America's Top Killer

Fifty-year-old Richard was the picture of health and a model citizen, a family man who was loved by his kids, his church and his community.  However, his influence abruptly ceased one Sunday morning when, without warning, he just dropped dead. As the family made funeral arrangements, they awaited a report concerning the mysterious cause of death.  The verdict soon came in: heart attack.

Richard had become the latest victim of the leading cause of death in Western nations, CAD (Coronary Artery Disease). Unfortunately, this sad story is far too common. Even more frightening is the fact that for 30% of those with CAD, the first sign of the disease is sudden death! However, scientific evidence reveals you don’t have to suffer the same fate. This pamphlet is dedicated to teaching you about CAD and explaining how you can avoid or reverse it!

What is Coronary Artery Disease?

CAD is caused by damage to the lining of the coronary arteries, the small blood vessels which supply blood to the heart. Once damaged that lining becomes vulnerable to hardening (atherosclerosis), narrowing (from plaque buildup), and ultimately complete blockage. 

When blood flow to the heart is decreased, the person may experience pain (angina).  If a vessel becomes completely blocked, the tissue receiving blood beyond the point of blockage dies.  If the area that dies is large enough, the person’s heart may no longer effectively pump blood, dooming the individual to a life of reduced energy and capacity.  Still greater damage may result in death. 

However, even small heart attacks may be fatal.  Damaged heart muscle is prone to abnormal rhythms.  These “dysrhythmias” are often the underlying cause of sudden death.

Causes of Damage

-Smoking directly damages the coronary arteries predisposing them to spasms and plaque buildup.  (Smokers are also more prone to fatal rhythm problems if they have a heart attack.)

-High blood pressure further damages the coronary arteries accelerating the build-up of blockages.

-High cholesterol causes inflammation of the arteries, another factor leading to plaque buildup.

-The elevated blood sugars of diabetes further accelerate the process of atherosclerosis (fatty buildup in the arteries).

-Sedentary lifestyle (inactivity) contributes to the disease process by elevating blood pressure, worsening blood fats, and elevating blood sugar.

Good News

Coronary Artery Disease can be stopped and even reversed, and this can occur quite rapidly.

World War II led to a terrible loss of life, but it also provided insights into influencing the CAD process. The horrors and demands of war often caused changes in dietary practices. Some European nations were forced to subsist on plant-based foods rather than their pre-war diets that were rich in fresh foods and dairy.  Those countries experienced a dramatic decrease in heart disease.

In 1990, Dr. Dean Ornish and his colleagues showed that such a plant-rich diet could be used as part of a comprehensive program to reduce blockages in heart blood vessels. In addition to eating a vegetarian diet, Ornish’s subjects stopped smoking, exercised regularly, practiced stress management techniques and engaged in group support. You too can experience these benefits. Here’s how:

A smoke-free lifestyle: If you are a smoker, the most important thing you can do to lengthen your life and prevent CAD, is to stop smoking.  In addition to decreasing your risk of CAD—and lessening your risk of death even if you have a heart attack—smoking cessation will decrease your risk of cancer,  Alzheimer’s disease, and osteoporosis.  It will even help your skin stay more youthful!

An active life: With exercise, your heart muscle strengthens.  Furthermore, exercise decreases triglyceride levels (a blood fat that contributes to heart artery blockage) and improves HDL (sometimes called “good cholesterol”).  HDL is a fascinating compound.  It actually removes cholesterol from blockages in your arteries!  As already mentioned, exercise also helps lower blood sugar and blood pressure.

All told, active individuals have a 45% decreased risk of developing heart disease.  A good goal for many people is to exercise 30 minutes a day, and it doesn’t need to be all at once. As little as 5 or 10 minutes at a time, spread out throughout the day, can start the healing process. Walking, swimming, gardening, and yard work are all excellent exercises.  Remember, it’s best to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.

A life based on trust in God: It might surprise you, but research on the mummies of Egyptian nobles revealed they died from many of the same diseases we in Western nations currently die from.  Those diseases include CAD, which is believed to be the cause of death of the famed Ramses the Great.

What’s even more fascinating is the story of how God led the Israelites out of Egypt and away from those Egyptian diseases. The plant-based diet advocated in the first chapter of the ancient Hebrew Scriptures (Genesis 1:29) we have already learned seems calculated to stop and reverse CAD.

