Why You Should Prioritise Your Health | The Hart of Health Podcast
Hey, everyone, on today’s podcast, we’re going to be talking about why should you prioritize your health?
Yes, well, this is The Hart of Health after all. So, if we’re not talking about health, this isn’t our podcast?
Yeah, I suppose we are very health focused on this podcast. And I think a lot of people kind of dismiss health by going like: “ah, you know, I’m gonna live for as long as I’m gonna live, and I don’t really care”, and they kind of just dismiss it offhand. But I think if you can know some of the reasons why doing something about your health here and now, even if you’re fairly young, could end up, you know, creating a higher-quality life, you might change your mind. And also, if it can save you from certain issues we are now aware of in this society, then, you know, you might actually be very grateful if you do decide to prioritize your health.
I get annoyed by people who, you know, hear they have to get a certain number of hours of sleep every night. They should exercise, they should eat healthily but they have this don’t-care attitude. “No, I’m not gonna prioritize sleep, I’d rather binge-watch Netflix, and I’m too lazy to exercise and I don’t like it, so I’m not going to take people seriously when they say I should do it and I want to eat the junk food.” And people have this mindset of “I’m gonna die anyways and I want to enjoy my life.” Like, how often have you heard people say that “Oh, I’m not going to focus on eating healthily, because I want to enjoy my life. And if I die at 60, instead of 80, that’s fine, because I’d rather die at 60 and eat junk food all my life, than die at 80 and just eat salads”, which, you know, if you’ve listened to this podcast, you don’t need to eat salads to be healthy. But I often feel like people have this mindset until something goes wrong until they get sick. And so, they get heart disease, cancer, something like that, you know,
Which, I think if you live the way you just described, those kinds of things are inevitable.
Yeah, they’re more likely to happen to you.
I wouldn’t even say more likely. I’d say inevitable.
Yeah, these lifestyle-related diseases, you know, like diabetes. And then well, some people will also say that being healthy is too expensive. I can’t afford a gym. I can’t afford the healthy foods. And well, first of all, you don’t need the gym to exercise. And, yeah, you can buy the cheap junk food now but do you have any idea how much you’re going to be paying on medical bills later in your life? On all the medications you’ll have to take to, you know, try to make up for all the damage you did when you were younger?
How much more expensive your health insurance will be?
Yes, your health insurance will be so much more expensive. And then also, (well, I’m just thinking about it now) I know people say Health at Every Size is a thing. No, you cannot be healthy at every size. But if you enjoy doing certain things like what comes to mind first and say you like going to theme parks, but you don’t think it’s necessary for you to take care of your health. So, if you’ve gotten to the point where you’re so overweight that you can’t fit on a roller coaster, and your joints hurt so much that you can walk around in a theme park and do something that you really love, just because you’ve eaten yourself to that point, how much are you then enjoying life really?
Exactly. Yeah, I think if you’re the more average person that’s just a little bit overweight, you’re probably thinking: “oh, you know, I’ll never get to that point.” And that could be true. But the thing is now, the number-one reason for people dying is heart disease. And I would say that until you have like your first heart scare, you might dismiss our valuable information, in my opinion, at least. Yeah. And then suddenly, something’s going to happen. And by that point, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to undo. Where if you just make small changes, I mean, I was even thinking about it, even if you eat foods that kind of are like junk foods, but you just improve the quality of the ingredients. So even if you want to eat a hamburger and chips, just eat a hamburger with, you know, really well-made sourdough bread or whatever, with a proper beef patty with no soy in it, and you know, cooked in proper fats. And if you want the chips on the side, make sure the chips aren’t cooked in vegetable oil, and just changing these few small things really got you in the right direction.
Yes. And like I said earlier, you don’t have to eat salads, you don’t have to drink these green juices. That’s not what a healthy diet is. You know, people have this misconception because they see people walking around drinking green juices, eating chicken salads with no dressing on them. And they think, “oh, a healthy diet has to suck.” It really doesn’t have to suck.
