THE BLOG

Healthy Heart Month: Unhealthy Heart Advice!

07/02/2014 12:51 GMT | Updated 08/04/2014 10:59 BST

Although these "good" causes like "Healthy Heart Month" are all very laudable, they evade the real, underlying issues and causes of heart disease, primarily nutrition. Why? Well that's a complicated question, but the simple answer has its roots in politics, money and vested interests. Let's break down the real truth behind heart disease and one of its falsely claimed culprits, cholesterol.

What are these charities saying about nutrition?

Taking some highlights from the British Heart Foundation's (BHF) diet page, they recommend, "plenty of starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. Choose wholegrain varieties wherever possible". [1]

This is just poor advice; starches and sugars cause high triglyceride (blood fats) levels, increase small, dense LDL and reduce HDL, the perfect storm for heart disease; also wholegrains are as good as junk food, but dressed up with a health halo. I have written an article on my own blog about wholegrains and really grains in general. [2]

The BHF healthy eating page goes on to say, "too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which can increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease". Not this old, outdated chestnut again!

This myth was perpetrated by the defamed American, Ancel Keys in the late 1950's with his infamous "Seven Countries Study", which was highly flawed.

High cholesterol is caused by inflammation, which in turn happens to be the catalyst for most, if not all disease. Inflammation is caused by lifestyle factors, primarily poor diet, which includes grains, sugars, allergy inducing foods, processed foods, industrial seed oils (pretty much most on the shelves except cold pressed oils like EVOO); I have a blog article on inflammation. [3]

Subsequent to Ancel Key's lies and deceit, the statin makers and food giants picked up "the saturated fat is the enemy" baton and soon we will have a disaster on our hands. Statins come fully loaded with a myriad of health problems and low fat foods are full of poor carbs, the real culprit in bad cholesterol and heart disease.

Here is a quote from one of the world's most leading authorities on coenzyme Q10 and satins; coenzyme Q10 is the most critical nutrient for heart health.

Peter H. Langsjoen, MD has said, "We are now in a position to witness the unfolding of the greatest medical tragedy of all time; never before in history has the medical establishment knowingly created a life threatening nutrient deficiency in millions of otherwise healthy people".

He is of course talking about coenzyme Q10 and its severe depletion in the body and heart due to statins.

How ridiculous is this; the BHF's medical director supports the use of statins with data that does not support the use of statins. [4]

Moving on to under the heading, "Unsaturated fats", the BHF recommend sunflower and vegetable oil. No No No!; these are heat extracted, highly processed and chemically altered by the extraction process.

They are highly inflammatory, leading to heart disease and a plethora of other disease, including suffocation of cells (loss of oxygen), leading to cancers. The late Johanna Budwig, an alternative cancer therapist, expert on fats and oils and seven times Nobel Prize nominee, made this link between disease and refined vegetable oils and trans or hydrogenated fats and oils over 50 years ago.

With this in mind, look at the sponsors page of the BHF; it includes Flora Pro-Activ, which contains refined vegetable oils.[5]

There is also other evidence that they are harmful. [6]

Under fruits and vegetables, there should be no limit on fibrous vegetables; you can't over eat them, they provide a very good nutrient to calorie ratio and they provide the right type of fibre unlike whole grains, which cause a plethora of health problems. The BHF have them size portioned; God help us!

With regards to fruits, depending on your activity levels you should be aiming for a couple of portions per day, with an emphasis on berries, which are low in sugars and high in nutrients and antioxidants.

The BNF also include dried and tinned fruit as well as fruit juice; sorry these fruit products should only be eaten as a treat; they are loaded with concentrated sugars, which raise triglyceride levels, increases small, dense LDL, raise insulin and glucose levels giving rise to fat storage.

Fat is a factory for inflammatory chemicals (cytokines); inflammation as we have indicated causes high levels of the bad cholesterol i.e. small, dense LDL and the associated risk of heart disease.

More unbiased science

It is not saturated fat or cholesterol that increases the amount of small, dense LDL we have in our blood; it's excess carbohydrates and inflammation.

