Volume 3 Issue 2

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Page 15 of 47

Page 16| Abby's Magazine - By Dr. DelRae Messer, D.C. Preventing Strokes Heart Attacks and F ebruary is American Heart Month, so many of us have seen marketing efforts from companies to help reduce the number of deaths caused by heart attacks and strokes. Ironically, one of the biggest sponsors of these efforts promotes diet soda. I call this irony. is may be one of my favorite topics to discuss, because research continues to disprove conventional methods of treating risk factors for heart disease and stroke and shed light on the true causes of why heart disease continues to be the #1 cause of death in the United States. If what we have been doing previously worked to prevent heart disease, the statistics would not continue to rise every year. I was fortunate enough to have been mentored by some of the leading experts in preventative cardiology who understand the big picture of "why we get fat, and what to do about it." We've been told that smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being sedentary are all risk factors and, more oen than not, if our "numbers" are not within "normal" range, we are quickly offered prescriptions to fix the problem. Unfortunately, this is only a Band-Aid for the true cause of the problem. When we don't ask why our physiology is responding with high blood pressure or high cholesterol or excessive fat storage, quick fixes can sound appealing. However, when we look at the number of blood pressure medications and statins being prescribed and lack of education about diet, exercise and managing stress, it is no wonder we are one of the sickest countries in the world. Instead, current preventative cardiology research is digging into the breakdown of cholesterol into large and small particles, how inflammation affects blood pressure, how metabolic syndrome affects heart disease and obesity and how our diet and stress levels impact not only our heart, but also our overall happiness. My greatest discovery thus far has been the research done by Dr. Jonny Bowden and Dr. Stephen Sinatra, who wrote the book, "e Great Cholesterol Myth, Why lowering your cholesterol won't prevent heart disease – and the statin- free plan that will". In it, they begin to unravel the many myths that we have been led to believe in terms of cholesterol and heart disease. ey start by stating, "Cholesterol is an essential molecule without which there would be no life, so important that virtually every cell in the body is capable of synthesizing it." What if, everything that you've been told about lowering cholesterol to decrease your risk of heart disease was wrong? When the National Cholesterol Education Program lowered the "optimal" cholesterol levels in 2004, eight out of the nine people on the panel had financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry. e birth of the diet- heart hypothesis started by Ancel Keys has since been tested with much more comprehensive data showing that a single dietary factor had the strongest association with coronary heart disease – SUGAR. It wasn't until recent decades that heart disease rates started to rise. Correlation can be found when the "low-fat" movement was introduced and saturated fats were deemed an unnecessary evil. ink it's a coincidence that obesity and diabetes epidemics went into overdrive around the same time that we started pushing low-fat, high-carb diets as an alternative to those containing more fat and protein? Drs. Bowden and Sinatra don't. Out with the bacon, eggs, and lard and in with the "low-fat" processed, packaged foods and margarine. We now know the introduction to low-fat foods meant an increase in processed carbohydrates (aka sugar). e history of why we were told saturated fats were the bad guys is an interesting read all in itself and I urge you to pick up the books "Good Calories, Bad Calories", and "Why We Get Fat, and what to do about it", by Gary Taubes, a leading researcher on debunking the low fat diet theory for weight loss and a healthy heart. He explains, "As a nation, we were told to eat less fat and less saturated fat, which we did, or at least tried to do – saturated- fat consumption steadily declined over the years that followed – and yet, rather than getting leaner, we got fatter. When we replaced fat with carbohydrates we became a country with underlying metabolic disturbances that kick the inflammatory cascade in our body into high gear, causing a myriad of symptoms and eventually chronic disease. When we eat the SAD (standard American diet) high in sugar, trans

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