SEATTLE, Wash. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – For years, we’ve heard about the importance of diet and exercise when it comes to improving and maintaining overall health. Now researchers in Seattle say diet and exercise can help to reduce the proteins in the blood that can increase your cancer risk.
Seventy-seven-year-old Luanne Isom Mills loves working out, but that wasn’t always the case. Mills not only got fit as a senior, she racked up an impressive three indoor rowing world records and 13 world championships. Mills said she got her start by participating in a study of diet and exercise and cancer prevention.
“It changed my self-perception and I think it did for a lot of people in the studies,” Mills told Ivanhoe.
The study at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on post-menopausal women found a surprising decrease in angiogenesis markers, proteins in the blood that can promote cancer.
Anne McTiernan, M.D., PhD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, detailed, “We saw a significant reduction. We were surprised at how much of a reduction and the significance of it in these markers. Between ten and 20 percent reduction.”
Some of the women in the study worked out 45 minutes a day, five days a week. Others ate a low-fat diet to lose around ten percent of their weight over a one year period. Researchers say there are drugs to reduce those protein levels, but they were surprised diet and exercise had such a significant effect.
Dr. McTiernan said, “This was very interesting because no one had looked at this before. So this was really a novel research project and a novel finding.”
Dr. McTiernan said it would be especially important to have the diet and exercise study done with patients who currently have cancer to see if they also experience the same decrease in proteins.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Nicole Sanchez, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.
Copyright 2017 by Ivanhoe Newswire – All rights reserved.
How well did you stick to your New Year’s resolutions this year?
If you’re one of the many people who started out full of good intentions but slid off the diet wagon as early as mid-January, now might be the time to try a different approach.
Registered nutritional therapist Jackie Lynch offers her top tips on four common dieting mistakes to help you see just where you might be going wrong and how you can adjust your approach to achieve successful weight loss:
1. SKIPPING MEALS
This might seem like a logical quick fix, but skipping meals on a regular basis confuses your metabolism and could lead to more weight gain in the long term.
Our eating behavior is controlled by hormones such as leptin, which tells your brain if you need to stop or carry on eating and grehlin which manages hunger.
Short term fasting leads to a dramatic drop in leptin levels, indicating a state of famine to the brain and stimulating your appetite.
Never skip a meal: Short term fasting leads to a dramatic drop in leptin levels, indicating a state of famine to the brain and stimulating your appetite, according to Jackie Lynch
Skipping breakfast may seem like a smart way to keep calories down, but a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that people who miss breakfast eat far more later on in the day than people who regularly eat breakfast, because ghrelin levels remain unchecked.
According to research, a high protein breakfast is the key to managing ghrelin levels – opting for an egg or adding nuts and seeds to porridge or cereal could make a big difference to your appetite control.
Misunderstanding portion size is one of the most common mistakes when trying to maintain a healthy weight.
For example, a standard cereal portion is between 30-50g but most people help themselves to far more.
It’s not just about a balanced diet, the correct proportion of each food group within that balance is essential.
It’s perfectly possible to lose weight without eliminating whole food groups, but by simply restricting the portions.
The correct proportion of each food group within that balance is essential
Take some time to measure out and mentally register correct portion sizes of your favorite foods, so that you know what you’re aiming for when you’re in a rush or eating out.
Try investing in a meal preparation and portion control appliance such as newly launched, MealKitt, which assists with weight management.
3. HIDDEN SUGAR
It isn’t difficult to spot and avoid refined sugar, but it’s a common misconception to assume that ‘healthy’ sugar is fine.
The single biggest culprit when it comes to weight gain is excess sugar in any form, as it generates the release of insulin which encourages the body to lay down fat stores.
Products such as honey, dried fruits and fruit juice are full of hidden traps, as they contain vast amounts of sugars in each portion.
Honey, dried fruits and fruit juice are full of hidden traps, as they contain vast amount of sugar
Eat the whole fruit but avoid the juiced versions.
Fruit is naturally high in fructose, which is fruit sugar, but it also contains plenty of fiber which helps to balance out the sugar.
4. EATING FAT MAKES YOU FAT
This is the most common misconception out there and many people automatically fill their trolley with low-fat products assuming this will help them to lose weight.
Dietary fat doesn’t make you fat – it does a number of other things, such as balancing hormones, supporting brain and cardiac function, ensuring the absorption of certain vitamins and producing sex hormones.
