Everything in Moderation? Even Heart Disease?

Everything in Moderation? Even Heart Disease?
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Health authorities appear to have taken the patronizing view that the public can’t handle the truth and would rather the science be watered down.

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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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Nathan Adams via Flickr.

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.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Nathan Adams via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

It’s worth rewatching and pausing on the Framingham data, the graph with the bell curves. That’s a very important concept to understand. At first glance, it looks like those who get heart disease and those who don’t have very similar cholesterol levels, but that’s only at “normal” levels. To get an Optimal Cholesterol Level, one has to eat an exceedingly healthy diet. It’s worth it, though, since we’re not just talking life and death with heart disease, but life and the #1 cause of death.

For more on this concept of being at normal risk and dying from all the normal diseases, watch When Low Risk Means High Risk.

And I continue this streak of questioning the patronizing paternalism of authorities in the next video, Optimal Diet: Just Give It to Me Straight, Doc

What’s so bad about having high cholesterol? It’s not just involved in the formation of atherosclerotic plaque. Cholesterol Crystals May Tear Through Our Artery Lining.

But wait a second. What about fluffy versus dense cholesterol? See Does Cholesterol Size Matter?

Can’t you just take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs? Check out The Actual Benefit of Diet vs. Drugs.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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