All doctors, but especially heart doctors have great knowledge in their field and a great ego as well. This makes it difficult for them to admit mistakes, but sometimes they should do it for everyone’s sake. Recently, a former heart surgeon let his ego aside and admitted that after more than 5000 open heart surgeries, he saw that heart disease isn’t caused by high cholesterol levels like all doctors suggested in the past.
In order to lower the cholesterol levels, doctors usually prescribe a healthy diet and regular physical activity as well as cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. However, their huge ego didn’t allow them to see the real problem behind heart disease.
Of course, cholesterol is dangerous, but there are other factors which can also harm your arteries and put your health in danger. Everything other than high cholesterol as a cause for heart disease was considered a heresy in the past, but it’s time to stop defending that theory as it can no longer be defended.
In the last few years, studies have shown that inflammation in the arteries is the most likely culprit for heart disease. Many doctors didn’t agree with it, but it’s slowly leading to a paradigm shift. The diet recommendations have resulted in a diabetes and obesity epidemic around the world and the consequences are worse than any plague throughout history. Even with 25% of the American adult population taking statins and the reduction of fat in our diet, we’ve never been more overweight and more prone to the dangers of heart disease.
According to data from the American Heart Association, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the USA. More than 75 million Americans suffer from it, while 20 million Americans suffer from diabetes.
Both diseases are starting to affect young people and the numbers are on the rise every year. Without inflammation in the arteries, cholesterol wouldn’t be able to accumulate in them – it’s that simple. Inflammation is what makes it trapped inside the arteries, and over time, it can have serious implications on our health.
Inflammation is not a bad thing – in fact, it’s our body’s natural response to invaders including bacteria, viruses and toxins. The cycle of inflammation protects your body from their actions. However, chronic and recurrent injuries or toxic accumulation can cause chronic inflammation, resulting in serious problems.
But, who would repeatedly harm their body? We can think of smokers and drinkers, but not many other groups of people. The rest of us try to lead a healthy low-fat diet rich in carbs and polyunsaturated fats like all doctors recommend. However, it’s exactly this type of diet that is constantly attacking the arteries and raising the inflammation in them, which is leading to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
The biggest culprits for chronic inflammation are the constant consumption of highly processed carbs as well as sugar, flour and other products made from them. The other culprit is omega-6 fatty acids, compounds found in soybean, corn and sunflower oil and most processed foods. If you’re wondering how these compounds are harming our arteries, imagine a brush scrubbing against them.
Over time, the thin skin would become red and bleeding. Remember that this goes on every day, every week and every year, resulting in a severely inflamed and swollen area. This is exactly what inflammation does to the arteries. Furthermore, it allows cholesterol to be trapped inside, raising the risk of heart disease and other harmful ailments.
So, while you’re enjoying that tasty cinnamon roll, the body identifies it as an invader who is there to destroy it. Sugar and simple carbs have been in the American diet for quite a long time and they’ve been destroying our overall health.
When we consume sweet things such as that cinnamon roll they quickly raise our blood sugar levels. In order to fight them, the pancreas releases insulin, a hormone which is supposed to lead sugar to all our cells. When a cell is full of glucose, it rejects the extra part. When this happens, the pancreas secretes even more insulin, resulting in the conversion of the excess glucose to fat.
Here’s how it’s all connected to inflammation – our body controls glucose in a narrow range. The extra sugar molecules we consume can attach to various proteins that can injure our arteries. The repeated injuries can raise inflammation, and the constant blood sugar spikes are like sandpaper for the tiny arterial walls. You may not be able to see it, but the doctor we mentioned at the beginning of the article has seen inflammation in the arteries of more than 5000 patients and it wasn’t a pleasant sight.
The sweet cinnamon roll also contains omega-6 fatty acids – they are an essential part of our cell membranes, but when they’re not in balance with omega-3s, they can harm our health. If you consume them often, our cell membranes will release compounds known as cytokines which are directly related to inflammation.
The standard American diet nowadays produces an imbalance between omega-3s and omega-6 fatty acids, which causes constant release of cytokines and inflammation in our arteries. Even worse, the excess weight we all have on our body is making the overloaded fat cells produce other inflammatory compounds that harm the arteries even further. This raises the risk of diabetes, heart disease and even neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. We consume way too much processed foods and it’s time to face the facts.
In order to reduce the inflammation in our body, we need to eat foods in their natural state. This means consuming complex carbs and protein more often in order to build muscle and fight fat. Cut out processed foods from your diet and you’ll be able to see the difference soon. Switching from corn, soybean or sunflower oils to healthier alternatives such as coconut or olive oil can make a great difference as well.
Contrary to what doctors have been suggesting, animal fats contain under 20% of omega-6 fatty acids and are a far better option that polyunsaturated fats. Forget all doctors have been recommending in the past few decades – saturated fats don’t cause heart disease.
Cholesterol doesn’t cause it either – it’s the pro-inflammatory foods and a low-fat diet to blame. Ditch the standard American diet in favor of a healthy diet based on complex carbs and protein and you’ll be able to protect yourself from inflammation and heart disease as well.