NutritionFacts.org

heart disease

Heart disease is the #1 killer in the United States, and cholesterol is considered the cause This means that the heart disease epidemic can be essentially eliminated with a plant-based diet, which is free of cholesterol and saturated animal fat. If it’s that simple, why didn’t your doctors ever mention it? Because they may not know. The USDA has been accused of ignoring such research in creating the Dietary Guidelines, whereas in Finland they have made more evidence-based decisions. The balance of evidence suggests that a plant-based diet (for example, here, here, here, here, and here) is protective against and may even reverses heart disease. Medicare has even approved this approach to treating heart disease. Plant foods contain a lot of heart-healthy fiber and don’t have any significant amount of cholesterol, which is found in animal-products (most of all in eggs and brains).

When it comes to eggs, even eating one a day is dangerous, since it contains more than the safe limit of cholesterol (which can raise blood cholesterol levels; see also here) and has been shown to shorten one’s lifespan. Meat increases heart disease mortality. Chicken, in addition to its significant cholesterol content, may also contain arsenic (unlike its healthier alternative – plant-based chicken). Dairy contains saturated fat as well as harmful hormones and industrial pollutants. And fish should not be considered heart-healthy due to mercury. Furthermore, fish products (even distilled fish oil) contain harmful industrial pollutants.

There are many plant foods which are protective against heart disease. These include greens (especially dark leafy ones), vegetables (especially those high in nitric oxide), soy and other beans (here for a comparison), nuts (including peanut butter), tea (especially green tea), flax seeds, whole grains rather than white flour, red rice, coffee and cocoa (in powder form, not chocolate), avocadoes, Ceylon cinnamon, kale, Indian gooseberries (also here), dried fruit, and golden raisins and currants. Either raw or cooked veggies prevent heart disease (though cooking in some circumstances can boost nutrient absorption). It’s also important to exercising an hour each day, not smoke, and sleep 7 hours per night.

Pomegranate juice and vitamin C supplements have not been found to be useful, and vitamin A, vitanmin E, and Beta-Carotene supplements should probably be avoided altogether. One should also try to minimize exposure to coconut oil and coconut milk, salt, and BPA in plastics. Erectile dysfunction may be an early warning sign of heart disease. Finally, alcohol is protective against heart disease, but is not recommended.

Poultry workers exhibit an excess of heart disease deaths. A vegetable-based low carb diet is not dangerous like an animal-based one is. AGEs from diet increase heart disease as well as other diseases. Transfats, saturated fats, cholesterol and fast food should be avoided.

Dr. Greger covers heart disease in his full-length presentation, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, where he explores the role diet may play in preventing, treating, and even reversing our top 15 killers.

See also the related blog post: Generic Lipitor is not the answer to our heart disease epidemic, Heart disease: there is a cure, The Last Heart Attack: Perfect timing for the launch of NutritionFacts.org

Topic summary contributed by Eitan.
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Watch videos about heart disease

  • One in a Thousand: Ending the Heart Disease Epidemic
    One in a Thousand: Ending the Heart Disease Epidemic
    Many of our most common diseases found to be rare or even nonexistent among populations eating plant-based diets.
  • Cavities and Coronaries: Our Choice
    Cavities and Coronaries: Our Choice
    Coronary heart disease, our #1 cause of death, was found to be almost non-existent in a population eating a diet centered around whole plant foods.
  • Phosphate Additives in Chicken
    Phosphate Additives in Chicken
    The phosphorus preservatives injected into poultry may not just be an arterial toxin. They also appear to dramatically increase the growth of food poisoning Campylobacter bacteria.
  • Phosphate Additives in Meat Purge and Cola
    Phosphate Additives in Meat Purge and Cola
    The consumption of phosphorus preservatives in junk food and injected into meat may damage blood vessels, accelerate the aging process, and contribute to osteoporosis.
  • Lifestyle Medicine: Treating the Causes of Disease
    Lifestyle Medicine: Treating the Causes of Disease
    If doctors can eliminate some of our leading killers by treating the underlying causes of chronic disease better than nearly any other medical intervention, why don’t more doctors do it?
  • Eggs, Choline, and Cancer
    Eggs, Choline, and Cancer
    Choline may be the reason egg consumption is associated with prostate cancer progression and death.
  • Eggs and Choline: Something Fishy
    Eggs and Choline: Something Fishy
    Too much choline, a compound concentrated in eggs and other animal products, can make bodily secretions smell like rotting fish and may increase the risk of heart disease due to conversion in the gut...
  • BOLD Indeed: Beef Lowers Cholesterol?
    BOLD Indeed: Beef Lowers Cholesterol?
    The beef industry designed a study to show that a diet containing beef was able to lower cholesterol if one cuts out enough poultry, pork, fish, and cheese to halve one’s total saturated fat
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