Posted on: October 5, 2020
We’ve heard it so often that we usually tune it out: Cardiovascular disease (CVD), which includes heart disease, is the #1 killer worldwide.
But look at these numbers. In the year 2017 alone: 647,457 U.S. citizens died of CVD¹. That was almost one-quarter of all deaths from all causes: 23 percent.
CVD is a true pandemic, and it’s happening every single year
But keep reading for good news ahead.
What is cardiovascular disease?
As the name implies, CVD is disease of the heart (cardio) and blood vessels (vascular system).
For decades, scientists have tried to identify why this disease has been rising, and how to combat it.
They saw that arteries and blood vessels became clogged with cholesterol, which could then break off in clots and get stuck in smaller blood vessels, cutting off circulation and oxygen. When that happened in the heart or the brain, it often meant quick death or brain and/or nerve damage.
Researchers looked at the cholesterol often present and said, “That’s the problem: too much cholesterol². Everyone must stop eating cholesterol.”
You may have heard the scientific saying, “Correlation does not mean causation.” For example, fire trucks are present when a house is on fire. They are seen together (correlated) at the same time. Yet, that doesn’t mean fire trucks caused the fire. But this was how scientists looked at cholesterol.
Then they labeled different types of cholesterol, calling low-density lipoprotein (LDL) the “bad” kind, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) “good” or healthy. The media drilled into the public for decades that high-cholesterol foods were bad. Eventually, the message morphed into “fats are bad” and “fats make you fat.” Low-fat everything became the fashion. Food manufacturers replaced fat in their products with higher sugar and refined carbohydrates.
The low-fat push was a public health disaster. Cardiovascular disease kept rising, and people got fatter and sicker.
This fact was ignored: We need fat. But it has to be the right kind.
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What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat produced by the body, and we need it. Tests even show that people with too little cholesterol are more likely to die from all causes.
Our brains need fat. In fact, fat comprises 60 percent of the brain³. The fat in the brain is involved in the production of all the cell membranes in the body, as well as the transport of key vitamins in the bloodstream, such as A, D, E, and K.
In addition, cholesterol is a precursor to hormone production. Research has shown that women with very low cholesterol often have fertility issues, mood swings, and depression.
Our brains and bodies need fats, but they need essential fatty acids, the good fats, not deadly trans fats that have become more like plastic than food. Trans fats are abundant in processed, fried, junk, fast, and sugary foods. They gunk up our insides, contributing to inflammation and disease. For example, typical bakery cupcakes (with icing mounded three inches high) are loaded with these dangerous trans fats. Please don’t see them as “treats.”
Almost no one changes their lifestyle overnight, but step-by-step, you can implement healthier choices.
The key is always, and has always been, balance.
CVD: true causes and solutions
Doctors and researchers work to stem the rising tide of heart disease. However, their “solutions” usually consist of surgery (stents, bypasses) and drugs (blood thinners, statins).
The world isn’t seeing skyrocketing heart disease because our bodies are deficient in medications such as statins.
Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “health is true wealth.” Many people believed that “burning the candle at both ends,” sacrificing healthy lifestyle habits, in the pursuit of success, was necessary. Trading your health for success is a bad trade.
Plus, there’s no need for it! You can still “live the good life” while giving your body the healthy inputs it needs. You are in charge. And success will be more fulfilling if you’re healthy.
Think of health as a balance scale, like the famous statue, “Blind Justice,” holding two scales, hanging from an upside-down “T” fulcrum. Imagine the right-hand scale representing health. On the left, illness (or dis-ease).
Imagine the “right” side of the scales as being like your health bank account. The heavier it is, the more reserves you have in your health account.
With more inputs on the health side, that side of the scale is heavier and we are healthier. Healthy inputs include appropriate sunlight, proper nutrition, healthy relationships, exercise, restful sleep, pure water, and clean air.
The problem with modern society is that the scale is too heavy on the unhealthy side. It’s loaded down with excessive stress; poor diet, such as refined, sugared, trans fat fried, and junk food; alcohol; air pollution (including cigarette smoke); a sedentary lifestyle; and excess body weight.
