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ARTICLE Park Avenue Diet

 

The Park Avenue Diet

by: Dr. Stuart Fischer

In the good old days, being overweight was seen as a relatively harmless byproduct of success and contentment. The beds of the 17th century French aristocracy were very short--not because of the owners’ height, but because they needed to sleep sitting up (to avoid “dropsy”, what we now call congestive heart failure).

In the 21st century, being overweight or obese is a much more complex problem. Years of medicalresearch have revealed a metabolic abnormalitycalled insulin resistance--a condition that silentlybegins to destroy the circulatory and biochemical framework of the human body. You can tell if you’redeveloping this condition quite easily by measuring your abdominal circumference, blood pressure, glucose level, and cholesterol, but if you’re quite overweight...or can’t even see the bathroom scale on the other side of your belly...the trouble has already started.

Insulin resistance can best be described as the overproduction of weak, ineffective insulin, the hormone that usually allows all of our dietary carbohydrates to find their normal way into cells that depend on this source of energy. Once your body has started overproducing insulin, a variety of other changes start to happen: your blood pressure starts to rise, your “good” cholesterol decreases, your blood clots more easily, and your circulatory organs become inflamed. Each one of these can be quite deadly. As a group, they pack an even more powerful punch, a roving gang of marauders that attack your heart, brain, kidneys, and arteries.

You might think that diabetes and high blood pressure are harmless and relatively benign conditions: unfortunately, they result in blindness, impotency, strokes, amputations, and early death. However, most of the complications, as well as the illnesses themselves, are extremely sensitive to weight loss, better nutrition, and appropriate exercise--all things well within the power of virtually every American. The sooner you address your weight, the faster you can reverse the damaging effects of insulin resistance.

On one hand you have a condition that can be treated effectively by the right supplements, the right food choices, and the right attitude towards your appearance. On the other hand, you have a collection of illnesses that are metabolically linked to each to other (diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol) leading to expensive medical bills, potentially dangerous medications,missed days of work, heart operations,premature death, and grieving families. Have you ever been given such an easy choice?

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