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Wellness Program for Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention: How to be Healthy Without Drugs

By Dr. Moghissi - September 2010

As many of you know, I have been wandering further and further into the realm of prevention in the past few years. It started in earnest when we started offering the Cornerstone Wellness weight management program, and I realized how much diet can affect a person’s health. About a year ago, we began offering specialized, sophisticated blood testing through Berkeley HeartLabs, and in June we offered CIMT (Carotid Intima Media Thickness) testing for the first time. During this time, I have read countless numbers of books & articles, have watched many videos of lectures, and just got back from attending a 4 day lipid conference. To say I’ve learned a few things would be quite an understatement!

I’ve come to the conclusion that most problems in the realm of obesity/diabetes/heart disease can be prevented given the right lifestyle, but it must be done early enough in life. Once someone is an adult and there is already some damage, genetics becomes more important, especially when deciding how to treat.

Early man (prior to 10,000 years ago when we became agrarian) ate mostly meat. Apparently we know this by looking at fossilized poop (among other things) and by accounts given by explorers that came in contact with hunter-gatherer tribes over the past several hundred years. These populations were found to be extremely healthy. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, tooth decay, and even acne were almost unheard of. Once these populations began eating a more modern diet, those diseases became a problem for them also.

I’ve often been reminded that early man had a ridiculously low life expectancy, so why would we aspire to that? Early man had a high infant mortality rate, and only primitive medical care when faced with trauma or infection. If those causes of death are taken out, early/primitive man had as good or better life expectancy than we do now. And, he/she was healthier. BTW – the evidence is against early/primitive man being super active as the reason for his/her health. Apparently we spent as little time as possible hunting, gathering, and making shelter, maybe 3 hours a day.

So that leaves our diet as the major difference. In general, early/primitive man ate much more animal fats and proteins than we do now. He ate very few if any grains, since grains need to be processed to be edible. He also ate few starchy vegetables, and since potatoes contain a toxin that gives us GI distress, none of those. BTW - those toxins have been mostly bred out, and the remaining are inactivated by cooking. The only sweetener available would be honey, and since that is very tricky to obtain, he wouldn’t have had that very often. Most of the fruits and vegetables we eat today have been bred to be much sweeter and bigger than what was originally available in nature, and they were only available for a short period once a year.

So what did that leave us with? Lots of meat, with some bitter vegetables and tart fruit in season, nuts, eggs, and mushrooms (also in season only). And apparently we were very healthy, especially if we lived past infancy and avoided tigers.

The next question I’m asked is, doesn’t that screw up our cholesterol? The short answer is no. That’s where the sophisticated lipid testing comes in; we can see the positive changes diet does, and in many cases have avoided medication. Oh, and as a side effect most people lose weight and feel much more energetic. That’s my ultimate goal, to make people healthier and live longer without medication. More on this in my next newsletter.

Jasmine Moghissi, M.D.

Focus - Health Tips » Wellness Program for Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention: How to be Healthy Without Drugs

Wellness Program for Diabetes and Heart Disease Prevention: How to be Healthy Without Drugs

By Dr. Moghissi - September 2010

As many of you know, I have been wandering further and further into the realm of prevention in the past few years. It started in earnest when we started offering the Cornerstone Wellness weight management program, and I realized how much diet can affect a person’s health. About a year ago, we began offering specialized, sophisticated blood testing through Berkeley HeartLabs, and in June we offered CIMT (Carotid Intima Media Thickness) testing for the first time. During this time, I have read countless numbers of books & articles, have watched many videos of lectures, and just got back from attending a 4 day lipid conference. To say I’ve learned a few things would be quite an understatement!

I’ve come to the conclusion that most problems in the realm of obesity/diabetes/heart disease can be prevented given the right lifestyle, but it must be done early enough in life. Once someone is an adult and there is already some damage, genetics becomes more important, especially when deciding how to treat.

Early man (prior to 10,000 years ago when we became agrarian) ate mostly meat. Apparently we know this by looking at fossilized poop (among other things) and by accounts given by explorers that came in contact with hunter-gatherer tribes over the past several hundred years. These populations were found to be extremely healthy. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, tooth decay, and even acne were almost unheard of. Once these populations began eating a more modern diet, those diseases became a problem for them also.

I’ve often been reminded that early man had a ridiculously low life expectancy, so why would we aspire to that? Early man had a high infant mortality rate, and only primitive medical care when faced with trauma or infection. If those causes of death are taken out, early/primitive man had as good or better life expectancy than we do now. And, he/she was healthier. BTW – the evidence is against early/primitive man being super active as the reason for his/her health. Apparently we spent as little time as possible hunting, gathering, and making shelter, maybe 3 hours a day.

So that leaves our diet as the major difference. In general, early/primitive man ate much more animal fats and proteins than we do now. He ate very few if any grains, since grains need to be processed to be edible. He also ate few starchy vegetables, and since potatoes contain a toxin that gives us GI distress, none of those. BTW - those toxins have been mostly bred out, and the remaining are inactivated by cooking. The only sweetener available would be honey, and since that is very tricky to obtain, he wouldn’t have had that very often. Most of the fruits and vegetables we eat today have been bred to be much sweeter and bigger than what was originally available in nature, and they were only available for a short period once a year.

So what did that leave us with? Lots of meat, with some bitter vegetables and tart fruit in season, nuts, eggs, and mushrooms (also in season only). And apparently we were very healthy, especially if we lived past infancy and avoided tigers.

The next question I’m asked is, doesn’t that screw up our cholesterol? The short answer is no. That’s where the sophisticated lipid testing comes in; we can see the positive changes diet does, and in many cases have avoided medication. Oh, and as a side effect most people lose weight and feel much more energetic. That’s my ultimate goal, to make people healthier and live longer without medication. More on this in my next newsletter.