Friends, I want to share with you an article by an experienced surgeon-cardiologist,Dr. Dwight Landell, who writes about the real causes of cardiovascular disease. I can’t say that in this article he “discovered America”, many nutritionists and doctors write and talk about the same thing as Dr. Landell. But from the mouth of a cardiologist, all this sounds somehow more authoritative, in my opinion. Especially for older people, such as my dad, for example, who has been struggling with high cholesterol for many years, has gone through two surgeries and continues to live on medication.
The article entitled “Heart surgeon declares on what really causes heart illness” is simply sensational for those who were not deeply interested in the problems of the onset of diseases that kill more than a million people every year. Russia. Just think: 62% of deaths in 2010 were caused precisely by cardiovascular diseases !!! (more on this in my article why we die early)
I will briefly retell the content of the article. Dr. Dwight Landell * explains that cholesterol and fatty foods are not the real cause of illness, as most of his colleagues have long believed. Research has shown that cardiovascular disease occurs due to chronic inflammation of the arterial walls. If this inflammation is not present, then cholesterol will not accumulate in the vessels, but will be able to circulate freely in them.
We provoke chronic inflammation, first, by the unlimited use of processed and refined foods, in particular sugar and carbohydrates; secondly, overeating vegetable fats, which leads to an imbalance in the proportion of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids (from 15: 1 to 30: 1 or more – instead of the optimal ratio for us 3: 1). (I’ll post an article on the dangers and benefits of different fats next week.)
Thus, chronic vascular inflammation, leading to heart attacks and strokes, is not caused by excessive fat intake, but by popular and “authoritative” diets low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates. We are talking about vegetable oil, rich in omega-6 (soybean, corn, sunflower) and foods high in simple processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all foods made from them).
Every day, several times a day, we eat foods that first cause small, then more serious vascular injuries, to which the body reacts with chronic inflammation, which leads to cholesterol deposits, and then – heart attack or stroke.
The conclusion of the doctor: there is only one way to eliminate inflammation – to eat foods in their “natural form”. Give preference to complex carbohydrates (such as fresh fruits and vegetables). Minimize your intake of omega-6 rich oils and processed foods prepared with them.
As always, I have translated the article for those who prefer to read in Russian, and I provide a link to the English-language original at the end of the text.
Heart surgeon talks about the true causes of heart disease
We, physicians with substantial training, knowledge and authority, very often have too high self-esteem, which prevents us from admitting that we are wrong. This is the whole point. I openly admit that I am wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years of experience, who has performed more than 5 thousand open heart surgeries, today I will try to correct a mistake related to one medical and scientific fact.
Over the years, I have been trained alongside other distinguished physicians who are “doing medicine” today. By publishing articles in the scientific literature, constantly attending educational seminars, we have endlessly insisted that heart disease is simply the result of high cholesterol levels in the blood.
The only acceptable therapy was the prescription of drugs to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricts fat intake. The latter, of course, we assured, was to lower cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy or the result of medical negligence.
None of this works!
All of these recommendations are no longer scientifically and morally justified. Several years ago, a discovery was made: the real cause of cardiovascular disease is inflammation in the artery wall. Gradually, this discovery leads to a change in the concept of combating heart disease and other chronic diseases.
Dietary guidelines followed for centuries have fueled an epidemic of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which overshadow any plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.
Despite the fact that 25% of the population (USA – Liveup!) takes expensive statin drugs, even though we have cut fat in our diets, the percentage of Americans who will die from heart disease this year is higher than ever before.
American Heart Association statistics show that 75 million Americans currently have heart disease, 20 million have diabetes, and 57 million have prediabetes. These diseases “get younger” every year.
Simply put, if there is no inflammation in the body, cholesterol can in no way accumulate in the blood vessel wall and thus lead to heart disease and strokes. If there is no inflammation, cholesterol moves freely in the body, as it was originally intended by nature. It is the inflammation that causes the deposition of cholesterol.
Inflammation is not unusual – it is simply the body’s natural defense against external “enemies” such as bacteria, toxins or viruses. The inflammation cycle ideally protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose our bodies to toxins or eat foods that they are not capable of handling, a condition called chronic inflammation occurs. Chronic inflammation is as harmful as acute inflammation is curative.
What sane person will constantly consciously consume food or other substances that injure the body? Perhaps smokers, but at least they made this choice consciously.
The rest of us simply followed the recommended and widely promoted low-fat, high-polyunsaturated fat and carbohydrate diet, unaware that we were repeatedly injuring our blood vessels. These repetitive injuries trigger chronic inflammation, which in turn leads to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and obesity.
