it was wars, poverty, infectious dieases and malnutrition that was killing us.

But through technology, medicine and public sanitation, many of those things have been sorted out.

Now, what kills most humans is NCDs. Non-commincable diseases.

‘Non-communicable’ means they are not infectious, we don’t ‘catch’ them, they ‘develop’ inside us. Worldwide, around 55 to 60 million people die every year. These NCDs account for about 70% of those deaths. The four things that kill most people are heart disease and stroke (circulatory diseases), cancers, diabetes and lung conditions.

What these diseases all have in common, is that they develop inside us, over time. Another word for ‘develop’ might be ‘grow’. They grow inside us, and therefore we have some ability to exert an influence over that growth process.

Of course, some of these diseases are unavoidable. Some people are born with heart problems, some people inherit a genetic malfunction that can lead to a cancer forming at a young age, and some people inherit genes that make them predisposed to certain cancers. But in all, inherited conditions and genetic abnormalities only really account for about 10% or so of cancers, and less than 10% of heart disease.

What of the other 90%? Well, we can exert some influence over the other 90%.

For instance, the #1 preventable cause of cancer worldwide is smoking. Smoking causes heart disease, lung cancer, other cancers and several lung diseases. According to WHO, the World Health Organisation, smoking is the primary cause of death behind roughly 10% of all human death every year.
So there we have a choice – don’t smoke, and you should live a little longer.
See how this works?
You have a choice.

According to Cancer Research UK, and the NHS, approximately 42% of cancer deaths in the UK are caused by smoking, obesity, drinking alcohol, poor diet, lack of exercise, irresponsible sun exposure and exposure to toxic chemicals at work.
Well, you can choose not to smoke, you can choose to eat sensibly, the Mother Nature’s Diet way, you can choose not to drink, or to drink much less, you can choose to eat a better diet, more than your 5-a-day, you can choose to exercise regularly, you can choose to be sensible in the sun, and you can choose not to work in an environment where you may be exposed to toxic chemicals.

Just those things, in that paragraph, that’s almost half of UK cancer deaths taken care of right there. You can choose not to be a part of that statistic.

Now of course, let’s not talk about saving lives. We can’t save lives, we can only prolong them. Personally, I’m all for a longer life! The truth is, we’re all going to die, one day, that’s a fact of life. But average life expectancy in the UK is around 80, so I am saying you can choose, do you want to go at 65, or make it to 95? How you live, can make that difference.

Many of the things that cause cancer, are the same things that cause heart disease. And it just so happens they are also the same things that cause diabetes (type-2) and certain lung diseases. While smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, it is also the leading cause of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and it is one of the leading causes of heart disease.

Poor diet and a lack of exercise are the leading causes of obesity and type-2 diabetes. Obesity in turn is a major cause of heart disease and a direct cause of ten types of cancer, including breast cancer and bowel cancer. Being diagnosed with diabetes takes 10 years off your life expectancy, and diabetes in turn is a leading risk factor for heart disease.

You see, it’s the same things, time and again, causing so much of our ill health.

So today my message is simple: You have a choice.
I find a lot of people just don’t realise it.

We grow up with ‘common knowledge’ like “Smoking gives you cancer” and “Being obese, you’re a heart attack waiting to happen.” but beyond that, I find that most people really don’t realise that if we all just made some smarter choices, we could hold off 50% of deaths in the UK for an extra decade or two, just through some simple healthy living. And heaven knows how this would ease the burden on our beloved NHS.

So now you do know, that you have a choice.

What are you going to do differently?

More gym, less wine

News items telling the public that drinking alcohol has health benefits are a regular feature of the tabloid press, and once again this week I spotted this news item this morning on my Facebook feed:
“Glass of Red Wine Equals 1 Hour at Gym, New Study Says”

My goal this week is not to ‘bash alcohol consumption’ specifically, but just to highlight how scientific facts become distorted by the time they find their way into the mainstream press.

The news article linked above clearly attempts to inform the reader that drinking red wine is so good for your heart, that it’s as good as exercise. Of course, if we read down a little way, we find the message is slightly less clear…the research lead is noted as saying that a compound found in red wine, resveratrol, can have positive benefits on your heart and other muscles which may be beneficial for those who cannot exercise. He stresses that for those physically incapable of exercise, a glass of red wine may be beneficial alongside what little exercise they can manage.

So here we have a classic example of how a research er has made a suggestion that “may offer some benefit” to a specific ‘special population’ but by the time it reaches the popular press, the headline is “Glass of Red Wine Equals 1 Hour at Gym, New Study Says” with no mention of “might” or “for those who are physically incapable of exercise” and the short article is accompanied by a picture of red wine being poured, captioned with the words “Glass of red wine equals 1 hour at gym.”

Clearly, this is somewhat stretching the truth – to suggest to the population at large that they will somehow derive the same benefits from sitting at home drinking wine, as they would from going to the gym and working out for an hour. How ridiculous!