No, yeah. Okay, if you’re eating out, or if you’re eating fast food, you have no control of the ingredients that they use. And so, then you’re also basically taking the control over your health when you eat those foods. So, yes, if you want to still eat takeout and go and eat at a restaurant, there is not a lot you can do. I mean, what I do is I asked for a steak cooked on the grill with just salt. Like, I don’t want any seasoning. I don’t want any basting. I don’t want any of this. Yes, that’s the probably still gets contaminated by a few things that I wouldn’t ideally like to have. But it’s still, you know, I really enjoy the steak. And it’s a much better option. And yeah, it’s for me, it’s the better option. And so just by making those compromises, I can already sort of live a fairly normal life, and go out and eat. But there’s no way I’m going to be eating McDonald’s. There’s no way I’m going to be eating KFC, there’s no way I’m going to be eating pizza, or Oreos. But if it is the thing that you do, on the very rare occasion, it’s not going to have as much of a Sway on your health. It’s if you’re doing that every week, if you’re doing it every day, you know, that’s when it becomes a problem. If you’re doing it, maybe every month only, it will have less of an impact. And I feel like pretty much anyone can avoid those kinds of foods on a weekly basis, at least.
Yeah. And I think a lot of it comes down to negotiating with yourself and making the best possible choice you can in the moment. So if you are at a restaurant, maybe order the burger, but take off the bun and skip the chips. Or you know, if you like drinking, for example (you know, a lot of people struggle to give up alcohol), don’t have these sugary cocktails, but have something like a whiskey instead. Yes, you’re still getting alcohol, but you’re not getting all of that sugar, you’re not getting all that high fructose corn syrup with it. It’s just a better option. So doing something like that, or like vodka — your clear alcohols are often better. Drinking maybe a glass of dry red wine instead of, like I said, a sugary cocktail is already a better option. So I’m not saying you have to stay away from everything that can be harmful to your health (to an extent) but just make the better choice if you’re going to drink alcohol, choose the healthier option.
I mean, we recently did a podcast called The Real French Paradox. And you can go have a listen to that because it’s quite enlightening as to how easy it could be to unlock healthy living. Because it’s basically pointing out that if you think about French cooking, there’s a lot of foods in the French umbrella of, you know, things you can cook from a classic French recipe that you would almost think are terrible or really unhealthy. Yeah. And the fact is, they’re not because they’re still using quality ingredients. Yes.
And they’re still using butter. They’re using fatty cuts of meat.
Um, we’re not really saying that in order to be healthy, you have to give up all your favourite things. You just need to be very strict on a very few things. The one thing I’d say, for me, that you need to be the strictest on is vegetable and seed oils. Yes. For me, if you can have a diet free in that, I feel like you’re already halfway there.
Yeah, it can be one of the best things you ever do for yourself.
And yeah, I mean, you can think of so many reasons now. But one of the reasons that’s become very prominent recently, as to why you should prioritize your health, that made things a little bit more immediate than “Oh, I might live a bit longer” or whatever, is the Coronavirus. It’s made it all clear to us that if you don’t look after yourself, then you could have consequences today.
Yeah, because people with comorbidities were affected by COVID a lot worse.
Yeah, it was very clear. Now, it’s very hard to deny that the people with underlying issues are the people that had the worst outcomes. And especially in the beginning, there was a lot of back and forth about “oh, look at this young, healthy person who’s been so severely affected.” And I will always say that just because someone can run long distances, it doesn’t make them healthy. If your diet is still bad, and you don’t sleep well, and there are a lot of things… you can still run far but running far is not the be-all and end-all of health. Being able to cycle and swim far is not the be-all and end-all of health.
And being lean. Being quite skinny or thin is not the be-all and end-all of health.
