Healthy Aging Resources

Live Life to the Full in Optimal Health

  • Sep 4

    What does it take to release weight? Do you have one of these at home?  For years I have been wishing for my husband to downsize, and instead he just kept on piling on the weight.  It wasn’t that he ate junk food, it was more that he ate too much meat, too many relishes, sauces and chutneys, and too much food generally. Combine that with lack of exercise, and slowly a health scare began forming.

    (He also takes advanced quality nutritional supplements that include heart healthy CoQ10, Omega-3 and magnesium plus others. But that’s not all that is required for prevention: 10 Healthy Aging strategies).

    He didn’t tell me that over the last 15 months he had been experiencing angina upon exertion.  But I did know that he was putting himself at risk of becoming diabetic (and it was getting very challenging finding size 3XL shirts).

    What does it take to release weight? The bingo experience.

    It took the death of his much-loved 55 year old cousin (a sudden fatal heart attack) in May this year, to wake him up (not his wife’s nagging…).  He contacted his cardiologist and told him to forget the treadmill, take him straight in for an angiogram. And the results were grim.  As the cardiologist said, ‘a bit of mischief has been going on’ (my husband had two stents placed in 1997 so was on the heart watch list).

    Four weeks later it was into hospital and 5 bypass grafts were performed.  (If you know anything about bypass operations, they do not perform a graft unless there is a 70% or more blockage.)  For the next 7 days, the pain of recovering began.

    Back home again and then a visit to the GP’s nurse to check the stitches and get a blood test done.  Diabetes Type 2 was diagnosed.

    30/7/2012 Blood test results:
    Total Cholesterol 5.8 mmol/L
    HDL: 0.87 mmol/L
    LDL: 3.8 mmol/L
    Chol/HDL Ratio: 6.7 (high)
    Triglyceride: 2.5 mmol/L (high – normal < 2.0)
    Glucose: 8.0 mmol/L (High – normal 3.5 to 7.7)
    HbA1c: 56 mmol/L (high – normal 20-40)

    Meanwhile, I had recommended that hubby reads a book – Dr Steven Gundry’s Diet Evolution.

    Bingo!  The time has come to release weight. Now he is on a “no grains, starchy vegetables, sugar and fruit” regime.  And boy, is it working!  The day of the operation he weighed 125 kgs and now he weighs just under 113kgs.  In less than 6 weeks. He has found it easy to do because he enjoys growing and eating vegetables, and importantly he doesn’t feel hungry. Here is a list of Heart Healthy Food Groups.

    We are now waiting for next set of blood to be taken and tested. (Last weekend he had a home blood sugar test done and his result was 6.3 – normal!).

    “The research actually shows that it’s the sugar and grains (which turn to sugar in our bodies) that cause high cholesterol as well as weight gain and type 2 diabetes, NOT the animal fats. If you eat animal products along with sugars and grains, that *will* cause your cholesterol and blood sugar to rise.”

    And yet when we look at the food pyramid we have grains taking up the large portion.  What if we put vegetables where the grains are, and put grains in with the sugars at the top.  And how about including more healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, avocados and nuts in our diet? Do you think that would solve many of our chronic health issues?  I believe it would.

    “Apparently wheat causes all sorts of issues, even if you don’t have a known allergy or intolerance to it….or I guess, you just don’t realize it is wheat causing trouble.”

    When you visit the supermarket, how many aisles hold products based on wheat? – breads, biscuits, cakes, muffins, crackers, bagels, pasta, pizzas, cereals, ready made meals, sauces…wheat is everywhere – you could even say… “ingrained”.

    “Check out the book Wheat Belly by William Davis MD.  He says the (very) genetically modified strains of wheat used everywhere these days cause havoc worldwide with the human immune system which has not been able to keep up with the change in structure of wheat products.”

    “It’s interesting information at worst and very enlightening at best.  Dr Davis says going wheat free leads to weight loss, alleviation of things like diabetes, colitis and celiac disease, improvement in cholesterol, reduction of inflammation and arthritis pain.., and so on.”

