Eating Mistakes That Age You
by Joseph Mercola: Stevie
Nicks Confesses: Common Remedy Turned My Hair Gray and Molted My Skin...
notes that eating the wrong foods or not eating the right
foods can result in symptoms that most people tend to assume
are due to aging. Here are four tips they've assembled to steer
you in the right direction:
#1: You avoid all animal protein
which is essential for energy, is found only in foods that are derived
from animals. This nutrient helps regulate your metabolism, and
it is an important part of maintaining a healthy brain and nervous
system. Fatigue is a classic sign of B12 deficiency
#2: You're not getting enough manganese and copper
copper prevent joint pain, and are both essential for maintaining
joint cartilage and flexibility. In many cases, getting enough of
these nutrients reverses joint deterioration and eliminates joint
#3: You avoid healthy fats
are part of your brain's building blocks. If you're not getting
enough in your diet, the architecture of your brain becomes weak,
and brain function, including memory, deteriorates.
#4: You favor packaged foods over whole
foods do not have enough potassium, which can result in high blood
pressure. Eating better can correct the problem.
Shine May 11, 2011
Most of the
time conventional media health commentaries are fairly seriously
flawed so I was surprised to see this one that actually was on target
for the most part. So I thought it might help if I provided my perspective
on their important notion of diet mistakes as I do believe they
left out the MOST important one and included one that is relatively
irrelevant. It really doesn't take a giant leap of intellectual
understanding to realize the glaring omission, but like most "experts"
they simply fail to appreciate the obvious even though it is staring
them in the face.
So what is
one source of calories in the US.
be fructose, but more generically all sugars which are, in my view,
the single most important dietary variable that needs to be addressed.
Please understand that this is a numbers game though and the only
thing that is intrinsically toxic with fructose is the quantity
that is being consumed. If you take less than 25 grams per
day you are in the safe range, but the AVERAGE intake is 300% more
than that and the typical American consumes 75 grams every day.
the research that is now starting to see the light of day in every
way, what I've been warning about for over a decade.
enough, while sugar,
and fructose in particular, acts as a toxin in and of itself,
and as such drive multiple disease processes in your body, excess
grain carbohydrates, which are broken down into glucose, has been
found to detrimentally affect your genetic expression and
contribute to accelerated aging that way!
The Role of
Insulin in Health and Longevity
I have long
said that the key to optimal health and longevity is reducing your
insulin resistance, and this has been proven true again and again.
for the past 30 years or so, the primary official health recommendations
have been to reduce your fat intake and eat plenty of long-lasting
complex carbohydrates (starches) to keep your body supplied with
energy. This has been a prescription for health disaster, and we
have skyrocketing disease statistics to show for it. By advocating
heavy carb consumption, our health officials have made insulin resistance
the norm rather than the exception, which in turn is driving a huge,
expensive pharmaceutical machine...
is in fact a MAJOR contributor to chronic disease and accelerates
the aging process, all of which can
impact your longevity.
- Alters the
expression of numerous hormones
your sympathetic nervous system
Too much sugar,
grains and processed foods in your diet, combined with insufficient
exercise is a lethal combination, the "side effects" of which include:
- High blood
- High cholesterol
Cause Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
Here's a quick
refresher on how carbs affect your insulin levels and how you develop
insulin resistance, which sets you up for the health problems just
When you eat
carbohydrates (starchy foods such as grains, rice, pasta, bread
and cereal), your digestive system breaks them down to simple sugars
which cause an acute increase in your blood sugar. If your blood
sugar where to continue to rise you would die of a hyperglycemic
But your body
wisely reduces this level with insulin and this works just fine.
However, when you do it every day for many years, as most of the
population does, this progresses into insulin resistance, especially
if you are not engaged in appropriate exercises.
Your "Youth Gene" by Avoiding Carbohydrates
Professor Cynthia Kenyon, whom many experts believe should win the
Nobel Prize for her research into aging, carbohydrates (glucose)
directly affect the genes that govern youthfulness and longevity!