Dr. Ronald Krauss has shown that reducing saturated fat and increasing carbohydrate intake significantly increases your risk of heart disease. Ironically, this is exactly what the BHA and AHA and other similar organisations have been recommending for decades.

In Dr. Krauss's study, participants who ate the most saturated fat had the largest LDL, and vice versa. [7]

Krauss also tested the effect of his dietary intervention on HDL (so called "good" cholesterol). Studies have found that the largest HDL particles provide the greatest protective effect against heart disease. [8]

Guess what? Compared to diets high in total and saturated fat, low fat, high carbohydrate diets decreased HDL levels. [9]

In yet another blow to the AHA recommendations, Berglund et al. showed that using their suggested low fat diet reduced HDL in men and women of diverse racial backgrounds. [10]

The authors basically concluded that following the advice of the AHA is hazardous to your health; unfortunately the same applies to the BHF and Heart UK.

How do you reduce small LDL

Eating fewer carbs is perhaps the best place to start. Reducing carbs has several cardio protective effects. It reduces levels of small, dense LDL, reduces triglycerides and increases HDL levels. A triple whammy!

Eliminate or minimise refined vegetable oils and processed foods.

Exercise and losing weight also reduce small, dense LDL, lower triglycerides and improve HDL.

Due to word constraints, I have included a link to a great article by Dr. Chris Kresser, an American chap who I respect highly; he actually understands nutrition, unlike most doctors. This will help fill any gaps, although I have endeavoured to include the key points. [11]

Summary

• Cholesterol is a critical substance in the body; in fact cholesterol containing foods, mainly found in saturated fats, are not only harmless, but highly beneficial. Take eggs for example; eating eggs (FRO of course) every day, is one of the best ways to lower small, dense LDL! Yes, you read that correctly. University of Connecticut researchers recently found that people who ate three whole eggs a day for 12 weeks dropped their small, dense LDL levels by an average of 18%.

• Eating saturated fat and cholesterol reduces the type of cholesterol associated with heart disease.

• Replacing saturated fat and cholesterol with carbohydrates lowers "good" (HDL) cholesterol, raises triglyceride levels, increases small, dense LDL, thus increasing our risk of heart disease.

• Statins do not distinguish between bad and good cholesterol and they are loaded with other health risks. Look at who the Heart UK sponsors are. [12]

• Bad cholesterol (small dense LDL) is caused mainly by inflammation, which it turn is caused primarily by poor dietary habits, specifically bad carbs like sugars and grains (including wholegrains) and bad fats, mainly refined cooking oils, non-butter spreads and NOT saturated fats.

• Heart charities like the few mentioned in the article offer poor dietary advice for preventing heart disease; the main reason being the food companies and statin makers aka Big Pharma control the agenda and the Government has to play ball or they risk these companies taking the jobs abroad along with tax revenues.

• Do not rely on heart charities or any other health charities to give you accurate advice"; in this case the advice of the AHA or BHF or Heart UK etc is hazardous to your health.

Only when the cost of sickness and disease to Governments outweighs the tax revenues, will there be action on providing the public with accurate information, allowing them to make informed decisions about their lifestyles.

References

[1] http://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/prevention/healthy-eating.aspx

[2] http://blog.thefatlosspuzzle.com/whole-grains-going-against-the-grain/#more-438

[3] http://blog.thefatlosspuzzle.com/inflammation-the-silent-killer/#more-490

[4] http://www.drbriffa.com/2013/12/30/british-heart-foundations-medical-director-supports-use-of-statins-with-data-that-doesnt-support-the-use-of-statins/

[5] http://www.bhf.org.uk/get-involved/how-your-company-can-help/our-corporate-partners.aspx

[6] http://www.drbriffa.com/2013/10/17/adverts-for-flora-pro-activ-banned-but-for-the-wrong-reasons/

[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8299884

[8] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1906084

[9] http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/57/2/146.abstract

[10]http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/70/6/992.full?maxtoshow=&HITS=30&hits=30&RESULTFORMAT=&titleabstract=saturated+fat&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT

[11] http://chriskresser.com/the-most-important-thing-you-probably-dont-know-about-cholesterol

[12] http://heartuk.org.uk/partners/our-partners