The term “heart disease” is often used interchangeably with the term “cardiovascular disease.” Cardiovascular disease generally refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. The science on heart disease has changed a lot over the last few years. Cholesterol sticks to the blood vessels and causes the narrowing or blockages, however why the cholesterol sticks has become an important question. It was once believed that by eating saturated fat your cholesterol levels would rise and the cholesterol would cause the heart disease. A low fat diet was recommended, severly restricting any fat. The body needs healthy fats and some saturated fat, just as the body needs cholesterol.
The culprit for heart disease is not saturated fat and cholesterol, it is sugar and processed grains. These make the artery walls deteriorate because of chronic inflammation caused by eating too much sugar and processed foods. Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped. The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is also caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine. What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.
My recommendation is simple. Eat fresh whole foods. Buy whole grains and soak and cook them yourselves. All the sugary cereals that say whole grain don’t count because the grains are highly processed (not to mention all the sugar). Eat whole fat dairy when you eat it and cut out all the sugar. Healthy fats are an important part of the diet so eat avocados, nuts and seeds, olive and coconut oils. Always eat lots of fresh vegetables too! Grass-fed, pastured meat and a bit of butter on those veges is fine.
There are many supplements that also benefit the heart. Fish oil and Vitamin D, CoQ10, Arginine, Vitamin E, L-Carnitine,garlic, niacin and Hawthorn are a few. Also exercise and plenty of sleep along with stress reduction can keep your happy heart beating for many years to come.
Submitted by Tricia @ Nutrition by Tricia