Archive | August 29, 2011

Diet and Longevity Have More in Common Than We Think!

Diet and Longevity Have More in Common Than We Think!


By Hwaa Irfan

As we notice more and more older people looking more healthy and fit today in a globalized world where ‘youth’ by any means is an obsession, especially if it can be done with the help of a plastic surgeon, an overly priced jar of cream, or that multi-vitamin that promises all, there seems to be
more fundamentals at play in that regard including one’s disposition.

Researchers at the University of Maryland took a look at the diet of 2,500 70 – 79 year olds over a ten year period, and had some interesting findings. The participants in the study were classified into those whose diets were mainly:

  • “Healthy foods” (374 participants)
  • “High-fat dairy products” (332 participants)
  • “Meat, fried foods, and alcohol” (693 participants)
  • “Breakfast cereal” (386 participants)
  • “Refined grains” (458 participants)
  • “Sweets and desserts” (339 participants)

Those who had led a life of healthy eating habits were those who had diets that consisted of a low consumption of low-fat dairy fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish, and vegetables. Their diet was also low in the consumption of meat, fried foods, sweets, and high calorie beverages and added fat, i.e. the western diet!

Control factors like gender, age, physical activity, smoking, and race was taken out of the equation.

The findings found that those who had a high fat (dairy products) had a 40% higher risk of
mortality than those who had a life of consuming healthy foods, and that those who had a diet of sweets and desserts had a 37% higher risk of mortality than those who had a life of consuming healthy foods. A healthy foods diet consists of high amounts of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, poultry, fish, and low fat dairy products due to the higher nutritional value, especially that present in raw foods, as too much cooking reduces the nutritional value – this improves not only one’s longevity, put also the quality of life when it comes to diet related diseases.

However, in the study who had a diet mainly of meat, fried foods and alcohol seemed to have almost the same longevity as those who had a diet of healthy foods, but as for the quality of life that is a question that the study has yet to reveal. However, it was found that the difference in consumption in between those who had a diet mainly consisting of  meat, fried foods and alcohol, was less than 2 in higher consumption of meat, fried foods and alcohol.

It is known that the high consumption of red meat on the body takes its toll. A 2009 study by the National Cancer Institute on 500,000 American middle-aged and the elderly with a daily consumption of 4 ounces of red meat had a 30% higher risk of dying prematurely through
complications like heart disease, and cancer. Processed meats increased that risk.

Risk increases because cooking red meat generates cancer forming compounds (HCAs, a family of mutagenic compounds). The longer and hotter the cooking process, the greater the amount of HCA’s). Consumers also increase the risk of having high blood pressure and cholesterol.

People who eat red meat are more likely to have, which increases the risk of heart disease. Processed meats contain substances known as nitrosamines, which have been linked to cancer. Study leader, Rashmi Sinha commented to the Washington Post that:

“Although pork is often promoted as “white meat,” it is believed to increase the risk of cancer because of its iron content.”

Not surprisingly the American Meat Institute was up in arms at such findings detrimentally affecting consumption rate hence their profit margin!

The study investigated 545,653 white volunteers aged 50 – 71 over 10 years with the end result of 47,976 male and 23,276 female mortalities. Of those deaths with a daily consumption of 1 pound of meat:

  • 36% females more likely to die for any reason especially cancer (20%), and heart
    disease (50%)
  • 31% males more likely to die for any reason especially cancer (22%), and heart disease (27%)

Those that ate mainly white meat i.e. poultry were less likely to die by about 8% as poultry
contains more unsaturated fats.

High consumption of red meat also increases:

–       Bad body odour

–       High cholesterol

–       colon, bowel, breast and prostate cancers

High consumption of high-fat foods: meat, dairy products, fried foods, and vegetable oils increases the production of estrogens in the female body,  which provides the correct internal environment for the formation of breast cancer and other organs that are sensitive to female sex hormones.

It is also known that the high consumption of fats on the pancreas has a negative impact,
but how many of consider the well-being of our pancreas?

A healthy pancreas provides:

–        Enzymes to digest our foods

–       The hormone insulin

–       Controls glucose blood level

High fat foods negatively impact on the pancreas through the production of triglycerides, also excessive consumption of alcohol leads to inflammation of the pancreas, which in turn prevents absorption of needed nutrients. The problem with inflammation of the pancreas is that it spreads
as toxins from the pancreas leaks into the abdomen damaging blood vessels. Also, the pancreas cannot cope with a high level of blood glucose as in those who consume a lot of sugar/sweet foods. This leads to a build up of fat on the muscles, and the liver causing damage to tissues and organs.

Let food be your medicine, not your illness!


“Diet and Cancer Research.”

Huget, J. R. “Study Links Diet To Longevity, But With Confusing Findings.”

Stein, R. “Daily Red Meat Raises Chances of Dying Early.”

Related Topics:

Your Vitamins and Minerals

Meat By Any Means Necessary

Raw Milk s. Pasteurized Milk: Which Would You Prefer?

