• A Study on How to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

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  • Many Americans die due to Cardiovascular Disease, read and learn how to prevent it.

    By Dr. Mercola

    About one in every three deaths in the US is attributed to cardiovascular disease, which includes heart attacks and stroke. In the US, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD), which can lead to heart attack.

    Even though the death rate from cardiovascular diseases has declined by 29 percent between 2001 and 2010, it's still the number one cause of death in the US. According to a new report from the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 800,000 Americans die from cardiovascular disease annually.

    A quarter of these deaths—or about 200,000—could be prevented through simple lifestyle changes, and more than half (6 out of 10) of the preventable heart disease and stroke deaths happen to people under age 65. As reported in the featured USA Today article:

    “Preventable/avoidable deaths were defined as all deaths from heart disease and stroke in people under age 75 because if their risk factors… had been under control they should have lived longer, says the lead author Linda Schieb, a CDC epidemiologist.

    The current life expectancy in the USA is age 78 so if people died sooner than that it is considered early or premature, she says.”

    CDC Director Thomas Frieden noted that the findings were “really striking” since we're talking about hundreds of thousands of people dying well before their time each and every year.

    The analysis shows that African Americans are nearly twice as likely as Caucasians to die from preventable cardiovascular disease. Those living in Southern states also had the highest rates of preventable deaths from heart disease and stroke. According to Mr. Frieden:

    “It's unfortunate that your longevity may be influenced more by your “ZIP code” than “genetic code.”

    If you ask me, that's a telling statement indeed! Ditto for the following statement by preventive cardiologist Gina Lundberg, an assistant professor of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta:

    “Americans need to take better control of their health and be more aggressive in controlling their blood pressure, their cholesterol, their weight, their exercise habits — and to stop smoking.”

    Yes, You CAN Avoid Becoming a Statistic

    According to the CDC report, preventive lifestyle strategies include:

    • Maintaining a healthy weight
    • Exercising regularly
    • Managing your blood pressure and diabetes
    • Reducing salt consumption
    • Quitting smoking

    In a nutshell, preventing cardiovascular disease involves reducing chronic inflammation in your body. Proper diet, exercise, sun exposure, and grounding to the earth are cornerstones of an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.

    Unfortunately, while all the CDC's general recommendations listed above are spot-on, there's still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to more detailed recommendations for how to achieve weight loss and manage health problems like blood pressure and diabetes.

    For example, the recommendation to reduce salt intake makes no differentiation between harmful processed table salt, which is also what you'll find in processed foods, and health-promoting salts high in essential trace minerals, such as Himalayan salt or other natural unprocessed sea salts.

    Salt can actually be a nutritional goldmine, provided you consume the right kind and pay very careful attention to your optimal salt-to-potassium ratio, but you won't hear about that from most conventional sources. Similarly, conventional dietary advice for weight loss and diabetes management leaves an awful lot to be desired, and more often than not lead you in the wrong direction.

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    The Diet—LDL Particle Size Connection

    First and foremost, it's important to realize that your diet is your best and primary ally for the prevention of inflammation that can lead to heart- and cardiovascular disease. Much focus is placed on cholesterol levels and the ratio of “good” HDL and “bad” LDL cholesterol, but unfortunately, many conventional recommendations for how to improve your cholesterol levels are seriously flawed.

    For example, it's vitally important to realize that there are different sizes of LDL cholesterol particles, and it's the LDL particle sizethat is relevant (as opposed to just the overall level of LDL's),as small particles get stuck easily and causes more inflammation. It's possible to have normal total or LDL cholesterol yet have a high number of LDL particles.

    This is nearly universally missed using the conventional testing. On the other hand, you may end up being prescribed a statin drug to lower your cholesterol when in fact your LDL particle number is normal, placing you in the low risk category for heart disease.

    It's important to realize that statin drugs, while aggressively lowering your cholesterol levels, do not modulate LDL particle size. What's worse, statin drugs in and of themselves actually promote inflammation and accelerate heart disease! A 2012 study published in the journal Atherosclerosis showed that statin use is associated with a 52 percent increased prevalence and extent of calcified coronary plaque compared to non-users. And coronary artery calcification is the hallmark of potentially lethal heart disease!

    As a general rule, regardless of your LDL particle number, chances are you do NOT need a statin drug to address high cholesterol. The only people who may truly benefit from a statin drug are those with the genetic defect called familial hypercholesterolemia. The only way to make sure your LDL particles are large enough to not get stuck and cause inflammation and damage is through your diet. In fact, it's one of the major things that insulin does. So rather than taking a statin drug, you really need to focus on your diet to reduce the inflammation in your body, which is aggravated by:

    • Eating lots of sugar/fructose and grains
    • Oxidized cholesterol (cholesterol that has gone rancid, such as that from overcooked, scrambled eggs)
    • Eating foods cooked at high temperatures
    • Eating trans fats

    What Constitutes a Heart-Healthy Diet?

    If you're still confused about what a “proper diet” is, I suggest reviewing my Optimized Nutrition Plan, which is designed to guide you through the dietary changes in a step-by-step fashion, moving from beginners to intermediary to advanced. When properly applied, it can improve just about anyone's health. Following is a summary of the basic recommendations, all of which will help combat chronic inflammation:

    Limit or eliminate all processed foods
    Eliminate all gluten, and highly allergenic foods from your diet
    Eat organic foods whenever possible to avoid exposure to harmful agricultural chemicals such as glyphosate
    Eat at least one-third of your food uncooked (raw), or as much as you can manage
    Increase the amount of fresh vegetables in your diet
    Avoid artificial sweeteners of all kinds
    Swap all trans fats (vegetable oils, margarine etc) for healthful fats like avocado, raw butter or coconut oil
    To re-balance your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, take a high-quality omega-3 supplement, such as krill oil, and reduce your consumption of processed omega-6 fats from vegetable oils (trans fats)
    Drink plenty of pure water
    Optimize your vitamin D levels, either through appropriate sun exposure, a safe tanning bed, or as last resort an oral vitamin D3 supplement
    Limit fructose to less than 25 grams per day, from all sources, including whole fruits. If you have insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension or heart disease, you'd be well advised to keep your fructose below 15 grams per day

    photo by: www.topnews.in

     

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    11 Responses to “A Study on How to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease”

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