Recently I came across my home town hospital’s “heart healthy” menu. This menu provides food choices for patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD). It’s assumed that these choices come from well-grounded science that demonstrates to the dietician certain principles that must be followed in order not to fuel additional endothelial damage (blood vessel disease).
Now I also know that you have probably read recently that saturated fat and cholesterol are not considered bad foods for the heart. Salt too for that matter. The FDA is in fact rewriting their guidelines for cholesterol and any number of meta-analysis on saturated fat will show you how healthy it is for you. I wanted to get this article out today so I am not going to provide citations. I have thousands of them in my book for those looking for proof.
Ok, let’s have a look at this menu. Not much on the cover.
As I peruse this page I start to see a common theme. Of course, there should be a common theme, one of good heart health. A menu designed to keep atherosclerosis at bay should have all of the trappings that medical science has discovered over the last half-century that informs us as to what is good and what is bad for your heart. Right?
The theme here is carbohydrate and more carbohydrate. That’s by design by the AHAs design. Simple or complex it apparently doesn’t matter. Right off you can have any cereal which tickles your fancy and you can dump brown sugar all over it too. Your cardiologist will love you for it. Yes, you can turn your breakfast into essentially a candy bar.
You cannot have any cholesterol or butter so the omelets are without it. You may also pick from several muffins and any number of jellies and jams to put on them. Just so long as you stay clear of butter, therefore trans-fat (TFA) rich margarine is used. Ok, we know that TFA are horrendously bad for you but I guess that escapes the dietician’s scrutiny.
Have a salad and you may use any number of omega 6 oil-based and sugar laden dressings. My guess is a breakfast like this would send your blood sugar into orbit.
But wait, doesn’t anyone know about the connection between fasting insulin levels, inflammation and atherosclerosis? Again eating like this day in and day out mimics a diabetic’s metabolic features. My guess is that there’s plenty of high fructose corn syrup in these foods too, something dieticians ignore once again.
The next page allows one to eat a bunch of cheeseburgers. You can have bread as a sandwich topping I see. So you can order your double cheeseburger with a topping of bread. Yummy extra bread. That’s totally healthy right? I mean it’s on the heart healthy menu so it must be good for you.
Let’s see pizza, pot roast, meatloaf, chicken quesadilla, burgers, grilled cheese…etc. Wow here’s a “Filly” cheesesteak. I’ll bet there’s 80 grams of omega 6 fats in that. Is there anything that you can’t order? I mean, this looks like the menu from Super America gas stations.
At the end of your meal you can elect to have several “Sweet Endings.” Heck you can have a milkshake if you like. Order two they’re cardiology approved. Now come on, is a milkshake really good for your heart? Yes they say it is.
Now if it were 1975 and you had a menu like this, everyone would be in agreement except for Dr Yudkin. As you may recall, Dr Yudkin was the English physiologist who wrote the book in 1972 entitled Pure, White and Deadly.
He had better data, because he had the true theory, showing how sugar fuels heart disease. Excesses of any unsafe carbohydrates also drive atherosclerosis. Inflammation drives heart disease, not saturated fat or cholesterol. And unsafe carbs cause inflammation through several well-understood mechanisms: free radical production, glycation and excessive insulin levels among others. A few complex carbs, of the safe variety (see below) are fine but remember one thing: humans do not have an “essential carbohydrate” like we do with amino acids or fats. Therefore, we don’t need complex carbs we just like them.
Yudkin’s theory was butting heads with that other fella’s theory that saturated fat and cholesterol were the causes of heart disease: called the Diet-Heart Hypothesis. Well, we’ve come a long way since the 70s. As it turns out saturated fat and cholesterol are essential for health. They do not and never did cause atherosclerosis.
The only reason why we aren’t all in agreement is because of a little known pill called Lipitor (or any statin). Because of this multibillion-dollar market the Diet-Heart Hypothesis proposed by Ancel Keys still burns brightly in the dim-witted corridors of commercial medicine.
I know a little bit about this since I cured myself of heart disease by taking large doses of pharmaceutical grade fish oil, eliminating bad carbs from my diet and eliminating all omega 6 fatty acids, replaced with EVOO first cold press, coconut oil and a few others. The fats that come from seeds are the ones that the AHA recommends. The commercial seed oils produced by Industry were originally thought to be heart smart because they reduced LDL cholesterol.
Who cares? Cholesterol does not cause heart disease. Everyone knows this. In fact, the only ones who insist that LDL cholesterol “drives” heart disease are those in the employ of Big Pharma, those that don’t read, or those that don’t care to learn new information.
My point in this little exercise is to demonstrate several things. One is that dieticians are the last to incorporate new science as it develops, they simply don’t read. Embarrassingly, they are at least 4 decades behind the science. Yet, they are the one’s consulted for hospital menus for CVD and diabetic patients. Also, cardiologists for the most part are too busy to learn the truth. There’s the little-known fact that as statin prescriptions increase the incidence of heart disease goes up or stays the same. Either way it’s not decreasing as predicted. Why? Because inflammation causes heart disease, not cholesterol. This knowledge requires independent reading and they don’t have the time. That’s why sadly they have to rely on their drug rep for the “truth” on a medication or medical application of the drug. Lastly, studies have shown that the longer a doctor is in practice the worse he becomes. Really? Yes, but I’m not providing citations this time.
What this means is that you’re in trouble when you get admitted to a hospital. If they are 40 years behind dietary science, they probably are not going to be raising the bar in other areas of medicine. But diet and nutrition have always been medicine’s orphans. Doctors are not into diet and they are not taught any principles. That’s nuts because diet is causing all of this! Below I have included a copy of Dr Jaminet’s safe carbs. Stick to these if you wish to stay healthy. Did you notice that wheat IS NOT on his list?
Remember, I know. I had a heart attack. It was not fun and I decided nearly twenty years ago that I was never going to do that again. Therefore, I set out to cure myself because nobody else was going to do it for me. If I were wrong, I’d be one sick puppy by now. They would have had me eating at least 60% carbs just like the junk we see above. Can you imagine eating this way every day? Oops, I forgot. Many of you do eat this way. Which is why we have so much heart disease. No salt, no cholesterol and no healthy fats. Just lots of sugar and carbohydrate, and I would be consuming pro-inflammatory omega 6 oils like “heart healthy” canola or soy oil. These oils will shred your endothelium like a sail in a typhoon.
Does anyone know what the AHA recommended heart healthy diet does to your lipid profile? A diet such as this rich in carbohydrate, produces pattern B LDL cholesterol. It also drives up your insulin levels and it raises your blood sugar. I won’t mention the free radicals and inflammation that this diet generates. Oh wait, I just did. That’s the same pattern that diabetics have and that’s one of the reasons why they have accelerated atherosclerosis.
A low carb diet produces pattern A which generates a non-inflammatory LDL particle. It’s important because the safe LDL cannot oxidize as readily as the pattern B small dense LDL. Only oxidized LDL can cause damage. How do we reduce oxidation? Simple, don’t eat the crap on the above menu. You know you’re on the right track if your hsCRP (and other markers), is nice and low. The last serum CRP I checked was 0.05. That’s very, very low.
In the end you have an obsolete theory supported only by junk science (drug company funded) which maintains that LDL cholesterol causes atherosclerosis. Saturated fat and cholesterol increase LDL (they insist) so it must be the cause. Statins are the cure. You can eat as much sugar and complex carbs as you wish and nearly anything else it seems. No wonder why everyone is still sick and getting sicker. This menu provides a museum-grade snapshot of how profit-driven, corrupted medicine can make a sows ear out of a silk purse.