Transcript: Blocking the First Step of Heart Disease
The best way to prevent a massive heart attack and to prevent atherosclerosis is to start at step number one, blocking the buildup of cholesterol, which is a direct result of having too much LDL cholesterol in our bloodstream, which is a direct result of eating three things: #1 saturated fat: found mostly in meat, dairy, eggs, #2 trans fat: found mostly in processed junk and animal products, and #3 the consumption of cholesterol itself: found in meat, dairy, and especially eggs.
Elevated LDL cholesterol levels is also caused, as we have seen, by the lack of consumption of fiber, found in all whole plant foods. Since we evolved to eat enormous quantities of fiber, when we don’t, our LDL ends up much higher than it’s supposed to be.
Since all plants have fiber and all animals have saturated fat and cholesterol, in general, all whole plant foods tend to lower our risk of dying from our number one killer, and whole animal foods tend to raise our risk. There are, however, processed plant foods that do raise cholesterol: hydrogenated vegetable oil, for example—and processed animal foods that don’t—skim milk and egg whites.
In animal models, animal proteins alone increase cholesterol, but in people, it’s more the animal fat and cholesterol. Or at least in adults. There was a study of one to three years olds that found that swapping in wheat protein for milk protein dramatically lowered cholesterol, and then when they went back to milk protein, it rose back up again, but, as the researchers admit they couldn’t completely control for the cholesterol— the use of the milk protein casein precludes the preparation of a cholesterol free diet, cholesterol and animal products go hand in hand, just as it's hard to create a plant-based diet without some fiber slipping in— even when they tried putting kids on white flour instead of whole wheat.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Serena.
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