Carrie Fisher and George Michael died this week. Both from heart conditions.

I am no pop culture expert and because I lived in the Third World all through the 1980s, I wasn’t much of a Carrie Fisher fan or even knew much about George Michael. Both of them bore a significance for millions though. Although the details are not (yet) published why would a 60 year old and a 53 year old die so young? Especially when neither of them lacked for finances to be able to take care of themselves? They could afford the best the world has to offer in terms of medicine and healthy lifestyle and nutrition. As a health coach and a student of functional medicine, I want to share what I know.

I know that excess carbs are really sugars. Sugars consumed in excess turns into fat. Fat collects around the liver and other organs including the heart. In an inflammatory state, the fats turn into plaques. So lesson 1: Reduce carbs, especially carbs that come from processed foods. Eating natural is simply the best.

Secondly, of the 3 food groups, carbs, proteins and fats, fats are considered the boogie man. Fats are reviled as evil and in most cases this can be construed. However there are good fats, healthy fats that the body needs desperately or your body will suffer. To look at this simply, most fats are inflammatory and create health problems. Some fats are anti-inflammatory. If we were to assign names: Omega-3s and 9s are anti-inflammatory and Omega-6s are pro-inflammatory. Omega-3s come from wild fish, flax seed, walnuts, etc. Omega-9s, easy – just douse your salad with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Or use purified supplements.

The immune system uses some inflammatory fats to do the dirty work of killing off certain processes and pathogens, but for the most part, those of us in the Western World consume 20 times more inflammatory oils than anti-inflammatory oils. That’s a 20:1 ratio when it should be 1:1 in a perfect world. Most nutritionists would settle for 4:1. It’s all the frying and baking. Add that to the 20 to 50 times too much sugars and we create a situation where stroke, heart attack and other serious chronic diseases are allowed to thrive. Yes all chronic conditions are fed by sugar and pro-inflammatory and mostly rancid oils. That includes diabetes, cancer, arthritis, and heart disease.

Lesson 2: Make sure you supplement with high grade Omega-3s because we cannot get enough in the modern diet. The rare exception is a person who eats a large quantity of fish, but that is no guarantee with farm raised fish containing little Omega-3 and polluted waters where the fish is not safe due to heavy metals pollution. Now back to Carrie and George. I am pretty ignorant of pop culture icons, but being in the public eye and having great influence carries a lot of weight on the psyche, in everyday language we call it stress. The remedy? Prayer, meditation, yoga, journaling and having and holding friends and family close to the heart, being accountable to others and making it a goal to having an inner peace that passes understanding. Just my thoughts. Your thoughts?

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