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Dr. Sinatra & Others Speaking Out – Cholesterol is Not the Cause of Heart Disease

www.mypicshares.com

For decades, mainstream medicine and health professionals have regarded cholesterol as the enemy of circulatory health.  Yet, in the last few years a number of outspoken medical and health professionals have courageously put their reputations and careers on the line to shatter this myth.

Why? These doctors want their patients to get out of the perpetual cycle of sickness and into prevention and wellness. And, they want the public to know the truth about what really causes heart disease…and it’s definitely not what you would think.

How did this myth begin?

Since the earlier part of the 20th century, doctors have been rallying around the idea that cholesterol causes heart disease.

In 1913, Russian researcher Nikolaj Nikolajewitsch fed cholesterol to rabbits and made the conclusion that their cholesterol levels went up (with no acknowledgement whatsoever that cholesterol is not a normal part of a rabbit’s diet).

And the idea that plaque deposits collecting in the blood vessels due to diet was born.

At the same time, companies like Proctor & Gamble were busy creating products that would replace animal fats as a way to increase profits. Read the full story of how this famous company single-handedly turned an engineered substance into a food that was introduced to kitchens in the early 1900s through clever campaigns and to this day is still found in a large percentage of processed foods on the market, and which has been heralded as a “heart-healthy” alternative to real, wholesome animal fats.

The Framington Heart Study which began in 1948 and is ongoing looked at a link between the consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol levels. A survey was taken in Framingham, MA where 6,000 people answered questions about diet and lifestyle.  Researchers observed that individuals with weight problems and had abnormally high blood cholesterol levels were slightly more at risk to develop heart disease.

But actually, not all individuals in this study had high cholesterol levels. And yet, just those few who did were the ones which caused the skewed results of the study to be widely publicized. What was not revealed about those who were at higher risk was that many of these people also had sedentary lifestyles, consumed a high carbohydrate diet, smoked, and also had high cholesterol. What is not commonly told is that the more cholesterol and saturated fat people consume, this actually lowers their cholesterol levels.

The work of Dr. Ancel Keys is often cited as proof that cholesterol is harmful to heart health. In 1953, he published a well-known study which became the basis of support for the Cholesterol Theory. His Seven Countries Study made a connection between heart disease and dietary fat. What is not acknowledged is that any study he looked at which didn’t go along with his hypothesis – especially those consuming low-fat diets and which also had a strong connection to mortality from cardiovascular disease – was excluded from the final results! It’s also important to know that his full study included data from 22 countries – also excluded because it didn’t fit with what he wanted.

The result was that the health communities rallied around this false study and started campaigning to remove all animal fats from the population’s diet: red meat, eggs, butter and other dairy, and anything that was perceived as “artery clogging”. It is this and the Framington Heart studies which have been largely responsible for starting and perpetuating the lie that cholesterol causes heart disease.

Dr. Stephen Sinatra

In the book, The Great Cholesterol Myth, cowritten with Johnny Bowden, Ph.D, the failed theory that cholesterol is the cause of heart disease is debunked. They explain why saturated fat is good for your health and why it “helps to raise beneficial HDL cholesterol, improving your triglyceride/HDL ratio—a key marker of cardiovascular health.”

He says to eat beef – and to make sure it’s grassfed beef, butter, nuts, and eggs. These foods are not only okay for us to eat, but vital to health! He also whole-heartedly agrees that vegetable oil is to be avoided – which is damaged during high heat processes in both manufacturing and in cooking. These oils are almost always from GMO sources, and are too high in Omega 6s – which cause excess inflammation in the body and is found in too high amounts in the Standard American diet. He also agrees that we should definitely be using extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil in our diets.

Although I am not a fan of Dr. Oz, he did a recent interview with Dr. Sinatra and Johnny Bowden that you should watch:

Part I and

Part II

Dr. Dwight Lundell

A heart surgeon with 25 years experience, Dr. Dwight Lundell, M.D. has brought the truth to light by admitting that for years he towed the party line in treating heart disease as a condition that was caused by elevated blood cholesterol due to dietary intake of saturated fat. He also reveals that anyone who went against using prescription medication for treating this issue was considered insubordinate and to do so could “possibly result in malpractice.”