Resveratrol

So what is this compound, resveratrol?
You can read a little about it hear on Wikipedia.

Resveratrol is a compound found in the skin of the grapes they use to make wine. In the grape skin, the resveratrol is found in much higher concentrations…so why not publish an article saying “eating grapes can benefit your heart” – that would surely be better health advice to give to the general public, yes? In a society wrestling with an obesity epidemic, would that not be more responsible journalism? Read more

Keeping things simple

This week, I have been reading a lot of things that resonate with me around a central theme of simplicity. I often talk about how the diet industry and the health-and-wellness industry over complicate everything in order to sell you ‘solutions’ This may be selling you supplements that promise amazing results – yet in reality, in the overwhelming majority of cases, supplements maybe make up about 1% of the story in total, at best.

Or it may be selling you ‘detox’ retreats, or fad diets promising to rid your body of ‘toxins’ – when in reality, there is no scientific truth behind the idea that if you eat a few extra vegetables you are somehow going to ‘release toxins’ that might be in your blood waiting to harm you. If your blood was ‘toxic’ you would be in hospital, fighting for your life. Don’t buy into this bullshit sales rubbish.

I read a lot, and I teach ‘science reduced to simplicity’ as the core of what I do at Mother Nature’s Diet. Time and again, I find that there really are only a handful of genuinely good ideas, all of which are of course encompassed in the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet.

Today, I was reading about ‘The Simple 7’ taught by the American Heart Association. Heart disease remains the global number one cause of death, and back in 1978, experts at the American Heart Association thought that rather than spending all our time trying to ‘cure’ heart disease, prevent people with heart disease from suffering heart attacks (and strokes), and keep people alive for longer after a heart attack, why not spend some time trying to help people not get heart disease at all in the first instance.

Now this is my kinda medicine – prevention is better than cure!

The American Heart Association came up with ‘The Simple 7’ Read more

Fitness or fatness?

Is it healthier to be slim but not fit, or overweight but physically fit?

Does it even matter?

I spotted this question being debated – rather excitedly to be honest – online in a Facebook Group and I thought I would share it with you.

There are many opinions on this. Some people think we should stop obsessing over body image, and there is too much public pressure on us to be thin. Some people say it’s wrong to assume that an overweight or obese person is either lazy, unfit or unhealthy. Maybe that person exercises and is physically fit, they just happen to be overweight too.

Others point out that being overweight or obese is a risk factor for many poor health conditions, such as type-2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. This is true, being overweight or obese is a risk factor for all these diseases, in fact being overweight or obese is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer in the UK, and worldwide, according to the World Health Organisation.

But while being overweight or obese contributes to several of our most prevalent diseases, so does a lack of physical exercise. That’s right, when we look at lists of all the factors causing type-2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, while we see ‘overweight and obesity’ on the list, in every case, ‘lack of exercise’ is right there on the same list too.

If we dig a little deeper, we actually find out that fitness matters more than fatness, when it comes to all-cause mortality. If you read the short abstract from that study which was published in the journal Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, you’ll see that overweight and obese people who maintained good physical fitness, lived about as long as normal weight people who maintained good levels of physical fitness too. As the article says “Compared to normal weight-fit individuals, unfit individuals had twice the risk of mortality regardless of BMI.”

So there you have it. It turns out that it’s more important to be fit, than to be thin, if living a long healthy live and avoiding major diseases is your objective.

In a society that values ‘the body beautiful’ so much, and uses stereotypes of slim and lean models for advertising and marketing, it seems we have been putting too much focus on looks and not enough focus on action. If we want to hold back heart disease and cancer for as long as possible, then we should enjoy regular exercise more and stop worrying so much about our bodyfat levels. It seems the 6-pack really is just about vanity, rather than health.

Of course, at Mother Nature’s Diet we already knew this! Our focus has always been on being healthy, and I have said for years that if we work towards being healthy on the inside, our bodies will take care of how we look from the outside.

In my own personal weight loss journey, I wrestled with my weight for 20 years, yo-yo dieting in and out of obesity. All that time my focus was on losing weight to try to look better and feel happier about myself. Only when I changed my focus to being healthy did I finally crack it, and lost 7 stone 3, that’s 101 pounds of fat, or 46 kilos to my European friends.

Living by the 12 Core Principles of Mother Nature’s Diet we focus on eating healthy nourishing whole foods, we don’t count calories, and we aim to stay active and exercise almost every day.

Sounds like we’re doing the right thing if you ask me.
Well done, keep going!

To your good health!

Myth busting – Part 9

This post is Part 9 of a continuing short series of posts tackling persistent myths in the world of healthy eating, with a particular focus on the consumption of animal foods as a source of ill health and environmental destruction.

If you like to cut through the b/s you see on social media these days and understand, in plain English, what’s really going on, then you may like to read the whole series starting from Myth busting – Part 1

Myth: All this talk of our ancient ancestors, how we evolved eating a lot of meat and this talk of ‘prehistoric man’ is all very interesting, but didn’t caveman die at like, 35 years old?

