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The One Thing You Can Do for Better Health

A56D0533Last week I spoke on a panel of women wellness entrepreneurs for an alumni event of my Alma Mater. I was flanked by impressive women, all who have been successes within their own right. The moderator was a retired pediatrician who is now a chair at the American Academy of Pediatrics. And, the other panelists included a founder/CEO of a Corporate Wellness consulting company and a Sodexo executive. Needless to say, we all had unique perspectives about wellness and what it entails.

One of my favorite parts about speaking is answering audience questions. And, in a sea of Cornell University alumni, there was no shortage of questions. The one question, however, that I found to be a bit challenging was this: “If you had only one health tip to give, what would it be?” As an advocate for many small changes, finding just one overarching tip seemed a bit daunting.

Each of the other two speakers gave very different answers, both of which were sound advice. The Sodexo executive advised audience members to love and eat real, whole food. Amen to that. The Corporate Wellness executive swore that fitness was key to health. Yes…moving is central to keeping ourselves active and healthy for the long term. And, when it came to my answer, I somehow was inspired to say this:

Cut out all refined and added sugars, eat whole fruit and skip the juice.

That seems REALLY specific, doesn’t it? Maybe…but here’s why I gave this one tip: it is at the root of almost all of our health issues. What makes us sick is often rooted in this very simple, yet very detrimental ingredient.

  1. Health Issues: Simple sugars aren’t just attributed to weight gain. They have been shown to contribute to and/or aggravate health problems, including: asthma, mood disorders, mental illness, nervous disorders, diabetes, heart disease, gallstones, hypertension, and arthritis.
  2. Immune Dysfunction: Sugar raises insulin levels, inhibiting the release of growth hormones which depresses the immune system.  Meaning, the more sugar you eat, the more likely you are to get sick.
  3. Insulin Impacts: And more about insulin: too much insulin promotes the storage of fat, so that when you eat foods that are high in sugar, you’re enabling rapid weight gain and elevated triglyceride levels, both of which have been linked to cardiovascular disease.
  4. Degenerative Disease: Sugar has no real nutritional value (vitamins, minerals or macronutrients) and as a result, has a deteriorating effect on the endocrine system, causing sugar consumption to be one of  the 3 major causes of degenerative disease.
  5. Cancer Culprits: Guess what cancer loves…sugar. Cancer’s preferred fuel is none other than glucose. Controlling one’s blood-glucose levels through diet, exercise, supplements, meditation and prescription drugs – when necessary – can be extremely important to a cancer treatment program.

Share the Love and Tweet This: “Cutting out refined and added sugar might be one of the most important things you can do for your health.” @brettblumenthal

I could have had a lot of top health tips for the audience that day, but the more I think about it, the more I like the answer I gave. If we all stopped adding sugar to our food…we would see a dramatic improvement in our health as a nation. Pure and simple. And, if you cut out your sugar intake, you will FEEL better, too…making you more apt to exercise and take on more health changes.

Now it’s your turn. If you were to give one health tip to someone what would it be? Have you made the change to reduce your sugar intake? If so, did you see dramatic results? Please share in the comments below. Be as detailed as possible, as sharing your knowledge and voice is a gift to this community!

As always, thanks for reading and please be sure to share!



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Posted in Ask Brett, Brett's Blog, Change / Reinvention