September 11

What does it take to feel better?

In my practice, I work with many seniors. One of the observations I have made is that many of them experience aches and pains and other signs of poor health, such as cognitive decline, because they have been eating a poor diet for many years. A poor diet consists of foods that cause inflammation in the body, usually an excess of sugar-laden foods.

Who doesn’t like sugar-laden foods? We all do. They taste good. That’s why we eat them. In addition, they’re also easily and widely available, and often cost less than healthier foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Many people also make the assumption that eating a slice of bread or bran muffin is healthier than eating cake with icing sugar frosting. In fact, all these products made from flour spike blood sugar almost to the same extent.

Prescription Drugs are Not the Answer

Eating too many sugar-laden foods can, in the long term, lead to inflammation, type 2 diabetes, and a general decline in health. Many people then opt for taking prescription drugs such as metformin to help them control their blood sugar and hopefully prevent further declines in health. Taking prescription drugs lulls them into a false sense of security that they can continue eating what they’ve been eating up until now and everything will be fine: taking prescription drugs will take care of the problem.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Recent research shows that even though the drugs used to control blood sugar work moderately well, they do nothing to reduce long-term risk of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. In other words, they don’t affect longevity and your chances of developing the common diseases of aging, which is what they were supposed to do. In short, prescription drugs are not the magic bullet we’d like them to be when it comes to eating what we want.

So, what’s the solution? Is there another magic bullet?

No, there isn’t.

The only way to have good health is to eat healthy and exercise.

What if I don’t want to? I don’t like the taste of healthy food. Sweet food tastes so much better. And I prefer sitting on the couch.

The Magic Bullet for Good Health

If you want to be healthy, you have to start liking healthy food. There’s no other way. Just do it. Just start. That’s really what it comes down to. Take one baby step in the direction of eating healthy. Give up one unhealthy food starting today and replace it with something healthy. Have a cup of green tea or water instead of a soft drink, or replace your granola bar with an apple or orange. Tomorrow, do the same thing. Do one thing differently and keep doing it. Just start. Start today. After awhile, each of your baby steps will add up to a big difference in how you feel.

But you have to start. That’s the magic bullet.


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