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The CrossFit stimulus—constantly varied high-intensity functional movement coupled with meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar—prepares you for the demands of a healthy, functional, independent life and provides a hedge against chronic disease and incapacity. This stimulus is elegant in the mathematical sense of being marked by simplicity and efficacy. The proven elements of this broad, general, and inclusive fitness, in terms of both movement and nutrition, are what we term our CrossFit Essentials.

A 2014 review argues traditional risk factors such as changes to lipids and blood pressure account for only half of the elevated cardiovascular risk observed in diabetics. The review authors suggest efforts to manage heart disease risk in diabetic and prediabetic subjects should focus directly on managing insulin and glucose levels and insulin resistance, not merely on improving lipid profiles and blood pressure.

Read MoreInsulin Resistance and Hyperglycaemia in Cardiovascular Disease Development

“Any person presenting with any signs of sexual dysfunction should consider screening for insulin resistance,” Dr. Priyanka Wali, MD, claims. In this presentation, Wali examines the relationship between metabolic and sexual health. She calls for a reexamination of doctors’ responses to patients presenting with sexual dysfunction: Instead of prescribing a pill to treat the symptoms of sexual dysfunction, she recommends screening for and treating the potential underlying metabolic disorder.

Watch Dr. Priyanka Wali: Insulin Resistance and Sexual Health

The human brain is nearly 60% fat by total weight and needs to be provided with certain types of fats — both saturated and unsaturated — throughout life to provide a balance of structural integrity and fluidity to its cells. Mary Dan Eades, MD, outlines the stakes of limiting dietary fat intake at various stages in life and lists the various food sources one should seek or avoid to keep the brain functioning optimally.

Read MoreWhy Your Brain Needs Fat

This 2020 mouse study indicates a diet rich in soybean oil, compared to a diet containing a similar amount of saturated fat, leads to changes in the expression of genes associated with inflammation, neuroendocrine function, and neurological signaling. These shifts suggest mechanisms by which soybean oil may have contributed to the rise in obesity and diabetes, given the dramatic increase in the oil’s consumption in the 20th century.

Read MoreDysregulation of Hypothalamic Gene Expression and the Oxytocinergic System by Soybean Oil Diets in Male Mice

A small 2007 study indicates defects in the insulin sensitivity of skeletal muscle play a major role in the development of the metabolic syndrome, suggesting interventions to maintain and improve the ability of muscle cells to take up glucose in response to insulin, including exercise, may play a particularly important role in the prevention and/or amelioration of the metabolic syndrome.

Read MoreThe Role of Skeletal Muscle Insulin Resistance in the Pathogenesis of the Metabolic Syndrome

"In the wake of the Cancer Genome Atlas project's failure to provide a legible roadmap to a cure for cancer, science writer Travis Christofferson illuminates a promising blend of old and new perspectives on the disease. Tripping Over the Truth follows the story of cancer’s proposed metabolic origin from the vaunted halls of the German scientific golden age to modern laboratories around the world. The reader is taken on a journey through time and science that results in an unlikely connecting of the dots with profound therapeutic implications."

Read MoreTripping over the Truth

In the first article in his new series on diabetes, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, MD, discusses the long history of diabetes research and introduces several models for understanding the causes of the disease, as well as its progression. While the mechanism underlying Type 1 diabetes is generally agreed upon, debate continues over whether Type 2 is related to fat consumption or raised insulin levels resulting from carbohydrate intake.

Read MoreDiabetes, Part 1: Disease Models

Several studies support the hypothesis that diet, particularly carbohydrate consumption, affects vision. One study compares the eyesight of hunter-gatherer and industrialized groups. Another study explores the mechanism behind dietary contribution to myopia and finds increases in insulin promote eyeball elongation in animal models. A third explores dietary sugar’s links to glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration.

Read MoreSugar and Sight