Heart stroke diabetes explains how we can reduce the risk of death and serious disablement by 50% by dietary changes alone, many of which would not be particularly painful. Could you add a handful of unsalted nuts and seeds as a snack every day and reduce your chance of a CVA or MI, or DM by 8.5%?
It's really a philosophy of life; not thinking that it's the doctor, the chiropractor and the dentist's responsibility to care for us. We are the ones who will suffer the pain and disability, so it is up to us to look after our own bodies and minds.
That's type 2 diabetes, by the way; adult onset due to poor lifestyle. No doctor can alter the way we live; he or she can advise but only we can ring in the changes for ourselves.
Every single day, chiropractors and dentists are faced with patients with these issues. They are our responsibility too. It's not directly related to heart or stroke disability, but let's mention two other factors in passing.
Yes, it's all about time. Either we make and take ten minutes here and there, or we'll spend hours consulting doctors of every ilk. It's great for my business if you refuse to do back exercises, and the dentists love it if you won't floss. And of course doctors will make a meal of it, no a lavish skiing trip, if we won't consider our heart, stroke and diabetes.
But has been said so often, you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Or as the Dutch neatly proclaim, those who won't hear must feel; and so it is.
Heart stroke diabetes is about taking responsibility for our own health; otherwise where are you planning to live? It's known in medical jargon as cardiometabolic disease.
In a profound article entitled association between dietary factors and mortality from heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes in the United States researchers have listed 10 matters for us to consider if we want to live long and healthy lives, free of pain, disability and premature death.
I have taken them not in order of importance, but from the easiest to the most difficult to ring in changes.
Their research reveals in the USA dietary issues cause 320,000 unnecessary deaths a year from heart, stroke and diabetes; and that does not include those who do not die but are unable to walk or speak, or are blind, or have to inject themselves four times a day with insulin. Figures will be comparable throughout most of the Western world.
That's nearly 1,000 people per day in the USA alone who die completely unnecessarily just from these three cardiometabolic diseases.
Here are the ten dietary issues.
Processed meat like polony, salami, biltong and jerky, bacon and ham are the cause of 8.2% of heart, stroke and diabetes deaths in the USA.
For me at least, this is the easiest, but not necessarily for you; especially as processed meat is also very high on the list of the causes of cancer.
Keep bacon for high and holy days, and certainly no more than once a week.
A diet low in whole grains they list as the cause of 5.9% of heart stroke diabetes deaths.
It's strongly linked too to processed meat; our bread has become so unwholesome, processed and devoid of nutrients, totally lacking in flavour, that we to enjoy it we have to add salami or ham.
The secret to getting off processed meat is to return to what is now being called 'real bread', or the 100% wholemeal loaf. It's hard to get, which is why I'm calling for us to dust off that breadmaker and spend five minutes every day - that's all it takes me - to bake your own low GI bread.
Or go the next step, also very simple, to making your own artisan bread. What is artisan bread you are probably asking? I find it tastes so good that there is absolutely no need for honey, jam or processed meat. That takes an extra one minute, three times a week, to feed the culture that you add to dough with honey and rye flour.
Never purchase white bread or rolls, but don't turn up your nose when served with refined food when invited out to dinner. Don't become a food snob, and beware of a serious malady known as health food neurosis.
But always in the back of your mind remember that a deficiency of whole grains is a serious cause of death from heart, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Corn on the cob is a wonderful whole grain and eaten freshly picked is not fattening. Visit the farmers' markets.
Whilst the research refers only to sugar sweetened drinks, those artificially sweetened with saccharine and aspartame contribute too to metabolic syndrome.
These drinks directly cause 7.4% of heart, stroke and diabetes deaths. There is simply no place for them in the diet of the person who doesn't want pain and disability in their life but, if you're hooked, kicking the habit will be difficult.
At the beginning of each day make up a large two litre bottle of very weak unsweetened tea, but add a touch of freshly squeezed lemon or lime.
Keep a bottle of spring water on your desk.
Decide you'll never buy these colas for yourself or even more importantly your family; do you want a fat, diabetic kid whom you will have to inject? It's a huge and rapidly increasing problem. When you go out, perhaps indulge if you must.
But seriously consider the influence that artificial sweetener side effects will also have on your health before adding Sweet and Low for example to your beverages. Now that's not difficult if you grind and filter your own coffee; instant tastes awful without some form of sweetening.
Diabetes is being called the 'Black Plague of the Twentieth Century.' It killed an estimated 100 million people in the 1300s.
A diet low in unsalted nuts and seeds is the second highest cause of heart stroke diabetes deaths, coming in at 8.5%; nearly one in ten people die unnecessarily simply because they wouldn't crack a pecan, open a packet of walnuts or crunch a handful of sesame, pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
Actually, grinding your own flaxseed should be top of that list because it enhances the effect of another on the list of ten: omega-3 fat in fish.
