Chad Talks Cardiovascular Disease

 In WOD

Cardiovascular Disease

Today I am going to be talking to you all about Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). The causes and effects of CVD. Also going to be talking about Diet and how to obtain optimal health, as well as how to help yourself avoid disease. Most of the statistics from this write up are going to be from the United States, so just keep that in mind as you’re reading. I have included a link at the bottom to the statistics of the Irish population.

Since the 1970s or so, the Diet that we have been advised to follow, or what is best for optimal health has been the low fat/no fat high carbohydrate diet. Also that omega 6 rich oils such as palm, corn, sunflower, soybean oil, etc. is safer to use than saturated fat, which should be consumed as little as possible. At the moment we are finding out that this is definitely not the way to go for optimal health. The number of overweight and obese people is rapidly increasing everyday. In only the last 4 decades the percentage of overweight and obese individuals has more than doubled in the united states, with an outstanding 68.8% of American adults being overweight and 35.7% being obese. The most remarkable figures that I found while doing my research on optimal health was the percentages of American children and adolescents coming in at 31.8% overweight and 16.9% being obese. This is outrageous and is mostly linked to the standard American/ Western Diet. With statistics being as high as they are it’s quite obvious that something isn’t working.

Moving on now to the real subject; Heart Disease. A few years back a discovery was made that inflammation of the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease. The old – and still widely used method of preventing/dealing with heart disease, is to be on a low fat or no fat diet, be put on prescribed medications, and any other methods of dealing with this is/was considered malpractice. When the walls of the arteries become inflamed from a poorly chosen or uneducated diet they begin to accumulate cholesterol in the blood vessels causing the blood pressure to rise. Without the presence of inflammation though, there is no way that cholesterol would begin to accumulate, it would freely pass through the blood vessels as nature attend it to.

So maybe you’re wondering by now or should be anyway, what causes this Chronic Inflammation to our artery walls? From what I have found the main leading cause of Chronic Inflammation is the over consumption of foods high in simple sugars, highly processed carbohydrates such as sugar and flour (and all things made from them.) Also the consumption of omega 6 vegetable oils that are highly used in processed foods such as soybean, sunflower, and corn oils. Another cause of inflammation to the artery walls is having an imbalance in the ratio of omega 3 oils to omega 6 oils. The over-consumption of omega 6 makes an imbalance of the two, causing a chemical release of Cytokines which directly causes inflammation. The imbalance of omega 3 and omega 6 is easy to fall into when consuming foods packed with simple sugars and saturated in omega 6 oils. A healthy balance between the two should be around a 3:1 ratio. While today the mainstream American diet has an imbalance between 15:1 and as high as 30:1 in favor of omega 6 oils.

The way to avoid putting ourselves through this vicious cycle of Chronic Inflammation each time we eat, is to start eating food in its natural state. The more foods are processed, the more chances they are going to be processed with some kind of simple sugar or omega 6 oil. Start using more olive oil, coconut oil, and butter produced from grass fed beef, to balance out the ratio of the omega 3 & 6 oils. Animal fats are less than 20% of omega 6 and are less likely to cause inflammation compared to the “healthy fats”  labeled as polyunsaturates. The science behind the theory that saturated fat alone causes heart disease and the science behind saturated fat raising blood cholesterol is very weak. The high cholesterol theory of eating less or no saturated fat and more “healthy” omega 6 oils has caused an epidemic in arterial inflammation causing a constant rise in heart disease and other silent killers among the American population.

Currently 75 million Americans suffer from Heart Disease, 20 million Americans have diabetes, and 57 million Americans have pre-diabetes. More and more each year these disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers.

In conclusion, all of these diseases are linked to diet, so what we recommend is to start eliminating as many processed/ manufactured food products that you possibly can and just be aware of what you’re actually putting into your body. Start eating whole foods,  things that are labeled “fat free” or anything similar has been chemically processed to make it this way. Start reading food labels, you will be surprised at the long list of ingredients. When doing your shopping stay to the outside of the supermarket where the fresh produce is located. Go out to farmers markets on weekends and buy organic fresh produce, real meat, fish, and poultry. Take the time, effort, and money to invest into your health to greatly reduce your chances of having to deal with disease. We also need to educate our children and others who might not have the knowledge of the true causes of Heart Disease and the effects processed/ manufactured food really have on our health.

Chad

http://www.irishheart.ie/iopen24/facts-heart-disease-stroke-t-7_18.html

In the above link, you will find the statistics of the irish population.

References:

http://universitynaturalmedicine.org/2012/05/heart-disease/

http://www.ajcn.org/content/81/2/341.full

http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/obesity-in-the-us/

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