Wednesday

This "healthy" food damages your heart?

While reading today's article, remember that heart disease is the #1 KILLER of people in today's modern world, with even higher death rates than cancer!  For some reason, most people don't seem to care about this topic until it's too late and they have a heart attack even as early as their 30's or 40's.  

It's time people started taking heart health seriously before it's too late.  Unfortunately, most people don't think about something they can't readily see or feel... after all, you can't "see" your artery health every day like you can see how much body fat you have.

This means that most people ignore their heart health until they actually have a heart attack or even die.  Even worse, I see so many people make jokes about clogged arteries while eating junk food, saying things like "I'd rather enjoy life than worry about clogged arteries".  Uh, sorry dude, but you can't enjoy life if you're DEAD! 

And do donuts and fried chicken REALLY equate to "enjoying life"?  Not for me!  Enjoying life for me is skiing deep powder in the winter, hiking beautiful mountains and enjoying nature in the summer, barreling down a mountain biking trail on my bike, playing games and having laughs with friends, and of course, enjoying some good aged cheese with a great red wine (both of which by the way, can help to protect your arteries - even the cheese as explained in this article)

One thing that sometimes wakes people up is to actually get an artery calcification test and see how clogged their arteries already are.  This is a wake up call to many people and will spur them into finally caring about their heart health before it's too late.

I mentioned donuts and fried chicken above, which as you know, are obvious heart cloggers due to the trans fats and refined inflammatory vegetable oils used in making these...

But what about so-called "healthy" foods such as whole grains in relation to your heart health?  Well...

Here's an excerpt from a great book I've been reading lately called The Great Cholesterol Myth by Dr. Stephen Sinatra and Dr Jonny Bowden...

"A 2010 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine demonstrated that women who ate the highest amount of carbohydrates had a significantly greater risk of coronary heart disease than those who ate the lowest amount, and that carbohydrates from high-glycemic carbs were particularly assiciated with significantly greater risk for heart disease"

As you can see, they're seeing direct relationships between carbohydrate consumption and heart disease.  And as you know already from past issues of this newsletter, natural saturated fat and dietary cholesterol basically has NOTHING to do with heart disease at all.  It's sugar, overall high GI carbs, stress levels, and trans fats that appear to be the MAIN culprits responsible for heart disease.

What about immediate effects on your heart from eating a high-carb meal?

In the book, Dr Sinatra also discusses another research study done (at Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine and the Heart Institute of Sheba Medical Center) on the function of the endothelial walls of the arteries before and after eating a dose of high GI carbs...

They used something called brachial reactive testing to measure artery functioning and gave groups high GI carbs such as corn flakes and sugar (very much like the typical American breakfast) ... Dr Sinatra explains, "Enormous peaks indicating arterial stress were found in the high GI groups: the cornflakes and sugar groups."

We're not talking about artery damage here folks from saturated fat and cholesterol like you've been led to believe... as you can see, this study is showing direct damage to arteries from grains and sugar.  Isn't it sad that those cornflakes are advertised by the food conglomerates as being a "wholesome and healthy" breakfast.

Dr Sinatra continues, "As researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health noted, quickly digested and absorbed carbs (i.e., those with a high glycemic load) are associated with an increased risk of heart disease."

Dr Sinatra and Dr Bowden also point out studies that directly show that people who eat a higher glycemic load of carbohydrates in their diets experienced higher CRP levels (C-reactive protein), which is an indicator of overall inflammation in your body.  Higher CRP generally means higher risk for heart disease. 

Check out the CRP differences they noted -- "...those whose diets were lowest in glycemic load had an average CRP reading of 1.6, but those whose diets were highest in glycemic load had a CRP reading more than 3x that amount (average measurement: 5.0 mg/L).

To give some perspective on CRP if you eat a truly healthy diet focusing on healthy proteins, lots of veggies, spices, teas, red wine, and other antioxidants, and relatively low in overall carbohydrates... I've had my CRP tested twice, and my results came in at 0.1 and 0.4, indicating a VERY LOW amount of inflammation in my body as a whole.

Important Note:  my personal readings of total cholesterol are also always very high for typical medical standards (total cholesterol usually in the low-mid 200's).  Any normal doctor would immediately want try to be a drug pusher and put me on statins, despite my very high and protective levels of HDL (in the 60's), despite the fact that total cholesterol means NOTHING to your overall heart disease risk, despite the fact that my triglycerides are very low, and also despite the fact that my inflammation levels are extremely low based on my CRP tests.

I know this because one doctor tried to put me on statins 10 years ago based solely on total cholesterol, but ignoring all of the other more important tests such as HDL, triglycerides, and CRP levels.  Obviously, since I was more educated than he was on this topic, I chose to ignore him, and follow people such as Dr Sinatra and Dr Bowden who clearly are the top experts on heart health.

Speaking of triglycerides (and also the different LDL particle types to pay attention to), I explain all about both of those in this article:

How bread and cereal can CAUSE heart disease

What about the so-called "deadly" red meat in relation to heart disease?

I get so sick of seeing groups with an agenda against eating animal products trying to always lay the blame on red meat.  Let's see what true researchers such as Dr Sinatra and Dr Bowden have to say about the research...

Keep in mind that most previous studies had never separated processed meat (such as hot dogs, bologna, lunch meats with chemical additives, etc) vs unprocessed meats (such as a healthy grass-fed steak, pasture-raised pork tenderloin, grass-fed burger, etc) in investigating the relationship between meat eating and heart disease.

But Dr Sinatra and Dr Bowden reported on a Harvard study where researchers analyzed 20 studies including over 1.2 million people in 10 countries and they found... "each 1.8 oz daily serving of processed meat (about one hot dog or a couple slices of deli meat) was associated with a 42% higher risk of developing heart disease.  In contrast, no relationship was found between heart disease and nonprocessed red meat."

Also remember that healthy grass-fed beef contains the unique fat called CLA that has been shown to be a cancer-fighter as well as helping to aid fat loss.

On this topic, watch this short video about the #1 food for a flat belly


Lastly, remember that maintaining healthy blood pressure levels is also very important for overall heart health.  Sadly, there are many potential dangers of blood pressure medications... watch this video below to see some of the hazards of blood pressure drugs and alternative natural remedies:

Possible DANGERS of blood pressure drugs (plus natural remedies for lowering blood pressure)


Mike Geary
Certified Nutrition Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer

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