When God led Israel out of Egypt, He also provided a plant-based diet of “manna” (“the corn of heaven” Ps. 78:24), as well as water to drink (Exodus 17:6). There was a built-in exercise program, for they walked to the Promised Land.  God promised that if the Hebrews followed this plan, they would experience none of the diseases of the Egyptians (See Exodus 15:26).  Later Daniel the prophet followed a similar plan (Daniel 1:11-12), which brought health and longevity to him and his friends.  In just ten days’ time, in what the New England Journal of Medicine called the oldest scientific study, Daniel and his compatriots showed measurable benefits (Daniel 1:15). Within three years, this lifestyle also improved their mental faculties (Daniel 1:20).

Such results shouldn’t be surprising. Over 3,200 scientific studies now bear witness to the positive impact of religion and spirituality on health. A recent review of these studies found that “there is no medical condition that religion and spirituality are more likely to influence than cardiovascular disease.”


Living Water

Richard Crossland and his family, residents of Delaware, USA, felt their stomachs become uneasy. Within a few days he and his family were dead, victims of contaminated water. They had unknowingly left a piece of rotten meat over their well, and the putrefying mass had dropped into their water supply.1

Have you ever been really hot and thirsty and downed a glass of cool, clear water? If so, you are privileged. According to the World Health Organization, over three million people die annually because of contaminated water, more than total deaths from crime and war combined.

Imagine a world with complete purity—not just water, but people and ideas. Imagine a world without any contamination from spin or bias. What if we could get what we needed to know without any pretense or deception? Wouldn’t it be refreshing to have information presented in its true form—unadulterated, free from corruption?

This impurity is the problem with religion today—many feel that they are taught religious ideals that are contaminated by human greed or ambition. In the past, people have indeed used religion as a vehicle for corruption and violence. Religion has been blamed for incompetent government and the launching of world wars. Pastors, priests, and clerics have manipulated the spiritual needs of individuals for their own profit. Countries have been torn apart because of one religious sect battling another.

Sadly, many of the accusations that have been and are being brought against religion are correct.

This frustration with religion’s track record—what appears to be its contaminated status—is certainly true of one of the world’s largest organized religions, Christianity. Many people are hostile toward the church but love Jesus. Many feel suspicious of membership and organization but are open to the figure of Christ.

Gandhi, the great leader of the twentieth-century Indian independence movement, once said, “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Many people feel that there is a large contrast between Christ and Christianity. Perhaps you’ve seen this difference also.

The True Jesus

The irony is that Jesus was so anti-corruption.

In His preaching, He called out the abuses and misdeeds of the religious establishment. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). Jesus came to illuminate the true meaning of religion, “the law and the prophets,” that religious teachers had twisted and abused.

In fact, the Scriptures that He preached even predicted a false, corrupted Christianity to come in the future. It would cause global suffering and persecute those at odds with its teachings, which misrepresented God. This corrupt Christianity would “make war” with anyone who disagreed with it and “prevail against them” (Daniel 7:21). But despite the abuses of religion in the past and in the future, Jesus did not seek to destroy religion, but to illuminate its true meaning.

Before His death on the cross, the Romans brought Jesus before Pilate, one of their rulers. When Pilate questioned Him regarding His arrest by Roman soldiers and the Jewish leaders, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here” (John 18:36). Jesus taught that true religion was not about worldly success or personal gain, but something beyond this world.

Jesus came to offer a pure and genuine spirituality, a transcendent yet supremely practical way that not only addresses our human problems, but also solves divine ones. How can a God that is all-powerful, all-present, and all-knowing allow for suffering? How does good deal with evil—with force, or with something else? Jesus presented solutions this world had never seen before. “My kingdom is not of this world.”

Imagine a Christianity without any contamination. What if you knew the true intents, teachings, character, and reasoning of Jesus Christ in the way that He meant them? No pretense. No spin.

What if there were a way to understand Christ in His purity?

What if you could understand love, peace, joy, and faith more deeply than the words and pictures Hallmark uses on its cards—as Jesus Himself talked about them and demonstrated in His life?

What if you could understand Jesus’ teachings without the political biases and religious interpretations that have muddled them for centuries?