 

Truth: Prehistoric man didn’t die at 35. Infant mortality was very high, and a lot of people died from predators, communicable diseases and accidents. The rest lived to a good age. Cancer did exist, but as far as we know (from fossil evidence, which isn’t much), it was quite rare.

I blogged this whole piece a little while back, so if you regularly read my blog then you may have already seen this one, but it really fits with the other myths we are busting and paradigms we are shifting here in this mini-series, so I thought I would run it for you again as we transition from ‘animal consumption and human health’ to ‘animal agriculture and the environment’ which is coming up next.

‘Caveman’ didn’t always ‘die at 35’

Don’t believe everything you see on social media!

bullshit caveman meme

Recently, a friend of mine shared this image with me and asked me “So what can we say…?” and it’s a good point, this is something I am often asked about, it’s a common myth about our ancient ancestors. I could write a whole book on this, but I’ll keep it brief here. Read more

Myth busting – Part 2

Myth: Cholesterol is bad for you

Truth: Cholesterol itself is a naturally occurring compound, an essential part of YOU! Only high LDL and VLDL cholesterol is associated with heart disease risk factors.

Whole books have been written about ‘the cholesterol myth’, lots of them, and I’ve read several. The truth that I always come back to is this – cholesterol is a naturally occurring sterol lipid (that’s a fancy name for a fat-based chemical compound) that is an integral part of every cell of every animal on Earth. Your body needs cholesterol to maintain cell integrity for all cells in the human body. Cholesterol is also an essential precursor in the production of a number of hormones, and it has other functions in our bodies too.

Cholesterol is an essential element of all cells in all animals. Your brain and nervous system, organs and muscles, none of them would work without cholesterol. It is so important, that if you don’t ingest any from dietary sources, your body can make its own.

So I think: if cholesterol is so important, vital to all animal life and so omnipresent in all animal life forms, how on Earth Read more

Meat Consumption and Cancer (WHO report and media frenzy)

This week, the media here in the UK (and elsewhere I guess) is awash with this latest ‘processed meat and cancer’ story. WHO cancer agency IARC (The International Agency for Research on Cancer) just published a report (October 2015) identifying associations between meat consumption and cancer. The media has, predictably, gone nuts over this story.

In my opinion, this is not news at all. This supports everything I say and every word MotherNaturesDiet stands for.

‘Processed’ is the key word here

The report mostly points a finger at processed meat, then less so at red meat in general.

Living the MotherNaturesDiet way, we say ‘avoid processed foods’. That’s Core Principle 3. If it has a barcode and a list of ingredients, don’t eat it. That stands here, for processed meat, too.

Just to be clear, this new report won’t be forcing me to make any changes to the MotherNaturesDiet recommended healthy lifestyle. I’ve been warning against processed meat for a long time.

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/03/07/new-research-linking-processed-meat-to-increased-risk-of-death/

In my opinion, any dietary advice generally around ‘red meat’ MUST be openly questioned.

As I often explain in my live seminars, before you eat an animal (or plant) you have to ask “What did that animal eat?”

If the animal was mistreated and eating grains, and worse (antibiotics, growth hormones, ash, cardboard, mashed up pig parts…etc.) then that animal will make meat that is not so good for you. But if the animal has lived a natural life, living outside (pasture raised, free range) eating grass (natural food for cows) and been treated properly, then the meat will be nutritious and good for you.

This is, of course, the logic behind Core Principle 8 – eat only organic, free range, pasture-raised, grass-fed meat.

So this WHO advisory makes ZERO different at all to MND.

For a long time, I have been asking the question: Read more

Why we have an obesity problem

Do you want to know why we have an obesity epidemic?

Because you can buy 5,496 calories for £14 – 24 cans of Strongbow cider, 440ml cans, 229 calories per can.

The calories in the Strongbow come from the sugars and of course the alcohol itself. Half comes from sugars, all of which you absorb and half comes from alcohol, all of which you don’t. (The metabolism of alcohol is a complex scientific process, but you could think of it as ‘half the alcohol is converted into a form of sugary energy your body uses, the other half just fucks up your liver.)

If you are a regular reader of my work, you will likely have read about how your body depletes small amounts of certain valuable micronutrients in order to process sugar. Quote “It requires some B vitamins (particularly vitamin B1 (thiamine), and B3 (niacin)), some vitamin C, and also calcium, and trace amounts of potassium, magnesium, zinc, chromium and sodium in order to absorb and use the energy provided by refined sugar” – read the full article here: https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2014/12/23/white-refined-sugar-is-an-anti-nutrient/

The Strongbow works out at a cost of £1.33 per litre. Without getting lost in the minutiae of scientific detail let’s say a litre weighs 1 kilo, which is close enough.
So this 24-pack of Strongbow costs £1.33 per kilo, and the whole pack weighs 10.5 kilos, and contains 5,496 calories, giving you 520 calories per kilo, calories which all come from sugar and alcohol. Read more

Don’t believe everything you see on Facebook!

