For most of my life I never really thought a whole lot about health. I grew up a fairly healthy individual that more or less naturally stayed fit without much effort. The only time I paid attention was when I got into lifting weights and began monitoring my macro-nutrient percentages.
However, I was well aware that all of my grandparents had passed away by the time I was in college and my mom died at the age of 42. At the time I didn’t think a lot about it though, but as I’ve got older and seen the rates of various chronic diseases and cancers skyrocket it has made me re-evaluate their last years of life and possible contributing factors. They died of a combination of pancreatic cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, strokes, and organ failures. I would argue that none of them had a real peaceful end of life, and absolutely not the kind of end that I want to have. This idea became even more prevalent when I became a father. I’d actually like to be around, AND not have major chronic mental and physical ailments.
When I was younger I had just accepted that these things happen simply as the result of age, but then I started hearing about areas where certain disease rates were extremely low versus the USA. These “blue zones” as they were coined seemed to be randomly located throughout the world. I also began seeing charts showing that rates actually used to be lower for Americans, but have been steadily climbing. Around this same time data started coming out of China about their rise in disease rates involving the same diseases that had already become chronic illnesses for Americans. It made me start to wonder what is going on here and how do I at least lower my risk?
Now I had these questions, where do I even start in a situation that seems to be getting worse over time for Americans? Can I follow the USDA’s food guidance and lower my rates of chronic diseases? What have people been eating since the 70’s where the sharp rise in some chronic illnesses appears to initially start rising? Is it food? Is it the fact that we have a more sedentary work environment? Is it the reduction in sleep current Americans get versus decades ago? I had questions without many good answers and when I found something credible I would often find contradictory claims that also seemed credible. With all of the information I simply became confused and lost on my search for probable causes. So of course, being in IT, I decided to start a website and began jumping down every rabbit hole I could find.
My goal is to add to the initial set of posts over time and see if patterns and connections occur. My honest bias at this point is that varied whole organic foods, enough sleep, and some daily exercise probably prevent (think “cure”) almost all of it. Other areas that I didn’t know about that I find fascinating are microbiomes, epigenetics, and time restricted eating.
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