What if Jesus weren’t a crazed rabble-rouser or merely a good teacher? What if He were more exalted than anything any human being could imagine, more than just one in a long line of wise men?

Here is what one writer had to say about the true Jesus: “Jesus was a perfect pattern of what we should be. He was the strictest observer of His Father’s law, yet He moved in perfect freedom. He had all the fervor of the enthusiast, yet He was calm, sober, and self-possessed. He was elevated above the common affairs of the world, yet He did not exclude Himself from society. He dined with publicans and sinners, played with little children, and took them in His arms and blessed them. He graced the wedding feast with His presence. He shed tears at the grave of Lazarus.

“His zeal never degenerated into passion nor His consistency into selfish obstinacy. His benevolence never savored of weakness nor His sympathy of sentimentalism. He combined the innocence and simplicity of the child with manly strength, all-absorbing devotion to God with tender love for man. He possessed commanding dignity combined with winning grace of humility. He manifested unyielding firmness with gentleness.”2

Living Water

Do you want this uncontaminated perspective? You would be making a decision that millions of people need to make, but don’t, because of past experience or fear. You would be taking the first step toward seeing, knowing, and even believing in the pure person, character, and life of Jesus.

Take this step by reading the most comprehensive book on Jesus’ life, teachings, and prophecies: The Desire of Ages. Just as the title implies, this book shows why, in spite of centuries of corruption by humans, Jesus inspires hope, transformation, and devotion. He called His teachings living water, and He invites you to try some.

1 http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9F03EEDE1430E633A25750C1A9619C94669FD7CF

2 In Heavenly Places, page 54

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Cover image: ©www.photodune.net


Secrets of mental health

Secrets of Peak Mental Health  

David DeRose, MD, MPH, and Bernell Baldwin, PhD, neuroscientist 

In 1944, at the age of 16, Edith Eger was taken by the Nazis from her home in Hungary and sent to the infamous Auschwitz death camp. Although spared the gas chambers used on her parents, the already-thin Edith gradually wasted away as she was transferred from one camp to another. Read more


Diabetes Undone

Struggling with high blood sugars? You’re not alone. Today, almost half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes. These conditions significantly increase the risk of heart disease and many other devastating complications. They also suck the joy out of life and cause a fear of the future.

Did you know that even prediabetes is dangerous? This condition more than doubles the risk for a heart attack, whether or not it ever progresses to full blown diabetes.

The outlook seems grim, but there’s nothing to fear when you understand the good news: type 2 diabetes and prediabetes are reversible. Diabetes can be undone!

Hope for Change

Most people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes are simply told that they must manage the lifelong condition so it doesn’t progress. This outdated paradigm causes fear and discouragement.

In reality, there are thousands who have not just managed but have reversed high blood sugars and other chronic health conditions. The power of lifestyle habits such as nutrition and exercise have transformed their bodies, lives, and health so much that they no longer fit the criteria for diabetes or prediabetes.

But How Does it Work?

The only way to fight diabetes is to address its underlying cause: insulin resistance. Insulin is the key that unlocks your cells and allows glucose (sugar) to enter. This process regulates your blood sugars.

People with Type 1 diabetes stop producing insulin, so they have to take insulin injections to stay alive. Without insulin, sugar builds up in the blood and becomes dangerous.

People with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes still do produce insulin, but the insulin has a hard time unlocking the cells. Why? Insulin resistance causes your cells to become fat and sassy. They don’t want to allow much sugar in, so they go on strike. This causes high blood sugars and extra high insulin levels that can lead to weight gain, high blood pressure, cancer growth, and even dementia. In fact, modern research reveals that Alzheimer’s is actually insulin resistance of the brain.

But insulin resistance can be reversed! The same strategies that will help you fight diabetes will also reduce your health risks across the board. How? One choice at a time.

One Walk at a Time

You know that exercise helps control diabetes, but did you know that timing makes a huge difference? After-meal exercise is a secret weapon for blood sugar control.

Blood sugars spike highest 45-60 minutes after you start eating. These spikes cause tissue damage throughout the body. You can minimize these sugar spikes by moving your body after each meal, making your muscles eager to accept the glucose from the food you ate.

You can potentially reduce your blood sugar spike from one to three points for every minute you exercise after a meal. If your blood sugar usually spikes to 200, you might lower that by 20-60 points simply by taking a 20-minute walk.