The other day, a friend of mine shared this image with me bullshit caveman memeand said “So what can we say…?” and it’s a good point, this is something I am often asked about, but it’s not come up for a while, so it’s worth me covering today.

I could write a whole book on this, but I’ll hit it here in super-brief form.

Frankly, it’s a common myth.

‘Caveman’ didn’t die at 35. Well, I am sure some did, but in reality, a third died in childhood, a third died young from accidents or predators or disease, and a third lived to old age. But when we look at millions of people over thousands of years, we arrive at a single figure for life expectancy, and many people then wrongly believe that this meant ‘the age that everyone lived to’, rather than a broad statistical average.

The trouble with data

Life expectancy figures are vast generalisations. Anthropologists look at a big base such as ‘the entire human race’ over a period of time such as ‘the paleolithic era’ which means “everything from 190,000 years ago to 10,000 years ago”.

So we are looking at ALL people, over 180,000 years of NON-written history, largely derived from the fossil record, and covering billions of lives over huge stretches of time, tens of thousands of years, spread across all climates and geographies around the planet. When statistical data for “caveman” is talked about, Read more

MND TV Episode 10 – a few quick thoughts on stress

MND TV Episode 10 – a short intro to the topic of stress.

We all hear about stress all the time, and we know stress is bad for us, but many people don’t really know exactly what this means and how it all affects our health.

This short episode of MND TV explains what stress is, how stress hormones affect us and how this all fits together with the big-picture MND way of thinking!

http://mothernaturesdiet.tv/2014/10/28/mnd-tv-episode-10/

Physician, heal thyself

I am not in the business of attacking anyone else, putting anyone else down or judging anyone. I think that kind of thing is already all-too-common online, and it is negative, it really doesn’t help anyone. I have been blogging for over 4 years, and I have not attacked anyone else in that time.

However, some self-proclaimed healthcare professionals, some folks with lots of academic qualifications, have told me I am a quack, a danger to the public, preaching pseudo-science and quackery.

Those of you who have been to my live Seminar, you be the judge of that.

Meanwhile, under the watchful guidance of the medically qualified, our great nation seems to be suffering –

  • National obesity EPIDEMIC
  • Diabetes EPIDEMIC
  • Heart disease at EPIDEMIC proportions
  • Cancer rates SOARING
  • Depression rates SOARING
  • Childhood obesity SOARING
  • Statins, antacids, anti-depressants and PPIs widespread
  • Now see this –
    – HALF of all the women in the UK, and NEARLY HALF of all men are now taking PRESCRIPTION DRUGS.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30411246

Quote “The more medicines you take, the more contact you have with contemporary medicine, the less well you feel.” Read more

Anti-aging benefits of less sugar and more vegetables

My friend shared this interesting article with me:

http://www.drperlmutter.com/low-glycemic-diet-slows-progression-age-related-macular-degeneration/

The article explains how our eyes work and what macular degeneration is, and then goes on to the findings of a new study.
Here, quoted, I picked out what I believe to be the most relevant and interesting part:

Quote < < “Each participant’s diet was assessed in terms of a scale called dietary glycaemic index. The food choices with a high glycaemic index are those which raise blood sugar significantly and for a longer period of time. As you would expect, these are food choices that are higher in sugar and carbohydrate.

What the researchers found was quite compelling. Those individuals whose diets had higher levels of high glycaemic index foods had a dramatic increase risk for progression or worsening of macular degeneration. Read more

The drugs don’t work and you can’t trust the media!

This is important.

YOU REALLY NEED TO READ THIS.

It you have ever been prescribed statins, or if someone you love is taking statins, you DEFINITELY need to invest half an hour of your day into reading this post and watching this important and educational video.

This is a fascinating watch, well worth 18 minutes of your life.

I posted a slightly controversial post on our very active MND Facebook page the other day, in a nutshell I was saying “We seem to have more medical science and nutrition knowledge and qualified experts than ever these days, yet in general the whole of society is fatter and sicker than they have ever been before. Are we getting lost in the detail, buried in science, digging too deep and missing the bigger picture? Is all that science being hijacked by companies trying to sell us stuff, supplements, compression clothing, training programs and exercise equipment? Maybe all we need is to get back to nature, use some common sense, live more naturally and shun some of the endless modern inventions.” I have spoken extensively about this here: http://mothernaturesdiet.tv/2014/09/01/mnd-tv-episode-1/ That was the thrust of my post – but it’s a highly relevant thought to keep in your mind as you watch this video and read this post.

