Health Resources

The Silent Killer

Chronic Inflammation is an asymptomatic problem that we should all look out for.

Chronic inflammation is killing millions and almost nobody is talking about it. I recently read an article regarding chronic inflammation that I think does a very good job of summarizing the effects of chronic low grade inflammation. Chronic inflammation is often asymptomatic, you have no idea that it is at work inside you until you develop disease unless you get checked. More and more studies are coming out linking chronic inflammation with heart disease, diabetes, cancer and early onset dementia. Here’s a quick summary in case you don’t have time to read the article.

Half of all heart attacks happen in people with normal cholesterol levels. It is chronic inflammation which destabilizes plaques in the blood vessels and leads to heart attacks. This is also a likely mechanism leading to strokes.

Higher levels of inflammation increase your risk for developing diabetes. Central adiposity or “Belly Fat” releases inflammatory molecules which increase your risk for diabetes as well as many other diseases. We used to think that fat was inactive but we now understand that it is quite active and is like a sack of poison hanging around your mid-section. Elite Health Hawaii can help you get rid of as much of this belly fat as possible not only to help you look better but to decrease your risk for heart disease, cancer, strokes and dementia.

Chronic inflammation has been associated with cellular damage which can lead to cancer. It has also been linked to the development of precancerous colon polyps as well as esophageal cancer.

Alzheimer’s disease is associated with chronic activation of brain cells that lead to inflammation. Research suggests that aspirin and fish oil, both anti-inflammatory substances, may be useful in preventing dementia.

At Elite Health Hawaii, we not only assess your level of inflammation but we also give you the means to reduce the inflammation. Chronic low grade inflammation is the common thread among multiple diseases and the importance of reducing this inflammation can not be overstated.

Here’s a link to the article:

4 Common Myths Regarding Exercise


Myth 1-  You can exercise yourself skinny

Exercise alone doesn’t work!  Several very well done studies have shown that simply increasing activity will NOT lead to weight loss.  This concept is very shocking for some people who have had it pounded into their heads that all they have to do to lose weight is exercise more.  They spend hours on the elliptical or treadmill and never see any real fat loss results. Your body is very good at maintaining homeostasis or a equilibrium.  Whether you realize it or not, when you start exercising you will compensate for the calories burned (that you intended to cause weight loss) with increased intake of food and decreased activity in other areas of your life or both.  Do not take this the wrong way, exercise is a vital part of any weight loss program but exercise ALONE will not give you the fat loss you’re looking for. When combined with proper nutrition, exercise will lead to increased fat loss when compared to just proper nutrition alone.  Regardless of whether exercise alone can cause weight loss, exercise will provide many other health benefits and regular exercise is crucial for optimal health.  Proper nutrition and exercise are the foundation of the Elite Health Hawaii Program.  Each patient receives a fully individualized plan that is designed specifically for them and will be adapted by the patient’s nutritionist, exercise counselor and physician as each individual patient progresses.


Myth 2-  Aerobic training is all that matters for weight loss

Training anaerobically has two major benefits- increased fat loss and reduction in mortality. More and more studies are coming out each week showing that high intensity exercise performed at an anaerobic intensity level will lead to more fat loss than long duration low intensity exercise. Plus, it saves you time and there are significant anti-aging effects. You get  more fat  loss and spend less time exercising. That being said, make sure that you are cleared by a physician prior to engaging in this intense level of exercise. In regards to living longer, studies have shown a linear relationship between VO2 max and mortality. As your VO2 max increases, your risk of premature mortality decreases sharply.  What is your VO2 max?  It is the maximal amount of oxygen that your body can utilize during exercise.  It is a measure of how long you can maintain a high intensity of exercise.  VO2 max is a very good measurement of cardiovascular fitness and is one of the core tests in our Executive Health Evaluation.  Several studies have shown that even small improvement in the VO2 max is associated with significant improvement in survival.  You can improve your VO2 max by either losing fat or increasing your peak exercise capacity (mostly through anaerobic training). With Elite Health Hawaii you will accomplish both in a safe physician monitored program.  One study found a nearly 50% reduction in premature cardiovascular disease related mortality as well as a 33% reduction in all cause mortality when patients moved from the lowest end of the VO2 max spectrum up just one quintile to the second lowest group.  The researchers also found that this trend continued and that the more that patient’s increased their VO2 max, the more they decreased their risk of premature mortality!


