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A new anti heart attack regime

MagazineMay 1992 (Vol. 3 Issue 2)A new anti heart attack regime

The new evidence debunking cholesterol lowering isn't license to tuck into bacon and chips every day

The new evidence debunking cholesterol lowering isn't license to tuck into bacon and chips every day. As a number of writers demonstrate, the problem is that medicine has probably fingered the wrong culprit (or only one of them). Numerous studies show that when more primitive populations begin to consume a Western diet, they start dying of heart attacks. But the main differential between what they're eating and what we're eating is not meat or fats but whole foods. The culprit appears to be the large scale adulterating or "dismembering" of everything we put in our mouths. This includes the massive addition of refined sugar, which increases blood fats and lowers the immune system. There's even evidence that all this wonderful low fat margarine advocated by governments as a low fat alternative to butter can clog up your arteries. Here's what the research of a variety of nutritionists like Drs Leo Galland and Stephen Davies now suggests. It goes without saying that any one suffering from heart disease should not embark on a diet without working with a nutritional doctor.

Eat whole foods. Whenever possible, eschew packaged and processed foods, anything that has been added to, refined, enriched or in some way interfered with. Especially steer clear of anything listing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, a non food which can block the the metabolism of essential fatty acids (see below).There is no reason to cut out or limit eggs, which are an excellent source of protein. In our view, refined foods are nine tenths of the cause of heart disease (see Second Opinion, p 8).Cook with butter or a small amount of unrefined cold pressed unsaturated oils like safflower, soy, olive or sunflower. Most oils that you see in the grocery store have been partially hydrogenated or, in the process of pressing, exposed to heat, which can destroy EFAs.

Consume a diet high in essential fatty acids, particularly the omega-3 EFAs, which are found in fatty deep water fish such as salmon, tuna and also in fish oil extract capsules and oils like linseed and walnut. Many nutritionists now believe that the lack of EFAs in our diet is the cause of all our modern day problems. This magical substance seems to do the opposite of what saturated animal fats do which is to enlarge blood vessels and make the blood less sticky. Galland also says that vitamin B6 is an important co-factor in helping the body to metabolize EFAs into prostaglandins.

Cut down on salt and increase your intake of magnesium and magnesium rich foods. Galland goes so far as to say that a "diet low in sodium chloride and high in magnesium and potassium will prevent hypertension and vascular diseases, especially if it is also rich in EFAs and low in non essential fats" .

Avoid margarine made from hydrogenated oils. At least three studies have shown that heart disease went down when countries stopped consuming margarine (like during WWII) and returned to butter. Margarine has even been implicated in low sperm counts. Another culprit could be the homogenization process in milk which at least one cardiac specialist shows causes hardening of arterial walls.

Increase your intake of fibre. Soluble fibre contained in vegetables, fruits, beans and oats seem to lower cholesterol.

Look to supplements like selenium and copper. Both have been shown to be deficient in heart disease patients.

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