Now watch this video

Truth That Lasts: David Newman at TEDxColumbiaEngineering: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCk_vTkS6bU

The first 6 minutes Dr Newman explains how “scientific research” showing truly miniscule results, really imperceptible results that actually aren’t results at all, ends up reported in the popular media as “fact” which is “proven by science” and people believe it and spend years basing their behaviour on these reported facts. Read more

Too much food causes more death and ill health than too little food

Wow, how dreadful is this. It seems that there is now more death and poor health around the world caused by people eating too much food, than there is caused by people who don’t have enough. That’s a very sad 21st Century problem, and when I think of those who don’t have enough, it makes me feel terribly sad that we have allowed this to happen.

This short post is not the place to discuss farm policies, farm subsidies in the US and EU, food distribution and fair trade.

I wrote this a year ago: https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/03/11/focus-on-what-really-matters/ – noting that there were a little over 1.5 billion overweight people on Earth.

Then this week this article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-27586365 – notes that we are now over 2.1 billion overweight people.

Have we added HALF A BILLION, a staggering 600 million more overweight people in just a year?

Does that mean that everyone on earth will be overweight in just a few years?

The research concludes: “Because of the established health risks and substantial increases in prevalence, obesity has become a major global health challenge. Not only is obesity increasing, but no national success stories have been reported in the past 33 years. Urgent global action and leadership is needed to help countries to more effectively intervene.”

Wow, people need my help even more than I thought!

www.MotherNaturesDiet.me – better go spread the word!

 

I’m not fat, so I can eat what I like! My food choices don’t affect my health!! (And other bullsh*t beliefs!)

Forgive me going off on a bit of a rant today, but I was just having this conversation with a friend and I thought I would share this with you, as it’s a relevant ‘case study’ and applies to loads of people.

What is this post about?

  • There are a LOT of people around who are not over weight, so they take an ‘I can eat whatever rubbish I like’ attitude to their diet
  • This is deep-held belief that people have, that if they are not grossly over weight, then there is no further connection between diet and health
  • Last time I checked the scientific literature, slim people still get sick. Slim people still suffer coughs, colds, flu. Slim people still suffer chronic fatigue, tiredness, skin conditions and bowel conditions. Slim people still get heart disease. Slim people still get cancer. Slim people still die! Last time I spoke to one of my Doctor friends, I don’t recall “Not being over weight” as a cure-all solution to living forever and never getting ill.

Conclusions in this post:

  • There are many factors involved in whether or not you are over weight
  • Body fat serves numerous function in your body, some of them are involved in keeping you healthy
  • Eating a diet high in junk food affects your health in many ways above and beyond whether or not you carry excess body fat

Read on to learn more.

I’m not fat, so I can eat what I like! My food choices don’t affect my health!!

I hear this one a LOT. I could write an entire book (seriously, 100,000 words, 200 pages, no problem!) just tackling this myth and all the threads and sub-topics that come off this. In the interests of time and sanity, I will try to keep this post brief, as you and I don’t have time for a whole book today! Read more

Why it’s important to be a balanced, big picture thinker

I know I often write long posts, and you might not have time to read them. So I will put bullet points at the start, telling you in brief what the post is about, and in brief, the main conclusions or points that I come to.

This way, if you are short of time, you can read the bullet points, which only takes 30 seconds, and it should tell you the essence of the post – if it sounds interesting, you will find the 5 minutes you need to read the whole thing, but otherwise, the bullet points tell you enough to get the main idea.

I will try to remember to summarize all future posts this way. I hope this is helpful!

What is this post about?

  • Some people are obsessed with clean eating, while the rest of their life is in a mess!
  • Some people are obsessed with weight training or a certain sport, but pay little attention to good diet
  • Some people eat well and exercise, but the allow other areas of life to stress them out, having a negative impact on their lives
  • Some people do so much endurance sport they never allow time for recovery – and an excess of almost anything can become unhealthy eventually
  • I meet a lot of folks who put in killer workouts and intense training sessions, but then they are ill with colds and flu every few weeks

Main conclusions:

  • You have to be a big picture thinker
  • Take a holistic approach to optimal good health
  • Balance is essential – train with weights, train aerobically, have heavy days, and easy days, eat well, de-stress and look to ensure there is happiness in your life…all these areas are equally important

Read on to learn more.

You have to look at the bigger picture

I see lots of people fixated on just food or just exercise, but I fear they are failing to look at the bigger picture. Supreme good health and abundant energy does not come from putting ALL your attention on just one thing, you have to think holistically.

I often meet people who obsess over ‘pure clean eating’, they are fanatical about eating raw, organic, vegan, local, seasonal and only grown in countries that ban GMO crops. They know a million reasons why you mustn’t cook with a certain oil, because heating it produces some ghastly carcinogenic chemicals, they will tell you that it’s like cooking your dinner in toxic waste! They will tell you everything there is to know about sprouting beans, fermenting vegetables, home made sour dough bread and the nutrient profile of certain seeds. Read more

Processed food, your mitochondria, and ageing

I was reading a research paper over breakfast this morning, and yet again found ANOTHER good reason to eat clean and avoid processed foods and junk foods. I’ll quickly share it with you before I get stuck into my learning for the day.

