It's Not Just About Losing Weight…

A plate with a scale on it
Our American culture reminds us daily that “thin is in”.

It is easy to become obsessed with losing weight, so that we lose sight of the bigger picture, which should be about developing and sustaining a healthier diet and lifestyle.  It is important to understand that there are diets that will actually increase your risk of chronic disease and early death.  Yes, you can beat obesity… and still get sicker! For example, a diet which is high in red meat and saturated fat (e.g. Atkins) may promote weight loss in some people while at the same time clogging your arteries with plaque, greatly increasing your risk of heart attacks and strokes!

Also, did you know that that we all have tiny cancer cells in our bodies?  It’s just a matter of whether we give those cells an environment where they can grow and thrive.  A healthy diet can often prevent such cancer cells from becoming large tumors. This is why in some cultures (such as rural areas of China), cancers such as breast, prostate, and colorectal are much less common.  Yet, when those same Chinese migrate to the United States, and adopt our lifestyle, their cancer rates soar to Americans’ rates!  It’s our American cultural environment, mainly food, that is the problem, much more than family history/genes.

Finally, consider that your total cholesterol is not only predictive of heart attacks and strokes, but also of your risk for many cancers?  Since adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle, my total cholesterol has dropped about 40 mg/dL (without medication)  – measured a few days ago at 129. Nearly anyone can achieve similar results within months by adopting a plant based whole foods diet, as documented in the groundbreaking research of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr (http://www.heartattackproof.com/).

I invite you to please join me – not just for losing weight – but protecting yourself (and your families) from heart attacks, strokes, cancers, and many other dreadful and debilitating preventable diseases.

By Dr. Ed James, BDO Healthy Lifestyle Expert

Dr. Ed James draws inspiration from his personal experiences with healthy lifestyle changes, having overcome prediabetes and obesity several years ago. In 2011, he founded Heal2BFree to focus on helping individuals and organizations to develop and implement action plans that help close the health disparities gap between blacks and whites.

Dr. James has given many presentations, including the 2011 National Medical Association Colloquium and regularly contributes preventive health-related articles to some of the nation’s top health publications. He is also the primary author and co-editor of Getting into Medical School – A Planning Guide for Minority Students.

He received his BS in Biology from Bucknell University and earned his MD and MBA from the University of Pennsylvania as a participant in the Penn Med Scholars combined degree program.

For more healthy lifestyle tips and news, visit Dr. Ed at Heal 2B Free. To visit Dr. Ed’s blog on BDO, click here.

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