Monday, March 4, 1:00 p.m., National City Library, What have we done to food? The discussion includes GMO foods, irradiated foods and numerous other topics.
I have been invited to be a guest speaker at the 2019 Ancestral Health Symposium to be held at USCD, August 8-10. The topic will be Being a kid in the Stone Age, which gives interesting insights not just into what life was like 50,000 years ago but what we can learn from way back then that will help us and our children become healthier.
I’ll send more information when the program has been finalized.
In the news
Evolved to exercise
That is the title of an article in the January, 2019 Scientific American. To quote from the article: “Unlike our ape cousins, we have evolved a dependency on physical activity. We must move to survive.”
So how much do we have to “move”? A particular group of hunter-gatherers studied by researchers from the University of Arizona found that they logged more physical activity in a day than the average American does in a week – about 12,000 to 18,000 steps a day – and they have virtually zero coronary artery disease, high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. And it’s not because they don’t live long enough; about 20 percent of hunter-gatherers live beyond the age of sixty.
It’s not practical for most of us to wear a pedometer that would help to know when we’ve reached a target of 10,000 steps a day, which many experts recommend. After all, what would you do if you were getting ready for bed and you realized that you had only taken 7,000 steps that day? Most of us would stop wearing the pedometer!
This is easier: spend at least 2 ½ hours a week doing moderately intense exercise – that means working up a sweat. Better yet – one hour a day at least four days a week. Studies show that 2 ½ to 4 hours a week will help you to maintain weight and to significantly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. According to the Scientific American article it will also cause you to grow new brain cells, improve your memory and postpone the onset of age-related cognitive decline.
The final step (at least for now) to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: follow the Mediterranean diet.
Nope – it’s not what you’ll find at your local pizza parlor. The true Mediterranean diet consists mostly (about 50 percent) of vegetables, including potatoes. (Not French fries!!) Not a lot of meat either and it’s mostly chicken and fish. Pasta, of course, but only about 3 ½ ounces at a meal.
A high adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with a low risk of Alzheimer’s disease. There are several reasons.
No refined grains (white flour) but mostly whole-grain baked goods. Almost no sugar either.
The high intake of plant foods means lots of antioxidants, which lower inflammation, a major driver of heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.
A higher intake of fish with its protective omega-3 fats.
Lots of healthy fat in the form of olive oil.
And of course, a glass of red wine every day!