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Habitual dietary patterns and disease

Posted Sep 07 2008 8:37pm

Research has shown that by the age of 20, many will have accumulated enough visible artery clogging plaque, to cause cardiovascular problems and complaints. By the age of 30, millions of cells within the human body have taken at least one step towards cancer. By the age of 40 many will have developed diabetes mellitus, and others may have borderline or overt high blood pressure.

By the age of 60, some may have been diagnosed with invasive cancer, had a heart attack or stroke, developed full blown diabetes, or developed the potentially fatal bone - softening disease, osteoporosis.

This research deems that the population as a whole does not have a healthy outlook for the future. However, those who suffer from the above all have a common link of poor diet and lifestyle.

Fuel, given to the bodies’ engines, comes directly from food consumption. Foods eaten contain nutrients. Nutrients come in the form of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, water, amino acids, carbohydrates and lipids. It is these nutrients, that allow the body to sustain life by providing it with the basic materials, needed to sustain optimum health.

‘more than half the population suffer from a deficiency of at least one important nutrient. A poll of 37,000 studies, conducted by the Food Technology, found that half of them were deficient in vitamin B6, and 42 percent did not consume sufficient amounts of calcium, 39 percent had an insufficient iron intake, and 25 to 39 percent did not obtain enough vitamin C’ . (p6) 1

Without the proper nutrients consumed, impairment to normal function will result. These problems, so greatly experienced within the population today, is caused by a decline in nutrients consumed daily in a choice of diet. A regular consumption of refined, processed food, stripped of nutrients, high salt, fat and sugar laden empty foods, will cause constipation, nutrient lack, a diseased state, obesity and high cholesterol.

A balanced diet abundant in whole grains, fresh clean water, raw and steamed fruit and vegetables, lean meat and fish, omega oils, half fat dairy produce and nuts and seeds, avoiding refined products, excess sugar, fat and salt, with a daily exercise regime of aerobic exercise, combined with stretch, tone and relaxation, will give great assurance of health, with the avoidance of degenerative disease taking over future living.

‘Recent research has confirmed that diets high in fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, fight to reduce the risk of a number of diseases, including cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure when compared to diets high in meat’. (p7) 2

Disease preventing effects of foods, are due to antioxidants contained within fresh whole foods. Specific vitamins, minerals and enzymes can be found in fruits, vegetables and grains that will aid to prevent cancer and diseases, by protecting the cells against oxidation.

Research has found that fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes contain an additional group of health promoting nutrients. These life saving nutrients are called ‘phytochemicals’ and will fight against invading free radicals, by protecting healthy cells within.

Disease results when a carcinogenic molecule - from food eaten or from breathing in polluted air - will invade a cell. Should sulforaphane, a phytochemical found in broccoli also reach the cell, enzyme activation will occur, resulting in the carcinogen being disposed of before any unnecessary disruption.

Examples of phytochemicals can be found in flavenoids, found in citrus fruits and berries. These will protect healthy cells from cancer causing hormones, connecting and invading the health structure of cells. Genistein, found in soya beans will kill a tumour by preventing the formation of capillaries needed to nourish and sustain the tumour. Indoles, found in cruciferous vegetables such as brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage, will increase immune activity, enabling the body to excrete toxins. Saponins, found in kidney beans, chickpeas, soybeans and lentils will aid to prevent cancer cells multiplying. P-courmic acid and photogenic acid, found in tomatoes will fight to destroy chemicals fighting within to create carcinogens.

Research has found that every whole grain, legume, fruit and vegetable tested, were found to contain abundant sources of disease fighting nutrients. By eating a diet rich in fresh raw or lightly steamed whole foods, fruits and vegetables, containing powerful disease fighting phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals, the human body will be nourished sufficiently and will sustain optimum health.

Sickness and disease will be prevalent within the human body, should the body be abused by constant exposure and consumption of a poor diet and lifestyle. Should there be no change in such lifestyle, function and life generating within the human body, will gradually reduce and eventually fail.

Diseases common to the above are, prostate cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. To conclude, we shall take a closer look at these complaints.

Prostate cancer

Research has shown that diets high in saturated fats and animal protein will promote the strongest forms of prostate cancer.

‘A study of 47,855 men between the ages of 40 and 75 years old, concluded that those whose diets contained the most dietary fat, especially from red meat - due to the saturated fat content as well as high levels of cholesterol - had a 79% greater risk of developing advanced prostate cancer, than those whose diets were lower in fat intake’ (p125) 3

Animal fats, cholesterol, and lack of phytonutrients will cause an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen. Male estrogen levels have been shown to rise and fall with poor diet, increasing the risk of developing prostate cancer.

Due to the abundant source of antioxidants, vitamins, enzymes and minerals, a diet rich in whole grains, soya products, fruits and vegetables will reduce the risk of prostate cancer. By blocking the cancer promoting actions of testosterone and its metabolic by products, and by also acting as weak estrogens, the testosterone / estrogen ratio will aid to deplete high testosterone levels.

The following nutrients, will aid in protection against prostate cancer:

Citric acid
Omega - 3 fatty acids
Saw palmetto berries
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Modified citrus pectin

Example foods to reduce and avoid include:

Red meat
Vegetable oils ( except olive oil, canola oil and omega 3 oils)
Whole milk
Egg yolks


Research has calculated annually, that diabetes causes an estimated 39,000 cases of blindness, 13,000 new cases of kidney disease, 54,000 amputations and 90,000 cases of heart disease and stroke related deaths.

