2 lifestyle changes that can save your life
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Hi. I’m Sebastian. I’m really excited to share with you these two lifestyle changes because can literally save your life. They can also massively improve your health, help you lose weight, add 10 or 15 healthy years to your lifespan or save a life of someone you love.
These recommendations were made by the World Health Organization. They come as an effect examining all the latest research about how our lifestyle impacts our health.
Here is a shocking statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
About 70% diseases are actually preventable.
According to other research more 90% of cases of type 2 diabetes in the US are preventable by healthy lifestyle. That’s a lot of needless suffering and cost that we could avoid.
Our lifestyle is our best weapon against disease.
Let’s start with the first recommendation. Here it is:
Limit your sugar intake to less than 10% of your daily calories, and for better results below 5%.
That limits your added sugar intake to less than 25 grams which is about 6 teaspoons, per day.
The recommendation is made for healthy, moderately active adults and children. Unfortunately most people aren’t at their optimal state of weight and health. They are also not moving enough during the day.
Given this reality it may be advisable to completely eliminate refined sugar from your diet. At least until you become healthy and moderately active.
Many people don’t know that we actually don’t need ANY amount of refined sugar or flour to be healthy or to survive. They are NOT necessary components of a healthy, balanced diet.
When you eat a lot of sugar your pancreas creates insulin to bring down the level of sugar in your bloodstream. This insulin is so effective that in the end of the cycle you end up with too low a level of blood sugar. That makes you feel tired, hungry, irritable and also increases your sugar cravings.
We can store some sugar in form of glycogen in our muscles and liver. Unfortunately after these storage places are full the body has no choice but to immediately convert the remaining sugar into fat.
Sugar has been known for a long time to cause tooth decay. Now we also know that sugar overconsumption is associated with obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and even an increased risk of cancer.
According to one study cutting sugar intake from 28% to 10% of total daily calories improved children’s health markers in just 10 days.
We did not evolve to eat refined sugar. It’s a problem for our bodies, especially when we consume it in big quantities and for a long time. Sugar used to come with fiber when we ate it mostly in the form of fruits and vegetables. Fiber slows down the release of sugar in the blood stream. Fiber makes us feel full and it helps our digestive system to remove the toxins from the body.
The World Health Organization warns us against refined sugar, which is added to about 80% of all processed foods. The same warning applies to naturally occurring sugars in honey and fruit juice.
Sugar is hidden in processed foods like cereals, ketchup, low fat products, sweet yogurts.
It also exists in large quantities in sodas, sweet coffee drinks, energy drinks etc.
So what can you do to limit your sugar intake?
The average American drinks over 40 gallons of soft drinks per year. Do not be that guy. Drink mostly water and unsweetened tea or coffee.
When you feel like having a snack grab a fruit, a handful of nuts, have some hummus with vegetables.
As a general rule avoid processed foods with long lists of ingredients. Stay away from products that your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. Study labels to see how many grams of sugar hide in 100 grams of different products.
Prepare more meals at home. That will give you more control over what you eat. It can be a fun and collaborative experience too!
Inform yourself more about the dangers of sugar. Read books and watch documentaries about it. They can show you the exact role sugar plays in the obesity epidemic and chronic diseases.
The second recommendation is to eat at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables per day.
It’s also known as “5 a Day” which refers to eating 5 portions of about 80 grams each. A portion can be one banana, an apple, avocado, a handful of beans etc. Variety is important for ensuring optimal nutritional value. That’s why it’s recommended to eat 5 different kinds and preferably different colors of fruits and vegetables.
Potatoes and other starches don’t count towards your daily 5. That’s why eating French fries won’t be the solution here.
About 1.7 million people die worldwide each year because of too low fruit and vegetable consumption. Many more people get sick because of malnutrition. Even obese people can suffer from malnutrition because it’s about not providing your body with adequate levels of nutrients. For example having too low levels of potassium, magnesium or zinc.
Only 1 in 10 Americans gets enough fruits and vegetables in their diet. As you can see there is a a lot of room for improvement.
An interesting fact about our current epidemic of obesity and chronic diseases is that they’re caused not only by what we started eating, but also what we stopped eating. We started eating huge amounts of refined sugar and flour, but we also stopped eating plants, that were protecting us and keeping us healthy.
Eating more plants or a plant based diet can lower the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and decrease overall mortality. Plants contain antioxidants, vital minerals, vitamins and fiber. All of these play a very important role in maintaining health.
So what should you do if you don’t like the taste of most vegetables?
When I was a child I used to refuse to eat vegetable soup. I didn’t like the strong and surprising tastes of different vegetables. The solution was to blend the soup. Then the taste becomes much more predictable and mild.
I’ve used this strategy ever since. Now I usually have a daily smoothie where I put many different vegetables and one fruit. They’re tasty and they also remove the necessity of chewing too much which could be a problem with some leafy greens.
There are many amazing salads to discover. Some of them taste much better than one would expect. You can also put together a healthy lunch in less time than it would take you to prepare a frozen pizza.
The change starts at the supermarket. If you buy a lot of sweets and processed foods you’ll eat them. If you buy a lot of fruits and vegetables instead you’ll eat them too.
So… summing up:
#1. Limit your sugar intake to less than 6 teaspoons per day.
#2. Eat at least 400 grams of fruits and vegetables per day.
I encourage you to use these recommendations for the next 90 days. They can really massively improve your health, help you lose weight and just make you feel much better on a regular basis. They may also stick with you for the rest of your life. Your longer, healthier life…
Share this message with the people you love. They also deserve to know and use these recommendations.
I’ll see you in the next episode.