Almost every medical journal/article we have come across blames elevated levels of cholesterol to be the real culprit behind heart diseases. This opinion has been widely accepted by all medical authorities across the world. It has resulted in everyone believing that a low-fat diet, peppered with medication to lower cholesterol levels was a sure way to avert heart problems.
However, is it really the sole reason which explains all the heart ailments?
A different opinion has been put forward by Dr. Dwight Lundell, past Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital, Mesa, AZ and the author of ‘The Cure for Heart Disease and The Great Cholesterol Lie’.
In a recently published articl, this world renowned surgeon debunked a lot of false assumptions regarding this issue. According to his opinion, which is based on a study conducted few years ago, it is not cholesterol but inflammation of the artery wall that is to be blamed. And the former doesn’t cause the latter.
Dr. Lundell says that the dietary recommendations of less fat has done more harm than good as we generally overlook the fact that most of the processed food claiming to contain less fat has an excess of polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates.
Inflammation in the arteries doesn’t occur without a reason. Only when we subject our body to foodstuff it was never meant to process does the inflammation stems as a natural defense. And this traps the cholesterol leading to heart ailments. The diet recommended for a healthier heart is conversely causing the most harm as low fat foods are almost always loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life, all of which are extremely harmful to the body.
Something as simple as a sweet roll is used to explain the devastating effects of its likes. When we consume simple carbohydrates like that of a sugar roll, our blood sugar level increases. The sugar reaches the cells using pancreatic insulin but if there is an excess of sugar the cell will reject the part it doesn’t require for its work. This leads to generation of fat.
The extra sugar molecules attach themselves to a variety of proteins and injure the blood vessels, the repetition of which triggers an inflammation. The more junk you eat, the worse it gets. Also, the omega-6 oils are essential when taken in a correct balance with omega-3’s. An excess of it, however, would produce a chemical cytokines that aggravates the inflammation.
As bleak as the situation may look, there is still a way for us to put our bodies in a healthier state. It is by consuming more food in its natural state. Eat protein-rich food for muscle strength. Complex carbohydrates and inflammation reducing alternatives for omega-6 like olive oil should be included in the diet.
The low fat diet fad created the very problem it was trying to avert. The way to look forward to is behind, look behind to our soil and its produce with no processing. Consumption of whole foods, and fresh unprocessed produce is the only way to reverse the damage caused by the years of negligence and misinformation.