In terms of ease, adding unsalted nuts and seeds daily to your diet is surely one of the easiest, and the second most important. Don't become a statistic because you wouldn't eat a walnut or chew a handful of sunflower seeds every day.
A diet low in vegetables causes an unnecessary 7.6% of deaths from cardiometabolic disease. Add to that the high incidence of birth defects from a deficiency of folate, tired all the time syndrome from an iron shortage and inflammation in the joints, muscles and blood vessels, for example, and we can see the importance of your greens like spinach and kale, purples such as beets and yellows in a butternut.
In other research it has been shown that those enjoying at least eight coloured foods every day have a 35% lower all cause of death; it's massive.
Preparing these vegetables is not onerous at night, spinach for example taking less than five minutes to prepare and cook. I recommend a pressure cooker for the beets; cook them once a week and they will keep in the fridge, or pickle them; they are incidentally what I called God's gift to the colon.
Read more on that subject at beetroot constipation if you are one of the afflicted; I was until I discovered beets.
Are you going to be one of the 700 Americans who will die tomorrow from heart stroke diabetes because you wouldn't eat your greens today?
A diet low in fruits contributed to 7.5% of the 320,000 unnecessary deaths from cardiometabolic deaths every year in the USA. Add to that the blind and the lame from diabetes and stroke and you realise just how important it is to enjoy a handful of grapes, a dried fig, an apple or an avocado every day.
That surely is not so difficult; they are amongst my favourites. This morning I was one of the privileged few to enjoy half a dozen freshly scooped passion fruit with a teaspoon of raw honey and yoghurt; it wasn't punishing to stop myself dying or being disabled from heart, stroke or diabetes. Fruit contributes so easily to the eight coloured foods per day; you enjoy whatever is in season in your neck of the woods. Watermelon, plums or blueberries would all be just as good.
It's been said so many times before; an apple a day, but we are really so hard of hearing; or just plain stubborn? Those who will not hear, must feel! Yes, those Dutch got it right.
The apple diet has benefits far beyond what we imagine.
Although foods high in salt top the list at a massive 9.5% of unnecessary deaths, I've put it lower down because getting your sodium down means getting off convenience foods like pizza and canned soups, pretzels and highly salted french fries and potato crisps; it's not going to be easy.
Adding a strawberry or a walnut to your daily fare is dead easy, but giving some of these up is not going to be simple. Do it bit by bit, keeping in mind that salt tops the list.
You must have salt in your diet but, if you eat out a lot, the chances are that you are way over the limit. That means a high risk of heart, stroke and diabetes. Think about it before you buy a packet of crisps.
Don't allow some of the salt high blood pressure research to allay your fears; it's still a problem and tops our list.
If you love fatty fish like salmon and herring, then getting your omega-3 won't be difficult but the truth is that most of us are woefully short.
A lack of cold water fish contributes a massive 7.8% (4th on our list) of the nearly one thousand Americans who die unnecessarily from cardiometabolic disease every day.
Many people do not like fish, so then you must enjoy walnuts and freshly ground flax seeds every day for your omega-3; or become a statistic.
Fatty fish twice a week is the recommendation. I love salmon because it's so quick to grill, add a squeeze of fresh lemon and a green salad and dinner is done.
These ways to cook salmon may help.
'Rollmops" is a pickled, bottled herring that is one of my favourites when I can't get fresh fish.
Too little polyunsaturated fat is perhaps one of the more controversial findings as does not distinguish between the omega oils; it comes in low down at 2.3% of unnecessary deaths from cardiometabolic disease. Certainly the emphasis is on getting away from saturated fat.
However the role of monounsaturated fat as in olive oil and avocados is not mentioned, and canola which is very high in the poly omega-3 alpha linolenic acid (ALA) is not commented on either.
The jury isn't out on this one and we expect more contradictory and controversial statements on the role of fats in disease.
But NO ONE gainsays the value of monounsaturated extra virgin olive oil, or the oil in wild salmon; they are king and queen of the fats, head and shoulders above the rest.
Interestingly unprocessed red meat was last on the list, contributing luckily for carnivores a measly 0.4% of the risk of dying unnecessarily from heart stroke diabetes. Nevertheless it's there, and because of its role in cancer should not be ignored.
After post menopausal hormones, animal protein is considered the primary cause of one in eight women getting breast cancer, for example.
Breast cancer and prevention should be on every family's agenda; we do it by knowing how to grow peas, for example. A vegetable garden trellis for pole beans, and our quick hummus are all important for us in reducing our reliance on red meat for protein.
Yes, some of this does take time in our busy worlds, but more important it's about thought; thinking about what we eat and drink and keeping it a priority.
If you find it slipping from the consciousness, start drawing up a list of friends and family who are on the heart stroke diabetes list. Ask anyone of them just how much time is taken up by their disease; and what they would have done differently if only they had known.
Now you do know; it's about right choices.