Being skinny is not an indicator of health. I’d say the most important indicator for health will be something like a fasting insulin measurement, like give me your fasting insulin. Who knows their fasting insulin? No one. People only know their fasting blood glucose, which will only tell you once it’s too late that you have a problem. Your fasting insulin will tell you now if you have a problem or not.
Yeah, and I mean, if you’re this long-distance athlete running 100 miles or whatever, you’re putting a lot of stress on your body. Yes, somebody could exercise a lot and other people will see that person as healthy because they exercise a lot but they’re actually putting their bodies under a lot of stress.
And that’s taxing to your immune system.
I think stress levels are a very good indicator of health. And people often think of stress as stress at work and like more emotional stress, but physical stress also has an effect. And people don’t think about that. So when people were saying all these healthy people are dying from COVID, well, how much would they drink? What were their diets? How much was the emotional stress they had and how much physical stress?
Yeah, and if you saw the one statistic that Paul Saladino put out, they were testing a large sample of the population. And they were testing things like fasting insulin, and they were looking at the ratio between triglycerides, HDL, and LDL, which is your cholesterol panel. And so, they were doing these tests on a large sample of the population. And they found that 95% had like a pre-metabolic disease. That’s a hectic number. And so, they were noticing that already, most of the people were on their way to some kind of metabolic disease. But, you know, you can be a marathon runner, and you could still be developing Type-2 Diabetes, like it’s not gonna stop you from developing that if you’re not eating the right things and not treating your body well.
Especially if you think about the fact that if your body is under stress, your liver will start to produce glucose. Because if you’re in the fight-or-flight state, your body wants you to have enough energy to either run away or fight whatever thing is putting you in danger. So if you’re constantly putting your body under stress, it makes sense that you’d have that risk for diabetes and stuff like that.
And if your whole principle is you’re only eating carbs, then your body’s only using insulin to control things like you’re not eating enough protein and fat, because a lot of those long-distance athletes sort of rely on carbs. And so, when you’re on a carb-based system, you’re much more likely to experience those kinds of issues with sugar problems, insulin problems. And so, if 95% of people are having these issues that are going to eventually lead to a formal diagnosis, maybe 10 or 20 years later, how can you tell me that this person that had a really bad time with COVID is healthy? Because you actually haven’t done the tests to check their metabolic health, which could be on its way downhill? And this was just actually the first warning as to like: “Hey, your health is actually on the downhill and you’ve now encountered a virus that’s exposed this weakness in your system.”
Yes, that’s what it’s doing. And then also, during COVID, people weren’t focusing on health. Like the media and people weren’t telling people to eat healthily, get vitamin D, or get exercise, but this will help you protect yourself against COVID. Some people were even saying that those people who did say that we’re being selfish, because we should not be worrying about stuff like that. No, we should be worrying about isolating to protect ourselves and getting vaccinated. And so, people were gaining so much weight during COVID time, because when it was lockdown, when people were quarantined, they ate a lot. Like we often joke that it’s the COVID-19. You know how people joke about the freshman 15 that people gain in their first year of university. I saw so many people that I hadn’t seen since the start of lockdown and since the start of the pandemic, and so many people have gained a lot of weight during this time.
They gained the COVID-19.
People were becoming way unhealthier than they were. But yet, when they focused on health, they would just focus on social distancing and vaccinations, and how does that make sense? Like we’re focusing on people’s health, but we’re not caring about what they’re eating and how much they’re sleeping. Are they exercising? Are they getting sunlight? No, being healthy just means that you’ve got the vaccine and you don’t have COVID.
Then the funny thing about that is that before COVID, there were studies on flu vaccines that showed that if you’re obese, the efficacy of the vaccine is greatly reduced. So just by being obese, the chances of any kind of vaccine working well for you are reduced. So it’s like already there in that data, and we started to notice it now that as more data comes out, that there are almost some people that even if they get vaccinated, their immune system is so poor, that it can’t even mount a response to the actual vaccine. So if you get to a health point where your immune system can’t even fight a vaccine and actually create proper antibodies against that, then you’re kind of screwed. So you need to keep in mind that there is sort of a point where medicine won’t be able to help you anymore. Yeah, I think people can have a few examples nowadays of “oh, this person received the vaccine. This person, you know, got all the treatments they could, but they still died of COVID.” And that’s because there’s a point at which, you know, your immune system’s got to do something. You know, your immune system’s got to function. And if you let it get to the point where it can’t function anymore, then don’t be surprised when you’re sitting with a big problem.