So why not start today? Stand up and go for a walk after you eat. Fifteen minutes or more is a great goal, but even five or ten minutes can help. Do this as often as you can. You’ll notice a difference if you move after your meals.

One Meal at a Time

Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, once said: “Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.” Healthful food is powerful medicine.

In one study, researchers placed 650 people with diabetes on a high fiber, plant-based diet—much like the original diet described in the Bible in Genesis 1 and 2. It didn’t take long for blood sugars to drop. In just two short weeks, 71 percent of the participants on oral diabetes medications were able to discontinue those drugs and 39 percent of those on insulin stopped it completely. Participants also experienced major improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight.

What’s the best diet for diabetes? A study by Dr. Neal Barnard set out to answer this question. The study included 100 people with type 2 diabetes. Half were assigned to follow the diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association, emphasizing carbohydrate counting or exchanges. The other half ate a plant-based diet low in fat and sugar. They didn’t count calories or carbs but avoided animal products, sugary foods, and added oils.

Both groups improved, but the plant-based diet was three times more effective at lowering blood sugars. This group also lost twice as much weight, lowered cholesterol, and experienced multiple other health benefits. Many participants eventually reversed diabetes completely.

The ADA diet didn’t lead to medication adjustments, but two-thirds of those on the plant-based diet lowered their medications.

Want to unleash the power of nutrition for your health? Build your meals around non-starchy vegetables and legumes (beans and lentils). Legumes are a secret weapon for blood sugar control.  Fill your plate with whole, plant-based foods. Avoid or greatly minimize animal products, refined grains, added oils, and sugars. Eat balanced meals with healthy carbohydrates, proteins, and fat. And remember that good hydration reduces cravings for food your body doesn’t need.

You can learn more nutrition information by reading Goodbye Diabetes or visiting www.diabetesundone.com. Check your blood sugars frequently and talk to your doctor when making these changes.

One Night at a Time

Your sleep habits directly impact your blood sugars. In one study, healthy young adults were restricted to four hours of sleep each night. After just six days, their blood sugars fit the criteria for prediabetes. That’s right. Sleep deprivation induced a prediabetic state in less than one week! But even one night of sleep deprivation triggers insulin resistance the next day. Follow these simple steps to improve your sleep:

  1. Set a sleep schedule.

Aim for an early and consistent bedtime. Sleep before midnight is deeper and more restorative than sleep after midnight.

  1. Get regular exercise.

Exercise helps you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and have a better quality of sleep.

  1. Soak up the sun.

Bright light, especially early in the morning, helps keep your sleep and wake cycle on track.

  1. Be careful with naps.

Any naps should be short and early in the day. Long naps sabotage your sleep schedule.

  1. Don’t eat late.

Try to eat dinner at least three to four hours before you sleep. Make it the lightest meal of the day. Your energy needs are lowest at the end of the day, so this habit will help you manage your weight and sleep better.

  1. Say no to caffeine.

Caffeine may boost your energy in the short term, but it’s like living on credit. It compromises the quality of your sleep and eventually causes premature aging and fatigue

  1. Optimize your sleep environment.

Make sure the room that you sleep in is dark, quiet, and a little bit cool (60-68 degrees Fahrenheit).

  1. Learn to Manage Stress.

If there’s something in your life that keeps you up at night, do what you can to resolve it. Invest in your relational, emotional, and spiritual health. Consider learning more about the God of the Bible who assures us that the health principles in His word are “life to those who find them and health to one's whole body” (Proverbs 4:22).

 

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Dr. Wes Youngberg is the author of Goodbye Diabetes and the host of Diabetes Undone, a dynamic online video course on diabetes reversal. For more information, visit diabetesundone.com. Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION,® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


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In the Beginning - the Brain!

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By Vicki Griffin, MS, Human Nutrition, MPA

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Living Free - Changing Bad Habits for Good!

By Vicki Griffin, MS, Human Nutrition, MPA

Habits—we all have them. American author Elbert Hubbard said: “Habit is the great economizer of energy.” He was exactly right. Habits are our friends—when they’re good ones. Habits are routines that help us perform multiple tasks with minimal mental effort. They help us repeat safe and effective behaviors, and build consistency and security into our lives.Read more