It’s also responsible for much of the flavor in our food, which is why manufacturers often add sugar (or salt) to low-fat products, as the flavor has been stripped out along with the fat.
Dietary fats balance hormones, support brain and cardiac function, ensure the absorption of certain vitamins and produce sex hormones
This is a real problem, as excess sugar is the single biggest factor when it comes to weight gain.
Take a close look at the labels of any low-fat products to make sure you’re not introducing excess sugar into your diet. A teaspoon of sugar is roughly 4g, so it’s simple enough to do the maths.
Buncombe County, like much of the nation, has a diabetes problem. The disease was ranked as the 10th-leading cause of death in the county in the 2015 Community Health Assessment, an annual gathering of data from residents to determine local wellness in relation to state and national averages. While there are numerous reasons why this has become an epidemic, the assessment found that 23.5 percent of Buncombe adults are obese, and that just over 30 percent of students in K-5 public schools are overweight or obese, factors that increase the incidence of diabetes.
The good news: Asheville-area health professionals say there are affordable and accessible ways to address this growing risk for generations young and old. A wealth of information, diet trends and practices has emerged to address weight loss and the prevention of diabetes.
Christin Banman, a registered dietitian with Mountain Kidney and Hypertension Associates, is accustomed to dealing with the factors that lead to diabetes, Type 2 in particular. “You immediately have to get into the home life situation with these issues,” she says. “Who does the cooking? Who’s in the house?” The majority of her patients have fought weight gain, high blood pressure and long-standing medical issues their entire lives. Their multiple problems create the onset of Type 2 diabetes, she says, which in turn causes kidney malfunction due to higher levels of blood sugar.
Banman’s advice for someone who has contracted the disease and is seeking reversal of the diagnosis is similar to that she’d offer anyone who is prediabetic. She recommends affordable and simple dietary solutions that include buying frozen vegetables for cost and longevity, avoiding most beverages in favor of purchasing foods, buying grains in bulk, and shopping at Aldi and other affordable markets in their area.
Watching your weight is key to help preventing Type 2 diabetes, Banman says. “I really feel like if someone can jump start or hit the restart button with the sugar busters or Atkins diet just to get an initial amount of weight off, I’m a supporter of that. I think the long-term benefits of just getting a little bit of weight off exceed the consequences of that diet.
“I think what we’re dealing with is what’s referred to as a toxic food environment, where we have heavily marketed, very inexpensive, unhealthy foods on every corner — in hospitals, airports and even in our school systems,” she continues. “This food environment surrounds us. So it’s hard for me to argue with someone who says, ‘The croissant sandwiches were two-for-one on the way in.’ With someone that has limited food money, that speaks. So that’s part of the food environment we’re dealing with.”
Diabetes and lifestyle
Type 2 diabetes affects 29.1 million people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common causes for the onset of this illness are obesity, smoking, physical inactivity, age, family history, high blood pressure and a high alcohol intake, according to WebMD.
Diabetes causes blood glucose levels to rise above normal. When people eat, their bodies turn food into glucose, or sugars, for their body to use as energy. The pancreas creates the hormone insulin, which allows those sugars to get into the cells of the body. But with Type 2 diabetes, the body is no longer able to use its own insulin as well as it should, causing sugar to build up in the blood.
In 2014, the North Carolina State Report named diabetes as the seventh-leading cause of death in the state, the fourth-leading cause for African-Americans and the third-leading cause for American Indians. In WNC, the rate of white people living with the disease is highest, at 11.6 percent, while the rate of African Americans in the eastern part of the state is 15.3 percent.
Harvard University’s PATHS (Providing Access to Healthy Solutions) report for North Carolina in 2014 outlined how legislation could mitigate the disease, including a mandate for insurers to cover diabetes-related services as well as the creation of a unified public health system to provide “whole-person care.” The PATHS report is funded through Together on Diabetes, a philanthropic program of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, and was launched in 2010 to improve the health outcomes of people living with Type 2 diabetes by strengthening patient self-management education, community-based supportive services and broad-based community mobilization.
Short of legislative measures, how can the millions of Americans seeking to control their weight and improve their health avoid Type 2 diabetes?
Dr. Daniel Stickler of the Apeiron Center for Human Potential in Asheville relates the illness to lifestyle. “Type 2 diabetes is not truly a disease,” he says. “Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle aspect. You can progress to the point where you actually poison your beta cells in the pancreas after years of being Type 2 diabetic, but it really is a lifestyle. We’ve seen plenty of reversals on people that were diabetic or prediabetic that changed their lifestyle and completely reversed the disease without medication.”
