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A Healthy Heart Will Reduce the Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke, and High Blood Pressure
Having a healthy heart was the norm in the past. Heart disease was rare in America a hundred years ago. And during this time people were eating grass-fed red meat loaded with saturated fat, butter, and lard.
And now, a hundred years later, heart disease is the leading killer of Americans. And this is despite the fact that we have replaced butter and lard with margarine and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, and sharply reduced our consumption of saturated fat. What's wrong with this picture?
(Left: artery clogged with plaque; right: a healthy, unclogged artery.)
Mainstream health care stresses over cholesterol levels while the pharmaceutical industry attempts to get more and more people on their best-selling drugs ever--statins (cholesterol lowering drugs.) Now saturated fats are suggested to be as bad as trans fats, and avoided like the plague. A healthy heart is nowhere to be found.
Could mainstream healthcare have it all wrong? Since heart disease was rare 100 years ago (a healthy heart was the rule), and saturated fat consumption was high, how could it and cholesterol be the primary cause of heart disease today? It is hard to go against the medical majority and admit that there is more to heart disease than high cholesterol numbers and saturated fat. (Read this...)
Polyunsaturated vegetable oils have also been connected to Alzheimer's disease, brain damage, as well as cardiovascular disease.
"My research clearly indicates that atherosclerosis appears to be initiated by a deficiency of vitamin C in the innermost lining of the arteries," notes Levy. "This deficiency sets in motion various plaque-building processes" (Dr. Thomas Levy, board certified cardiologist and a leading expert on vitamin C.)
Dr. Levy has written the book Stop America's #1 Killer!. He came to his conclusion which goes against mainstream medicine after years of research and poring over 650 scientific references. Dr. Levy makes these observations:
Prior to the 1900s, a healthy heart was commonplace in America.
An active lifestyle through hearty manual labor and whole, natural food were the reasons. Today the number one cause of death in America is heart disease. A lack of hearty manual labor and synthetic, artificial foods are to blame.
Will the life expectancy of man take a downturn in the near future? On average, man is living longer today than he did 100 years ago. The life expectancy of women was 87 years in 2000; for men it was 80 years.
Let us take a trip back in time to the early 1900s. My father who was born in 1898 grew up in the 1900s. Needless to say he had a healthy heart. Although life expectancy then (47 years) was shorter than it is today, people were not plagued with the chronic, degenerative diseases that afflict today's society.
The epidemic proportions of cancer, heart attacks, diabetes, strokes, Alzheimer’s disease and other diseases of modern civilization were unknown in the 1900s. Also unknown were sedentary encouraging gadgets such as video games, 24/7 TV, cell phones and web surfing. A healthy heart was the norm for those ties.
Cardiovascular disease (See July 19, 2007) caused only 15 percent of the deaths in America at the turn of the century. A healthy heart was common in those days. Today heart disease is responsible for over 50 percent of the deaths. Death from cancer was around 3 percent; today cancer claims approximately 25 percent of all Americans.
In 1900 there were only about 8,000 automobiles in America. Today an average sized city has many times that amount. The average family owns between 2 and 3 automobiles! The average citizen living in 1900 walked a great deal. This translated into a much more active lifestyle (and consequently, a healthy heart) than what we experience today. The active lifestyle back then encouraged a healthy heart.
When my father was growing up there were no household labor-saving devices. Electric washing machines, gasoline driven snow blowers and lawn mowers, and electric doors were yet future. Ordinary labor was a lot more physical in 1900 than today. This has a direct bearing on the decline of our health today. Machines are doing everything for us.
Study after study has shown that an active lifestyle (exercise) reduces the risk (See July 17, 2007) of cancer and other chronic diseases plaguing mankind today, and promotes a healthy heart. It is a possibility that America’s rising life expectancy will take a downturn in the near future. Medical authorities are saying that if the escalating obesity epidemic among our youth is not addressed soon, they will live shorter lives than their parents.
Another factor which prevented chronic diseases from crippling man in the 1900s was nutrition. Americans then actually ate more nutritious food. The quantity of refined foods that we have at our disposal today were not so readily available back then.
There were no fast food restaurants serving highly processed food. Although White Castle would come along in 1921, it would be another 27 years before its competitor, McDonald’s, would emerge. Families then ate nutritious home-cooked, farm-fresh meals. These meals consisted of natural meat and poultry that grazed on open land. The vegetables and fruit were farm-fresh.
