Foods & Drinks

Dr Dwight Lundell, M.D. on Heart Disease

World Renown Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease

We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong.. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries,today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.

I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labelled “opinion makers.” Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol.

The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice.

It Is Not Working!

These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.

The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.

Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.

Inflammation is not complicated — it is quite simply your body’s natural defence to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process, a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.

What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body? Well,smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully.

The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.

What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.

Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.

Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation.

While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.

How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you sick?

Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.

When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.

What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.

While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator — inflammation in their arteries.

Let’s get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6’s are essential -they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell — they must be in the correct balance with omega-3’s.

If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.

Today’s mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That’s a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today’s food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal and healthy.

To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.

There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.

There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them.

One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.

Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.

The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.

What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.

Dr. Dwight Lundell is the past Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital , Mesa , AZ. His private practice, Cardiac Care Center was in Mesa, AZ. Recently Dr. Lundell left surgery to focus on the nutritional treatment of heart disease. He is the founder of Healthy Humans Foundation that promotes human health with a focus on helping large corporations promote wellness. He is also the author of The Cure for Heart Disease and The Great Cholesterol Lie.

Thoughts on organic foods

It’s been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish… All before making a human. He made and provided what we’d need before we were born. These are best & more powerful when eaten raw. We’re such slow learners…

God left us a great clue as to what foods help what part of our body!
God’s Pharmacy! Amazing!

A sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye.. And YES, science now shows carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes.

A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart has four chambers and is red. All of the research shows tomatoes are loaded with lycopine and are indeed pure heart and blood food.

Grapes hang in a cluster that has the shape of the heart. Each grape looks like a blood cell and all of the research today shows grapes are also profound heart and blood vitalizing food.

A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds on the nut are just like the neo-cortex. We now know walnuts help develop more than three (3) dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function.

Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the human kidneys.

Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and many more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. Bones are 23% sodium and these foods are 23% sodium. If you don’t have enough sodium in your diet, the body pulls it from the bones, thus making them weak. These foods replenish the skeletal needs of the body.

Avocadoes, Eggplant and Pears target the health and function of the womb and cervix of the female – they look just like these organs. Today’s research shows that when a woman eats one avocado a week, it balances hormones, sheds unwanted birth weight, and prevents cervical cancers. And how profound is this? It takes exactly nine (9) months to grow an avocado from blossom to ripened fruit. There are over 14,000 photolytic chemical constituents of nutrition in each one of these foods (modern science has only studied and named about 141 of them).

Figs are full of seeds and hang in twos when they grow. Figs increase the mobility of male sperm and increase the numbers of Sperm as well to overcome male sterility.

Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics.

Olives assist the health and function of the ovaries

Oranges , Grapefruits, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

Onions look like the body’s cells. Today’s research shows onions help clear waste materials from all of the body cells. They even produce tears which wash the epithelial layers of the eyes. A working companion, Garlic, also helps eliminate waste materials and dangerous free radicals from the body.

Aspartame

Aspartame, a chemical produced by Monsanto, is probably the worst of the several artificial sweeteners. It is known to cause neurological disease including brain disorders, muscle pain, nervousness, and a host of toxic reactions like parkinsons and autoimmune diseases.

Stay away from artificial sweeteners including Splenda (sucrolose). Sugar is a better sweetener than the chemical/artificial sweeteners. You just need to use common sense about how much sugar is acceptable in your diet. Natural sweeteners like stevia are the best. Maple syrup and honey are good. Low calorie sweeteners that are acceptable are erythritol, and xylitol made from sugar alcohols.

http://www.aim4health.com/nutrasweet.htm

Drinking Soda Presents a Higher Risk For Heart Attack

Men who love soda at higher risk for heart attack, say Harvard scientists; Sugary drink habit could kill
Drinking two sugary beverages a day increases cardiac risk by 42%

