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The #1 Secret to Slow Aging and Prevent Disease

The #1 Secret to Slow Aging and Prevent Disease v2 large

Hang with me for a mo­ment as I explain a somewhat complex concept. If you can grasp this idea and deploy its strategies, it will revolutionize your life. You are probably oblivious to the most important factor determining the health of your diet. After a meal, the levels of glucose and triglycer­ides (fats) in your bloodstream fly under your conscious radar, and although they usually go unde­tected, these resulting spikes will eventually wreak havoc on your health and longevity.

Your system is a machine that will run smoothly and efficiently when you feed it the fuel for which it has been designed by nature. All of the energy necessary for you to move, to think, to grow, and to stay alive comes from your metabolic engine - which resides collectively within the mitochondria - the mi­croscopic power generators, within each of your 100 trillion cells. Those little mitochondrial furnaces burn only two fuels - glucose and fatty acids, and the “smoke” that comes off from that metabolic fire needs to be tightly buffered and neutral­ized because otherwise it can cause big trouble. This metabolic smoke consists of free radicals or pro-ox­idants that, if not neutralized, will cause you to “rust from the inside out,” leading to premature aging and disease.

Just like throwing too much wood and kindling on a fire all at once will make it burn out of control causing toxic amounts of smoke to billow through the air, the “metabolic smoke” from eating a high-calorie, fast food meal will billow through your cells and pol­lute your system. After you gulp down a cheese­burger, large fries and a Coke, this massive slug of calories is digested almost immediately, leading to dramatic spikes in your blood sugar and fats.

This fuel “floods your en­gine,” causing the metabolic fires to churn out massive amounts of smoke in the form of free radicals like super-oxide anions. These toxic molecules oxidize your DNA which leads to premature aging and can­cer, and oxidize your blood choles­terol, which leads to inflammation and disease in your arteries, heart and brain. Additionally, these spikes in glucose trigger correspond­ing spikes in insulin, which directs your body to store a lot of those extra calories as belly fat; causing a downward spiral because excess abdominal fat churns out inflamma­tion and leads to hormonal disrup­tions that predispose to even higher spikes in glucose and triglycerides after eating.

Contrast that to what happens after a meal consisting of steamed broccoli, a salad of spinach and tomatoes drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar, a modest serv­ing of lean protein (skinless chicken breast or baked fish for example), with water and/or tea for your beverage, and berries for desert. This straight-from-nature food has several advantages:

1) It is going to take much longer to eat than processed food because you are going to have to do a lot more “food-processing” (chew­ing) yourself, and an even longer time to digest.

2) The calories from this meal will trickle into your bloodstream never causing your blood glucose or blood triglyc­erides to rise above 100, and your metabolic engine will burn those calories cleanly as they arrive, rather than storing them in belly fat.

3) Furthermore, all of those natural pigments from the colorful plants are ANTI-oxidants that will bind to and neutralize the oxidants (smoke) thrown off by your engine as it burns the glucose and fats from the meal.

In reality your body’s metabolism is mind-bogglingly complex and breathtakingly intelligent in its design and function, yet it can be simplified down to a practical take-home message: your machine will run best when you feed it only the natural fuel for which it’s de­signed. Fill the gas tank of your car with jet fuel and it will run poorly, and eventually this high-octane kerosene will ruin the engine. Eating modern, refined, processed, high-calorie foods will do the same to your body.

I cannot overemphasize the funda­mental and critical importance of this concept - if you want to stay youthful and healthy, you must avoid these post-meal spikes in glucose and fats. The 5 step strat­egy to do that will sound familiar:

1) Eat only whole, natural foods (that contain no more than one or two ingredients)

2) Balance your calories consumed with calories burned each day

3) Keep your waist size to half your height in inches

4) Exercise daily

5) Get seven to eight hours of sleep each night

In Good Health,

James O'Keefe, MD