All who develop type 1(juvenile) diabetes, are aware of the condition due to the need of daily insulin injections. Sadly, the large majority ( 8 million according to recent estimates) do not know that they are suffering from diabetes.

Evidence has shown that complications of suffering with diabetes can be prevented by regular consumption of phytonutrients rich, fresh whole foods, a diet low in salt, sugar and refined food, combined with exercise to normalize blood sugar levels and balanced insulin requirement.

A diet high in fat, sugar and animal protein will cause blood sugar to soar three to five times higher than normal, in response to abnormally high sugar levels. This will cause cells to become insensitive to the sugar lowering effects of insulin. This in turn forces beta cells of the pancreas, to pour out extensive insulin in a futile attempt to dispose of the excess sugar out of the blood, and into cells where it can be naturally metabolised. Due to such an imbalance, sugar accumulates in the blood, creating a host of health hazards, including obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

‘Diabetes is concentrated where food supplies allow people to eat more calories than they need so that they develop obesity. Several different types of diabetes actually exist, but the type usually associated with obesity, called type 2 diabetes, accounts for about 95 per cent of all cases’. (p28) 4

After years of such chronic abuse, pancreatic cells will gradually weaken, creating an insulin shortage, while the body becomes progressively more insensitive to the hormone.

Examples of nutrients and supplements known to aid sensitiveness to insulin and help combat diabetes are as follows:

Alpha - lipoid acid
Chromium iodinate
Vitamin B6
Vitamin C
Vitamin E

Example foods to reduce and avoid:

High fat animal protein
Refined sugars
Simple carbohydrates

Cardiovascular disease

Cholesterol is an essential element of all the cells within the body, brain, nerves and spinal cord. Cholesterol will also provide a layer of protection in the skin, to prevent loss of water and the absorption of toxic substances. The body will make reproductive hormones from cholesterol. Excessive cholesterol intake from animal protein, will cause serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease.

When the blood does not contain enough antioxidant vitamins and phytonutrients obtained from a balanced whole food diet, LDL cholesterol will become harmful and overwhelmed by free radicals. Antioxidants within the blood, such as vitamin E, C and carotenoids, will defend LDL cholesterol levels, against the attack of oxygen and other chemical compounds, that will try to convert it into a toxic form causing damage to the arterial wall.

HDL lipoprotein, known as good cholesterol, found within the body, will transport excess cholesterol from the artery wall back to the liver for disposal, thus aiding in the prevention of the formation of excess plaque, clogging the arterial wall.

‘Certain protein carriers, known as LDL’s, were found to be responsible for carrying cholesterol to the artery wall, and HDL’s are responsible for carrying cholesterol through the artery wall and back to the liver. So if you have a low LDL cholesterol count and a high HDL cholesterol count, this is good news for health’. (p76) 5

Should the blood contain sufficient amounts of antioxidants and a low level of LDL cholesterol - by consuming a diet high in fibre and whole foods and low in fat and cholesterol - a healthy balance will result, with little toxic cholesterol being formed, thus maintaining arteries in a clean and healthy state.

Cardiovascular disease, will arise when an imbalance occurs due to high fat diet abuse, causing cholesterol to be converted into its artery damaging oxidized form. Years of chronic clogging and damage will establish a tumour like plaque, known as a cancer of the arterial wall. This will lead to high risk of heart attack and stroke.

Example nutrients and supplements that fight cardiovascular disease include:

Soy Phytonutrients
Olive oil and omega 3 fatty acids
Vitamins C and E
Coenzyme Q10
Soluble fibre
Soy protein

Examples of foods to reduce and avoid include:

Saturated fat
Polyunsaturated vegetable oils
Tobacco consumption


Building strong bones during childhood and early adulthood depends on a proper diet, to include adequate calcium intake and exercise.

During midlife, additional steps must be taken to preserve bone health. This is especially important during menopause, when a decline of estrogen production will speed bone loss.

Main calcium robbers are excess protein and sodium within a diet. Lifestyle risk factors for osteoporosis include lack of weight bearing exercise, high alcohol consumption and tobacco use.

Calcium can be found in abundant supply in tofu, green leafy vegetables, lentils, peas, broccoli, soy milk, brussels sprouts, low fat dairy products, mustard greens and cabbage to name but a few. By including these foods within a balanced diet, as well as using a cautionary supplement of chelated calcium and magnesium, with an exercise routine to include weight bearing exercises to increase bone density, and retain calcium and mineral nutrients, calcium levels should be adequate to combat the onset of osteoporosis.

Example nutrients and supplements the body uses to build healthy bones:

Soy protein
Vitamin C
Vitamin D

Example foods to reduce and avoid in order to achieve optimal bone health include:

Methionne rich foods ( red meats, eggs, milk, cheese)
High sodium foods ( canned soups and sauces, pickles, potato chips)

Reference 1: - Prescription for nutritional healing
James F. Balch MD
Avery Publishing Group

Reference 2: - As above

Reference 3: - Permanent Remissions
Robert Haas MS
Pocket Books

Reference 4: - Diabetes for Dummies
Dr S.Jarvis
Wiley Publishing

Reference 5: - 100% Health
Patrick Holford
Piatkus Publishing
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