    Meanwhile, I began supporting my husband on the 8th August by following the same eating regime. I do have about 5kgs that I would like to release, and I have been fighting a pot belly for the last 10 years. So far, I have released 1kg and 3cms from my waist – the pot belly is flattening out!


  • Jul 31

    The headlines screamed on the 29th July 2010. Results from a study by researchers were published in the British Medical Journal and reported by (Reuters) – Calcium supplements, which many people consume hoping to ward off osteoporosis, may increase the risk of heart attack by as much as 30 percent, researchers reported Friday. What the study found was that there was a 30 per cent increase in heart attacks in the people who were randomized to take calcium. The researchers conducted an analysis of results from 11 studies.

    I am left with a few questions but no answers:
    1) Why were these studies done?
    2) Who paid for the studies?
    3) What type of calcium was used? (Chelated calcium is bioavailable to our cells)
    4) What was the dosage?
    5) Did the calcium supplements also contain magnesium and Vitamin D3? (Magnesium and Vitamin D3 are required to be present for the body to utilize calcium)
    6) Have there been more than 11 studies done? If so, why were they all not included?
    7) What was the initial state of health of the participants?

    It is no wonder that we, the general public get confused when we read these headlines. One minute we are told that calcium is good for us and we need to have more of it…
    (Reuters Health) – Getting a bit more calcium in your diet could help you live longer, new research suggests.

    Another piece of research shows the benefits of calcium:
    High magnesium and calcium intake linked to lower diabetes risk

    It is well known that diet plays an important role in the development of type 2 diabetes, but less is known about the influence of specific nutrients on non-Western populations. A report published in the March 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed a protective effect of calcium and magnesium against diabetes in a large group of Chinese women.

    The study involved 64,191 women participated in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study, living in Shanghai, China. Analysis of dietary questionnaire responses determined calcium and magnesium intake.

    Women whose intake was in the highest group at an average of 649.6 milligrams per day had a 27 percent lower risk of diabetes than those whose intake was in the lowest group at 277.5 milligrams. Women whose intake of magnesium was highest at an average of 318.1 milligrams per day experienced a 20 percent lower risk compared with those in the lowest category of intake. Dairy intake was also related to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

    The researchers did not have information on vitamin D intake, but the protective effect of dairy products could be partly due to their vitamin D content as well as calcium. The combination of vitamin D and calcium has been associated with a reduction in the risk of type 2 diabetes in previous research.

    Source: Am J Clin Nutr 89: 1059-1067, 2009.

    And the latest report implies that we have to stop taking calcium.
    Who do we trust?
    My suggestion is to learn more about supplements. Learn from the experts.

    What do we know about calcium?

    • It builds healthy bones
    • It helps our muscles to relax/contract
    • It is critical for normal nerve conduction
    • It helps with cell division
    • It helps with electrical conduction in the heart
    • It is essential for producing and activating enzymes and hormones that regulate digestion, energy and fat metabolism

    And because Calcium is a natural muscle relaxant it also helps you to handle stress and it’s one of the best used sleep aids around!

    What about Vitamin D?

    • It enhances calcium absorption in the small intestine
    • It enhances calcium utilisation in bone formation
    • It influences the utilisation of phosphorous – another mineral that is important for strong bones

    And magnesium?

    • It is an important component of strong healthy bones
    • It is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and amino acids
    • It plays an important role in neuromuscular contractions
    • It helps regulate the acid-alkaline balance in the body

    The synergy of calcium, vitamin D and magnesium form a trio that plays an important part in our health. I have been taking this combination for almost ten years, and I don’t plan on stopping. Become armed with knowledge and don’t let scary headlines frighten you!

    Further Reading
    Here is a rebuttal to the study from Natural News

    Is Calcium supplementation really bad Doctor Gerald Lewis gives his view on the recent paper with authors coming from Auckland New Zealand published in the British Medical Journal (29 July 2010)

    For women 40+ who want to live life to the full and stay younger longer

    If you would like to find out which nutritional supplements are recommended for healthy aging, please request my free eBook, by completing the form on your top right.

    I trust you found this helpful. If you did, please share it with others by clicking on the Facebook and/or Twitter icons below. And be sure to leave your comments and questions below. Thank you!