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Fast Foods Cause Diabetes, Heart Attacks and Premature Death

According to a study in Circulation (July 2, 2012), people who eat fast foods:
• ONCE a week increase risk for dying of heart attacks by 20 percent;
• 2-3 TIMES a week increase risk by 50 percent;
• 4+ TIMES a week increase risk by more than 80 percent, and increase risk for diabetes by 27 percent.

The study was done on Chinese people in Southeast Asia to explain the recent incredible rise in heart attacks and diabetes that is associated with the increase in fast food restaurants there. They had the same results as the many studies already done on Western-Caucasians in the United States. The authors followed 52,000 Chinese living in Singapore. Those most likely to eat in fast food restaurants were younger, better educated, smoked less, and exercised more (traits that help to protect against heart attacks and diabetes), but eating fast foods frequently increased their risk for heart attacks and diabetes.

HOW DO FAST FOODS CAUSE DIABETES AND HEART ATTACKS? Saturated fats in meat, milk shakes and ice cream, and burnt fats (called Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons or PAHs) in all fried foods such as fried chicken and French fries:
• block insulin receptors, to
• prevent the body from responding to insulin, to
• cause high rises in blood sugar.
Sugary foods, particularly sugared beverages, also can cause very high rises in blood sugar levels.

High rises in blood sugar cause sugar to stick to the outer surface membranes of cells to destroy the cells. This damages cells in every part of your body to cause heart attacks, strokes, dementia, nerve damage, blindness, deafness, and the other effects of diabetes.

Sugar enters muscle and liver cells. If the sugar is not burned for energy to power the cells, it will first be stored inside the muscle and liver cells as glycogen. However there is only a very small and limited amount of sugar that can be stored in cells. Once the cells are full of glycogen, all extra sugar is converted to a type of fat called triglycerides. Triglycerides fill up liver cells to cause a fatty liver. Having a fatty liver virtually guarantees that you are diabetic or are becoming diabetic.

NEED MORE EVIDENCE? Eighteen slim and healthy men and women ate at least two fast food meals at fast-food restaurants every day (Gut, published online Feb 14, 2008). In four weeks, they gained an average 14.5 pounds (one put on 26 pounds). After one week, their liver test called ALT quadrupled from 22 U/l to of 97 U/l and their liver cells filled up with fat. This means that they were on their way to developing a fatty liver after just ONE WEEK of fast food meals. Diabetes is the most significant cause of heart attacks in North America today.

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Raisins (And Other Fruits) Help to Lower Blood Sugar and Cholesterol

High blood sugar levels damage cells. People who had mildly elevated blood sugar levels had their high blood sugar levels lowered by eating raisins three times per day (Presented at the American Diabetes Association's 72nd Annual Scientific Session. Jun 28, 2012). After 12 weeks, raisins lowered blood sugar levels after eating by 16 percent, and reduced HbA1c. HbA1c measures sugar stuck on cells, and therefore is a measure of the amount of cell damage caused by high blood sugar levels. Pre-packaged commercial snacks that did not contain raisins or other fruits or vegetables did not lower blood sugar levels after meals or HbA1c.

WHY FRUITS AND VEGETABLES LOWER BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS: You have two absorption systems in your body: your upper intestines and your colon. All carbohydrates are combinations of sugars. They can be:
• sugars as singles, doubles or more,
• starches as chains of thousands of sugars, and
• fiber that contains millions of sugars bound together.

Only single sugars can be absorbed into your bloodstream. Sugar is absorbed almost immediately from the upper intestines to cause a higher rise in blood sugar. It may take more than five hours before sugar reaches the colon, so absorption of sugar from the colon is delayed and therefore causes a much lower rise in blood sugar levels.

All molecules containing more than a single sugar pass to your colon where bacteria can ferment these sugar combinations to split them into single sugars that can be absorbed. Raisins contain sugar imbedded in dried skin that slows the process even more. They also contain fiber that cannot be absorbed in the upper intestines.

Fermentation in the colon can also cause chains of sugars called soluble fiber to be converted to short chain fatty acids. These short-chain fatty acids enter your bloodstream and prevent the liver from making cholesterol, so soluble fiber in fruits and vegetables can lower blood cholesterol levels.

 

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Restricting Calories Without Also Exercising Does Not Prolong Lives

Virtually all studies on the subject show that reducing calories can prolong the lives of yeast, insects and animals. However a recent study shows that restricting calories in fruit flies and preventing them from exercising does not prolong their lives (Cell Metabolism, July 3, 2012). That means that restricting calories so much that you don't have enough energy to exercise may not prolong your life.

WHY CALORIE RESTRICTION WITHOUT EXERCISE DOES NOT PROLONG LIFE: Calorie restriction causes flies to exercise more, and their muscles to make and use more fat for energy, both of which prolong their lives. Flies who were on a restricted diet and were prevented from exercising did not live longer.

Muscles use primarily fat and sugar for energy. The increased physical activity in calorie-deprived flies was caused by increased fat production and usage by the flies' muscles. Blocking fat synthesis specifically in the muscle tissue prevented calorie restriction from prolonging life. To prolong life, you need your muscles to make more fat and use it to power your muscles. These are the same changes in muscles that occur when a person starts endurance training.

CONCLUSION: Endurance training prolongs lives. Calorie restriction, like endurance training, prolongs lives by causing muscles to make a greater percentage of fat and to use more fat during exercise. Flies who are on calorie restriction and are prevented from exercising do not live longer. Dr. Kapahi, the author, states that "Our work argues that simply restricting nutrients without physical activity may not be beneficial in humans."

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Recipe of the Week:

Salade Nicoise

You'll find lots of recipes and helpful tips in The Good Food Book
- it's FREE

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July 8th, 2012
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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