Wave goodbye to the fat-free era.
I think it really might be put to rest. This is good news in my books, because increasing our dietary fat can actually help us loose the taste and cravings for all those tempting processed, non-foods (which seems to be what’s clogging our arteries in the first place).
The fat free fail
We’re understanding more than ever, that certain fats are healthy for the body – the heart included. It’s the hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans-fats – which are basically ultra heated and processed veggie oils that have been turned from liquid to solid at room temperature. When heated, especially to high temperatures, these oils degrade into oxidation products – and guess what? More than 100 dangerous oxidation products have been found in a single piece of chicken fried in vegetable oil!
These are the oils responsible for contributing to massive inflammation.
Sugar’s not so sweet
More and more attention has been put on sugar and it’s devastating effects on the body; as regular consumption of nutritionally void refined grains and processed sugars tend to be the most detrimental to our health. The good news is that something as simple as a reduction in sugar-laden foods, can help nourish all our organs – including our heart.
The problem with sugar is that it contributes to inflammation of the arterial walls. It does that by generating an insulin spike, and when insulin spikes continuously it starts to ravage the fragile, but ultra-important endothelial lining of blood vessels. If the endothelial lining becomes damaged, all the well-known precursors of cardiovascular problems swarm to the scene and create the inflammatory mayhem that eventually leads to heart attack and stroke.
What’s worse is that excessive sugar consumption can also cause weight gain. Weight gain, combined with sustained high insulin levels, can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes—which further increases your risk of cardiovascular disease.
– Dr. Stephen Sinatra
How can you cut your sugar intake to protect your heart?
1. Beware of high fructose corn syrup
Most of the sugar you eat is “hidden,” usually under the disguise of high fructose corn syrup. This corn-based sweetener is used in thousands of foods, from ketchup and tomato sauce to soft drinks and crackers. Other names for processed sugar can include- brown sugar (which is simply white sugar with added molasses), brown rice syrup, cane syrup, dextrose, high fructose, fruit-juice concentrate, and glucose-fructose. So take an extra minute to read the packaging and see what’s hidden in your food.
2. Use natural sweeteners
If you must sweeten foods, add fresh or pureed fruits to baking and hot breakfast cereals or try some shredded, unsweetened coconut, or my personal favorite, Medjool dates. Spices are another excellent option such as- cinnamon, cloves, or nutmeg. Don’t forget the sweet veggies like carrots and beets, these too make excellent additions to muffins.
3. Limit your alcohol intake
This includes – red and white wine, beer, and hard liquor. Many people don’t realize that alcohol contains a large store of hidden sugar.
4. Restrict refined grains as much as possible
These include – white rice, white + wheat breads, crackers, cereals, pastas and baked goods.
5. Consume fermented foods
Differences in gut flora from one person to another appears to have a large effect on whether or not you develop heart disease. If your gut flora is not healthy, your risk is much greater for heart disease, as well as many other chronic health problems. The best way to optimize your gut flora is by including some naturally fermented foods in your diet, such as sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables, yogurt, and kefir. An additional benefit of fermented foods is that some of them are excellent sources of vitmain K2, which is important for preventing arterial plaque buildup and heart disease.
– Dr. Mercola
6. Focus on the consumption of heart healthy fats
Enjoy plenty of plant-based fats like avocado, raw and / or soaked nuts and seeds, and virgin coconut oil. Saturated fats from healthy, pasture raised and wild animals are also an excellent option for some people. These include bison, beef, elk, venison, lamb, and free range eggs. Wild fish is often hard to come by – but also makes a wonderful, omega-3 rich choice.
My best advice it to start small. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the changes you need to make. Start with one thing at a time and go from there. New habits will soon form, and you’ll just keep feeling better!
While we savor the taste of sweets, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars + simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for 6 decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.
What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh, unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.
– Dr. Dwight Lundell