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Volume III
December 16, 2011

Weekly Home / No More Blood Sugar Blues

7 Ills That Don't Need Pills!

By Alice Osborne

In the April 2008 issue of the Harvard Health Letter, researchers explained how in many cases, a non-pharmacological approach can accomplish as much, or more, than pills and prescription medicines. And in more recent years, even more studies are showing that simple lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, are effective remedies for many ills.

I saw this when my mother had a heart attack. Upon release from the hospital, I lived with her for two weeks to help her convalesce. After these two weeks of eating my whole- and fresh-foods diet, we saw her doctor for a follow-up physical. He was amazed at all her numbers and felt comfortable taking her OFF the meds she left the hospital with. We kept her blood pressure and cholesterol down through diet!

Having back-up evidence that lifestyle changes can improve and protect health is exciting news, because we know that pharmaceutical drugs oftentimes cause serious side effects and deteriorate health even further. With this in mind, here's what researchers say the seven common conditions that can be managed without medication are:

1. Arthritis: making sure your vitamin D levels are healthy (sun exposure is your BEST source!), and that you're getting adequate omega-3 fatty acids, which are profoundly helpful for normalizing your immune function; and regular low-impact exercise.

2. Cholesterol: By eliminating sugar and most grains, you will effectively reduce your insulin and leptin levels, which are the underlying causes that create LDL particles that are too small to circulate without sticking to the interior walls of your arteries. To normalize your cholesterol level naturally, these three primary strategies work well 99% of the time if properly implemented: daily exercise; eating a low grain, low sugar diet; and, taking a high quality omega-3 supplement.

3. Cognitive decline: Alzheimer's disease is an epidemic. Appropriate diet and removal of heavy metals are the ABC's of optimal brain health and Alzheimer's prevention. Keeping your insulin levels normal, getting the right amount of omega-3 fats, avoiding sugar, eating more vegetables (high in folate) and foods with high antioxidant content are dietary changes that can help prevent cognitive decline.

Avoiding and removing mercury and aluminum can also have a major impact. Dental amalgam fillings are one of the major sources of mercury, and common sources of aluminum include antiperspirants, cookware, and aluminum-loaded baking powder.

4. Depression: Antidepressant drugs do not in any way, shape or form treat the cause of your depression. This is so important to understand! To address the underlying problem, few things work better than a combination of a high quality omega-3 combined with exercise, which is clearly one of the best-kept secrets for depression.

5. Diabetes: According to alternative health practitioners and naturopaths, the thing everyone should know about type 2 diabetes is this: it is completely preventable and is almost always curable, using nothing but dietary and lifestyle modifications, including:

•  Limit or eliminate sugar and grains in your diet
•  Exercise regularly and intensely
•  Avoid trans fats
•  Get plenty of omega-3 fats from fish oil or krill oil
•  Get enough high-quality sleep every night
•  Maintain a healthy body weight

This sounds radical and it may go against your physician's opinion; I'm in no way (nor are the folks at Cook'n) suggesting you abdicate your physician's treatment and advice. But as you look at this list, there isn't anything here that would harm your health, so why not consider these steps?

6. High blood pressure: The single most important factor in normalizing your blood pressure is to get your insulin and leptin levels normalized. This is done through limiting grains and sugars and making certain that exercise levels are appropriate. Interestingly this is the same strategy that normalizes virtually every high cholesterol level.

A word of caution: you need to make certain that whoever takes your blood pressure does it properly. With over two-thirds of the U.S. population overweight, it is important to have the right size cuff when measuring your blood pressure. It's also important to pay attention to the correct arm position during your reading.

The vast majority of high blood pressure cases can be treated safely and naturally by following those simple guidelines.

7. Osteoporosis: Just as exercise and diet work in tandem to beat obesity, the same can be said for osteoporosis. Vitamin D and K are also crucial factors. Diet is, of course, also tremendously important for strong bones. One thing you can do is to increase your consumption of vegetables, and if you struggle to get all the needed portions into your daily meal plan like I do, then try juicing. My morning green smoothie makes it happen for me!

One of the many positive qualities of vegetable juice is that it is high in vitamin K, which is a crucial part of bone health. Yet most people do not get enough of it from diet alone unless you juice your veggies or eat large amounts of dark green leafy vegetables. The type of vitamin K from plants is vitamin K1. An even stronger vitamin K is vitamin K2, which is obtained from animals. Probably one of the best ways to obtain vitamin K2 is from fermented raw milk products. An easy way to go about it is to ferment raw milk with kefir starter packets.

Another basic tool to maintain your bone health is sun exposure, to allow your body to metabolize sufficient amounts of vitamin D.

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