Today our meat is factory-farmed and shot full of antibiotics and growth hormones. Our vegetables and fruit are saturated with pesticides and herbicides. Even the fish haven’t escaped man's dangerous chemicals. They are filled with mercury and PCBs.
Less active lives and a diet full of processed food, in addition to the toxins in the air we breathe and the water we drink and bathe in, have conspired to cultivate an atmosphere in which chronic diseases breed. Technology has indeed made our lives easier, but it has also brought along a curse. It is a double-edged sword. Because of this, a healthy heart is not prevalent in our society.
Man's life expectancy now is longer than it was in 1900. But technology is about to reverse that trend. In the meantime, many Americans are living longer but miserable lives due to degenerative diseases. A healthy heart will significantly contribute to longevity.
Our seniors are held captive in nursing homes unable to care for themselves. Others are held captive by pharmaceutical drugs which only relieve the symptoms of diseases rather than attacking the cause of it. Unfortunately, America’s health paradigm is ‘treatment’ rather than ‘prevention.’
Triglycerides are fats in the bloodstream that are created from too much glucose (blood sugar.) Excess glucose results from consuming high sugar-content products and refined carbohydrates. Both are standard in the American diet. Having a healthy heart is next to impossible with food which compose the standard American diet (SAD.)
Too many triglycerides in the bloodstream form lipoprotein. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is the stuff that clogs the arteries. Insulin acts like cement in that it makes lipoproteins stick to artery walls.
This is the reason diabetics have such high rates of heart disease. Their bloodstream is literally flooded with glucose. This excess glucose is quickly changed into triglycerides. When the pancreas secrete insulin to bring the blood sugar levels down, it, like glue, binds the resulting lipoproteins to artery walls. These conditions prevent a healthy heart.
There have been several studies which show that high triglyceride levels sharply increase the risk of heart attacks even when there are no other risk factors present, including cholesterol!
The upper limit for triglcerides is 150 mg/Dl. When levels hit 200, coronary artery disease doubles.
There is no known drug to lower triglyceride levels. This is why the pharmaceutical industries will remain focused on cholesterol-lowering drugs (statins.) They are the number one selling medications in the world.
The American diet is saturated with sugar. It's not just in traditionally sweetened snacks such as candies, cookies, cakes and pies either. Food manufacturers put sugar in ketchup, mayonnaise, and hot dog and hamburger buns. Pharmaceutical manufacturers place sugar in some medications too.
Not only does sugar contribute to excess weight and obesity, but to diseases such as Alzheimer's and heart disease. It does this through a process called glycation. No wonder a healthy heart is rare these days.
Glycation, or the Maillard reaction, results when a sugar and a protein molecule combine. It is this process which causes bread and pastries to turn brown when baked. Sugar (sucrose, fructose, lactose, etc.) mixes with certain amino acids in the grain proteins of flour.
In your body, glycation happens when blood sugar (glucose) combines with the amino acids tryptophan, lysine, and arginine. This reactive process creates byproducts known as AGEs (advanced glycation end products.) AGEs causes the body's cells to, well, age.
Researchers now think that AGEs accumulate in the body and take up permanent residence. AGEs form rapidly when the body has low levels of antioxidants and when the kidneys are weak, or not working properly.
Diabetics are especially vulnerable to AGEs. Large numbers are created when glucose levels are high.
Think about the 'runny' part of a raw egg. It is almost completely protein. When heated, the 'runny' portion changes through a chemical reaction from liquid to a solid, rubbery white substance. This is substantially what happens inside the body during glycation.
Since protein is located throughout the body, it can all be affected. When the protein in blood vessels undergo glycation, the arteries become less flexible, and lead to hypertension (high blood pressure), the formation of plaque, stroke, heart attack, and heart disease. A healthy heart is next to impossible to achieve in this environment.
What can you do to prevent the damage caused by AGEs? The very first thing to do is avoid refined products containing sugar (sucrose, dextrose, fructose, maltose, lactose, high fructose corn syrup.) At the very least, make sure that of one these ingredients is not listed first, second, third, or fourth on the ingredients label. AVOID HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP ENTIRELY! Besides foods, high fructose corn syrup is in most sodas and fruit juices and drinks.
Instead of using table sugar to sweeten beverages and baked goods, use stevia. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet (See also...)