Experts have some not-so-sweet news for men who drink sodas and sugary drinks.
Downing just one sugary beverage a day can up your heart attack risk by 20%, according to research published by Harvard scientists in the journal Circulation.
The more soda or noncarbonated fruity drinks, the higher your risk.
Two servings ups your heart risk by 42%. Drink a soda with all three meals? Your risk increases by 69%.
The team of Harvard researchers found a strong correlation between sugary drinks and heart attack risk that held up even after factoring in smoking, physical activity, alcohol, family history and BMI, reports MSNBC.com.
Volunteers who kicked their soda and sweet-drink habits experienced lower blood pressure.
While this study didn’t take diet soda into account, recent studies have linked artificially sweetened drinks to increased stroke and heart attack risk.
While this research focused on men, researchers say, sweet drinks aren’t good for women either.
It’s a problem that can easily be solved if people just stopped sipping the high calorie beverages and paid more attention to what they’re imbibing, according to lead study author, Lawrence de Koning, a research fellow in the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.
“The first thing to do is to reduce the intake of sodas and then eventually eliminate them,” he said.

Original Research Article
Sweetened Beverage Consumption, Incident Coronary Heart Disease and Biomarkers of Risk in Men
Lawrence de Koning1; Vasanti S. Malik2; Mark D. Kellogg3; Eric B. Rimm4; Walter C. Willett4; Frank B. Hu4*
+Author Affiliations
1 Harvard School of Public Health & Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston MA;
2 Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA;
3 Children’s Hospital Boston, Boston MA;
4 Harvard School of Public Health & Medical School & Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA
↵* Corresponding author; email: fhu@hsph.harvard.edu
Abstract

Background—Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption is associated with weight gain and risk of type 2 diabetes. Few studies have tested for a relationship with coronary heart disease (CHD), or intermediate biomarkers. The role of artificially sweetened beverages is also unclear.
Methods and Results—We performed an analysis of the Health Professionals Follow-up study, a prospective cohort study including 42 883 men. Associations of cumulatively averaged sugar-sweetened (e.g. sodas) and artificially sweetened (e.g. diet sodas) beverage intake with incident fatal and non-fatal CHD (myocardial infarction) were examined using proportional hazard models. There were 3683 CHD cases over 22 years of follow-up. Participants in the top quartile of sugar-sweetened beverage intake had a 20% higher relative risk of CHD than those in the bottom quartile (RR=1.20, 95% CI: 1.09, 1.33, p for trend < 0.01) after adjusting for age, smoking, physical activity, alcohol, multivitamins, family history, diet quality, energy intake, BMI, pre-enrollment weight change and dieting. Artificially sweetened beverage consumption was not significantly associated with CHD (multivariate RR=1.02, 95% CI: 0.93, 1.12, p for trend = 0.28). Adjustment for self-reported high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure and diagnosed type 2 diabetes slightly attenuated these associations. Intake of sugar-sweetened but not artificially sweetened beverages was significantly associated with increased triglycerides, CRP, IL6, TNFr1, TNFr2, decreased HDL, Lp(a), and leptin (p values < 0.02).
Conclusions—Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was associated with increased risk of CHD and some adverse changes in lipids, inflammatory factors, and leptin. Artificially sweetened beverage intake was not associated with CHD risk or biomarkers.

Nitric Oxide Foods (article written and shared by Dan Hammer)

Nitric Oxide Foods

The core of a good cardiovascular program is learning how to choose nitric oxide foods and supplements that will enhance your endothelium’s ability to create nitric oxide – the master signaling molecule of your entire cardiovascular system. Just in this first line I introduced you to several key physiological terms that will absolutely reduce your risk for heart disease if you know how to maximize the benefits of nitric oxide foods.

Let’s start with your endothelium. This organ is now considered to be the largest secreting organ in your body. Unfortunately, most people have never heard of it, yet your endothelium lines all of your cardiovascular system. The inside of your heart, arteries, and veins are all lined by this one-celled thick organ. Your capillaries are just extensions of your endothelium. Most vascular researchers today believe that your endothelium ultimately controls most of your cardiovascular system. And one of its functions is to take nitric oxide foods and convert them into nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide is your body’s most powerful vasodilator. This means that it relaxes the smooth muscle of your vascular wall to properly control your blood pressure. Nitric oxide is a short-lived gas that contains a single nitrogen and oxygen atom that, when combined together, act as a signaling molecule. A signaling molecule is used by your body to cause something else to occur. In addition to helping you maintain a normal blood pressure, your cardiovascular system uses nitric oxide to keep your blood platelet cells from sticking together to prevent strokes and heart attacks. Nitric oxide is also used to heal and repair damage to the endothelium.