Myth 3-  Exercise duration matters more than exercise intensity

I’ll preface this by saying that all patients beginning a new exercise program should undergo an evaluation by a physician in order to make sure they are safe to exercise.  That being said, almost all patient’s (even heart failure patients) can and should exercise at some level.  High intensity interval training, done under the supervision of a physician, has even been shown to be beneficial in post cardiac arrest patients. Where many people go wrong is when they sacrifice intensity for time, they spend hours exercising at low intensity and get frustrated by a lack of results.  Cardiovascular disease risk is not significantly improved by exercise that does not significantly increase heart rate.  Less intense exercise will provide health benefits but will not provide the improvements in longevity that come with a program designed to increase your VO2 max.  Do not go out and start killing yourself with intensity in the name of increasing longevity. A proper heart rate zone must be determined for you and VO2 max testing is the best way to determine what your individual heart rate zone should be.  This will change with exercise but varies significantly from patient to patient which is why an individualized plan is so important.  You need to push the intensity to get the decrease mortality risk and fat loss but you must do it safely.  Once they start their individualized plan, most Elite Health Hawaii patients find that they are able to spend less time exercising while getting much better results.

Myth 4-  Weight lifting will make you bulky and is only for bodybuilders

Resistance training is crucial for maintaining peak health in both the short term and long term.  Resistance training will increase your basal metabolic rate and help you burn more calories at rest leading to easier fat loss.  In addition to the fat loss benefits, patients also experience decreased risk of osteoporosis/fractures as well as frailty and disability with resistance training.  Resistance training helps to prevent sarcopenia (loss of muscle and strength) that takes place a part of the aging process.  Sarcopenia is a major cause of disability in the elderly and leads to significant impairments in independent living.  Patients who want to maintain their independence as they age must make resistance training a part of their exercise plan.  Again, this must be done safely.  Elite Health Hawaii patients have their exercise plan tailored exactly to their needs, desires, goals and specific limitations by their own exercise counselor who they have frequent ongoing contact with after their initial plan is designed. Both their physician and exercise counselor will follow them continuously and make adjustments in their plan as necessary.

Follow this link to schedule a your free, no obligation physician telephone consult.

6 Tips For Eating Better While Out


Tips to keeping weight down even when eating at restaurants.

1.  Hydrate – when dining in a restaurant, drink a full glass of water and eat a side salad before you order your meal.  You will be much less likely to order that huge bowl of pasta or to overeat.

2.  Share – split an entree with your spouse.  Most restaurant portions are about twice a normal serving size.  Starting with a salad will make it more filling.

3.  Alcohol – Keep in mind that if your liver is metabolizing alcohol, it’s not working on anything else, like fat.  Be mindful of the effect you’re having on your efforts to attain your goals when you make the choice to drink.  I still enjoy wine but I’m much more mindful of how much I’m taking in because I know I’ll have to work it off later.  If you are going to drink alcohol, consider drinks without sugar or wheat such as vodka soda with lime instead of beer or a margarita.  Try drinking dry red wines instead of sweet reds or whites.

4.  Substitutions – Don’t be afraid to ask for an extra side of vegetables instead of rice or potatoes.  You’ll have much less of a blood sugar spike and you’ll actually be getting important vitamins, minerals and fiber as well instead of just empty calories.

5.  Plan your attack – before you get to the restaurant and face the onslaught of smells and appealing pictures, start thinking about what healthy menu items you could order or how you could modify things to make them healthier when you order.  I start thinking about how much I like the chicken salad when I am on my way to the restaurant or how I’m going to have a steak and make sure I get extra veggies instead of that baked potato.

6.  Skip dessert – don’t even look at the dessert menu.  It’s designed specifically to tempt you and the designers are very good at what they do.  If you can’t resist, then at least split the dessert between everybody at the table so you just get a couple bites instead of your own 500 calorie dessert.  Think of the calories in terms of how much you’ll have to exercise to work it off.  I think of a 500 calorie dessert as 5 miles of running.  Studies show that people tend to eat less when they think of calories in terms of how much they’ll have to work to burn them off.  100 calories takes a mile of running.