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Gudelines for a Healthier and Longer Life
on 17 January 2014
Speaking as a physician and also a human as susceptible as everyone else to life-style problems, I feel Dr Agus has produced an easy-to-read set of guidelines written in non-confusing terminology that focuses on prevention of developing disease. His advice is based on generally accepted medical and nutritional advice. Where prescription drugs are discussed they have been scientifically researched and are evidence based.
He emphasises the need for an individual to look at their total health and life-style and get to know their own bodies and what works for them especially with exercise and nutrition. He divides the book into three sections:
1)What To Do.
2)What to Avoid.
These are followed by several useful lists which summarise the contents of the book. These include 'Actions to Reduce Your Risk for Illness'; 'Top 10 things to Educate Kids About Health and Wellness'; Popular Weight Loss Myths': Top 10 most sugary foods; top 10 high in Trans Fat (bad fats); Top High Glycaemic Index Foods (rapidly absorbed sugars that cause damaging insulin swings); Top Fish with beneficial Omega-3 oils; Top fish with mercury contamination.
This book contains much that is common sense. Good dental hygiene, sensible regular exercise, eating fresh foods and avoiding anything with a label on that you cannot pronounce or is full of additives and numbers, weight control, 3 portions of cold water fish per week, no more than three servings of red meat per week and processed meats in moderation, (bacon, salami, etc.), a glass of wine with your evening meal, smile more and even get a dog (not always practical!).
By following a regular and routine daily programme using Dr Agus's advice, the aim is not only to reduce the incidence of cancer but also heart disease, strokes, diabetes and high blood pressure and improving a positive life-style. Developing an individual schedule requires self-discipline, as when young we choose today and pay our dues later.
There are some points of controversy. There is undisputed evidence of the benefits of 75 mg aspirin daily in substantially reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease but also the common malignant cancers. It can cause stomach pains and bleeds. Discuss it with your doctor. Statins again not only target cholesterol but also reduce inflammation that can cause other ailments. Again, discuss it with your doctor. Genetically modified foods have been promoted as harmless. Not everyone agrees and personal opinion is divided, quite reasonably. Dr Agus also writes about age-related screening. Much is sensible (blood pressure, dental, cholesterol, diabetes). Prostate screening is taking a different approach from a blood test and this may be redundant in the near future and there is some doubt about the benefits of an annual check-up if you are feeling well.
The volume of advice transmitted daily by the media is confusing and often contrary. Dr Agus has neatly summarised the positive, proven and sensible approach to good health and hopefully longevity. A very concise and well-written book that I highly recommend.