Tuesday, September 15, 2015

6 Factors that cause early death—and how to avoid them

There are numerous factors that play into our disease and mortality rates and have an impact on how soon you will be pushing up daisies. 

Although some of them (such as genetics and congenital conditions) are largely out of our control, there are still a whole lot more that we bring upon ourselves.

Here are six of the most significant (controllable) factors that cause early death.  See how many of them apply to you, and how you can help turn that around fast.

And quite likely live a longer life as a result!

Early death factor #1:  Eating too much sugar
Although the most obvious health concern from sugar is excess weight and obesity, here are other life-threatening health issues that it is a driving force behind:
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Dementia and other impaired mental functioning
  • Immune dysfunction
Unfortunately, it’s very easy for a person to fall into a trap of eating too much sugar.  It’s so addictive that it’s even been compared to cocaine in terms of addictiveness in many studies.

Plus it’s everywhere--especially in processed foods.  Over and above sweets, snacks, cereals and sodas, sugar is hiding in many condiments as well as in foods that are marketed as healthy like yogurt and sports drinks.

To help curb your sugar consumption, it’s crucial to avoid processed foods as much as possible, and for those packaged items that you do buy, read labels carefully to detect hidden sugar.

Avoid starchy carbohydrates like pasta and bread which turn to sugar upon digestion.  Opt for vegetables as your main source of carbohydrates.

And drink water instead of soda or sports drinks. 

Early death factor #2:  Vitamin D deficiency
Although all of the 2,000 or so nutrients in existence are important to your health, vitamin D shines above all the rest…and lacking it can keep your local mortician in business.

Here are just some of the ways vitamin D protects your health (and life):

  • Heart disease: Vitamin D helps reduce hypertension, atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke. 
  • Autoimmune diseases: Vitamin D helps to control inflammatory responses in your body, and autoimmune diseases like inflammatory bowel disease (colitis and Crohn’s), MS (multiple sclerosis), and rheumatoid arthritis are characterized by chronic inflammation.
  • Cancer: Vitamin D encourages proper cell metabolism and can act to decrease the growth of malignant cells, thereby providing cancer protection.
  • Brain health: Vitamin D receptors appear in a wide variety of your brain tissues, and activated vitamin D receptors help increase nerve growth in your brain, thereby supporting healthy brain function.
  • Blood sugar control: Calcium plays a major role in your body’s ability to regulate glucose and insulin levels, and having adequate calcium is largely dependent on having healthy levels of vitamin D.
In addition, vitamin D also supports proper pancreatic function, and your pancreas produces insulin and glucagon to control your blood sugar.

Since vitamin D is not found in many foods and many people shun the sun, supplementation is the best way to make sure you’re getting enough. 

And for one of the best D formulas on the market, try Dr. Salerno’s Vitamin D-K Factor.

In addition to getting an impressive 5,000 IUs of vitamin D (in the highly recommended form of D3) in each capsule, you’ll also get the special added benefit of 45 mcg of vitamin K (in the form of K2)—which also helps prevent atherosclerosis.

Early death factor #3:  Lacking exercise
Nothing beats regular exercise in terms of helping to keep you strong and healthy well into your golden years (and helping you actually make it into those golden years). 

Exercise strengthens your heart, improves circulation, lowers blood pressure, eases arthritis pain, boosts metabolism, improves digestion and reduces stress, among other things.

Unless you have a strong desire to be laid out in lavender soon, it’s time for you to embrace the “5 
GETS of regular exercise”:

1. GET your doctor’s OK
2. GET an exercise buddy to keep you motivated (even the dog can be your buddy)
3. GET a pair of sneakers
4. GET moving
5. GET those “I can’t exercise because…” excuses right out of your head

Early death factor #4:  Artificial sweeteners
Although they’re marketed as a weight loss aid, numerous studies have shown that artificial sweeteners actually stimulate your appetite and increase cravings for carbs!

They can also upset your intestinal flora balance, which in turn can raise your risk of obesity and diabetes, and have been shown in studies to increase your risk of leukemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

And according to researchers studying the adverse effects of aspartame, here are some of the chronic conditions that can be triggered or worsened by consuming aspartame:
  • Brain tumors 
  • Epilepsy 
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome 
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Alzheimer's disease 
  • Fibromyalgia
Instead of dangerous artificial products, use organic raw honey, organic cane sugar, organic real maple syrup or stevia for sweeteners in moderation.

Early death factor #5:  Lacking Omega-3 essential fatty acids
Omega-3 essential fatty acids are essential for heart and brain health, circulation, memory and control of blood sugar. They're also a natural anti-inflammatory and help to fight inflammation-related conditions such as arthritis and fibromyalgia.

Much of the oil used in the manufacturing of processed foods and in our cooking oils are inflammation-stirring Omega-6 fatty acids.  Plus the animals raised for our meat and milk consumption are being fed a grain-based diet, which is also rich in Omega-6 EFAs.

Although your body does need some Omega-6 EFAs, we’re getting way too many, along with too few Omega-3s.  And this imbalance is a primary factor behind disease and early death.

Fatty fish are a great source of Omega-3 EFAs, but many people don’t eat fish nearly often enough to satisfy their body’s Omega-3 needs.

That when a top-quality fish oil supplement like VitalMega-3 can be a big help.

VitalMega-3 provides 1,200 mg of Omega-3 EFAs in every daily two-capsule serving. This includes 600 mg of EPA and 400 mg of DHA—the crucial Omega-3 EFAs that are recommended by many health experts and are especially important for your brain.

Early death factor #6:  Trans-fats
Trans-fats are found in the hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils found in processed foods as well as margarine and shortening. 

Trans-fats cause oxidative stress and damage to your cells, they clog your arteries and contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. 

They have also been linked to dementia and are a major contributor to insulin resistance.

To avoid trans-fats, you have to become a careful label reader--if a food label mentions hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, DO NOT buy the product, period. There are always alternative products that don't contain them.  (Look for organic options.)

And note that “Trans-fat free!” on a food label does not necessarily mean 100 percent trans-fat free.  The product can still contain small amounts of trans-fats, and NO AMOUNT of these killers is safe for consumption.

Generally speaking, the more you concentrate on real foods (vegetables, fruits, meats, dairy, real butter and eggs) the easier it is to keep trans-fats out of your life.

Do whatever you can to help encourage a long life free of chronic disease for you!

Aren’t you worth it?

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

PS:  Always be sure to let your doctor or healthcare provider know what supplements you are taking.  

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