Although cholesterol-lowering drugs such as statins may be beneficial for patients who have already suffered a heart attack or are at high risk for coronary heart disease, they are currently being over-prescribed. Prescription drugs come with undesirable side effects, often unrecognized. Statins are associated with a number of complications including memory loss, muscle aches and weakness, development of type 2 diabetes, and increased length of hospital stays. Depression and mental lapses have been reported if the drugs are used to reduce cholesterol below the level of 140.
Why are cholesterol lowering medications so widely prescribed? Many physicians assume that patients will not alter the way they eat, exercise, sleep, and weigh-in on the scales. Therefore, they should be medicated! On the other hand, the ProHealth Lab’s non-drug approach will actually reverse and prevent cardio-vascular disease, even in the small blood vessels throughout your organ-systems. Leading researchers such as Dean Ornish, MD, Caldwell Esselstyn, MD, and Paul Pritikin have proven the superiority of nutritional and lifestyle interventions over drugs and/or surgical interventions for the majority of patients.
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance transported through the blood that is essential to bodily functions. It is derived from the food we eat and is also produced by our liver. When high levels are present in the blood stream, cholesterol can penetrate the walls of the arteries, forming deposits known as plaque. Plaque often enlarges and may combine with inflammatory elements causing rupture of the vessel wall. Now exposed to the blood stream, a clot can attach which may obstruct blood flow and the delivery of essential oxygen to vital organs such as the heart (heart attack) and brain (stroke).
By following these simple steps outlined below, you can lower your cholesterol in four weeks without prescription drugs. By decreasing your cardio-vascular disease risk, you can also improve your chances of avoiding associated diseases which include: hypertension, retinal disease, periodontal disease, erectile dysfunction, migraines, insulin resistance/type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and even anxiety and/or depression.
De-stress with 20-30 minutes per day of deep breathing, yoga, Tai Chi, aroma therapy, warm baths, prayer, relaxation tapes, mediation or soothing music.
New reports indicate that 60% of Americans are either overweight (10-20% over normal) or obese (even heavier). Believe it or not, obesity-related disability and disease far exceed damage from smoking in America. Can we solve the problem? Maybe. We can tell you that prescribed, drug-dependent weight control (like Phen-Fen) is a big, non-holistic step in the wrong direction. Please don’t catch yourself waiting for a miracle drug.
1: Avoid foods that contain high amounts of fat (cheese is not an any-time meal-maker; it’s usually about 70% grease). Revert to intelligent substitutes like Pam, skim milk and “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spray. Go grease-free.
2: Eat more fresh vegetables and fruits – especially veggies. Bulk up on fresh tomatoes, fresh apples, bananas and a variety of vegetables. When did you last see an overweight jack-rabbit?
3: Strive for a 50-50 plan of 50% whole, unprocessed grains, vegetables and fruits – your “carbs” – balanced with 50% high quality protein including beans, fish, chicken breast, etc. Avoid diets like the Atkins diet which are high in protein and also high in fat (believe it or not, they give sausage, bacon, hot dogs, etc. the green light!). Normal weighers can go 40-60 protein to carbs.
4: Don’t drink a lot of calories. Sugar sweetened sodas, juice-drinks and alcoholic beverages can contribute beaucoup calories (exception: don’t pass up fresh-squeezed O.J. if you’re so lucky). Water – fresh, pure water is the ultimate drink; don’t waste money on imposters!
5: Don’t just drink a lot of water – EAT water (No, you don’t chew ice cubes, Silly). Foods such as beans, whole grains and whole-wheat pastas absorb most of the water they are cooked in and they are rich in fiber. They fill you UP and have staying power. Amen to homemade soups.
6: Avoid taste bud over-stimulation, for example, by eating Chinese/Mexican/Italian/Texas barbeque/burgers and fries for suppers during the same week. Recreational feeders tend to overeat by 15%! Ouch! If you want “taste,” use fresh herbs to liven up your favorite low-fat dishes.
7: Eat more frequently! 4 or 5 stream-lined feedings a day control hunger better and also reduce the lassitude that may be felt after a big meal. Protein/fresh fruit shakes are good for this purpose. Your “supersized” stomach may even shrink back to normal size!
8: To boost your metabolism burn more calories. Walk 1-2 miles a day over a 30-45 minute time span in addition to your other exercise. Labs and Golden Retrievers need 2 hours exercise per day. You’re not exactly a Pekinese or a Shih Tzu!
9: Use a comprehensive nutritional supplement like Nutriex at 2-3 different times per day. Take your Nutriex capsules with a glass of water preceding mealtime. Nutriex is, in summation, key nutrients with essentially no calories. Yes, just the opposite of French fries… key nutrients with essentially no calories!
10: Don’t eat desserts. We apologize, we’re sorry and we re-apologize… you’re grounded from cheesecake, chocolate mousse, pie a’la mode, etc. These modern concoctions are addictive and “hugely” caloric. Choose fresh fruits instead.
11: Weigh yourself daily or bi-daily. Consider weigh-in as an essential preparation; don’t get caught clueless. Unbeknownst “baby gains” of 1-2 pounds are a fundamental cause of the over-weight/obesity epidemic.