Yeah. That’s very interesting. I’m thinking about the statement: “health is not just the absence of disease”, and so many people will only think about their health when they’re sick. Or they only think and doctors will say you’re healthy just because you don’t have some sort of disease. But most people aren’t really that healthy. So health isn’t just the absence of disease. Just because you don’t have some sort of illness currently, just because you don’t currently have COVID or diabetes or heart disease, it doesn’t mean you’re healthy. So people walk around all the time thinking that they’re healthy when they’re not. And that’s also kind of why I wanted to do a podcast about this topic: why you should prioritise your health because so many people don’t think about prioritising their health until they’re sick. And they just think: “oh, I don’t have anything to worry about. I’m healthy. I’m not sick.” But that’s not what healthy is. Healthy is: Does your body have all the nutrients that it needs? Is it performing all of its processes properly? Are you insulin sensitive and not insulin resistant? You know, things like that. And that stuff, like people don’t always know. And they don’t think about that.
Yeah, exactly. So you can have no diagnosis. So, a doctor might not have officially told you that you have type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance, but you could still be one step behind that diagnosis. You could be like one little step away from that, and you don’t know that you can find those out. If you can, you know, demand from your doctor that they give you a fasting insulin, you can get a constant glucose monitor, you know, there are these things you can do. It’s just, the average doctor doesn’t recommend those. They’re not part of like your standard practices. And so, there are things that if you go and like take responsibility and become a little bit forceful with your doctor and say, like: No, I want this test. And I want to know this, and I want to know that”, you can get a much better picture of what your health is like. Yes, but still, you know, you’ve got to actually take the initiative, you can’t just expect everything to be okie dokie, just because no doctor has ever told you that, you know. “Oh I’m just a little bit overweight, or I’m just, you know, I’m not that fit, I can walk up the stairs, and I get a little bit out of breath, but otherwise, you know, I’m fine.” And it’s like, no, all those small little signs and symptoms could be pointing at something a lot bigger coming down the road. And you don’t have to go and get those tests done. But if you do have those few signs and symptoms that are kind of worrying you in the back of your mind, it might be a good idea to start taking your health a bit more seriously.
Yeah, don’t wait until you’ve been diagnosed with something. Don’t wait until you get to that next step of, as you said, insulin resistance. Prioritise your health so that you don’t go over to that step. Prioritise your health now to prevent the future bad thing from happening. Don’t only start thinking about prioritising your health when you’re diagnosed with something.
And yeah, I mean, it’s already saving me money. Because I’m willing to bet that I’m not going to run into chronic health issues. Obviously, anyone can get an acute issue, you can fall and break something or tear something or snap something or whatever, like acute issues are a little bit luck of the draw. But I do think that any chronic issue is down to a lifestyle problem,
You’re definitely not getting diabetes. And the thing is, other than preventing disease, there are other reasons to prioritise your health. How many people feel sluggish and lethargic? And they don’t have that much energy and they just go from work to the couch at home. And imagine if you’re as healthy as you possibly can be, that would mean that your body will function optimally, your brain would be sharper, you won’t get as much brain fog, you’ll have more energy, you’ll be more productive. You’ll have more energy to do the things that you love to do in life. So I truly believe that your quality of life goes up a lot when you prioritise your health, and even people that just want to be healthier for aesthetic reasons, you know, to look better, I truly believe if you are as healthy as you possibly can be, if you are at your healthiest point, you will also look your best.
