5 Big Ideas To Upgrade Your Health - [#2]

Updated: Jan 7, 2019

"The calorie theory of obesity has been perhaps one of the greatest failures in the history of medicine.Given the number of excess deaths caused by metabolic syndrome, you could argue that it is a bigger disaster than World War II" -Dr. Jason Fung

Welcome to my newsletter! As the name suggests, every week I will give you 5 big ideas to upgrade your health. In each newsletter, I will share with you 1 original article from my blog and 4 useful articles from around the internet. 

For each article, I will provide a brief synopsis and some key takeaway points for your learning pleasure.

I’m so excited to be going on this healthful journey with you! Here we go…

1. What the heck is Functional Medicine? (6 min read)

Functional Medicine (FM) is a cutting edge field that represents the future of healthcare. FM focuses on fixing the underlying root cause of a disease rather than the conventional approach of suppressing symptoms and "managing disease."

Compared to the conventional approach, FM tends to be Investigative in that it treats symptoms by finding it's root cause rather than seeking to suppress them. Holistic because it treats the the body as an interconnected whole. Safer because common treatments used in functional medicine have fewer side effects, risks, or complications. Patient centered in that it aims to treat the patient and not the disease. Integrative because it combines the best of allopathic and alternative treatments. And Preventative in that it seeks to treat the disease before it occurs as opposed to conventional medicine, which tends to be more reactive.

Extra Credit: Just what is functional medicine and why do some DOs gravitate to it? (Shout out to my good friend Dr. Mankar for sharing this article with me)

2. The glory of Omega-3 fatty acids (15 minute read)

This article includes information about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for mental health, it's ability to reduce inflammation, the best ways to get get omega-3 in your diet, and a guide selecting a good quality Omega-3 supplement.

Shockingly, "it’s estimated that 70% of Americans have insufficient levels of omega-3. Omega-3 deficiency is linked to over 50 diseases and contributes to 96,000 preventable deaths per year."

This article single handedly inspired me to start upping my omega-3 intake through diet and through supplementation.

Extra Credit: My favorite Omega-3 Supplement

3. The Failure of the Calorie Theory of Obesity. (5 min read)

(This is an extremely important topic and will be revisited many times in future newsletters)

"The calorie theory of obesity has been perhaps one of the greatest failures in the history of medicine. Given the number of excess deaths caused by metabolic syndrome, you could argue that it is a bigger disaster than World War II."

For as long as I remember, all nutrition education that I have ever received on how to lose weight revolved around one "energy balance" equation:

Body fat gained = Calories in - Calories out.

In this entertaining article, Dr. Jason Fung vociferously argues that though this equation makes sense from a thermodynamic perspective, it fails miserably from a biological perspective and has led to chronic disease of epidemic proportions.

Extra Credit: Dr. Fung replaces the energy balance theory for the Hormonal Obesity Theory

4. Fatty foods don’t cause heart disease, bread and pasta do (3 min read)

In this impassioned opinion article, published in the Washington Times, cardiologist Eric Thorn highlights the sad saga of saturated fats, which have been wrongly vilified for decades. Saturated fat is like the falsely accused murderer that has spent decades behind bars for no reason.

Well, guess what? Saturated Fat is getting out of jail! Dr. Thorn highlights a recent observation study, published in The Lancet that demonstrated that those "who at the least saturated fat- about the same amount currently recommended for heart patients - had the highest rates of heart disease and mortality. Meanwhile, people who consumed the most saturated fat had the lowest rates of strokes."

Dr. Thorn follows with several anecdotal accounts of his own patients reversing their health issues by eliminating refined carbohydrates and increasing saturated fats.

Extra Credit: A great compilation of the latest scientific evidence exonerating saturated fats. (10 min read)

5. The case for spending more on public health: (5 min read)

In this short read, Aaron E. Carrol, professor of pediatrics at Indian University School of Medicine makes the case for increasing our spending on public health initiates, citing a 2017 review published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, which concluded that "Health protection interventions, which would include vaccinations, have saved $34 for every $1 spent on them."

Carrol further attributes the rapid gain in human life expectancy in the 20th century to public health initiatives. Public health investments can be credited for adding 30 years to our life expectancy, mostly due to monies invested in improving care of babies and children.

Extra Credit: How to fight a baby (video)

That’s it for this week’s newsletter.

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