Heart disease is one of the leading causes of deaths in the nation. Every single person reading this either has had heart disease or knows someone who does.
When we are born, our arteries are open and fully flowing. Only under the right circumstances, plaque begins to build silently in our coronary (ie. heart) and main aortic arteries.
It needs to be pointed out that clogging rarely occurs in the peripheral vascular system where there are about 6000 miles of medium to very small arteries compared to the coronary/aortic arteries where there is less than 100 feet!
Clogged coronary arteries do not happen overnight! It’s a long time process of poor eating choices, little or no exercise, inappropriate weight gain, smoking, drinking, stress and yes, some prescription drugs have an effect of irritating the blood vessel linings. Remember that ALL NSAIDS such as Motrin, Ibuprofen, Tylenol and Aleve (Naproxen Sodium) have cardiovascular warnings on the bottle!
Secondly, we are taught to fear cholesterol. This is really a problem that started out of the Framingham Heart study from the 1950’s. However, many studies over the past several decades have shown that the idea of low fat/low cholesterol is flawed. The cholesterol lowering drugs actually cause blood vessel thickening and homocysteine levels to increase.
Cholesterol in fact is a major component to our bodies. EVERY cell wall is made with cholesterol (LDL type by the way; which is supposed to be bad). Most of our hormones are made out of LDL cholesterol! The brain in which there are trillions of cells, need LDL cholesterol to function and repair. This is why cholesterol lowering drugs are associated with memory issues especially if taken long term.
Your liver makes cholesterol to repair damaged cells. The damage is almost always a result of sugar attaching to cells and damaging them. Think of diabetes. We really should measure the hormone insulin instead of sugar as insulin levels can predate elevated sugar levels by many years!
Lastly, as we age, cholesterol naturally goes up! Yes that’s Right, UP! Think about it, as we age, our cells need more repair and therefore more cholesterol to repair them. It’s that simple.
The main culprits to heart disease are food, chemicals and environment.
So what can you do?
Limit sugars in your diet (all of them! Including too much fruit, breads/cereals, commercial grains, high fructose corn syrup, starches and all the deserts I know you just love to eat!), omit hydrogenated oils and commercial seed oils, no trans fats, limit caffeine, no energy drinks, no sugar drinks, no alcohol, limit dairy especially milk (Modern high heat pasteurization and piston homogenization is done for speed of processing; not to improve the healthiness of the milk for you! Raw or vat pasteurized/whisk homogenized milk is actually good for you!), drink non-chlorinated water, eat dark leafy greens and green/highly colored veggies that are organic (means less chemicals), keep your focus on looking for the good in life and being grateful, which reduces stress! Ask your doctor to help you develop a plan to wean yourself off medications that contribute to cardiovascular complications. These are the Secrets to Living Healthy in the Ozarks.