The Real Cause of Heart Disease
Never before have so many been misled by so few for so long. In fact, the prevalence of the misconception has resulted in it becoming a truth for the vast majority of us – a truth that simply goes unquestioned. But the facts are in plain sight if you just look for them.
What if I told you that drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice with breakfast and lunch every day for just two weeks would very likely raise your LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol? After all, orange juice is ‘healthy’ and saturated fats are surely responsible for raised cholesterol and increased heart disease?
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Look at any ‘healthy’ breakfast menu and you will find muesli, yoghurt and fruit – and herein lies the problem.In the United States, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends that adults get 45 to 65% of their calories from carbohydrates, 20 to 35% from fat, and 10 to 35% from protein – a formula that is virtually guaranteed to lead you directly to a prescription for statins and diabetic medication in midlife.
The fact is that saturated fats from animal and vegetable sources provide the building blocks for cell membranes and a variety of hormones and hormone-like substances, building blocks without which your body cannot function optimally. A vast number of men in their 40s to 60s are having to supplement testosterone production. The majority of these men have been advised to, or are following, a low-fat diet. Saturated fats act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Flying directly in the face of what we have been exposed to in margarine advertising is the fact that saturated fat is the preferred fuel for your heart!
The consumption of too much sugar, especially in the form of fructose (fruit) and grains, leads to this sugar being rapidly converted to sugar in your body. It is not simply table sugar and confectionary, but rather our intention to do what we think is healthy by consuming whole grains and fruit in quantity, that is predominantly responsible for weight issues, hormone imbalances, infertility, attention deficit disorder and chronic disease.
Your Body Cannot Tell the Difference between Sugar and Fructose
Of the many blatantly dangerous ingredients which you’re bound to get in excess if you consume processed foods on a daily basis, fructose is perhaps the most abundant. The danger lies in the fact that you do not know that you are eating these substances. They are everywhere and not just in the obvious confectionary. Primarily in the form of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), fructose (fruit sugar) is a primary factor causing obesity and chronic disease in adults and children.The industries that make billions every day from these products would have you believe otherwise. And it is because of their massive marketing budgets that the illusion prevails. According to Dr Robert Sherwin and Dr Jonathan Purnell, an endocrinologist at Oregon Health and Science University:
Your hypothalamus helps regulate hunger-related signals involving a number of hormones, including insulin, leptin, and ghrelin. Brain scans reveal that when drinking glucose, within 15 minutes the activity in the area of the brain involved with reward and desire for food was suppressed, which leads to a feeling of fullness or satiety. With fructose, we don’t see those changes. As a result, the desire to eat continues — it isn’t turned off. Fructose not only did not suppress hypothalamic activity, it actually caused a small spike instead. What all this means in everyday terms is that when you consume fructose, you may actually be ‘programming’ your body to consume more calories, as fructose fails to trigger that feeling of fullness, and may even trigger continued hunger pangs.
By far the most worrying fact is that fructose is metabolised by the liver into fat, which promotes visceral fat, that is, the fat that collects around your organs and waistline. It is this fat which is associated with heart disease.The metabolism of fructose by the liver creates waste products and toxins, including uric acid, which increase blood pressure and cause gout.Every cell in your body utilises glucose, which is efficiently burned up as a fuel source. By contrast, fructose is turned into free fatty acids, ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglycerides, which are stored as fat and accumulate in the arteries, as well as in the liver and skeletal muscle tissue, causing insulin resistance and fatty-liver disease. From this, there is a progression to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
So What Do You Do?
Forego the health breakfast and keep daily fructose consumption to 25 grams or less – in real terms, two bananas or half a cup of raisins per day. Opt for the bacon and eggs, but forego the toast! Carbohydrates in starchy vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes, as well as legumes, are more than adequate to fuel both body and brain. Dilute your kid’s fruit juice by a third or, better yet, get them to drink water. Most importantly, read food labels and opt for organic proteins and fresh vegetables.
JAMA 2 January 2013 309(1):63-70
Yahoo! Health 1 January 2013
Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior November 2010 97(1):101-106
World Journal of Gastroenterology 7 June 2010 16(21):2579-2588
Scientific American 1 January 2013