Dr. Lundell also founded the Healthy Humans Foundation to help people break out of the cycle of reactive medicine which treats disease with drugs and surgery, to forward the principles of truly healthy diets and real prevention of chronic disease.

Listen to Dr. Lundell’s interview on Jimmy Moore’s site Livin La Vida Low-Carb. Also read The Cure for Heart Disease by Dr. Lundell.

Still not convinced that saturated fats are good for our health?

Answer this important question:

Why are disease rates so high – obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and related conditions of Metabolic Disorder? If saturated fat is the enemy and we are told to avoid it, wouldn’t that correspond to a decrease – rather than an increase in these health conditions? This is because the Standard American Diet is replete in processed foods including a lot of sugar and refined carbs, very few real, whole foods that are from healthy, organic, and sustainable sources which have good bacteria, enzymes, minerals, and vitamins.

Sugar is one of the biggest enemies of heart disease, found in various studies and health professionals which reveal the connection between regular consumption of refined sugar and health problems:

The profound research of Dr. Weston A. Price – a dentist and nutritionist who traveled all over the world to 14 different countries for a decade of time during the 1930s, discovered something similar: that all healthy populations were eating diets of indigenous, local foods – including almost TEN times the amount of fat-soluble vitamins from animal and bird foods. These foods were not treated with chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, or GMOs. These groups of people were healthy, robust, and free of physical and mental disease.

In contrast, those civilizations that did experience chronic disease were those who had introduced the following substances into their diets: vegetable oils, white flour, and white sugar.  

Read Dr. Price’s groundbreaking book (available in its entirety online), Nutrition and Physical Degeneration for more information.

More information:

What’s the real scoop on red meat and mortality rates?

The importance of dietary fats

The grassfed meat challenge: busting myths about meat

Activism Green Living Healthy Living Healthy Meat Toxin Alert!

What I Think of Meatless Mondays

www.mypicshares.com

The term “Meatless Mondays” has become synonymous in health communities with “going green” and having a lesser impact on the environment, and its supposed positive effect on human health.

You’ll see this highly marketed term used in many places, and especially where vegetarian diets are promoted.  While I’m not necessarily being critical of vegetarian diets, I’d like to discuss the reasons why these ideas are simply untrue.

The Environmental Working Group has just come out with The Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change + Health on their web site.  To have a better impact on the environment and our health, it is recommended that we: 

  • Eat less meat and dairy
  • Eat greener meat when you do eat it
  • Eat more plants
  • Waste less meat
  • Eat lower-fat dairy products
  • Speak out

Eating more plants and grains doesn’t improve your health

Animal products from sustainable sources have more nutrients and are more bio-available for digestion, period. If you can’t digest the nutrients in the food you eat, your health will suffer. Plants and grains contain phytates which inhibit the absorption of nutrients – especially minerals – in the body.

To increase digestibility, plants should be eaten with animal products or cooked (such as with butter, olive or coconut oil, or lard) to make them more easily digestible. Cultured and fermented vegetables are even more easy to digest, but the EWG and most other sources of health information don’t mention any of these important facts.

Many people have issues with grains, and because grains are monumentally different than they were in the historical past, this has caused and contributed to a lot of health issues such as gluten intolerance, celiac disease, and many digestive as well as auto-immune issues.

Contrary to what many health and nutrition web sites are saying (yes, even some real food health sites), grains should be eaten quite sparingly or avoided altogether – especially if you have health issues and digestive compromise. If you do eat grains, they should always be prepared properly through soaking, sprouting, or fermenting.  Read this informative post from Archevore, Avoid Poison or Neutralize It about why soaking, sprouting, and fermenting don’t adequately remove all phytates from grains.

Low-fat foods are recommended for consumption by many health sources. But, low-fat foods are changed from how they occur in nature, and in many cases have the fat content replaced with sugar, chemicals, or a combination of the two. They are also usually pasteurized and/or homogenized, which denatures delicate proteins and enzymes necessary for digestion. Low-fat foods are not good for our health and can actually cause health issues to occur.