The road to heart disease is paved most often with too much of the bad and not enough of the good in our lifestyles.
This is great news! Because it means you are not at the mercy of a mysterious health problem. Instead, you can do something about these factors to tip the balance toward living a long life free from heart disease.
However, most conventionally trained allopathic doctors offer only one solution to high cholesterol: statins.
I strongly urge you to investigate that opinion. Do your own research. After all, you would be the one dealing with any unwanted side effects, not your doctor. Perhaps, in your case, statins truly are the best option.
However, in many, many cases, solid research supports using safer options first.
What’s wrong with statins?
Statin drugs can’t give you a free pass to live an unhealthy lifestyle and have everything work perfectly. In fact, no drug can!
Alarmingly, statins carry risks of more than 300 serious negative side effects⁴. They deplete many essential nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, B12, E, CoQ10, and many more.
Some of the serious negative side effects include increased risk of:
- brain damage,
- diabetes (type 2)
- liver damage
- muscle damage (remember, the heart IS a muscle!), and
- nerve damage
Lowering high levels of LDL isn’t the only key to curbing CVD. Numerous studies show that high LDL is not even an accurate predictor of who is at risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
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Statins are commonly prescribed as the only solution for bringing “bad cholesterol” down. However, new research reveals that there is no bad cholesterol. All cholesterol, in balance, plays a role in the incredibly intricate workings of the body.
Statins may be shooting at the wrong target, and they may be causing unacceptable levels of collateral damage.
Most people just don’t know what else to do. That’s why I want to educate you.
You should always be the one in charge of your health.
You hold the key
The answer is in our lifestyles. We can tip our scales to the healthy side by what we do: exercise, proper nutrition, water, sleep, managing stress, recreation, adequate sunlight, and healthy relationships.
Some people say, “Oh, changing my lifestyle is too hard.” Believe me, it’s much harder to be sick and in pain.
Ask yourself: “Is dementia, diabetes, cancer, and excruciating nerve pain worth clinging to an unhealthy lifestyle?”
Safe alternatives you can implement now.
1. Fiber: Studies show that psyllium hull powder lowers LDL (when used with statins) faster than using statins alone. Therefore, it makes sense to use psyllium fiber regardless! Fiber also improves many other body systems, including bowel regularity (which assists in removing toxins) and feeling full faster (which often leads to weight loss).
2. Fitness: We were born to move, not sit. Exercise keeps our blood flowing and our blood vessels flexible. The more you move, the more “wealth” you’re storing on the healthy side of your balance scale. No pill can correct the damage done by a sedentary lifestyle. Working your muscles stimulates human growth hormone (the “youth hormone,” HgH). Try it! You may see that you feel better, more alive. Whatever you do, move more. Your vitality depends on it.
3. Curcumin: I use this natural anti-inflammatory in my practice and have found it safe and effective.
4. Red Rice Yeast Extract: Like curcumin, this natural product offers a safe pathway toward balance. I also use plant sterols in my practice to help normalize unhealthy cholesterol levels safely.
5. Eat a healthy Mediterranean-style diet, which is satisfying, delicious, and easy to follow. Check out these tips for shifting your eating habits:
- Focus on consuming a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats, daily
- Reduce red meat and opt for fish, poultry, eggs, and beans
- Use healthy fats when cooking, replacing butter or margarine with extra virgin olive oil
- Moderate the amount of dairy in your diet, choosing Greek yogurt and small amounts of cheese
Multiple factors play into the heart disease pandemic, and most of them, you can control yourself, without the intervention of drugs and surgery.
If you have CVD warning signs, the one thing you don’t want to do is nothing. Heart disease is called the silent killer for good reason. Often, the first symptom is the last… forever.
Choose a healthy, vibrant life. I can help you, as I have countless others, to navigate a safe course of action that will work for you and your lifestyle.
Book an appointment with me today.