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Posts from the ‘Disease’ Category

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