Stickler says that a whole-person approach is needed. Apeiron uses that approach, looking closely at a person’s genetics and at about 75 different genomic variations that help predict appetite, hunger and nutrient selection — from fats to carbs and proteins. Apeiron tailors diets specifically around a person’s genomics, goals and experiences to create a program that is individualized, rather than using a diet from a book.
“The problem that you run into is that when you diagnose someone with a disease, they become the disease,” Stickler says. “The title becomes them, and until they can get to the point where they understand they are not Type 2 diabetes, you’re not going to make any progress with them. We’re treating it with these medications that aren’t treating the core cause, which is lifestyle. It’s OK to bridge that to get things under control, but the whole focus needs to be on treating the core cause, which is a lifestyle component that has created an insulin resistance in the body. And it is easily reversible.
“We have epigenetic coaches that work with clients and read their genetic data, looking at 500 genetic variations and working with sleep, stress, nutrition, exercise and human movement … environment, thoughts, etc. So we’re venturing into all realms in how we address health.”
Ways to approach diet, exercise
Banman notes that Medicare initially covers only three hours a year of dietary intervention and just two hours annually thereafter. “This is where support becomes very limited,” she says, adding that a majority of her patients are diagnosed in their mid-60s, which makes it difficult for them to get up and get moving. In addition, stress from finances, work and family are debilitating factors, pushing diet and exercise to the bottom of their priorities. “I’m struck with the layers in their lives that are making things so complicated, and I’m very sympathetic to it and help however I can,” she says.
Stickler and Banman both recommend the Mediterranean diet, “which is in concert with the diabetic diet,” according to Banman, and which research has consistently shown to be an effective way to also reduce the risk of heart disease, lower low-density lipoproteins (or bad cholesterol) and lower risks associated with cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
The American Diabetes Association outlines a Mediterranean meal plan on its website. Key components of the diet, according to the Mayo Clinic, are limiting red meat; eating fish at least twice a week and otherwise primarily plant-based food, whole grains and nuts; replacing butter with olive oil; and using herbs and spices instead of salt.
In Buncombe County, residents can address stress, exercise and diet through the Diabetes Wellness and Prevention Program offered by the YWCA, a program designed specifically for adults with or at risk for Type 2 diabetes. Preventive health coordinator Leah Berger-Singer saysthat participants are given a gym membership, bimonthly personal training, a weekly support group (which discusses health-related topics such as living healthy on a budget) and tips on stress management. “We’re aiming to provide access to people that may not otherwise have access to a gym, cooking classes, swim lessons and other options,” she says. “We also provide monthly dinner lectures or ‘lunch and learns,’ hands-on cooking demos, field trips and other extracurricular activities.”
Chiropractor and yoga instructor J. Anya Harris of Crystalign Chiropractic in Asheville says that stress-reduction techniques coupled with group exercise can be keys to combating many diseases, including diabetes. “Getting out of your routine and your house and away from your cellphone is really important,” she advises. Her approach with patients is to address both spinal health and overall physical health, as well as stress and energy levels. Chiropractic care helps to create a range of motion and mobility, freeing up the body to get patients to the point where they feel good enough to exercise again or continue exercising, she explains. It also opens up the neural pathways that keep the organs, muscles and spine balanced, she adds. “With the energy work, I’m shifting relationships and trauma to give them the spark to get them moving. It’s all about setting up the mind, body and soul to help them feel at ease in their own skin and really define their ‘why.’ If you don’t know your why, then none of it matters, because you won’t stay consistent. The why will give them reframing in their consciousness that will keep them moving toward their goal.”
For more information:
Mountain Kidney Hypertension, 10 McDowell St., Asheville, offers a variety of services, including diet and meal planning for diabetics and services for those suffering from hypertension and kidney disease. 258-8545
The Apeiron Center for Human Potential, 190 Broadway, focuses on preventive wellness, including genomic assessments, epigenetic coaching and human potential assessments and coaching. (888) 547-1444
Crystalign Chiropractic, 36 Clayton St., off Charlotte Street in Asheville, offers head-to-toe chiropractic adjustments, trigger-point muscle therapy, energy work, nutrition analysis and wellness coaching. 335-2208
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