Heart Surgeon: Processed Food – Not Cholesterol – Is The Real Culprit Behind Heart Disease

It’s definitely news when a cardiac surgeon who has performed 5,000+ open heart surgeries over a span of 25 years admits the medical community has been wrong for decades about what really causes heart disease.

In an article on his Tuned Body website, Dr. Dwight Lundell, M.D. (former Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Arizona) reveals what, in his opinion, is at the heart of preventable heart disease: Processed foods.

Dr. Lundell says cardiovascular disease is not the result of elevated blood cholesterol, but instead the real problem is inflammation in the body brought on from the chronic consumption of highly processed carbohydrates (such as sugar, flour and all their derivative products) along with an overindulgence in omega-6 rich vegetable oils including soybean and corn oils often found in packaged foods.

To those of us who are big believers in the paleo diet, the doctor’s revelation is less of a surprise and more of a validation that we’re doing the right thing sticking to the paleo plan. Paleo proponents have insisted for years that there is an undeniable connection between processed foods and heart disease.

While I’m guessing the majority of those in the medical community and Big Pharma wouldn’t agree with Dr. Lundell’s opinion, the number of evidence-based studies continues to grow that strongly suggest you’re better off avoiding the processed carbs and oils and focusing instead on eating real, paleo-approved food for optimum heart health.

Here’s just a handful of paraphrased snippets from the doctor’s article you might find interesting. (You can read the full article by clicking on the link below).

According to Dr. Lundell:

• 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease

• 25% of Americans take expensive statin medications to lower cholesterol

• Despite the lower consumption of fatty foods, more Americans are dying from heart disease than ever before

• Low-fat dietary recommendations over the years have created near-epidemic rates of obesity and diabetes

• Naturally saturated fats shouldn’t be avoided – the real problem is the processed oils loaded with omega-6 that cause imbalance and inflammation

• There are an estimated 20 million Americans suffering from diabetes today – another 75 million are pre-diabetic

• Diabetes is showing up at younger ages and in greater numbers than ever before

• A diet consistently loaded with sugar and omega-6 is like rubbing the insides of your delicate blood vessel walls repeatedly with sandpaper

Read Dr. Lundell’s complete article on Tuned Body here.

Breaking Bad: After 40 Years, Dietary Cholesterol Gets A Pardon From Gov’t Panel

It’s almost official – you may soon be able to enjoy egg yolks, shrimp and lobster with the government’s blessing.

Dietary cholesterol, according to the nation’s top nutritionists, isn’t such a bad guy after all.

The USA’s leading panel of nutrition experts that advises the federal government on which foods Americans should and should not eat, says dietary cholesterol can finally be delisted as a “nutrient of concern.”

For more than 40 years, the government hammered away at the evils of cholesterol in food, saying it increased the risk of heart disease – a claim routinely disproved in many scientific studies over the years.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee reportedly reached its decision to lift the dietary warnings on cholesterol just this past December – the government is expected to follow the panel’s advice.

The panel went on to say low-density lipoprotein (LDL) commonly known as “bad cholesterol” in the bloodstream still poses a danger, and saturated fats in such foods as fatty meats, whole milk and butter can be linked to heart disease.

The group’s final report to the feds is expected to be completed in a few weeks.

Click here for the full Washington Post story.


Is It Time For An Oil Change?

If you’re new to paleo, you may be wondering why I’m constantly reaching for high-fat coconut or olive oil to cook with instead of a “healthy” bottle of canola oil with the cute red heart on the label…  Read more