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Are you looking out for your heart health this summer?
Intense heat can be a risk factor for heart attacks and other cardiovascular events; it causes a deadly combination of dehydration and inflammation that can clog arteries and block circulation to vital organs, including your heart.
Staying well-hydrated and taking natural anti-inflammatory supplements can reduce your risks. So can following a heart-healthy diet of whole, unprocessed foods and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s also important to support heart health with the right kinds of fats, advice that many people may ignore in favor of a low-fat diet.
It’s true; the information can be confusing: We’ve been told repeatedly not to eat fat, because a high-fat diet causes a rise in harmful cholesterol, leading to a heart attack. This conclusion is too black and white, too rigid, and simply not true.
A Need For Cholesterol
While every human needs fat and cholesterol to survive, it is the type of fat that is critical, not how much you consume. Trans fats (found in fried food and many highly processed foods) and excess saturated fats can promote unhealthy cholesterol and fuel chronic inflammation. Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fats, monounsaturated fats (found in olive oil, nuts and avocados), coconut oil and other nutritious oils do not have the same effect. These fats are essential for health and can work to reduce bad cholesterol and control inflammation. Your body happily uses these fats for cardiovascular health, cellular health and communication, cognitive function, hormone balance, inflammation regulation and more.
The truth is many people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol. The myth of high cholesterol as the cause of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and heart disease is slowly being dispelled as new research emerges. Read more about cardiovascular health in my complimentary heart health wellness guide.
The Real Culprit In Heart Disease
The secret culprit of cardiovascular illness and abnormal cholesterol production in today’s world is sugar. Table sugar, high fructose corn syrup and refined flour products all cause blood glucose levels to spike. That leads to insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, two major contributors to heart disease. Blood sugar imbalances (resulting from eating a high glycemic diet) cause your good cholesterol numbers to go down, your triglycerides to go up and inflammation to wreak havoc.
Deficiencies of vitamins A, D, E and the family of B vitamins (most notably B6 and B12) are also contributors to heart disease. Where do we get these vitamins and antioxidants? Rich sources include whole, unprocessed foods and healthy fats, as well as moderate consumption of high-quality saturated fats like organic butter.
Completely avoiding a small natural steak or pat of butter now and then only means you may be missing out on a concentrated source of essential nutrients.
Similarly to fat, all cholesterol is not created equal. There’s the good and the bad, the HDL and the LDL. However, what type of LDL (bad) cholesterol particles you have is also more important than the amount. Bigger is better: Large, fluffy LDL particles are practically harmless to your arteries, whereas small, dense particles easily penetrate artery walls. The body’s immune system then responds, causing the arteries to become inflamed, in turn creating hardened plaque (atherosclerosis). The dangerous issue with cholesterol is when it becomes oxidized from things like chronic inflammation, toxins and free radicals, creating a vicious cycle of inflammation throughout the cardiovascular system.
New Research On Modified Citrus Pectin In Cardiovascular Disease
A recent study from the American Heart Association shows that elevated levels of the protein biomarker galectin-3 contributes to hardening of the arteries. Importantly, the study showed that the supplement Modified Citrus Pectin helps reduce these negative effects.
Modified Citrus Pectin has been shown in numerous studies to bind to the galectin-3 molecule, thus preventing it from causing negative effects. Galectin-3 has been identified in recent years as a direct indicator and contributing factor in cardiovascular disease and heart failure, with the galectin-3 blood test approved by the Food and Drug Administration for cardiovascular screening and prognosis.
To maintain cardiovascular health and the health of your entire body, it is important to heal chronically inflamed tissues with diet, supplements and proper stress relief. A balanced, whole foods diet, rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, can also help stabilize blood sugar and promote healthy cholesterol. Supplementing with fish or krill oil (a good source of omega-3 fats) and B vitamins, along with well-researched supplements, can support heart health in addition to providing numerous other benefits.
For more valuable information on cardiovascular health, dietary recommendations and controlling your blood sugar, visit www.dreliaz.org.
Editor’s note: There are numerous safe and natural ways to decrease your risk of blood clots including the 25-cent vitamin, the nutrient that acts as a natural blood thinner and the powerful herb that helps clear plaque. To discover these and more, click here for Hushed Up Natural Heart Cures and Common Misconceptions of Popular Heart Treatments!