Health Revolution For Men

Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta and rice provide only energy.  They don’t provide any form of nutrition at all. If your diet is dominated by these you could be producing too much insulin, the fat storage hormone.
Professor Charles Clark is a leading expert on the health of middle-aged men and has transformed the lives of hundreds of his patients.  In his book Health Revolution For Men: he shares his ideas for revolutionising men's health and diet.

Are you aged 40+ with an expanding waistline, high blood pressure or cholesterol, and stress? Then this book could be of interest. Practical, goal-orientated and frank, this man-friendly programme will yield quick results in such areas as stress, weight (a crucial factor for this age group) cholesterol and blood pressure.

Prof. Charles Clark is an internationally recognised specialist in diabetes and glaucoma. His outstanding academic record includes the unique achievement of Doctorates in Science, Medicine and Surgery and fellowships from Europe, US and Australasia. Charles Clark and Maureen Clark are the authors of several diet books including the bestselling The New High Protein Diet.

Key Points

This book reaches the conclusion that controlling insulin is the key to protecting a man's heart, and also protecting him against a host of potential killers - raised cholesterol, diabetes, cancers-- as well as reducing his risk of arthritis and obesity, and even boosting his libido.

1. Dr Clark and others believe sugar, and its effect on the hormone insulin, is the real dietary evil behind our ever-rising obesity levels and our frightening incidence of heart disease.  In the book, he claims that controlling insulin is the key to protecting a man’s heart, and also protecting him against a host of potential killers — raised cholesterol, diabetes, cancers — as well as reducing his risk of arthritis and obesity, and even boosting his libido.

Dietary cholesterol accounts for just 15 per cent of the total cholesterol in our bodies -- the rest is manufactured by the liver.  As he explains it, the problem is sugar. In response to sugar in the blood, the body produces the fat storage hormone insulin. These triglycerides are bundled into globules transported through the blood to be taken up by the fat cells. That’s how excess food makes us fat. Insulin also controls the extent to which the liver creates and pumps out cholesterol. Scientists believe high insulin levels are more likely to trigger the production of `bad' LDL cholesterol. When insulin levels are reduced, the liver cells find it harder to convert the fat in food into cholesterol and tends to pump out more ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.

Modern diets have become dangerously carbohydrate-heavy, says Dr Charles Clark. All carbohydrates consist of sugar molecules joined together — the typical Western diet can contain as much as 66 teaspoons of sugar in one day.

While public health advice recommends carbohydrates form a major part of a healthy, balanced diet, most carbohydrates are completely surplus to our bodily requirements, Dr Clark suggests. Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta and rice provide only energy, he says. They don’t provide any form of nutrition at all. What’s more, if your diet is dominated by these you could be producing too much insulin. Insulin is the master hormone for weight management, commanding the body to convert excess sugar in the bloodstream into fat — which is stored primarily in the abdomen.

Keep carbohydrates to no more than 50g a day (a small, 5cm diameter, baked potato has around 15g). For every meal, energy should, instead, come from protein and a wide variety of fruit, vegetables and salads.

When we consume proteins, the body breaks them down into amino acids, which are absorbed through the wall of the bowel and form skin, bones, muscles, tendons, and all the organs such as the brain and the heart.

Dr Mercola has similar ideas re carbohydrates and insulin.

Dr Davis has similar ideas re wheat and insulin.

2. When we're under stress, the body produces the hormone cortisol. One of its actions is to force the liver to release sugar into the blood, providing instant energy to help you fight or flee. This triggers yet more insulin, high levels of which can lead to obesity and disease. Therefore you need to reduce stress. Relaxation techniques etc are the way forward.

Stress can cause such powerful chemical changes in the body that it can trigger the start of diabetes, raise blood pressure (cortisol also instructs the arteries to narrow, forcing the heart to pump harder and faster), reduce your immunity, affect your testosterone levels, and even increase the risk of osteoporosis and certain cancers.

De-stressing is therefore vital: eat healthily and at regular intervals (hunger and poor diet put extra stress on the body), get plenty of sleep and exercise, and try relaxation techniques and deep breathing exercises.

3. A thickening waist and heightened sense of mortality is often enough to kick start a new regimen, which usually means choosing low-fat foods. Like a growing number of experts, Dr Clark , says low-fat diets could be making our long-term health worse. Dr Clark says low-fat diet foods (yoghurts, ready-meals, biscuits, even salad dressings) are very often pumped with extra sugar to make them palatable and people on low-fat diets are very likely to fill up on carbohydrates, both of which raise insulin levels, increasing LDL and triglycerides.

4. Exercise plays an important role in keeping insulin levels under control. As for jogging, Dr Clark says if you’re unfit, it’s a quick-fire way of destroying your hip and knee joints and placing a tremendous strain on your heart and lungs.
But while jogging is an excellent form of exercise when you are fit, it is also an excellent way of precipitating a heart attack when you’re not, says Dr Clark.

Instead, start exercising slowly and build up your fitness gradually by walking for 20 minutes five times a week, and adding some muscle-building exercises (such as lifting light weights) and stretching.

5. We all start to lose our muscle tone with age, but while exercise will help, don’t forget your smooth muscles. These make up the intestines, the bladder and the muscle in internal organs and their health is vital. Like any other cell, they need food and oxygen.

These come in the form of nutrition from your diet and good profusion, or blood flow, to the tissues. Healthy smooth muscle prevents constriction of the arteries by cholesterol and stress.

To ‘exercise’ the smooth muscles, you need roughage (such as green vegetables). This stretches the muscle fibres and helps to press food through the bowel. If you don’t have roughage in your diet, the bowel isn’t stimulated and it becomes dormant — a major cause of bowel cancer.

6. Water is also vital — drink regularly, not just when you feel thirsty. This keeps the bowel’s contractor muscle moving, prevents constipation and prevents many of the typical diseases that occur in middle age such as cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and peptic ulcers.

7. Correct posture is vital for the health of bones and muscles — but Dr Clark says sitting and standing properly are also crucial for the internal organs to function effectively. It enables unrestricted expansion of the internal organs, allowing for blood flow, breathing and gastroeintestinal function.

So be aware of your posture at all times. When sitting, standing or walking, consciously pull your shoulders back and lift your head to draw the body into a balanced position and help prevent upper and lower back pain.

8. Dr Clark recommends alcohol consumption is limited to two small glasses of red wine per day. Dr Clark recommends drinking at least ten cups of water a day. He says fruit juice is ‘far too high in sugar for general consumption’, coffee causes dehydration and should be restricted to two cups a day, tea to three cups (herbal tea is unlimited), but alcohol is allowed, in moderation.

‘Beers have high carbohydrate content and therefore a greater likelihood of promoting the development of diabetes than those drinks with a low carbohydrate content, such as red wine,’

9. Testosterone levels naturally fall with age (at a rate of 1-2 per cent per year after the age of 40), but a dwindling libido can also be a symptom of excessive stress and poor diet. Poor nutrition causes physical and mental fatigue, leaving little left over for social interest, let alone sexual activity.

Obesity itself also limits libido. In one French study, obese men were 69 per cent less likely to have had more than one sexual partner in a year than men of normal weight.

Another problem at this age can be impotence, which can be an early sign of coronary heart disease and diabetes. It can also be due to atherosclerosis, a systemic condition where plaque builds up inside the arteries, leading to restricted blood flow in the penis.

So how to resolve a flagging libido? Once again the process is simple, says Dr Clark: Reduce refined carbohydrates, reduce stress levels and take more exercise. All will help ensure the body is working at optimum levels.

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