A vast majority of processed foods broadly tend to be:

  • made from processed grains
  • they have had components of their original make-up removed (often natural fats) in order to extend their shelf life (leave the natural fats in, and the foods would go rancid)
  • for these reasons, they tend to be energy-dense (lots of calories, mostly carbs) and nutrient-poor (lacking vitamins and minerals)

This is a gross over-simplification, but it reasonably accurately describes foods such as bread, pasta, white rice, cakes, pastries, burger buns, snack bars, cereals and almost all packaged convenience food and almost all non-perishable snack foods.

So the food delivers energy, I.E. it gives you calories, but it fails to deliver nutrients the way Mother Nature intended. If you eat 600 grams of cabbage or broccoli you get some calories, but you get a bunch of vitamins, minerals and enzymes too. If you eat 600 grams of white bread, you get the calories, but very little of the nutrients (and those you do get, are synthetic, added in a factory, and hence far less bio-available to your body, because they are not ‘packaged’ naturally in balance with their relevant digestive enzymes, etc.).  Read more

The 12 Core Principles of MotherNaturesDiet are very carefully balanced to help you focus on the MOST important issues in improving overall health.

The 12 Core Principles of MotherNaturesDiet are clustered in 3 groups:

Group 1: Things to quit 12 Core Principles - 3

Group 2: Things to consume

Group 3: Exercise and lifestyle factors

Each group contains 4 Rules. All these rules are brief and purposefully simplified – MND is all about keeping it simple, to help ordinary busy people cut through the ‘diet industry’ and ‘health industry’ marketing bullshit and get to what really works.

You’ll see that there are TWICE AS MANY Rules about ‘what not to eat’ as there are about ‘what TO eat’. This is structured this way on purpose, because I believe it is TWICE as important to get all the crap OUT of your life than to spend all your time worrying about the nuances and minutiae of what you should be eating. Diet perfectionism be damned, just eat real whole foods, eliminate chemicals from your body and avoid ALL processed foods, and you’ll have ‘the diet thing’ 90% licked. Read more

Act BEFORE disaster strikes…don’t wait UNTIL it happens

Earlier today, a friend reminded me just how hard it is to convince people to make healthier diet choices while those people are seemingly healthy and active.

The trouble is, the net effect of poor dietary and lifestyle choices may be doing harm on the inside for many years, without those ill effects showing up on the outside. The body may be doing it’s job, keeping things working inside, but the damage is likely accumulating, out of sight, out of mind.

I really want to help people, long term, to understand this point. Ignoring health advice and warnings (about sugar, alcohol, nicotine, processed food, additives, the sodium nitrite in processed meats, etc.) now, can and almost certainly will, cause an accumulation of toxic side effects inside the body. In time, these affect “gene expression”, and rising cancer rates, among other major health problems, are a direct effect of this scenario. I want people to understand that waiting til the Dr says “I’m sorry Mr/Mrs X, but we have found a mass on your scan.” is TOO LATE. People get the bad news, then start shouting “why me?” And “it’s not fair” and “help me NOW”

They are right, it’s sad and not fair, but it happens, and global cancer rates are forecast to more than double over the next 30 years or so.

Diet is not the sole cause, but diet and lifestyle largely determines the state of the ‘biological environment’ inside the body. This environment then affects ‘gene expression’. In over-simplified terms, think of it like this: if you have any kind of genetic pre-disposition to a condition, such as breast, cervical, lung, liver or prostate cancer, that genetic pre-disposition may NOT come to reality if your inner environment is super-clean…however, a ‘dirty’ inner environment is far more likely to promote that pre-disposition to express itself.

Waiting until you are diagnosed to say “oh God please help me now” is like asking for a band aid after the cut has been made and blood is gushing out. I want to help people see the knife coming and avoid that cut in the first place.

Prevention is better, less painful, and more effective, than cure.

Over the next decade, as I develop MND into a business, from Day One, 10 percent of all profits MND ever makes will go to a non-profit foundation, the MND Health Foundation. Once funds permit research to begin, this not-for-profit will research links between diet and cancer prevalence, among other topics. I hope, in some way, that MND will one day help to reverse these rising cancer rates, through prevention and education.

I have written on related topics before. For more, please see:
Pills are not the answer!

Drinking bleach…and other bright ideas…

Focus on what really matters

8 Years Without Cigarettes! Yippee!!

I quit smoking, after “trying” for more than a decade, eight years ago this week! The last cigarette I smoked was mid-morning on Feb 3rd, 2006. Now, they are gone forever! Hoorah!!

I appreciate that many people find quitting really tough. I know. For a long time, that was me, too. Then, once I MADE a FIRM DECISION, it was easy, and I have never looked back.

