Obesity is making headlines around the world. In Western countries, children, young adults, and adults of all ages are at an increased risk of obesity. With the obesity epidemic comes a long list of serious health issues.
One prominent health concern related to obesity is stroke among the younger population. Research published in the online issue of Neurology states that stroke may be affecting adults at an even younger age1. The reasons? Top risk factors include diabetes, obesity, and high cholesterol. All of these risks are lifestyle conditions. All of these risks can be reduced or eliminated by making changes to diet and daily habits.
Based on study results, stroke occurrence increased among younger adults from the ages of 20 to 54 between 1999 and 2005. Dr Brett Kissela of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio, fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and study author states, “Other factors, such as improved diagnosis through the increased use of MRI imaging may also be contributing. Regardless, the rising trend found in our study is of great concern for public health because strokes in younger people translate to greater lifetime disability.”
There is no good reason for a young adult to struggle with obesity that results in stroke. It is clear that obesity has become a major public health concern, especially for the Western population. If you or someone you love is overweight or obese, it is time to address the problem directly. Brushing off the issue can lead to a lifetime of heartache and health decline.
THE HIGH SUGAR EPIDEMIC
You can put a name to the face of obesity: Sugar. Sugary, starchy, processed foods are to blame for the obesity crisis in the Western world. Breads, biscuits, cookies, cereals, pastries, white rice, potatoes, pastas, soft drinks, beer, and sugary snacks do nothing but perpetuate obesity and chronic disease. For most of us, this is a tough reality to face. You may call the no- sugar approach to natural health “taking candy from a baby.” This is sound logic since children should be protected from the side effects of a high-sugar diet most of all.
Sugary foods and starchy carbs can destroy health starting at a young age. Statistics support this unnatural trend toward health decline. The World Health Organization (WHO) calls childhood obesity “one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century.” The prevalence of sugary snack foods high in carbohydrates has unfortunately spread beyond the Western world. Yes, obesity is a Western epidemic that affects children and adults alike. The obesity crisis has now gone global as it has infiltrated a number of low to middle-income countries, especially in urban developments.
According to the WHO: “Globally, in 2010 the number of overweight children under the age of five, is estimated to be over 42 million. Close to 35 million of these are living in developing countries. Overweight and obese children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and more likely to develop non-communicable diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age. Overweight and obesity, as well as their related diseases, are largely preventable. Prevention of childhood obesity therefore needs high priority.” Obesity opens the door to disease. Obesity has spread around the globe. Obesity is prevalent among all age groups and is especially dangerous to children.
REALLY HEALTHY FOOD RECOVERY
Once you see the obesity epidemic with open eyes, it is easy to understand how simple recovery can be:
1. Monitor sugar in your family’s diet. You may be surprised to find that almost all packaged, junk foods contain some type of sugar. Starchy carbs, like cookies and breads, are empty sources of sugar that should be avoided.
2. Eat more Really Healthy Foods. A Really Healthy Food diet just makes sense. Once you’ve eliminated starchy carbs, what is left? Fresh or frozen vegetables, dark- skinned fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, wild fish, pasture-fed meats and chicken, healthy oils, and sea or rock salt.
3. Go “against the grain.” Almost any medical professional will tell you that grains are good for you. In truth, refined grains and cereals do nothing more than contribute to obesity; they are chock-full of sugar and will cause unnatural blood sugar spikes in the body. White pasta, white bread, and white rice can be replaced with couscous, quinoa, millet, and buckwheat.
EAT FAT TO FIGHT OBESITY
The low-fat diet craze has come and gone, yet most of the Western world is still afraid of fat. Today, we are eating less fat than we were decades before, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
Yet obesity rates are climbing and will continue to soar until major dietary myths are addressed. Eating fat will not make you fat. On the contrary, healthy fats are essential to the health of your body and can help you to maintain a healthy weight. When healthy fats in the diet replace processed, sugary foods, you can literally watch your health turn around. Healthy fat in a meal is satisfying. Healthy fats help to regulate appetite and ensure that you fill up on nutritious foods instead of high-sugar alternatives. Beneficial polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are recommended, found in Really Healthy Foods like nuts, seeds, and avocados. Really healthy fats are not part of the problem. Really healthy fats can balance cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, and fight obesity.
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1 “Age at stroke: Temporal trends in stroke incidence in a large, biracial population.” Neurology Oct 10, 2012.