Heart disease is undoubtedly the leading reason for the death of people, and annually, more than 1 million Americans die from a heart disease.
In most cases, people suffer from coronary artery disease (CAD), which can result in a heart attack.
Research predicts that 920,000 people in the U.S. will experience a heart attack, and about half of them will happen without any prior warning symptoms.
A heart attack is a result of the obstruction of the blood flow to a part of the heart. This leads to a buildup of plaque in the arteries (atherosclerosis), which may break and create a blood clot which will represent a blockage of the blood flow.
If this blockage is not eliminated fast, a part of the heart muscle will begin to die and will be substituted with scar tissue, which may lead to numerous health complications afterward.
For example, a previous heart attack (in particular, if it has caused a big area of the heart) poses a great risk for sudden cardiac arrest, which is the result of abnormal rhythms of the heart and can have fatal consequences.
5 Ways to Prevent Heart Attacks
Even though heart attacks occur frequently, and are a really painful experience, they can, in fact, be prevented. We all know that our lifestyle and diet play a great role in our overall health, but you surely haven’t been aware of the extent to which you can help yourself.
The Karolinska Institute conducted a study which discovered that if you do these simple 5 lifestyle changes, you may successfully prevent heart attacks as they have reduced these experiences by 80%.
Even the researchers of this study were not fully aware of the benefits of incorporating these 5 healthy changes into your everyday life:
“It is not surprising that healthy lifestyle choices would lead to a reduction in heart attacks… What is surprising is how drastically the risk dropped due to these factors.”
Moreover, these or similar results have also been revealed by a study conducted in 2004. This INTERHEART study, which aimed at discovering the heart disease risk factors in over 50 countries worldwide, found that a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle may prevent 90% of heart disease cases.
Yet, most of the people do not use these findings in order to feel the benefits. Namely, the featured study included men from 45 to 79, and only 1% of them incorporated all 5 lifestyle changes that prevent the occurrence of heart attacks.
These 5 simple, but effective, lifestyle changes include:
- A healthy diet
- Physical activity (exercising ≥1 h/week, and walking/bicycling ≥40 min/day)
- Moderate alcohol consumption (10 to 30 g/day)
- No smoking
- Healthy waist circumference (waist circumference <95 cm or 37.4 inches)
Even though you probably believe in the opposite, your biggest enemy are the following: sugar, refined carbs, and processed foods, and not the saturated fats found in eggs, lard or butter.
Yet, is understandable why you may have been confused, as fats lead to LDL cholesterol or “bad” cholesterol. Conventional belief states that high LDL is linked to heart disease and saturated fat actually increase LDL levels.
Yet, there are two distinct kinds of LDL cholesterol particles:
- Small, dense LDL cholesterol
- Large, “fluffy” LDL cholesterol
The second ones are not harmful, and studies have shown that they do not cause. On the other hand, the small, dense LDL particles, however, lead to a plaque buildup in the arteries. Namely, trans fat raises the small, dense LDL, and the large, and benign LDL is stimulated by the large, fluffy ones.
What’s more, research has suggested that the consumption of refined sugar and carbohydrates, including soda, bread, and bagels, increase the number of small, dense LDL particles. This means that our health and body may suffer much more from the combination of trans fats and refined carbs, than from saturated fat.
However, due to the hypothesis about the cholesterol levels, industrial low-fat foods, harmful trans fats (margarine, vegetable oils, etc.), processed fructose and a lot of refined sugar replaced healthy saturated fats, such as lard and butter.
This approach has led to the rising trend of obesity and heart disease rates.
Heart-Healthy Diet Regime
In order to prevent heart diseases, your diet should trans fats, so avoid all kinds of processed foods. Moreover, you should also address the issue concerning the insulin and leptin resistance, which is caused by excess consumption of grains and sugars. In order to reduce the risk of a heart disease you should follow the instructions below:
-- You should eliminate grains, sugar, processed fructose, from your diet. On the other hand, your diet should be rich in organic whole foods. Therefore, you should consume:
- vegetables- as much as possible
- Low-to-moderate quantity of high-quality protein
- High-quality healthy fat, meaning monounsaturated and saturated fat from animal and tropical oil sources. For optimal health, the majority of people need 50-85 % fats in the diet, which is significantly more than the 10 % now recommended.These are the riches sources of healthy fats: raw dairy, grass-fed meats, organic pastured egg yolks, coconuts, and coconut oil, raw nuts, such as almonds, pecans, macadamia, and seeds, butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk, unheated organic nut oils, and avocados.
