Diet and Coronary Heart Disease
Contrary to popular beliefs, the most common cause of premature deaths are not cancers but cardiovascular diseases.
In the vast majority of cases, these diseases are a shadow of improper eating habits – dietary mistakes repeated over the years.
In some circles, myocardial infarction is simply called DEATH CAUSED BY EATING. For decades we have realized that the source of the disease is excess saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet, but now we know that it was only half of the truth.
Fats and cholesterol – they are only an indicator of the consumption of animal food in general. As much as ANIMAL FAT, we should also be afraid of ANIMAL PROTEIN, because its consumption in an equal (or even greater) degree – promotes the increase in cholesterol in the blood.
Avoiding animal products,
we avoid death caused by eating!
Let’s look at the risk factors that are conducive to the development of myocardial infarction:
- high cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- lack of physical activity
As you can see – cholesterol is in the first place: when it exceeds 225 mg/dL, ischemic disease occurs three times more often than when it is lower than 210 mg/dL. As many as 35% of infarcts occur at 150-200 mg/dL. The safe level of cholesterol is only 150 mg/dL.
It was found that the increase in cholesterol in blood is related to:
- increased consumption of saturated (animal) fats
- increased consumption of animal protein
- increased consumption of exogenous cholesterol *
but also (!):
- decrease in intake of complex carbohydrates (inversely proportional)
*) Cholesterol in our blood may have two sources and depending on it we divide it into exogenous, i.e. supplied with food (only animal) and endogenous, i.e. produced by our liver in a quantity depending on the needs.
Studies in humans prove that eating vegetable protein reduces cholesterol levels much more than limiting fat intake or exogenous cholesterol.
This indicates a surprising and difficult to understand relationship, namely that the cholesterol level in our blood depends on the type of protein we eat. *
*) Also feeding rats with animal protein (casein) increases the cholesterol concentration in their blood, and feeding them with vegetable protein clearly reduces this level.
Anyway – each of these three ingredients: saturated fat, animal protein or exogenous cholesterol – characterizes animal food in general (!). So the simplest (and the easiest to apply in our kitchen) is the conclusion that the PLANT-BASED diet solves our problems.
The effectiveness of the PLANT-BASED diet, which is based on unprocessed vegetable products (high intake of complex carbohydrates with low fat intake), is confirmed by the effects of the therapy carried out by Caldwell Esselstyn * and Dean Ornish **.
*) CALDWELL ESSELSTYN JR – after 11 years of using dietotherapy, he proved that a very low-fat plant diet (also without oils) not only stops the development of ischemic heart disease, but also reverses it; arterial occlusion was noted in 70% of patients.
Esselstyn came up with the idea of dietotherapy while reading epidemiological statistics. He noted that “¾ people in the world do not suffer from heart disease and this is related to diet”.
**) DEAN ORNISH – also used a low-fat plant diet (up to 10% kcal from fat), but unlike Esselstyna, he limited the therapy to diet – without supporting its effects with drugs; instead, he organized 4-hour meetings of therapeutic groups twice a week.
It is worth realizing one thing:
Our interest in coronary disease as well as the interest of our doctors (and medicine in general) of ischemic disease – most often concerns advanced disease states and has little to do with properly understood THERAPY.
Contemporary ways of so-called “healing” only postpone the death of the patient over time, but they neither reverse the course of the disease nor prevent new incidents (new infarcts). Angioplasty and coronary artery bypass surgery – they do not affect the cause of the disease, so they do not heal anything.
Diseases of the heart and vessels belong to the most difficult therapeutically group of diseases, the treatment of which is the same as prevention.
This and several other entries in our blog regarding the relationship between health and diet – are based on data disclosed in “The China Study” [T. Colin Campbell, Thomas M. Campbell, 2004].
The book discusses the results of epidemiological studies on the widest scale in the world on the relationship between diet and the morbidity of various disease entities.
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