When our Paleo ancestors roamed the Earth about 2.6 million years ago they searched for food and sources of energy. They found it in wild plants, animals, seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, grains and when they were really lucky - some wild honey. But today as we set out in our modern world to find food the search is almost MORE difficult. To find a nutritious meal that provides a balance of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and proteins you may have to fight through a slew of ingredients that can include everything from chemicals and industrial solvents to artificial colors and sweeteners.
Today it’s estimated that about 70% of the foods we eat are highly processed. Eating a diet that includes large amounts of these types of foods has been linked to a variety of health problems including unwanted weight gain and an increased risk of chronic illnesses. Recently, researchers have found that consuming foods like this may also be a risk factor in developing heart disease.
Highly processed and packaged foods can have a negative effect on homocysteine levels (an amino acid found in the blood). When homocysteine levels are elevated in the body the risk for developing heart disease is also raised as blood flow can be blocked and arterial lining may become damaged. Most doctors also agree that high homocysteine levels can shorten telomeres.
A tiny ending to DNA strands, telomeres are a known indicator of lifespan and optimal health. Your body uses an enzyme called telomerase to rebuild telomere damage but homocysteine cuts off the production of this vital enzyme leaving your body unable to repair the damage. Short telomeres are also shown in studies to be an independent risk factor for heart disease, the number one killer of men and women in the U.S. In one study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology researchers found that people with heart failure had telomeres 40% shorter than normal.
Reducing your risk of heart disease is as simple as following the lead of our Paleolithic ancestors. Eating a diet that includes natural grass fed beef for protein, seeds and nuts for essential fats, whole organic fruits and vegetables and cutting out all of the processed junk foods is a great way to start. But it’s not always easy to avoid those highly processed foods, convenience items or canned goods. And finding Paleo snacks on the go can be even more difficult!
So start today by replacing just one processed food with Chomps Snack Sticks. High in protein, minerals and essential B vitamins, these tasty meat sticks help promote healthy homocysteine levels. Plus, CHOMPS are one of the best tasting snacks you can find out there. Happy hunting!