BY PRASAD SAWANT
Although the modern era has seen progress in science in leaps and bounds, as humans we are unfortunately regressing day by day in terms of health and fitness. The increasing number of diseases is a matter of grave concern. More significantly it is the rise of heart disease in the younger generation that is perturbing. Lifestyle choices, diet in particular, are said to be responsible for this trend.
Dr Lenny Da Costa, an expert in functional medicine and disease reversal in Goa, aims to create awareness among people. He has written his first book, Is your doctor keeping you sick? In his tome, Dr Lenny provides a comprehensive guide on how to heal yourself of chronic disease with functional medicine, lifestyle changes and proper nutrition.
The book touches on a variety of topics, including ageing and chronic disease, reversing cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and functional oncology. The consulting geriatrician, preventive cardiologist and anti-ageing, functional medicine specialist’s writing will prompt minds to re-examine diet and lifestyle choices.
Dr Lenny has long been an expert in functional medicine and reversing disease. Speaking to Gomantak Times Digital about the book, he said, "I was doing a lot of work for doctors and training them. But then I realised there was misinformation, lack of information and confusion. Many patients kept asking the same questions and trying to understand what we do.”
Dr Lenny Da Costa
“This book is for doctors, people interested in understanding the subject and the general public to see if there is a treatment method they should take. They can get all the information before making any decisions. That is when I thought of writing a book based on this topic,” informed the doctor.
Explaining the reason for the increase in the number of diseases, Dr Lenny said, "We must first ask ourselves, why do people get diabetes, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders, and why are these rates increasing day by day?”
“The human body has the genetic makeup of our prehistoric ancestors from 70,000 years ago. The difference is 0.7 per cent. Earlier we had to hunt or gather food. You didn’t even know when you would get your next meal, and in the meantime, if you are attacked by a vicious animal which is a predator, you have to run for your life. Our body is designed to survive challenges,” he added.
"The body used everything nature provided, from sunlight to the earth's magnetic force. First, our bodies were meant for starvation or fasting, not for feasting. Second, we were hunter-gatherers. We either gathered food like roots, fruits and vegetables, or we hunted for food. Since agriculture started 10,000 years ago, human lifestyle began to decline," Dr Lenny elucidated.
This book also shows how important fasting is. Today, there is plenty of research that's coming out that proves that the more you fast and the more you cut down on carbohydrates, your metabolism speeds up
You have something called autophagy. Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for it. Autophagy was what kept our bodies alive back then. These days we can activate it when we fast intermittently.
Through intermittent fasting, people are turning the clock back on their bodies and improving their health. Food is seen as fuel needed by the body and not something that should be consumed in large quantities, which eventually leads to health issues.
“Every religion in the world has rules that encourage followers to fast. If you fast for 24 hours once a week, your lifespan will increase by 10 years. Anyone can do their own research and find out why," said Dr Lenny.
"We need good fats in our diet. Good fats are different from the oils you have in the market. Many of the oils on the shelves are called heart-healthy. These are nothing but transfats. When you take an oil, which is hydrogenated so you can extend its shelf life, it becomes a transfat. Natural cold-pressed oils, such as coconut oil or homemade ghee, are the best. Your diet should be high in fat," advises Dr Lenny.
He explains that this is not medical advice from a book, but something for people to think about, do their research and talk to their doctors about.
"If a doctor thinks that what is being said means something, he will do his research and will be able to help many other patients. My goal in life is to help millions of people,” concludes Dr Lenny.