Prior to that, I had ‘tried’ many times, justifying that I ‘should’ quit because it was a waste of money or it was bad for my health, but those justifications just never empowered me enough, and I quit literally hundreds of times over 10 or 12 years and it would last between an hour and several months, then I would go back.

But, 8 years ago this week, I made a decision to change my identity, in my own psyche. I DECIDED that I was committed to good health so I changed who I saw myself as, to “health freak” which automatically meant ‘non-smoker’ was a core part of the new me. With that mental reference, I just quit. I took the pack out of pocket, crushed it and dropped it into a bin, and have never wanted one since.

That day, my life changed forever.

All my changes for the better, all my positive changes from the unhealthy old me that wanted to change but didn’t know how, to the new me for whom health and longevity has become my life’s consuming passion, all those changes started right then, as I decided to quit smoking. It all started that day, that hour, because in my BRAIN and in my HEART, I changed my identity, I said to myself with belief and conviction, that I am a healthy person, who wants to be healthy, look healthy, have more energy, shape a nice strong lean body, be fitter, live longer and not get sick. I changed my own identity, and since then, everything has slowly fallen ‘almost effortlessly’ into place.

The last 8 years have been incredible, and I can hardly describe the depth of changes in my life that have come from that humble start.

Onward to the next 8!! Yippeeee!!!

Stay healthy folks, stay happy!

Statistics can be misleading

Here’s a miscellaneous thought for you.

In my constant pursuit of greater knowledge and understanding of all things related to living a long healthy life, I read a lot of scientific research articles, blogs, books and papers. The more I read and learn, the more I have come to the conclusion that if we wanted to, we could twist almost any data to present almost any conclusion we want.

Often times I find an article that appears, from a quick read-through, to be intelligent, well written, lacking any obvious bias and backed up by solid references. Then I dig deeper on topics within such articles, and find all kinds of conflicting research elsewhere and then I start questioning the author, and the motive behind what has been written. We (authors) all have a ‘motive’ when we write something. It may be to find a cure for an ailment, it may be to help people lose excess weight, it may be to sell a supplement, it may be to resist the signs of ageing, it may be to sell a piece of sports equipment, it may be to oppose an opinion the author read elsewhere, it may be to convince the readers to see things the way the author sees them. Read more

2013 Popular Posts #7: Sugar and the Insulin Response

2013 Popular Posts #7: Sugar and the Insulin Response – in plain, simple English

This was the 7th most popular piece I wrote in 2013, and with good reason. I only wrote this at the start of November, so in just 8 weeks it’s been viewed a lot of times.

Understanding the way your body responds to eating sugar, and starchy carbohydrates, is fundamentally important. MND Core Principle NUMBER ONE is “Eliminate grain and starchy carbs from your diet” and MND Core Principle NUMBER TWO is “Eliminate refined white sugar from your diet” – these are the single most important thing you can do to improve your health long term.

Read this post and understand the basic science – in the simplest plain English I could manage – behind these valuable rules for healthy living.

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/11/03/sugar-and-the-insulin-response-in-plain-simple-english/

2013 Popular Posts #10: We wouldn’t feed pizza to a rhino, so why are we feeding it to our children?

This post is about the so-called ‘food’ that forms an increasing proportion of the calories consumed by many people today.

We humans eat substances that we wouldn’t feed to other animals, but we feed them to ourselves, and we feed them to those we love the most, our children.

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/02/16/we-wouldnt-feed-pizza-to-a-rhino-so-why-are-we-feeding-it-to-our-children/

2013 Popular Posts #11 (joint 11th place): Sugar is Public Enemy #1

This post explains how the diet industry led everyone in the wrong direction when they blamed saturated fat, and animal products specifically, for the rise in heart disease.

Sugar is the great offender in the modern Western diet. Since diet foods ‘cut the fat’ they just added more sugar – and obesity rates, diabetes, heart disease and cancer have all been rising ever since.

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/02/28/sugar-is-public-enemy-1-stop-blaming-meat-and-fat/

When they started pushing low fat

If you read this post and then want to know more about which animal products are health-giving and which should be avoided, I have written extensively on this subject, and you will find links on this page – https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/04/08/the-bbc-seemingly-recommending-a-big-mac-over-a-home-cooked-sunday-roast/

Living a long and healthy life

How to live to be 100+

I LOVE this…I LOVE everything about this, this is exactly the stuff I tell people about longevity, it’s so bang on, this guy says exactly the same things that I say.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ff40YiMmVkU

The answers to living a long, healthy, productive life are NOT –

  • Be rich
  • Work out like crazy in the gym every day
  • Run marathons
  • Lift heavy weight
  • Be stacked, jacked, swole, ripped and shredded
  • Have a 6-pack
  • Be rail think like a catwalk model
  • Wear $100 fancy running shoes
  • Etc…

The answers are about living a calm, happy, loving, ACTIVE life, follow your passion, reduce stress, do what you love, share love with people, don’t hate, eat a simple, NATURAL diet, everything in moderation, avoid too many modern conveniences…

I want to spend the next 40 years teaching this stuff to millions of people.

