MIAMI, Jan. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- New Year's resolutions, while incredibly popular, often fail to bring significant or lasting change to the lives of most resolution-makers. In fact, many Americans have by now stumbled or given up altogether on resolutions made just two short weeks ago. Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa, America's longest running transformative health and weight-loss retreat, challenges the millions of Americans suffering from coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and osteoporosis to skip hollow resolutions in favor of actionable goals aimed at reclaiming their health in 2019.
Since 1975, Pritikin has been at the forefront of lifestyle science, achieving remarkable results that have been published in more than 100 peer-reviewed studies. As the most successful method for preventing and controlling leading health concerns, Pritikin offers specific resolutions for halting and even reducing, the progression of the following diseases:
- Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)
Most heart disease results from atherosclerosis, which is cholesterol build-up, or plaque, in the inner walls of the arteries. Plaque can burst or rupture, which triggers blood clots that can block blood flow to the heart resulting in a heart attack. While some factors that promote plaque build-up (such as genetics, age, and gender) are beyond our control, other vital factors are controllable.
"The good news is that with healthy lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, and smoking cessation, and, if needed, medications, many people can stabilize atherosclerosis, making plaque less likely to rupture," states Dr. Marianela Areces, M.D., physician and educator at Pritikin Longevity Center,
Board-certified: Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease.
Resolution - CHD: Reduce Saturated Fats, Trans Fats, and Dietary Cholesterol
Three key dietary factors accelerate plaque growth. Avoiding these can aid in reversing the progression of coronary heart disease:
- Saturated fats (such as butter, palm oil, coconut oil, meat fats, and milk fats like whole milk and cheese)
- Trans fats (essentially, any food that has partially hydrogenated oil in its ingredient list)
- Dietary cholesterol (egg yolks and organ meats are high in dietary cholesterol)
- Type 2 Diabetes
Though "silent," at least at first, diabetes can be life-threatening, significantly increasing the risk of heart attacks, strokes, peripheral arterial disease, erectile dysfunction, blindness, diabetes neuropathy, poor wound healing, and kidney failure. Today, approximately 30 million Americans have some form of diabetes, with 95 percent suffering from type 2. Nearly 85 million more Americans have pre-diabetes.
"Studying the evolution and lifestyle habits of humankind, we can confidently assert that type 2 diabetes is virtually entirely preventable," notes Dr. Andrea M. Sosa-Melo, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E., physician and educator at Pritikin, Board certified: Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. The disease process associated with diabetes can be slowed and even partially reversed by controlling blood glucose and other cardiovascular disease risk factors. For maximum effectiveness, blood glucose must be controlled at near normal levels throughout most of the day via loss of excess weight, particularly belly fat, as well as daily physical activity.
Resolution – Type 2 Diabetes: Get into the Habit of Daily Physical Activity.
Regular exercise not only aids in the loss of body fat, but it has been found to reduce insulin resistance. Diabetics should aim for 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic activity each day and include two to three days of interval-type training on non-consecutive days. A great place to start is by walking for at least 20 minutes after dinner each night.
Also known as high blood pressure, hypertension is by far the most common form of cardiovascular disease in the U.S. An estimated 103 million U.S. adults have high blood pressure. While most Americans with hypertension are treated primarily with drugs, "these drugs do not come close to eliminating all the cardiovascular ills associated with the typical American diet and sedentary lifestyle," observes Dr. Areces. "You may be surprised at how quickly you can reduce your blood pressure. In fact, many guests at the Pritikin health resort wipe out the need for blood pressure pills in as little as three days."
Resolution - Hypertension: Limit Consumption of Sodium to a Healthy Level.
The American Heart Association and decades-old Pritikin program guidelines recommend the average American consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day, yet most adults ingest almost double this amount daily.
Many studies have shown that the higher blood pressure is, and the more salt is restricted, the greater the fall in blood pressure. The key to drastically reducing salt intake is understanding the hidden sodium in food, especially in restaurant and processed foods like canned soups, snack foods, and frozen meals. Read food labels carefully.
- Metabolic Syndrome
Metabolic syndrome is not a disease in itself; it is actually a group of risk factors associated with increased risk of developing diabetes and heart disease. They include: abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, low HDL good cholesterol, high blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar. Having just one of these conditions does not mean a diagnosis of metabolic syndrome; yet, any of one increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Having more than three defines metabolic syndrome and increase the risks even more. More than 47 million Americans are affected by metabolic syndrome, according to the American Heart Association.
"No one magic pill erases metabolic syndrome. Pharmaceutically, it is treated in piecemeal fashion," adds Dr. Sosa-Melo. "The far better approach is a healthy diet and regular exercise. A healthy lifestyle targets what are often the causes of metabolic syndrome: poor diet and excess body fat, especially around the belly. The good news is just a small amount of weight loss, even 5 percent, can help dramatically improve health."
Resolution - Metabolic Syndrome: Begin a Diet Low in Calorie Density, High in Fiber and Nutrients.
Pritikin recommends filling, satisfying foods low in calorie density and naturally high in fiber and nutrients to aid in weight loss, netting substantial health benefits. Foods to eat:
- Whole-grain foods like hot cereals, corn, whole-wheat pasta, and brown rice;
- Generous amounts of fruits, vegetables, and starchy foods like potatoes, yams, beans, lentils, and peas; and
- Modest amounts of nonfat dairy products, seafood, and lean poultry and meat.
Osteoporosis, also known as brittle bones, is a deterioration of bone tissue that leads to bone fragility and increased risk of fracture. Early detection is important because prevention strategies can stave off bone loss. To keep bones strong, the solution is much more complex than taking calcium supplements. "At Pritikin, we believe that bone loss is likely due to several factors, including our over-consumption of salt, animal protein, soft drinks, caffeine, refined carbohydrates, vitamin A from animal foods, and alcohol, as well as smoking, all of which leach calcium and other important nutrients out of the bone or decrease calcium absorption," states Dr. Danine Fruge, M.D., A.B.F.P., Pritikin medical director.
Resolution - Osteoporosis: Eat More Leafy Greens.
Foods rich in calcium and other nutrients can significantly impact bone health. While dairy is important, plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables are also excellent sources of calcium, especially leafy greens. In fact, collard greens have as much calcium per cup as milk. Other leafy greens that are osteoporosis all-stars include turnip greens, bok choy, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, artichoke and parsley.
To learn about Pritikin, its research and proven health programs, visit Pritikin.com.
About Pritikin Longevity Center
For more than 40 years, the internationally renowned Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa has served as the leading total body and mind health resort destination in the world. From weight loss to the prevention and reversal of the progression of coronary heart disease, diabetes and other health concerns, the program immerses guests in a life-calibrating educational journey embedded in longevity-rich dining, culinary classes, private physician diagnostics, weight-loss workshops, diabetes management and reversal, longevity living education and psychological wellbeing. Located in Miami, nestled within an exquisite 650-acre, four-star resort with beautiful pools, championship golf courses and other world-class amenities, a Pritikin health and wellness retreat offers something for those seeking to enjoy the greatest duration of life.
 WebMD. 30 Million Americans Now Have Diabetes. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/news/20180919/30-million-americans-now-have-diabetes#1. Sept. 19, 2018.
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prediabetes: Your Chance to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/prediabetes.html. Updated June 25, 2018.
 American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2018 Update. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000558. Published Jan. 31, 2018.
 U.S. Food & Drug Administration. You May Be Surprised by How Much Salt You're Eating. https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm327369.htm. Updated: July 19, 2016.
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SOURCE Pritikin Longevity Center + Spa