Can We Stop It?
Heart disease results from the over-consumption of processed food, especially refined flours, sugars, and polyunsaturated vegetable oils. These create inflammation, and inflammation is a significant contributor to our most common form of heart disease.
This recently released info-graphic puts today’s leading causes of death into perspective.
Heart disease has reached catastrophic levels, and the most calamitous aspect of the disease is that it is largely preventable. The number one action you can take to reduce your risk is to control your blood sugars. Here are two simple reasons why:
- Insulin is released when blood sugars rise. High levels of insulin block your body’s anti-inflammatory pathway and provoke high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol levels
- Cortisol is released when blood sugars drop. Repeated cortisol output leads to insulin resistance, which inhibits mineral uptake into heart cells. Because the heart is so dependent on minerals such as calcium and magnesium for even contractions, an imbalance can trigger irregular heart beats, called arrythmias.
Can we stop the heart disease epidemic? One person at a time, we can! It will happen when you and I:
- eat natural unprocessed fat instead of the trans-fats, hydrogenated oils, and oxidized products that fill our grocery stores. We need to avoid foods that contain the so-called “industrial” oils: soybean, cottonseed, and canola.
- consume our carbohydrates in reasonable ratios, balanced with proteins and fats, instead of dominating every meal and snack. Americans get somewhere between 60 and 80% of their calories from carbohydrates, mostly refined. It would be more appropriate to eat only 30-40% of our calories from carbohydrates that are complex, whole and fiber-rich – vegetables, legumes, seeds, and so forth.
- cease to drink carbohydrates in the form of juices, sodas and energy drinks. The best beverage for humans is water.
- stop eating refined carbohydrates by themselves- that pretzel or donut or cracker or chip which flash into glucose in a wave instead of a trickle. We can use fats such avocados, nuts, and cheeses with carbs to moderate the rate at which the sugars in our foods are converted into fuel.
- educate ourselves about carbs. This food category is much more than bread, cereal and pasta. if it isn’t a protein or a fat, it’s a carb. Though that sounds silly, many are deceived about their carb intake. For instance, a smoothie, while it may contain whole fruits and healthy dark leafy greens, is really a sugar high waiting to happen unless you intentionally add protein or fat, such as coconut oil, pastured egg, or hemp seed.
- quit being afraid of fat. Research is showing that traditional societies ate as much as 60+% of their calories from naturally-occuring fats.
Though you may have heart disease in your family, you are not inevitably a victim. Every weak gene must have a supporting environment and a trigger for its expression. The gene is approximately 25% of your destiny. Your choices make up the rest.