The difference between the systolic and diastolic is known as pulse pressure. The higher the difference, the likelier your chance of having a heart attack or stroke. This is based on the Framingham study (a study of blood pressure) which examined 50 years of information from over 10,000 patients.
The most important cause of pulse pressure is stiffness and reduced elasticity of the aorta, the largest artery in the body. Normal pulse pressure is 40 or below. For instance, if my systolic was 117 and diastolic, 90, my pulse pressure would be 27. Conventional medicine would probably prescribe blood pressure medication.
People over 50 years old who die of heart attacks or some heart disease are dying because of high pulse pressures. This is not to say that systolic and diastolic should be ignored, but for this age group, pulse pressure is an important factor in a healthy heart.
Angina can happen to people with valvular heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart), or uncontrolled blood pressure. In order to have a healthy heart, lifestyle issues such as nutrition and exercise must be implemented.
A doctor using traditional medical techniques to diagnose angina would more than likely recommend a $10,000 angiogram and a $50,000 heart bypass. The following natural cure will cost you just a few dollars.
A cure for angina pectoris was discovered by accident. Dr. George Eby and Dr. Halcomb were using zinc gluconate in throat lozenges in a clinical trial to treat the common cold. A man with angina somehow was chosen as one of the study participants.
Although the lozenges didn't help his cold, it cured his angina pectoris. The participant was in his 60s, and suffered from angina for 15 years. It was so severe that he was on disability from his job. He took the 23 mg lozenges every 2 hours for 7 days. He was completely cured.
Another man with angina was cured with zinc (from zinc gluconate). He weighed over 300 pounds, and took 300 mg of zinc for 30 days.
Since 1981 Dr. Halcomb has given patients as little as 60 mg of zinc taken 3 times a day. Along with a change in diet and no smoking, they were also cured. In many cases, a pharmaceutical drug is not necessary in order to have a healthy heart.
The zinc doesn't just dilate the arteries, but seems to cleanse them as well.
Since heart disease is the leading killer in the world, a change in lifestyle is essential in order to have a healthy heart.
By the age of 40, a woman's chances of having coronary heart disease is ONE OUT OF THREE. For men, the chances are ONE OUT OF TWO!
Like the more familiar biceps (front of arms) and triceps (back of arms,) the heart is a muscle. As such, it needs exercise to strengthen it and make it work more efficiently.
What type of exercise do you need to do for a healthy heart? Cardiovascular. Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise speeds up the heart. When most people hear of aerobics, a treadmill immediately comes to mind. But non-stop circuit weight training will accomplish the same thing. And, in addition to the cardiovascular effect, weight training will build overall bone and muscle.
An old wives' tale says that exercise will spell eventual doom for the heart. Nothing could be further from the truth. As a matter of fact, exercise will lower your resting pulse.
Cardiologist Donald LaVan, M.D. and spokesperson for the American Heart Association says that, "...yes, absolutely, exercise benefits heart patients."
(1) The first test for your risk of developing heart disease is how flexible you are. A recent Japanese study found that people over the age of 40 who were the most flexible had 30 percent less stiffness in their arteries than less- flexible study participants.
The thinking is that by stretching 10 to 15 minutes a day may keep your arteries pliable, and congtribute to a healthy heart. The arteries may be positively affected by the elasticity of surrounding muscles and tissues.
(2) The second test for heart disease risk is the ratio of your waist to height. The important thing about the waist is the size of the abdominal fat cells. A Swedish study suggests that fat cell size may be the best indicator of your type 2 diabetes risk.
Diabetes increases your odds of developing a stroke and death from heart disease by 2 to 4 times. Waist size relative to your height is the most accurate means to determine abdominal fat.
In order to find your waist-to-height ratio, first measure your waist. Divide that number by your height in inches. The ratio should be less than 0.5.
By following these two steps, and incorporating exercise and a sound nutrition plan, you will have a healhy heart.
99 out of 100 people don't need statins.
Bill Clinton's life-changing decision.
Prevent Heart Attacks Homocysteine Cholesterol Lowering Drugs D.A.S.H. Diet Triglycerides AGEs HDL/LDL Cholesterol Blood Pressure Angina Pectoris Heart Disease Quiz Exercise the Heart Determine Your Heart Attack Risk Aspirin Hypertension 2 Simple Tests For Heart Disease Risk The Great Cholesterol Deception
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