But it doesn’t end there. Your nervous system uses nitric oxide as a neurotransmitter to transmit impulses between nerve cells. Your immune system uses nitric oxide to destroy infectious agents like bacteria, viruses, and tumors. In fact there is not a cell, tissue, or organ in your body that is not directly or indirectly impacted by nitric oxide. You could not live without it and the 1998 Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to three American researchers who discovered how the endothelium produces this life-saving and live-enhancing gas called nitric oxide.

Given this information wouldn’t it make sense to learn which nitric oxide foods will nourish your endothelium for improved nitric oxide production?

Nitric Oxide Foods – What Are They?
When we look at nitric oxide foods we’re looking for foods that contain the amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline. Technically speaking your endothelium uses L-arginine to create nitric oxide. The reason why I include L-citrulline is because this amino acid will recycle L-arginine to turbo charge your production of nitric oxide.

Most research indicates that for you to receive a therapeutic benefit from L-arginine you need to consume at least 5 grams of this amino acid at one time. So I selected 4 nitric oxide foods that I thought would be common food choices. I did the math conversions to look at how much of these nitric oxide foods you would need to eat to take in 5 grams of L-arginine. I also looked at the number of calories and grams of fat it would bring into your body. Peanuts provide the smallest quantity of food but they pack on 70 grams of fat and 918 calories. Beans, tuna, or chicken breasts are your better choices but you would need to consume at least:

one can of beans or
two cans of tuna or
almost 1 pound of chicken to get a therapeutic benefit.
The other amino acid is L-citrulline. There is not much of a choice in nitric oxide foods for this amino acid. Watermelon is your one and only good food choice. Unfortunately, 60% of the L-citrulline is contained in the rind portion of the watermelon which most people never eat. You would have to eat over a pound of watermelon to get even close to the amount of L-citrulline your body would need for a therapeutic benefit.

When people realize all the food they need to eat, and the limited menu they have to choose from, they begin to ask the question:

Is it better to get these critical amino acids through nitric oxide foods or supplementation?

Comparing costs between nitric oxide foods and supplementation, your total daily food cost could range from $2.50 to $7.00 depending on whether it’s organic or processed food. Your supplement cost is usually around $2.00 or less.

So supplementation costs you less and doesn’t have the added concern of fat grams and calories to your diet. You just need to make sure you choose a good supplement company because the quality of the L-arginine and L-citrulline makes a huge difference.

How Long Will Nitric Oxide Foods Provide a Benefit?
Now, I need to make one more important point about nitric oxide foods and supplements as it applies to these two amino acids.

When you bring in a therapeutic level of L-arginine, it typically results in a 30 minute to 2 hour window of improved nitric oxide production. When you combine your L-arginine with L-citrulline, you increase this therapeutic production of nitric oxide to 24 to 36 hours. This has huge health benefits in helping you to control your blood pressure and repairing the damage done to the endothelium.

This is so important that the 1998 Nobel Laureate Dr. Louis J. Ignarro had this to say in his 2005 bestseller NO More Heart Disease:

“Any supplement program that does not contain L-citrulline and antioxidants to augment the L-arginine – and most on the market do not – is missing out on a major piece of the potential of nitric oxide to improve your cardiovascular health.”

Learning how to properly nourish, heal, and support your endothelium through proper nitric oxide foods and supplements is a much more cost effective way in reducing the risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This is especially important for those who have high blood pressure. Since 33 percent of the American adult population has high blood pressure, and 25 percent are in the pre-hypertensive condition, choosing nitric oxide foods and supplements could be a tremendous health strategy for the prevention of heart disease.

Together we can work to save a million lives by teaching them the benefits of nitric oxide foods!

Dan Hammer