Modern day nutritional habits are the cause of the explosion in heart disease, type-2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. High calorie, high fat, high sugar and processed foods are to blame. Calorie deprivation is not sustainable and only leads to chronic hunger and failure of the diet. It is the quality of the calories consumed: highly refined, easily digestible carbohydrates that triggers the excess weight gain and obesity.
The link between refined carbohydrates and disease was not understood for many years. Refined sugar and white flour were treated as equivalent to raw fruits, vegetables and whole grain flour. It is now known that ingesting refined carbohydrates leads to insulin resistance, and is the culprit in the development of the metabolic syndrome: increased insulin, increased triglycerides, high LDL and low HDL, increased blood sugar, high blod pressure, and abdominal obesity.
The glycemic index measures the entry rate of various carbohydrates into the bloodstream. The faster the entry, the greater the effect on insulin secretion. Three factors affect the glycemic index of a particular carbohydrate: fiber content, fat content total volume of carbohydrate. The glycemic load is the actual amount of carbohydrates multiplied by its glycemic index.
The more processed the food, the higher the glycemic load. Numerous epidemiological studies suggest that consuming a high glycemic load from refined carbohydrates increases the risk of coronary artery disease; as well as causes obseity and diabetes.
There is mounting scientific evidence to support the health benefits from a diet consisting of eating six smaller meals each day, moderate amounts of protein from lean or grass fed red meats, fish, free- range poultry and egg whites, low-glycemic carbohydrates primarily from fruits and vegetables, moderate amounts of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and drinking adequate amounts of water.
A study published in the British Medical Journal May 2008 reported that adherence to a Mediterranean diet significantly reduced the risk of developing diabetes mellitus. Compared to those with the least adherence to the diet, those that adhered most closely had an 83% lower incidence of diabetes. Additionally, those with the closest adherence were also the most physically active.
Recently, a review of multiple studies also published in the British Medical Journal September 2008 analyzed the impact on mortalitiy and chronic disease by following a Mediterranean diet during a 3 to 8 year period. Increased adherence to the diet, as evidenced by a point scoring system, was associated with reduced mortality and disease risks. Specifically:
Alternity Healthcare recommends an eating plan composed of 40% low-glycemic carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% healthy fats. Combined with our program of high quality nutraceutical supplements, increased daily activity and exercise, hormone balancing and stress management, a healthy eating plan will reduce your risk of disease and put you on the road to optimal health.