Are you tired of the health “Infodemic”? As a wellness blogger for over 10 years, I’ve been trying to distill what matters when big health and wellness research reports are released, and the media runs with it. I think it’s important because what we often pick up are the ‘soundbites’ and many of us don’t have time to read the research behind the sensational headline. There are some responsible media groups covering the research, but the problem is the soundbites and headlines are what gets picked up by the masses. Frankly, the soundbite is often all we can manage to store in our jammed packed memory bank. Eat this, not that, no wait, now you can eat this!
Just this summer we had another study linking coffee to lowering our mortality risk. Woo-hoo! I was going to post and review, but then I remembered I already covered this five years ago! Keep in mind all of my researching and reporting was conducted long before I became certified as an Integrative Health Coach. Is the recent coffee study anymore concrete or illuminating? After scouring many respected sources in science and medicine, I found the recent data demonstrates an association between daily coffee consumption and a reduced risk of dying, but this does not necessarily mean there’s direct causation. There are so many things that influence the data, and much of it correlates with lifestyle factors, socioeconomic status, and diet. The really big elephant in the room is bio-individuality, which most of the time gets swept under the rug when a big study like this gets the media’s attention.
My takeaway on the recent research is no different than my takeaway five years ago. Only your personal epigenetic makeup can predict whether coffee is good for you or can increase your longevity. The beneficial compounds in coffee (not necessarily the caffeine) can be connected to all kinds of great health benefits according to numerous studies, but again it has to be meaningful to your current health status, genetic profile, and nutritional needs. In other words, the coffee’s compounds may be healthy for you but the caffeine may not. It’s important for you to know what is ultimately best for you.
Okay, so now for the research report released this week that caused an uproar all across the country!
Dementia Risk Climbs With Intake of Ultra-Processed Foods— Swapping out ultra-processed for unprocessed or minimally processed foods can lower risk sharply
If we are talking about the masses here is what Late Night television host Stephen Colbert said about the research…
“Here’s some facts for you, science, if you want us to live a long time, you’ve got to understand something. We’re all just living to get to the next cookie.”
As a chocolate chip cookie lover myself, I found this very funny! But as an Integrative Health Coach I found it sad, because as a society we have been so addicted to these foods (more often found in a package) for decades! Here is an excerpt about the ‘shocking” ( not so much) study from Medscape..
That food list unfortunately covers the SAD diet. Aka the Standard American Diet. Nobody wants to lose their mind! But wait, before we go into a total panic, we do need context for a study like this. I will try and provide it here. The reality is ultra-processed foods are bad for our brains and every other part of our body. Scientist and doctors have known for a long time that ultra-processed food is just not good for us, and can make us sick when consumed on a regular basis. They just have to beat us over the head with it, until we finally get it!
That’s not saying we are stupid, it’s saying we have to dig ourselves out of the sick culture we have found ourselves surrounded by and addicted to. It’s not easy! This is why integrative health coaching is so valuable to your health care right now. If we all could just change with a snap, we would. Sometimes what we need is support and guidance to get us on our way so we can dig out of harmful lifestyle habits.
I want to offer some grounding words at this point. That ice-cream you had on a 95 degree summer day was the perfect treat! Don’t sweat it, it’s not going to decimate your brain cells. That pint of ice-cream you eat every day? Well, that is your ticket to dementia! Many years ago I did a Q&A with Marion Nestle, a highly respected nutritionist and author of many nutrition books, and she answered a question I had about all the fear centered around ‘food’ in general. Here is her answer…
If only it was this simple right? I loved her wise answer, but I think we are swimming in very different waters when it comes to our diets and health these days. There is also the emerging science of nutrigenomics, which is the study of how food affects a person’s genes, and how a person’s genes affect the way our body responds to food. We now no so much more about how genes and diet together may affect a person’s health and risk of developing various diseases. What are we talking about here? You’ve got it! Bio-individuality. Now you understand the dilemma we have with big research studies blasted out by the media and reduced to sound bites. Whether it’s butter, coffee or wine, we all have to consider what’s ultimately best for our personal health and wellness.
“How Can an Integrative Health Coach Help You Live Healthy
for the Long Term On Your Own Terms”?
You might be thinking “well she’s full of information and facts that’s for sure!” This would be true, as I’ve spent my whole life passioneering wellness culture! This blog and it’s commitment to cultivating wellness wisdom is my heart-song. As a certified Integrative Health Coach, I am trained to synthesize a wealth of health information to help guide you holistically on your wellness journey. The information part is useless unless it applies and works for your individual health needs. When I say “no-one can live your life as well as you”, I mean it! The guide component of coaching is important because as we explored earlier in this post, it is no easy task to stay well in a culture of disease. Did you know that six in ten Americans now has a chronic disease! What we know now is most chronic diseases (that creep up as we age too), are environmental and behavioral.
Our poor diets, lack of exercise, sleep deprivation, and exposure to toxins and stress are overwhelmingly contributing to our vulnerability to disease. If we want to outrun the sick culture, and achieve healthy longevity, it’s going to take some planning. My specific integrative health training can support you with changing your diet, lifestyle, and behavior so you can ultimately be ready to live well for the long term on your own terms. On your own terms directly speaks to your bio-individuality. Why would you give up coffee with all it’s good health benefits if it wasn’t affecting your sleep, raising your blood pressure, or making you nervous and anxious? We’ll pour a cup and explore what’s working and what’s not together! I personally like tea, but mainly because it works best for my bio-individuality. The substantial research on how the compounds in tea may increase your lifespan doesn’t hurt either!
Let’s face it, one size prescriptions and plans don’t work, because they don’t account for the reality of your life, your genetic profile, who you are, what you care about, and how you want to spend your time in life. We change because we want to, not because we “should”. Working with an integrative health coach can help you create your best wellness lifestyle plan specifically designed for longevity and your unique bio-individuality. You are in the driver’s seat and together with your coach you can figure out what you want and how to make it happen–realistically and step by step.
A health coach is a partner, not a dictator! So for now don’t spend too much time worrying about the cup of coffee or the cookie, and just begin to think about how you personally want to feel when you are 50, 60, and 75. Hormonal changes are a given, but there is so much more in your control than you ever could imagine if aging well is your goal. Stay tuned for my Longevity Coaching Program details soon to be announced here at the blog. Remember ‘program’ means a time commitment but there is no strict fixed regimen you have to follow, because we are creating and building YOUR PLAN on your own terms.
Kind & Healthy Regards,
Coach Lauroly, CHC
The first thing to do when you come across latest research sound bites is to practice discernment and ask these good questions:
- What is the state of my health right now?
- How is this research meaningful or not to my personal health and wellness?
- Does this sound bite about research offer context and what more do I need to learn about the study and findings?