Sherry A. Phillips

Suspense Author

What REALLY Causes Heart Disease?


As I’ve blogged about before, I take after my father genetically, meaning I am very conscious of the fact that high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease was the cause of most deaths in that side of my family tree.

My father had a heart attack in 2002. He had a quadruple bypass a day later. Just so you know, the doctors asked my father if he was a farmer, because even though he was in his 70’s, he had in the words of the doctors, “the physique of someone 25 years younger.”

My father was a lifelong athlete. He was in great physical condition, at least by appearances. What wasn’t great was what was going on with his cardiovascular system. At the time, he was doing what the doctors advised him to and he avoided cheese and other “fatty” foods.

What did he eat? Little Debbie cakes, bread, margarine (made with corn oil) and other processed foods. Not long after he had his surgery, my father passed away.

I have since learned that it wasn’t the fat that was killing him, it was the sweets and the bread and the processed foods he was consuming.

I recently ran across this article by a heart surgeon regarding inflammation in the body.

Here’s an excerpt:

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.

Inflammation is not complicated — it is quite simply your body’s natural defence to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process,a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.

What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body? Well,smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully.

The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream dietthat is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. Thisrepeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.

What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flourand all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.

Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.

This is why I have gone vegan. I am eating whole foods. Real food. Fruits and Vegetables and whole grains. I’m eliminating sugar from my diet. Dr. Dean Ornish has show how eating a vegan diet can actually REVERSE heart disease.

The Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease has demonstrated that heart disease can be reversed through a 4 element approach that includes a lacto-ovo vegetarian style of eating. The diet, however, only allows eggs whites and nonfat dairy products and excluded added fats such as nuts, seeds, oils, avocados and coconut. A plant-based, vegetarian approach to eating offers numerous nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, trans fats, cholesterol, and animal protein. The diet is also nutrient rich and provides higher levels of complex carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E with a spectrum of health promoting phytochemicals that protect and prevent disease.
None of us are guaranteed how long we will live, but it is my hope that however long I live, it will be with vitality and good health.

Take control of your health. Make good choices. Eat well and have a blessed, healthful day!

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