So, you may actually be able to extend your life and stay fit throughout
your old age with a simple dietary change that switches on your
are seriously confused about the importance of exercise in optimizing
weight and body fat. It only has a 20% role, a vitally important
20% but nevertheless it plays a far subsidiary role to the importance
of diet and the exclusion of sugars and grains. When you optimize
your body weight and % of body fat you dramatically decrease your
risk of chronic disease and radically improve your chance for living
Aging is the
result of a number of processes, including telomere
shortening, which I've discussed before in depth. However, Kenyon's
groundbreaking research has found that specific genes also play
a significant role. I've previously written about how your
diet can over-ride genetic predispositions to disease, and this
research further strengthens those claims, as the two key genes
in question can be turned on or off as a consequence of eating
shows that decreased carb intake can lead to significant life extension
and improved long-term health.
worked with C. elegans roundworms, but her findings have been successfully
repeated in other labs around the world using other animals, including
rats, mice, and to some extent, monkeys. Humans also have
these genes, indicating these results should apply to us as well.
One of the
most interesting details of her findings is that not only did the
roundworms live up to SIX TIMES longer than normal, but they kept
their health and youthful vigor until the end and isn't that
what "healthy aging" is really all about?
has shown that you can extend
your lifespan by reducing your caloric intake, and I've written
about this technique in the past. The problem is that most people
do not understand how to properly cut calories, because in order
to remain healthy, you have to cut out calories from a specific
source – namely, carbohydrates!
Confirms Low Insulin is Imperative for Longevity
have found that diets high in sugar and grains are the primary culprit
of obesity, and that leanness itself is a key contributor
to a long life. One such study was published in 2003
in the journal Science. This elegant study from Harvard confirms
that insulin is the major mechanism through which this
result is mediated.
published just last year, also illustrates how longevity is
intimately tied to your insulin
and leptin levels. It examined the effects of food on typical
biological signs of advancing age. Typical signs of aging include
elevated levels of glucose, insulin, and triglycerides. (Hence,
your physical age may be younger or older than the calendar dictates.)
In this study,
the participants were given a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet with
an adequate amount of protein. This diet improved all of the measured
factors related to the aging process, decreasing:
by 48 percent
glucose by 40 percent
by nearly 8 percent
- Serum leptin
by 8 percent on average
unfortunate that so few physicians have embraced this knowledge,
because a firm appreciation of insulin's role in human health and
disease is one of THE most important factors that can make or break
Even Worse than Grains
As I mentioned
in the beginning, there are two primary dietary factors that contribute
to insulin resistance and subsequent disease progression:
- Grain carbohydrates.
This includes ALL grains, including organic ones, rice, pasta,
- ALL sugars,
including refined sugar, fructose (whether from corn, in the form
of high fructose corn syrup, or whole fruits), honey, and agave.
typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is
perhaps the absolute worst dietary culprit as it:
increases insulin resistance , which is not only an underlying
cause of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, but also most cancers
into fat far more readily than other sugars, which significantly
increases your risk of obesity, decreased HDL, increased LDL,
elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure
- Causes glycation
and inflammation, which promotes chronic diseases such as diabetes
and heart disease, and speeds up the aging process
- Raises your
uric acid levels, which increases your risk for a host of diseases,
As a standard
recommendation, I strongly advise keeping your TOTAL fructose
consumption below 25 grams per day. The average American is
consuming THREE times this amount, so this is a fairly substantial
reduction for most people.
For most people
it would also be wise to limit your fructose from fruit
to 15 grams or less, as you're virtually guaranteed
to consume "hidden" sources of fructose if you drink beverages other
than water and eat processed food. Remember, the average 12-ounce
can of soda contains 40 grams of sugar, at least half of which
is fructose, so one can of soda ALONE would exceed your daily allotment.
of fructose is not much it represents two bananas, one-third
cup of raisins, or two Medjool dates. In his book, The
Sugar Fix, Dr. Johnson includes detailed tables showing the
content of fructose in different foods an information base
that isn't readily available when you're trying to find out exactly
how much fructose is in various foods. I encourage you to pick up
a copy of this excellent resource.
