Are You Heart Healthy?

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Everyone knows that heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the United States.  However, few do very much about it.  Most of us still go about our fast-paced lifestyle of stress and convenience foods, while just getting a check on our cholesterol levels once in a while.  Historically, fats have been blamed for the cause of heart disease and we have been inundated with low fat propaganda by the government and large food corporations.
Despite cholesterol drugs (their many side effects) and high-tech medicine, heart disease kills approximately 700,000 Americans a year and costs the nation an estimated $335.5 billion!  How can this happen when the cause of heart disease is known to be primarily founded in lifestyle and poor quality food choices?  Aren’t we on low fat diets and cholesterol medications?
What contributes to heart disease?
The answer to this question might best be discovered by studying the diets of people living in countries in which heart disease is relatively limited.  Studies show that heart disease is virtually non-existent in the absence of refined foods, denatured fats, and high levels of refined carbohydrates/sugars.
Major contributors to heart disease:
Refined Foods
Denatured Fats
High levels of Sugar/Carbohydrate intake
Refined Foods
The wholesome nutrients refined out of foods upon processing, particularly the loss of the B-Complex vitamins (esp. B6, B12, Folic Acid) is causes of elevated Homocysteine levels.  Homocysteine levels are one of the most reliable indicators of heart disease risk.  Therefore eating whole foods and whole food concentrates high in these B-Complex nutrients is essential in preventing heart disease.
Denatured Fats
For decades we have been told to avoid dietary cholesterol and saturated fats, but clearly, healthy blood lipids are not solely based upon these reductions.  There is too much evidence showing that traditional diets, including unprocessed natural fats, often in generous proportions, support remarkably low rates of heart disease.  Newer research shows that certain types of damaged, denatured fats are associated with underlying causes of heart disease.  Hydrogenated and trans-fats build up in our bodies because they are unnatural- there are no enzymes to metabolize them, so they get trapped in our bodies.  Denatured fats, stripped of vitamins and antioxidants, become oxidized (rancid) in our bodies, leading to inflammation of our vascular system as indicated by high levels of C-Reactive Protein (CRP), another consistent indicator of impending heart disease.
High Levels of SUGAR Intake!!!
Americans consume an average of 158 pounds of sweeteners plus over 100 pounds of refined carbohydrates each year, which are devoid of valuable nutrients such as protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, or nutritional co-factors! Since 1991 Obesity is up 75%, costing our nation an additional $100 billion!
A Die-IT is NOT the answer!!
We must learn to LIVE a healthy lifestyle, choosing our foods and activities according to what will benefit our health, rather than propping ourselves up with sugar, stimulants, and drugs to deal with the side effects of an unhealthy lifestyle.
Properly Evaluate Your Heart and Utilize Nutrition!
Dr. John Harrington from the Sunrise Nutrition Center has put together a heart healthy program which encompasses not only diet and lifestyle changes, but also the most up to date heart disease blood evaluation and Nutritional evaluation procedure.  This includes heart rate variability testing which shows how physically fit your heart is!  He also addresses the underlying nutritional deficiencies associated with heart disease.
Personally Designed Clinical Nutrition
Dr. Harrington believes that each individual is unique and there are many factors that may contribute to heart disease besides cholesterol.  Vitamin deficiencies specific to each individual need to be checked as well as a person’s anti-oxidant defense system and inflammatory status.  Stress, toxins, chronic infections, diabetes and thyroid problems all may contribute to heart disease as well as diet and lifestyle.  Don’t be fooled thinking that a drug will significantly decrease your risk of heart disease.  There are no shortcuts, but if you are willing to make health a priority, it will pay off for you and your family in the long run.

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