Fats and cholesterol are critical in our diets. Our brains are almost entirely comprised of fats, and we need the nutrients found in animal fats such as fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamins A, D, and K, minerals such as zinc (often lacking in vegetarian diets), conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), minerals like zinc, iron, and phosphorus, and Omega 3s (just to name a few) for nearly every aspect of health including mood and nervous system function, circulatory/respiratory, endocrine, digestive, reproductive, skin/eyes/hair, eliminatory, and detox.

In the 1930s, Dr. Weston A. Price discovered as he traveled around the world to study the diet of various populations that all groups who consumed a regular source of clean animal fat in their diets had the most vibrant health. These populations, who ate no processed foods consumed TEN TIMES the amount of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K2 than those living in developed countries from animal foods.

Grass-fed meats are a superior source for these nutrients. We are hard-wired to crave fats and proteins, which provide us not just with with critical nutrients but also lasting energy (you can’t say that about carbohydrates, which burn through our bodies very quickly). They stabilize our moods and blood sugar, and provide an indispensible support for our metabolic systems.

If you have issues digesting meat, Dr. Thomas Cowan suggests consuming it with a gelatin-rich, home-made stock from the bones of animals to help digest the nutrients. This allows your digestive tract to become healed so that it can then absorb all the valuable nutrients found in meats. Home-made stock is an excellent calcium source, which you will need if you aren’t consuming dairy products.

Does eating meat give us cancer and heart disease?

(UPDATE: March 2012)

A recent flawed study put out by Harvard School of Public Health tells us that eating meat will decrease our life spans. I wrote a post about this, showing in detail why this study has  many holes in it. One of the main reasons is that this study and many others like it don’t take into account the vast nutritional differences between factory-farm meat, which is mostly what people eat, and healthy, grassfed meats from animals on pasture.  As well, humans have eaten naturally-raised meats for thousands upon thousands of years, which has allowed humanity to not only survive but thrive.

Does eating less meat save the planet?

Currently, the most common method of meat production is performed in horrific and artificial conditions. Animals and birds are in small spaces, not allowed to roam, graze, forage or engage in natural behaviors. They are pumped full of growth hormones, antibiotics, and fed corn, soy, and grain which is cheap and makes them fat quickly. Commercial farming pollutes and destroys everything in its wake, producing carbon gases at nearly every stage in the process, which absolutely contributes to the industrial overheating of the planet.

Sustainable, grass-fed farming is good for the environment and does not contribute to climate change or global warming. Once again, EWG ignores critical research showing that different types of farming produces different results. As pointed out by Anna Lappe in Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at The End of Your Fork and What you Can Do About It, grass-fed farming actually “produces a net benefit, as well-managed grazing can help store carbon in soils.” Her discovery revealed that “converting some of the land currently used for feed production to grass-fed beef production, emissions per acre would be significantly lower.”

As far as saving the planet…how exactly does eating low-fat dairy accomplish this? Creating low-fat foods is an artificial process which requires chemicals and toxins used in their manufacturing and production. So, I challenge anyone to prove exactly how this is good for our health or the environment.

Does eating less meat save money?

No doubt, meats and meat products are typically more expensive than plant foods. No argument there. But what are you getting for your dollar when you buy animal products versus plant products? If you refer to Nourished Kitchen’s Nutrient Showdown, you’ll see that when you compare plant and animal foods for nutrient content (using information from Nutrition Data), animal foods win hands down. To get the maximum nutrients, one of the best places to put your food dollars is in sustainable animal products.

When you eat real, grassfed and sustainable meats from healthy animals on pasture, the meat is packed with nutrients, and you will naturally eat less. But if sometimes you need to eat more, don’t feel guilty about it. If you are doing it occasionally to save money or stretch your meat out, that’s just fine. I’m all for saving money, and in this economy, every dollar counts.

You can easily replace meat in any meal with traditional, healthy fats  such as raw dairy from healthy cows on pasture, coconut, or olive oil.  You can also have an economical and nourishing dinner cooking vegetables and rice or potatoes using bone broth, lard, or tallow from healthy animals on pasture.  That’s right. Even though it’s not “meatless”, it is nonetheless delicious, nutritionally superior, and satisfying – contrary to what mainstream medical and health sources tell us.

More information on nutrient-dense foods that support vibrant health:

How well do you know your food? Find out!

What are traditional foods?

The grass-fed meat challenge: busting myths about meat