Please read more and SHARE:

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/08/28/the-simple-things/

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/10/03/secrets-of-longevity/

https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/10/03/a-quick-thought-on-longevity/

Stay healthy, stay happy, life longer, 1luvx. MotherNaturesDiet

Pills are not the answer!

Too many people take too many pills for too many insignificant minor daily conditions.

I don’t take pills for anything. I avoid pills and medications as much as I can, and I have probably got my total consumption of medications down to 1 or 2 little anti-histamine tablets per year now, and that’s it.

I hate pills!

I see people taking pain killers because they have a headache, and I ask what they have drunk that day – 6 cups of coffee and no water…and they wonder why they have a headache!! Dehydration!! They stare at a PC for 8 hours, then a TV for 5 more, and don’t drink water, then take pills at bedtime for their headache!!!

Then there are the people who eat garbage food, sit down all day slumped over a desk, guzzle gassy cola and eat yeast-laden, gluten-laden bread, then have spicy take-away food for dinner, and go to bed complaining of…indigestion!!! No kidding! They take ant-acids and say “if this keeps happening I might have to go to the doctor” – oh puh-lease give me strength! They don’t need to go to the doctor, they need to go to the GYM!!

Then there are the people who take weight-loss pills…oh don’t get me started!! These people need to know, the answers in life do NOT come in a pill – not to anything, not your crazy ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme, not the perfect body, not the partner of your dreams and not happiness. You get what you WORK for in life, the answers are not pills!

I see people taking pain killers for a hangover – perhaps they should learn moderation the night before.

I see people taking pills (and potions) when they have a cough or cold, they take things to ‘dry up’ and that’s wrong! They have a cold because their body is trying to get something OUT – a cough or cold is a form of elimination, their body wants the waste OUT, yet they take decongestants to dry up that elimination process and keep the waste IN! Wrong!!! They shouldn’t take pills, they should drink water, to hydrate and provide their body with extra fluid to flush the waste out.

People take vitamin pills every day, which often cost a small fortune, yet in their synthetic form, most pills are washed down the toilet an hour or two later. Madness, and a total waste of money. If they stopped taking pills and spent their money on good quality, real, fresh, organic food, they would get all the nutrients they need.

It’s all so simple, it’s just common sense thinking – pills are a lousy ‘quick fix’ and the real answer is to address the route cause and stop the problem from ever happening.

Don’t wait til it’s all too late

No one wants to get sick, no one wants to feel ill. Long term, none of us want to die. In one of his most famous speeches, Steve Jobs said “No one wants to die, even people who want to go to heaven, don’t want to die to get there.”

I look… around and I see thousands and thousands and thousands of people suffering from the same ill health…whether it’s legions of 30- and 40-something office workers who seem to suffer almost endless coughs, colds, sore throats or the dreaded ‘man-flu’, or I see thousands in the 50s being put on statins for the rest of their lives, or people being diagnosed with adult-onset diabetes, heart disease and cancer. 

I believe that for many people, we fail to make the connection between the little things we do every day – such as the poor food choices, the time in front of the TV, the lack of exercise, the alcoholic drinks and the ‘naughty treats’ we snack on – and the long-term consequences of these actions, when they add up cumulatively over a long period of time. 

I have written about this, about how we fail to link time to cause-and-effect, here: https://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/03/10/drinking-bleach-and-other-bright-ideas/

And I made a short video about our mentality around “treats” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDZ9_sfhRao

When the doctor weighs and measures you, and does blood tests and scans, and delivers the bad news, in your 40s, 50s, or 60s, it is damn hard to turn things around and claw your way back to good health. It is easier to STAY healthy that to GET WELL from a place of illness and disease. SO don’t get sick, start looking after yourself NOW before you reach that point where a ‘come back’ is such a difficult task. 

I hope this makes some sense, I write this from a place of caring, from compassion, kindness and heartfelt concern, and I welcome your thoughts and feelings about this.

Sugar and the Insulin Response – in plain, simple English

A friend asked me to explain the whole sugar-insulin response thing.

So, to answer that question, I searched for some good explanations online, to send my friend links, but I couldn’t find any really straight-forward writing, so I thought I would write it myself!!

I am purposefully over-simplifying this here and keeping any kind of ‘science talk’ out, or to a minimum.

In short, layman’s terms, it goes like this:

You eat food with sugars (or carbohydrates) in the food, they go through the stomach and reach the duodenum, where the pancreas senses that there is sugar present, and releases insulin into your system.  Read more

New Study Confirms Statins Do Not Save Lives

I saw this very interesting post on Justin Smith’s blog the other day, and I thought I should share it with you.

New Study Confirms Statins Do Not Save Lives

Smith is the author of the Statin Nation movie and the book $29bn Reasons To Lie About Cholesterol