You need not focus on anybody but yourself. Seek slow, enduring improvement. Please don’t be in a hurry. You can win the Battle of the Bulge.
About 60% of American adults have prehypertension (diastolic above 81-90) or hypertension (diastolic above 90).
Why is there concern over high blood pressure? When blood is pumped from your heart, normally it travels through healthy, supple arteries. With hypertension, the force on arterial walls is abnormally increased. Over time, this leads to stiffening of arterial walls, further increasing blood pressure and leading to vascular damage. Your risk increases for heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, aneurysms, and retinal disease… without you even knowing!
It is important to monitor your blood pressure regularly. You can buy an inexpensive automatic or manual blood pressure cuff online, at Walmart or locally at Jolley’s Pharmacy).
The most common form of hypertension has been labeled as “essential”, suggesting an unknown cause. However, modern lifestyle factors such as poor nutritional choices, stress, inadequate exercise, abnormal BMI, etc. are really the causes. These root causes should not be overlooked by just taking prescription drugs (a leading pharmaceutical company boasts Norvasc as the fourth biggest revenue-generating drug world-wide). Lifestyle changes address the causes, often making medications unnecessary.
|ANTI-HYPERTENSIVE DRUGS||MOST COMMON SIDE EFFECTS|
|Diuretics: HCTZ (Hydrochlorothiazide), Lasix (Furosemide), Aldactone (Spironolactone), Dyazide (HCTZ and Triamterene)||pancreatitis, jaundice, anorexia, oral & gastric irritation, reduced potassium, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, lightheadedness|
|Beta Blockers: Toprol (Metoprolol), Inderal (Propranolol), Tenormin (Atenolol), Coreg (Carvedilol), Bystolic (Nebivolol)||fatigue, depression, slow heart rate, congestive heart failure, dizziness, insomnia|
|ACE Inhibitors/ARBs: Lisinopril, Altice (Ramipril), Accupril (Quinapril), Cozaar (Losartan), Benicar (Olmesartan), Diovan (Valsartan), Avapro (Irbesartan)||fluid retention, dizziness, dangerously high levels of potassium, dry cough (Less common with ARBs)|
|Calcium Channel Blockers: Norvasc (Amlodipine), Cardizem (Diltiazem), Verlan (Verapamil)||dizziness, headache, fluid retention, constipation, slow heart rate, runny nose|
As Hippocrates said, “Food is the best medicine…”. Many processed and packaged foods lack nutrition and add sodium. Sodium increases blood volume, which increases blood pressure. Deficiencies in calcium, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins B, C, D, E may contribute to hypertension. Sufficient potassium is especially important, and adopting a DASH II diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) significantly reduces high blood pressure.
Exercise increases the heart’s efficiency and vascular tone. Going for a 10-20 minute walk can lower blood pressure for up to 11 hours! Achieve at least 30-45 minutes of continuous exercise per day (should include cardio) and aim to be active at least 2 hours every day. Take the stairs, walk on your lunch break, explore hiking trails—the options are endless!
Improving your BMI to a healthier number can make positive changes on your blood pressure. Loosing just 10-20 pounds can bring blood pressure down to normal levels.
Caffeine is a stimulant—it makes your arteries stiffer and increases your heart rate. Switch to decaf or green tea to improve health and lower blood pressure. Also, be aware that some medications may contain caffeine.
All forms of tobacco contribute to hypertension. Seek help in quitting with resources like quitassist.com, nicotine patches or nicotine gum. Having support will help you be successful in quitting.
It may be best to eliminate alcohol completely if you have hypertension because alcohol can increase the severity of hypertension, decrease the effectiveness of drugs, and interfere with magnesium and zinc absorption (minerals important in lowering blood pressure).
Stress increases heart rate and vascular resistance and may adversely influence blood viscosity and blood clotting. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Avoid over-stimulation. Include 20 minutes of stress reducing activities such as meditation, progressive relaxation (focusing on individual body parts from foot to head), yoga, tai chi, deep breathing, aromatherapy, listening to music, etc.
Ensuring good nutrition is the most important thing we do to nurture and maintain our physical existence. Our grandmothers were on to something when they told us “you are what you eat.” Even the father of Western medicine, Hippocrates, understood the great power of nutrition when he counseled, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine thy food.”
Let’s assume you are aware of the health-promoting, disease-preventing qualities of food. The next challenge comes in knowing what the best diet is. Considering all the many diets out there, choosing one might seem like an impossible task. The answer, surprisingly, is not so complicated. Here at Nutriex we would like to let you in on a little secret. Here goes… All healthy diets are basically the same! Look at the list of popular diets and see for yourself.
Replaces “bad carbs” and “bad fats” with “good carbs” and “good fats.” Recommends diets full of vegetables, beans, whole grains, lean meats, nuts and oily fish.
This National Heart Lung and Blood Institute recommended diet is rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, fruits, vegetables, low fat dairy, fiber, lean protein (poultry, fish and nuts). The DASH II is low in fat, red meat content, sweets, and sugar-containing beverages.