Yeah, obviously, I think a lot of what people find attractive are markers for health. So when you’re looking at, from an evolutionary perspective, it was health markers that were attractive, because a sign of health is a very good thing in a survival situation. You won’t be attracted to the person that looks like they’re on death’s door. Yeah, you’d be attracted to the person who seems to be thriving. So you’re obviously for the aesthetics. Being healthy also helps and yeah, there are quite a few bodybuilders that don’t really care about their health. As we can see, there’s always a new YouTube video of someone who’s had an issue
And had a heart attack. Okay, you look the way you want to, but you’re not healthy. You’ve like shot yourself full of testosterone, and you’re eating this diet that’s low in fat, because it’s just like all lean proteins and carbs, and you’re putting your body under a lot of stress. You may be waking up really early in the morning to do your cardio. It’s like, yeah, sometimes, you can look the way you want to, but not be healthy. And people who focus too much on aesthetics, they’ll go to these medical spas and get these expensive beauty treatments, but then afterwards, go and eat a McDonald’s burger. Like, that just doesn’t make sense to me. If you really want to look your best, prioritize your health.
And yeah, I mean, so that’s, I think, reason enough. And there’s probably more that we could go into. But what you’ve got to think about is like, everyone will say “oh, but I’m fine.” They’ll use the words “I’m fine”. You know, so they know that it’s not optimal. It’s not like: “oh, how am I best?” “Oh, you know, I’m feeling great. I’m feeling like, I’m 16 years old.” No one really says that. Everyone says “I’m fine”. You know, “I’m okay”. You know, it’s never like: “Oh, I’m doing brilliantly.” “Oh, I feel fitter than I’ve ever been before.” It’s kind of just like, it’s not bad, it’s not good, it’s kind of in-between. And, you know, that kind of becomes like your new reality. And it’s almost like your baseline just slowly descends, year after year. And it’s like, it doesn’t have to do that. Like, you can have a new reality. Yes. Like Joe Rogan saying it’s like we’re a car and you can choose your engine. You can choose to upgrade your engine, your suspension, all these things. It’s up to you. If you put the work in, you will improve yourself.
Well, like you get those people where at 40 or 50, they say “I actually feel better than I did at 20.” Just because they started prioritising their health. They started exercising, and eating better. And they realised, back when I was in my 20s, I didn’t feel that great. But I didn’t think about it too much, because that was just normal for me. But then as I made these changes to my diet and my lifestyle, I realised how good I can feel. And it’s such a weird concept to think that you feel better when you’re older than when you were younger. But that just shows you how powerful being healthy can be.
Exactly. And this is the thing, if someone who’s listening to this has never really tried doing anything healthy in their life before, that should be the biggest reason to do something, because you’ve never experienced that before. It could open up a door to a new reality for you and how you will feel on a day-to-day basis.
Yeah, a whole new way of living and feeling that you never thought was possible.
You know, as you said, the brain fog, when that’s lifted, it feels like you can think freely. Like there’s not this constant thing getting in the way of your thoughts. And like, yeah, it’s hard to describe because I do know that like, even though I’ve been pretty lean my whole life, when I was younger, and you know, drinking and eating whatever, I wasn’t living life to the fullest back then.
No. And look at you now. He’s 31 and thriving.
Exactly. Everyone’s like “oh, it’s downhill after 30”. And I’m just like, well, I’m still going up. I don’t know how long it’s going to go for, but I’m still going up.
Yeah, like, you’re not as sluggish as you used to be because you used to eat a lot of sugar. And, yeah, I think you’re living proof that you can get better with age. Exactly. So yeah, that was just a quick podcast about why you should prioritise your health. Like if you haven’t started, I highly recommend that you do. Like your future self will really thank you for starting to make changes now.
Your future self will think “what the hell was I thinking?”
And your loved ones. I mean, if you prioritise your health now, you will be able to be there for the people you love in a better way and for longer because you can prevent all of these things that could take your life too early.
So until next time, until next time, bye.