All posts by Sandy Cardy

5 small steps to improve your physical health & 5 for your financial health

Duke University conducted a two-year study of 218 healthy adults of normal weight to determine if a modest, sustained calorie reduction would show appreciable benefits. The plan was to reduce calories consumed by 25 per cent, but participants were unable to achieve that much.

(Author’s note: I sure couldn’t do it! A 25% reduction in my 2,000 daily calories would leave me staggering around at only 1,500 per day.)

Participants were able, however, to cut calories by an average of about 12 per cent.  This smaller change allowed them to stick to the plan without any adverse effect on mood (wherein lies a useful message in itself). The results? Lowered blood pressure; decreased insulin resistance; as well as a drop in several predictors of cardiovascular disease.

But the most appreciable result concerned C-reactive protein, a substance produced by the liver and a marker of inflammation in the body. The participants’ C-reactive levels plunged by almost half: a remarkable 47%!

It’s a no brainer that poor dietary habits would exacerbate internal inflammation. But very often this is an invisible menace (see my article ‘The Truth About Inflammation’, October 2015). Most of us remain blissfully unaware of any chronic inflammation cascading throughout our bodies. Yet this exposes us to chronic health risks as a result of knocking the body out of whack. In my case, I had the aforesaid silent inflammation and observable inflammation, which I felt in my poor old joints. And I am pretty convinced that chronic inflammation was one factor in my developing cancer.

An elevated C-reactive protein level can be a valid identifier of inflammation in the body. So, if just a 12% calorie restriction can reduce this marker by almost 50%, this is as good information as that available to an insider trader.

In the blindness of youth, so many of us can compromise our health in a mad dash for wealth. But from the other end of the lifespan, a good many seniors would gladly sacrifice some wealth for even a smidgen of better health. Those who don’t make time for their health early on in life more often have to make time for illness later.

5 ways to improve your physical health

So, if you are young, young at heart, worried that you are no longer young, here is some insider information. Five smart, little investments you can make, the aggregate interest of which, over time, will have compound into positive health returns. Continue Reading…

Health is true Wealth: How to choose the right diet

Diets! There are so many of them to choose from! How do you decide which one is right for you? There is no single, without-a-doubt best diet for every person to follow, always and forever. While you may feel like a particular nutrition idea – such as paleo or ketogenic – works for you, it doesn’t mean everyone else should follow the same program.

The human body can survive and thrive on a host of different nutritional conditions, which is clearly demonstrated by the traditional diets of various ethnic groups throughout the world. While there are huge differences in the common diets out there, they can all raise nutritional awareness and attention, they focus on food quality, they help eliminate nutrient deficiencies and they help control appetite and food intake.

The best diet is the one that works for you and takes into account your physical and biochemical differences, as well as your lifestyle such as family, life demands, work situation, income level, cooking experience and food availability. Before jumping onto the next fad diet train, take the time to research what the diet entails, what the pros and cons of the diet are and really think about why you want to consider following a restrictive diet in the first place.

Let’s take a look at some of the more common diets:

THE KETOGENIC DIET

In the early 1920s, the Ketogenic diet was used in experiments on children with epilepsy. By the 1940s the Ketogenic diet made its way into medical textbooks as a treatment for childhood epilepsy.

The Ketogenic diet is a high fat, extremely low carbohydrate diet. A typical balanced meal is about 30 percent protein, 40 percent carbohydrates and 30 percent fat. A Paleo meal would have about 40 percent protein, 20 percent carbohydrates and 40 percent fat. Ketogenic, on the other hand, is 20 percent protein, 5 percent carbohydrates and 75 percent fat.

Just how little is 5 percent carbohydrate? It’s about the equivalent of eating 10-15 grapes for the whole day. Indeed, the Ketogenic diet is the most restrictive and limited style of eating. However on the ketogenic diet, one can typically eat unlimited greens without going over the daily carbohydrate intake. For particular groups of people, ketosis is helpful, but for other people it can actually be harmful. For many populations ketosis has little to no effect, and is much too hard of a diet to follow consistently. Ketosis should not be used to try and cure ailments, it should not be used to randomly “get healthy” and should be done under close medical supervision for a specific objective.

In particular, the Ketogenic diet has probable benefits for those with metabolic diseases, neurodegeneration and brain injuries.

I have been eating a ketogenic diet for a year now – mainly to reduce inflammation and to prevent cancer re-occurrence. I do feel excellent on this diet – heaps of good, even energy all day, great focus and mental clarity, and great sleeps. I will be writing more extensively on this way of eating down the road.

If you have a specific health problem that a Ketogenic diet may help with, consult your doctor first and carefully monitor and track dietary modifications.

For Ketogenic recipes, I recommend a cook book written by Patricia Daly and Domini Kemp called The Ketogenic Kitchen. Continue Reading…

8 Diet Changes to lower your risk of Cancer

Ask anyone what are the best things you can do for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, most often the answer (besides more exercise) is to start with managing trans fats and junk food in your diet.

No arguing with that advice. But what continues to be overlooked is our dependence on sugar, particularly when made in the form of a sweetener called fructose. In its worst form known as high fructose corn syrup, evidence continues to mount that its over-consumption is a red flag for encouraging cancer development.

The recommended daily limits for sugar are 35 grams for men and 23 grams for women. Yet many people blow away a day’s limit every day with one 50g soda. So how does one get to healthy levels without falling into depression at having to reduce your life-long allegiance to soda, juices, certain yogurts and salad dressings, not to mention candy, certain breads, granola and energy bars? (Go to Dr Mercola’s web-site for an exhaustive list of such foods.)

Continue Reading…

The power of positive thinking

Positive thinking is a state of mind that allows you to focus on the bright side of life and believe that you can overcome any obstacle and difficulty, including dis-ease. While not accepted by everyone, the concept is growing in popularity. Optimism is the key to effective stress management and we already know that stress negatively affects our health.  The health benefits of positive thinking continue to be researched but may include an increased life span, lower rates of depression, greater resistance to the common cold and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease related deaths.

The way you think, feel and act has an effect on your body and there is growing evidence that you can change your health just by changing your mindset. Emotions can impact the course of an illness and the mind can affect the outcome of disease. For example, a stomach ulcer may develop after a stressful event, such as the death of a loved one or loss of a job.

Body speaks to Mind

At the root of every physical symptom is an emotional connection; the body speaks the mind. Poor emotional health can weaken your immune system. Continue Reading…