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Heart disease is killing more people in the U.S. than any other disease.
In fact you or someone you know could be a ticking time bomb right now… starting with high blood pressure.
Your lipid panels may indicate high LDL (bad) cholesterol, or worse — low HDL (good) cholesterol, or high triglyceride levels.
But most victims get no warning at all…
For nearly half of us, the very first sign of a heart problem ends in death. And shockingly most of those deaths happen to women. Since 1984, heart disease, the number one killer of women, has killed more women than men each year. While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease. And don’t forget broken heart syndrome — a related cause of heart-related deaths — appears to be unique to women.
But regardless of sex, heart disease kills someone every 60 seconds, and causes 800,000 heart attacks — one every 34 seconds — per year in the U.S.
Is this lurking predator really that undetectable? Could anyone be a “victim” of this serial killer?
Absolutely not! These aren’t random “hits” on humanity. They may be silent (without signs or symptoms) but there are events that precede a “heart attack,” that if changed, can save your life…
What precedes a heart attack or stroke?
One of the biggest ways to set yourself up for a heart attack is eating the wrong foods. And the longer you eat the foods that sabotage your health, the worse it gets and the higher your disease risk rises.
You may have a habit going back months or years, perhaps your entire lifetime, of consuming disease-causing simple carbs or poor carbs — found in excess in these staples of the Standard America Diet (SAD): Soda, diet soda, candies, cookies, pies, baked goods, ice cream and other foods high in added sugars. This includes fruit juice — which excludes the fiber found only in the whole fruit — which make a huge and healthy difference.
These foods high in sugar, fructose and high fructose corn syrup, spike insulin production when consumed. This in turn leads to insulin resistance. When you think of insulin resistance, diabetes probably comes to mind first, but it’s also leading cause of cardiovascular disease (and even cancer). Insulin resistance makes peculiar physical cardiovascular changes…
The inside walls of blood vessels, including the vessels that feed the heart (coronary) and brain (carotids) create places for plaque to deposit and build up a “blood clot.” This has now become a “cardio-metabolic” problem, not just a digestive, immune, hormone, or energy imbalance problem. What you eat directly affects our heart and blood vessel health.
There was a time when salt was believed to be the most dangerous contributor to hypertension. But sugar, especially fructose, has proven to be even more dangerous.
A study published in the British Journal of Medicine’s publication, Open Heart, on the impact the foods we eat have on cardiovascular risk found that “compelling evidence from basic science, population studies, and clinical trials implicates sugars, and particularly the monosaccharide fructose, as playing a major role in the development of hypertension.”
Fructose from foods with corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup (and a myriad of other “code names” for this group of sweetened fillers) are stored as visceral and central fat that is not later burned off and used for energy.
The other big dietary contributor…
Is poor fats and trans fats.
While the heart-healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids are sorely lacking from the SAD diet, omega 6s appear far too often in the guise of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils (which turns into trans fats) like canola oil or soybean, most often used in baked goods and many processed and ultra-processed foods.
These are found especially in fried and fatty fast foods (French fries, onion rings, burgers, donuts, and ice cream). This fat is then stored in our body and isn’t burned off.
The big killing action from fats is directly linked to trans fats which stiffen the coronary arteries after consumption. One study showed 100% of heart attack hospital admissions demonstrated trans-fats were consumed within the previous 24 hours. That’s convincing evidence.
The bad news is heart disease (significantly increasing the incidence and risk of heart attacks or stroke) is extremely high in America and is the leading chronic illness and cause of death.
The good news is it can be reversed… and by following these three steps you could be on your way to avoiding heart attack…
- Change your diet for good: Out with bad, in with the good, in this New Year. Start by ditching these 6 foods no one should eat and eat more “GBOMBS.” Consider working with a Functional Medicine Practitioner to accurately assess the underlying causes of your chronic symptoms and potentially hidden chronic illnesses — especially including cardiovascular risk for heart attack or stroke.
Consider that all healing is done from the inside out and not from a prescription that blocks or alters cholesterol levels or blood pressure, from the outside in. All prescriptions usually cause one or more symptoms in turn as side effects, begging for another drug to fix the problem.
- Discover the underlying cause of your symptoms to reverse them. Chances are any condition manifesting, including skin rashes, asthma, allergies, digestive difficulties, fatigue, low libido and obesity have common cardiovascular risk factors.
Commit to a healthy, more enjoyable life. Perhaps some permanent changes should be made in order to cleanse the gut, complete detox pathways, and balance the immune system — taming the titer of bad bugs (layers of infection) in the gut and in the blood contributing to cardiovascular health. Resetting your gut for total body health will get your started on a healthy path.
Finding a diversity of foods that work for you may be key in overcoming the burden of symptoms that persist. Testing of food sensitivities or the body’s response to them may a valid option for you. Interpreting them correctly is just as important. Making a plan together to overcome the underlying causes and reverse the symptoms comes next.
- Exercise daily. After the energy begins to increase, plan for an enjoyable daily walk and work up to two to three burst workouts per week. Add in strength-training from a resistance band or by lifting weights two to three times per week. All this can be done in a relatively short period of time on average per day (20 to 40 minutes).
It’s a brand New Year. You deserve to be healthy every day that you are alive!
If you are looking for a Functional Medicine Practitioner and have interest in working with me you can reach me, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: Sugar is such a sneaky disease trigger… you knew about diabetes, and now you see it plays a significant role in heart disease. But truthfully, it’s just the beginning of an insidious threat that targets your body’s master mediator. To learn why imbalanced insulin is the trigger for all disease — even cancer — click here to read about the insulin factor…
Cited in Book “Deep Nutrition” by Catherine Shanahan, M.D.