Let me repeat: the trauma and inflammation of our blood vessels are caused by the low-fat diet recommended by traditional medicine for many years.
What are the main causes of chronic inflammation? In simple terms, it is an excess of consumption of foods high in simple processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour, and all of them), as well as an excessive intake of omega-6 vegetable oils, such as soy, corn, and sunflower, which are found in many processed foods.
Take a moment and see what happens if you rub the soft skin with a stiff brush for a while until it turns completely red, even bruising. Imagine doing this several times a day, every day for five years. If you could endure this pain, there would be bleeding, swelling of the affected area, and each time the injury would worsen. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that may be happening in your body right now.
Regardless of where the inflammatory process takes place, outside or inside, it proceeds in the same way. I have seen thousands upon thousands of arteries from the inside. A diseased artery looks like someone has taken a brush and is constantly rubbing against the walls of the artery. Several times a day, every day, we eat foods that cause minor injuries, which then turn into more serious injuries, as a result of which the body is forced to constantly and naturally respond with inflammation.
When we savor the exquisite taste of a sweet bun, our body reacts with alarm, as if a foreign invader has arrived and declared war. Foods high in sugar and simple carbohydrates, as well as foods processed for long-term storage with omega-6 fats, have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods were slowly poisoning everyone.
So how can a sweet bun cause the inflammation that makes us sick?
Imagine that syrup has spilled over the keyboard, and you will see what is happening inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, our blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, the pancreas secretes insulin, the main purpose of which is to carry sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it does not participate in the process to avoid the accumulation of excess sugar.
When your fat cells reject excess glucose, your blood sugar rises, more insulin is produced, and glucose is converted into fat stores.
What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar levels have an extremely narrow range. Additional sugar molecules attach to various proteins, which in turn damage the walls of the blood vessel. This repeated damage turns into inflammation. When you raise your blood sugar several times a day, every day, it has the same effect as rubbing sandpaper against the walls of fragile blood vessels.
Although you cannot see it, I assure you it is. For 25 years, I have seen this in more than 5 thousand patients whom I operated on, and all of them are characterized by the same thing – inflammation in the arteries.
Let’s go back to the sweet bun. This seemingly innocent treat contains more than just sugar: the bun is baked using one of the many omega-6 oils, such as soy. Chips and French fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are made using omega-6s to increase shelf life. While omega-6s are essential to the body – they are part of every cell membrane that controls everything that goes in and out of the cell – they need to be in the right balance with omega-3s.
If the balance shifts towards omega-6s, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly trigger inflammation.
The American diet today is characterized by an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The imbalance ranges from 15: 1 to 30: 1 or more in favor of omega-6. This creates the conditions for the emergence of a huge amount of cytokines that cause inflammation. The optimal and healthy ratio in the modern food environment is 3: 1.
To make matters worse, the excess weight you gain from these foods creates congested fat cells. They release large amounts of pro-inflammatory chemicals that exacerbate the harm caused by high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet bun turns into a vicious circle over time, which provokes heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and, finally, Alzheimer’s disease, while the inflammatory process persists …
The more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we provoke inflammation, little by little, day after day. The human body cannot process foods high in sugar and cooked in oil rich in omega-6 – it was not designed for this.
There is only one way to eliminate inflammation, and that is by switching to natural foods. Eat more protein to build muscle. Choose complex carbohydrates such as brightly colored fruits and vegetables. Reduce or eliminate inflammation-causing omega-6 fats such as corn and soybean oils and processed foods prepared with them.
Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than supposedly healthy oils labeled “polyunsaturated.” Forget the “science” that has been hammered into your head for decades. The science that claims saturated fat itself causes heart disease is not science at all. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Because we now know for sure that cholesterol is not the cause of cardiovascular disease. The concern about saturated fat is even more absurd.
The cholesterol theory led to recommendations for low-fat, low-fat foods, which in turn led to the very foods that are currently causing the epidemic of inflammation. Advanced medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to ditch saturated fats in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We are now faced with an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.
Therefore, it is best to choose whole foods that our grandmothers used, rather than those that our mothers bought at grocery stores full of factory food. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh, unprocessed foods to your diet, you begin to combat the damage that the typical American diet has done to your arteries and to your entire body over the years.
* Dr. Dwight Lundell is a former Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital, Mesa, Arizona. His private clinic, Cardiac Care Center, was located in the same city. Dr. Landell recently left surgery to focus on treating cardiovascular disease through diet therapy. He is the founder of the Healthy Humans Foundation, which promotes healthier communities. The emphasis is on helping large corporations improve employee health. He is also the author of The Heart Disease Cure and The Great Cholesterol Deception.
Original article: HERE