Heart disease is new in our human history. Prior to 1910, heart attacks were rare. Today it is the leading disease and cause of death in moderate to high income countries. The problem is not genetic. Just because a parent or grandparent had it doesn’t mean, “That’s just the way it is and there’s nothing we can do about it”. Over the years medicine has improved the ways it can keep heart patients alive – provided that their first attack is not fatal. For many women, the first heart attack is more often fatal than it is for men. Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.
Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.
Dr. Dwight Lundell, past Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital, Mesa, AZ recently left surgery to focus on the nutritional treatment of heart disease. Dr. Lundell says:
“We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact. I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labeled ‘opinion makers’. Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol.The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice.It Is Not Working!
These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.”
So what’s changed since 1910 and what can we do about it? Here are five tips from Health House and the best advice you’ll ever get!
Tip # One: Put out the fire!
Cholesterol is the firefighter that comes to put out the fire. The fire is the inflammation on the artery walls. Does the firefighter cause the fire? No, s/he comes to put it out! When there’s inflammation anywhere in the body, we make extra cholesterol as an anti-inflammatory. So what starts the fire? Imagine taking a scrub brush to the skin; it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding; keep this up several times a day, over and over. You will get a swollen infected area that becomes worse with each repeated injury. This is the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.
Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create these small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation and more cholesterol.
Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet since the 1950’s. These foods are slowly poisoning everyone.
All of these sticky, sugary foods coat your undigested proteins because you ate too many of both. These are called AGE’s, Advanced Glycated End Products or sugar-coated proteins. These AGE’s are the bristles on the scrub brush. They injure the blood vessel wall. This invasion brings in the army and inflammation chaos reigns.
Step number one is to put out the fire. Stop eating the fructose, sucrose and glucose. Eliminate the caffeine, carbonated drinks, all the white stuff. Eat lots of high-fiber foods – legumes, four cups of vegetables a day and fresh fruits, not juices. Choose oats, whole rye, quinoa and brown rice. Consume alcohol in moderation. Avoid chlorinated and fluoridated drinking water. Chlorine and fluoride oxidize cholesterol. Fluoride lowers thyroid function, which in turn allows levels of cholesterol and homocysteine to rise.
Tip # Two: The Fats Fiasco
So how did we all become so terrified of fat? We know that inflammation from the food precedes the plaque. Arteries plaque, veins don’t. Arteries have an inner muscle layer that veins don’t. This allows the artery to have strength and elasticity to respond to blood pressure changes. It also makes the artery more vulnerable and susceptible to plaque. Plaque on the artery wall is made of fat combined with calcium. This is the cement that fills the potholes created from the inflammation. Cholesterol is slippery and wouldn’t normally attach to the artery wall unless it had a rough surface, like scarring. The artery wall gets torn by the scrubbing; a scab of fibrin patches the tear; trapped minerals and debris attract fats. The whole patch gets covered with cholesterol to smooth it out. It is there to protect.
When it was shown that cholesterol was part of the plaque, everyone blamed the cholesterol for the problem. Cholesterol is a vital bodily substance. We need it to make vitamin D, bile and hormones. It helps to transport vitamin E, beta-carotene and other nutrients in the blood. It helps to transmit nerve impulses and is a major part of our brain. All cell membranes need cholesterol and as mentioned, it is an antioxidant in the body. The less of it we eat, the more our liver will produce.
Saturated fats also got blamed for the problem. The real problem is inflammation and not enough fiber, too much sugar and too many trans and altered fats. This includes margarine and solid vegetable shortenings. Although Becel sponsors the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, eating their product will not prevent heart disease. Hydrogenated fats and too many polyunsaturated fats are causing the problem. High levels of polyunsaturated fats make LDL cholesterol more susceptible to oxidation.
Eat polyunsaturates in moderation and only use in cold preparation, 102°F/49°C. Vegetable and nut oils are more prone to rancidity. The best ones to consume in moderation are flaxseed, borage, hemp seed, walnut and pumpkin seed oil.
Avoid Canola oil and mass market vegetable oils such as sunflower, safflower and corn oil. They are refined, bleached, deodorized, are nutrient poor and break down over 160°C to produce toxic by-products.
Eat the good fats:
Saturated fats – butter and ghee; it protects the heart. Make sure saturated fats are from grass-fed animals. Eat also unhydrogenated coconut oil, very stable at high temperatures.
Monounsaturates – olive oil with omega 9, oleic acid protects. For medium heat 325°F/163°C – Grapeseed and sesame oil.
Omega 3 EPA and DHA in fatty fish, 2-3 servings per week.
Eggs – 11 percent fat all in the yolk, an excellent source of cholesterol and lecithin, a fat emulsifier.
Tip # Three: Get Off the Couch
Exercise is the most important medicine for all conditions. It normalizes insulin levels, which is the most important factor for optimizing your overall health and preventing disease of all kinds, from diabetes, to heart disease, to cancer and everything in between. Play games like a child – tennis, golf, skiing, cycling, etc.
Do aerobic exercise at least 3 days a week. Dr. Mercola has coined Peak fitness, developed from Dr. Al Sears and Phil Campbell. Peak fitness represents a comprehensive exercise program that includes far more than typical cardio training. The major change is that once or twice a week you do peak exercises, in which you raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 20 to 30 seconds, and then you recover for 90 seconds. You repeat this cycle for a total of eight repetitions. These cycles are preceded by a three minute warm up and two minute cool down so the total time investment is about 20 minutes. The intensity is absolutely individual. For some it may be as simple as fast walking alternating with slow walking. You can improvise it into just about any type of exercise, and you really don’t require a gym membership or any equipment to do it. If you do have access to equipment, using an elliptical or recumbent bike work really well.
Tip # Four: The Nutritional Bypass
We have available at Health House, a nutritional program that can prevent the need for bypass surgery and all related vascular surgeries. It is both safe and effective and can be used for therapy after a heart attack or stroke and for prevention. Other conditions including Alzheimer’s, diabetic issues, impotence, prostate problems, arthritis, varicose veins, irregular heartbeat and heavy metal toxicity have improved as well using this nutritional approach. Make an appointment now to hear more about this valuable program.
Tip # Five: Consciousness and Spirituality
Anger is the number one cause of death due to heart disease. Happiness prevents heart disease.
Those with vascular issues are often unable to express joy. Lifestyle and balance of the body, mind and spirit are important to prevent, treat and reverse heart disease. Meditate daily and develop unconditional support systems: family, friends, pets, social groups and faith are best. Pray or keep in balance with nature and universal awareness of spirits and soul.
Play, laugh, eat and become a happy person with a happy heart!