A diet high in dietary fiber, low in saturated fat and high glycemic carbohydrates.
Proven to dramatically decrease blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides. Recommends 11 vegetable and fruit servings per day and even vegetables for a “main course”. Skim dairy, lean poultry, fish, and whole grains are emphasized.
Centers on a “40:30:30” ratio of calories obtained daily from good carbs, proteins and fats respectively. In lay terms, “eat as much protein as the palm of your hand, as much non-starchy raw vegetables as you can for the vitamins, enough carbs to maintain mental clarity, and enough monounsaturated oils to keep feelings of hunger away.”
Centers around game meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, roots, and nuts; and excludes cultivated grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, processed oils, etc. (which were not available to cavemen/women).
Emphasizes abundant plant-derived foods (fresh fruit as the typical daily dessert), olive oil as the principal source of fat, dairy products (principally cheese and yogurt), and fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts. Zero to four eggs are consumed weekly. Red meat consumed in low amounts and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts.
Advocated to reverse heart disease, emphasizes extremely low fat, minimal to no animal-based foods: no dairy unless non-fat variety. Unlimited fruits, veggies, beans, peas, lentils, whole grains. Egg whites are OK. Red meats, poultry and fish are not recommended. Basically a low-fat lacto-ovo vegetarian diet.
Is cancer one of those terrible things that just happens? A random occurrence over which we have no control? If stricken, is our only hope to rely soley on aggressive medical interventions including radiation, chemo therapy, drugs, and surgical procedures? Fortunately, the answers are: no, no and no!
In the continual, amazing replication of your body’s 30 trillion cells, you also produce imperfect, pre-cancerous cells. These mini-mutated cells are in turn recognized and removed by a system of cancer recognition genes. Otherwise, cancer can occur. This potential to develop cancer is present in each one of us every day. The internal environment which we maintain within our cells, tissues and organs determines whether cancer cells can multiply and develop, or whether they are eliminated.
Refined sugar and flour lead to dramatic spikes in our blood glucose. This then leads to an increase in insulin levels and another hormone called “insulinlike growth factor” or IGF. Research indicates that peaks of insulin and IGF stimulate growth of cancer cells and also their capacity to invade neighboring tissues. Simply put, sugar and white flour feed cancer.
Fruits and Vegetables are packed with cancer fighting nutrients that include antioxidants, such as carotenoids, flavonoids, natural vitamin C and E, and folic acid.
Feeding livestock (including poultry) corn rather than grass has changed the composition of fats in meats and animal products to contain high levels of omega-6. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids compete biochemically in our bodies. Omega- 6s trigger inflammation and promote fat storage (which both promote cancer cells) while omega-3s reduce inflammation and limit the production of adipose cells (fat). Routine use of hormones and antibiotics to promote unnaturally rapid growth (and increase profits) is actually unlawful in most developed countries.
The explosion of household chemicals and other agents into our lifestyle occured mainly in he 1950s, ‘60s, before the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. For a brief review of some of these chemcial agents, please refer to the chart below.
The incidence of all 8 of the most common forms of cancer, (e.g. breast, prostate, colon) are seriously elevated in obese populations. Unnatural adipose by itself increases systemic levels of inflammation.
Healthy vascular function including micro-circulation to every tissue and organ deterimines optimal delivery of nutrients and is dependent on regular exercise, especially cardio.
More people are living longer and cancer rates are directly correlated to age. As life prolonging technologies and drugs have been developed, a net effect for our country is a rapidly increasing over-70 population (often unhealthy) with greater susceptibility to cancer. A rapidly growing number of patients are now experiencing two and even three types of primary cancer.
This is the key-dietary recommendation for you to reduce your risk of cancer. Five is a good start; 10 servings a day is very good.
Eat the right type of fats by increasing the intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Foods high in omega-3 include: salmon, flaxseed/canola oils, tofu, walnuts.
Buy organic produce produced locally and in season. Peel off the skin or remove the outer layer of leaves of some produce. Reduce intake of animal fat, meat, eggs, cheese as pesticides are concentrated in animal products.
Note: The possible presence of pesticides in fruits and vegetables should not deter you from eating a diet high in these foods. Wash them well. The concentrations in fruits and vegetables are much lower than the levels found in animal fats, meat, cheese, whole milk and eggs! Organic foods are often better but not if less fresh, too expensive, etc. The variety of anti-oxidants in fruits and vegetables help your body eliminate possible pesticide effects.
Chronic inflammation involving all tissues and organs, often known to the individual, is the common culprit of most prevalent forms of cancer. This accumulative inflammation is definitely a result of lifestyle choices, explaining why some cultures have very low cancer rates, while industrialized populations often suffer from high cancer rates
There are multiple pathways by which exercise can stimulate health and decrease cancer risk. What you do is not as important as consistently excercising. Get out and move! Be vigorous! Whether martial arts, a brisk walk, a morning jog, swimming, cycling, aerobics, skiing, dancing or working in the yard, all forms of provide great gains in cancer prevention.