It’s Time to Bake Your Own Bread!

Synthetic Proteins: Cascading Effects of U.S. Unhealthy Food

Health Care Scams Employees

Take More Responsibility for Your Health

U.K: Your Health is No Longer Your Choice!

Monsanto Expanding Control Over Global Food Supply

The Diet-Based Cure for Cancer

Diabetes from Unnatural Causes

Ramadhan Reflections: Your Questions and God’s Answers from this Ramadhan

Ramadhan Reflections: Your Questions and God’s Answers from this Ramadhan

Text Summary:

Ramadhan came almost a month ago to visit us and how is she leaving us? In what state did she
find us? Did she find us poor and is leaving us rich in spirit? Did she find us bankrupt and is leaving us with the wealth of remembrance? What promises are we making now that she is leaving for another year, knowing in our hearts that we may not be here to see her again? Did we set some goals for ourselves? Even though we are anticipating Eid and all the joy that comes with it there is also a sense of sadness that Ramadhan is leaving.

Did you notice yourself doing anything different? Did you start making some improvements? Did you find yourself having hope after feeling hopeless? Did you find strength that you forgot you had? Did you realize that you are stronger than you often gave yourself credit for having?

So how do we set goals for ourselves so that the spirit of Ramadhan is taken with us through the rest of the year. The last thing we want is to be “Abdul Ramadhan”- servants of Ramadhan. Instead, taking the glimmers of light that now radiate from within, we should seek to magnify it in our daily lives.

Is it now that we pray all five of our prayers if we weren’t doing it before? Or add one or two more to whatever we were doing?

  • Do we start to add an additional day of fast on a Monday or Thursday?
  • Do we stop backbiting?
  • Do we give more charity?

What do we do to continue to build our relationship with God, so that God becomes the eyes by which we see, the ears by which we hear and God becomes the basis of all our actions.

Let us use the growth from this month as a place of strength and humility because while we will find strength that we have within us, we also realize that we have areas of growth. Let us use this as a catalyst to seek forgiveness from those around us whom we may have hurt/upset in some way whether it was un/intentional or not. Imam Ghazali says that there is no time when two people
sit together without one person offending the other. So we should keep this in mind and be humble in our dealings with each other. Yet at the same time knowing that we expect mercy and forgiveness from Allah, we should be quick to show mercy and forgive others ourselves.

Let us find those we love and those we interact with and seek their forgiveness. At the same time, let us set a goal or two for ourselves to take with us from Ramadhan. Don’t try to do too much, because sometimes we feel this “high” and we want to “do it all” but that often leads us to give up before too long.

Write down your goal/s and then share it with a friend or two or maybe a family member so that they can help keep you on track and help you to continue to grow and to become the best you that you can possibly be.

In the same spirit, I would like to ask for your forgiveness on behalf of myself and my family, if we have done anything to hurt/upset you in anyway- please forgive us.

Any mistakes from the Ramadhan Reflections series are my own and any good comes from God. Please keep us in your prayers during the remaining days of this month and thereafter, insha’Allah…


Related Topics:

Ramadhan Reflections: How Do I Find The Balance To Do What I Should

Ramadhan Reflections: What We Do Will Live Beyond Us…

Ramadhan Reflections: When Your Actions Say You Know More Than God.

Ramadhan Reflections: What Do I Do When Things Don’t Fall Into Place

Ramadhan Reflections: Your Chance to Get What You Want‏

Layla-tul Qadr

Ramadhan Reflections: What Can People Expect from You?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Remembering Those Who Don’t Have the Choice to Fast‏

Ramadhan Reflections: I Am Not Racist, Some People Just Aren’t Good Enough.‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Every Soul Shall Taste of Death are You Ready?

Ramadhan Reflections: What you see in others IS a reflection of who YOU are.‏

Ramadhan Reflections: It’s Not Really My Problem

Ramadhan Reflections: Why Do The Same Issues Keep Coming Up In My Life?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Should I Be Interacting With People Who Aren’t Muslim?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Why does Islam Seem So Hard and Boring All the Time!

Ramadhan Reflection: Of course I Care About Others…Sort of!

Ramadhan Reflections: Does God Make Mistakes?

Why Does God Let These Things Happen To Me?

Ramadhan Reflections: Are You Worthy of God’s Forgiveness?‏

Do You Really Trust Allah?

Ramadhan Reflections: Does God Think About You?‏

Ramadhan Reflections: Memorizing the Qur’an is Not Enough

Ramadhan Reflections: What Do Your Actions Say About You?‏

The World Does NOT Revolve Around Me.‏

Stuffing Ourselves and Sleeping All Day…

Ramadhan Reflections: Do My Prayers Benefit Me?

Ramadan Reflections- We begin with Mercy‏

Pre-Ramadhan Reflections

Keep Ramadhan Simple!

Ramadhan 2011


Letter to the Self #30 Remember Me

Letter to the Self #29 Forgiveness

Letter to Self # 28: Those We Ignore