Here's a quick
reference list of some of the most common fruits that you can use
to help you count your fructose grams:
(Deglet Noor style)
of med. melon
(3.5" x .75")
pink or red
of med. melon
seedless (green or red)
The Four Cornerstones
of "the Fountain of Youth"
Is there such
a thing as a "fountain of youth"? I believe there is, symbolically
speaking, and the four cornerstones of it are:
- Avoid sugar/fructose
- Avoid grains
regularly and effectively
- Tailor your
diet to your nutritional type
cornerstones have one thing in common, and that is helping you improve
your insulin sensitivity.
avoiding grains and sugars, exercise is one of the most effective
ways to regain insulin sensitivity. And studies repeatedly show
that regular exercise can help prevent or delay your onset of hypertension,
obesity and heart disease, just to name a few of the diseases that
significantly contribute to premature death.
Not to discourage
you as in my mind it is impossible to ever be healthy without exercising,
but exercise has a relatively minor role in health and it is only
responsible for 20% of your improvement. Most people believe the
opposite and believe that exercise produces 80% of the benefit.
They work out like a maniac in the gym and are not as careful with
their diet and they wonder why they don't see any progress.
The KEY to
exercising for optimal health and longevity in particular, is incorporating
interval training like Peak 8. These types of exercises also
promote human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is yet another
important aspect of the longevity puzzle.
typing helps you modify your food choices to ensure you're supplying
your body with the exact fuel it needs to thrive, and in so doing,
you give yourself the best chance of optimal health and naturally
prevent diseases related to improper nutrition. This is such an
important aspect of optimal health, I now offer my nutritional
typing program for FREE so that everyone can benefit.
typing is also becoming increasingly recognized as a foundational
factor in the successful
treatment of disease, including cancer.
Of all the
healthy lifestyle strategies I know of that can have a significant
impact on your longevity, normalizing your insulin and leptin levels
is probably the most important. There is no question that this is
an absolute necessity if you want to slow down your aging process,
and that means modifying your diet to avoid excessive amounts of
fructose, grains, and other pro-inflammatory ingredients like trans
longevity is the result of an overall healthy lifestyle, so in addition
to the four cornerstones just mentioned, these additional strategies
can further help you stay young and vibrant, longer:
how to effectively cope with stress – Stress has a direct
impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic
diseases that kill people prematurely every day, so developing
effective coping mechanisms is a major longevity-promoting factor.
prayer, physical activity and exercise are all viable options
that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium.
I also strongly believe in using energy psychology tools such
as the Emotional Freedom Technique
(EFT) to address deeper, oftentimes hidden emotional problems.
Your Vitamin D Levels to between 60 and 80 ng/ml.
based omega-3 fats – Correcting the ratio of omega-3
to healthful omega-6 fats is a strong factor in helping people
live longer. This typically means increasing your intake of animal
based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil, while decreasing your intake
of damaged omega-6 fats (think trans fats).
most of your antioxidants from foods –Good sources include
blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries,
cherries, beans, and artichokes.
your resveratrol naturally – Because resveratrol appears
to be so effective at warding off many diseases associated with
aging, it is often referred to as a "fountain of youth" that can
extend lifespan. Good sources of naturally-occurring resveratrol
include whole grape skins and seeds, raspberries and mulberries.
coconut oil – Another excellent anti-aging food is coconut
oil, known to reduce your risk of heart disease and Alzheimer's
disease, and lower your cholesterol, among other things.
increase your glutathione levels with high quality whey protein
concentrate – Another exciting anti-aging discovery is
related to the process of slowing down telomere
shortening, as discussed in more detail in this previous article.
There's some evidence that this can be done nutritionally, by
consuming high quality whey protein.
as many chemicals, toxins, and pollutants as possible
– This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps,
personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides,
and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with
prescription drugs – Pharmaceutical drugs kill thousands
of people prematurely every year – as an expected side effect
of the action of the drug. And, if you adhere to a healthy lifestyle,
you most likely will never need any of them in the first place.
these healthy lifestyle guidelines will help set you squarely on
the path to optimal health and give you the best shot at living
a much longer life.
2011 Dr. Joseph Mercola
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