Transcript: Everything in Moderation? Even Heart Disease?
What if we don’t just want low risk for a heart attack, but no risk? One great stumbling block has been that government and national health organizations appear to have taken the patronizing view that the public can’t handle the truth and would rather the science be watered down.
But, as Dr. Esselstyn wrote in Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, in cholesterol lowering, moderation kills. Even if all Americans kept their total cholesterol below 200 mg/dL, millions would develop coronary artery disease. Strong evidence showed we need to keep our total cholesterol under 150 to stem America's epidemic of coronary artery disease. What kind of evidence? Well, in many cultures, coronary artery disease is practically unheard of when total serum cholesterol levels are under 150 mg/dL. And here in the U.S., in the famous Framingham Heart Study, few of those with levels below 150 developed heart disease, and none died of it.
Here’s data from the 26-year follow-up of the Framingham Heart Study: the cholesterol levels of people that get heart attacks and the cholesterol levels of those who don’t. Because we now know that 35% of heart attacks occur in people with total cholesterol levels between 150 and 200, and a target level of only 200 guarantees that millions of US citizens will perish of coronary disease.
We cannot continue to have public and private organizations on the forefront of health leadership recommend to the public a dietary plan that guarantees that millions will perish from the very disease the guidelines were supposed to prevent. With its lack of fiber and antioxidants and its emphasis on animal protein, fat, and extreme free-radical production, the US diet is largely responsible for our bitter harvest of chronic diseases.
If the coronary artery disease epidemic is seen as a raging fire, and cholesterol and fats are the fuels, the American Heart Association has merely recommended cutting the flow of fuel. The only tenable solution is to cut off the fuel supply altogether--by reducing cholesterol levels to those proven to prevent coronary disease.
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 Katie Schloer.
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