Moreover, the regulation of the balance of omega-3 and omega-6 ratio is also really important for your cardiovascular health. Namely, those fatty acids stimulate the creation of the cells in your arteries that produce prostacyclin, which promotes a smooth blood flow.
The lack of omega-3 in the body has been linked to numerous serious health issues, both mental and physical, and might significantly contribute to 96,000 premature deaths annually.
Hence, it is advisable to consume wild-caught oily fish (like anchovies or sardines) or to take a high-quality krill oil supplement. Moreover, you should avoid most vegetable oils.
Fruit and Heart health
The study presented at the ESC Congress in Barcelona, Spain this year, discovered that the consumption of fruits on a daily basis has reduced heart disease risk by 40%, compared to people who do not have this habit. Also, it was shown that the more fruit participants ate, the lower their risk of heart disease was.
This is due to the fact that fruits are abundant in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals, which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties which promote heart health.
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published a research which demonstrated that the consumption os an apple daily prevents the risk of cardiovascular-related death in people older than 50, similarly to the use of a daily statin.
Yet, be cautious when eating sweeter fruits. Numerous of the most important useful phytonutrients in fruits, in fact, have sour, bitter, or astringent taste, and can be found in the skin and seeds.
In moderate amounts, you may benefits a lot by consuming cherries, organic apples, and blueberries. Fruits can have high fructose levels, o avoid over- consumption in order to prevent heart disease. Follow these suggestions:
- 80% of Americans are insulin or leptin resistant, so if you are one of them (hypertensive, diabetic, overweight, or have high cholesterol), you should restrict your fruit consumption. Take a maximum of 15 grams of fructose daily from all fructose sources.
- In the case you are not insulin/leptin resistant, and regularly exercise or do some manual labor, higher fructose levels may not cause some serious health issues. Yet, fruit may still raise your blood sugar, as well as your protein glycosylation. Hence, it is recommended to eat a fruit after your physical activity, so the sugar will serve as fuel, and will not increase blood sugar levels.
- If you are an athlete, large amounts of fruits will serve your body as they will provide energy and won’t be turned into fat.
- If you do not know how to consume fruits, it is best to previously check your uric acid levels and then use these suggestions.
Diabetes Drug Increases The Risk Of Heart Disease
One of the most common diabetes drugs, Metformin, makes the tissues more sensitive to insulin. Yet, newest studies indicate that its use raised the risk of low thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels in the case of hypothyroidism.
If these levels are greatly reduced, they may cause serious health issues, as well as heart problems like atrial fibrillation, which may result in congestive heart failure.
Another study pointed out that the treatment of type 2 diabetes with glucose-lowering drugs may possibly raise the risk of death due to a cardiovascular, as well as other health issues. According to researchers:
“The overall results of this meta-analysis do not show a benefit of intensive glucose lowering treatment on all cause mortality or cardiovascular death. A 19% increase in all-cause mortality and a 43% increase in cardiovascular mortality cannot be excluded.”
There is no need for these drugs since type 2diabetes can be reversed without using drugs. The natural treatment includes the substitution of processed foods with whole organic foods low in sugar and sugar-forming carbohydrates, in combination with several minutes of regular high-intensity workout.
Beta-Blockers and Scientific Misconduct
Beta-blockers are common drugs, usually used in the case of congestive heart failure and high blood pressure. They act by impeding the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and epinephrine (adrenaline) to bind to beta receptors, thus dilating blood vessels, which decreases the blood pressure and the heart rate.
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) advised the use of beta-blockers in the case of non-cardiac surgery. Yet, a research done earlier this year showed that this guideline is based on “questionable and probably fraudulent research,” and may have been the reason for 800,000 deaths in Europe in a period of five years.
Namely, these guidelines regarding the use of beta-blockers were done by a scientist who was fired in 2011, for scientific misconduct, and at the same time, was the chairman of the committee that constructed the draft of the European treatment guideline on the first place.
Yet, even though expected otherwise, the ESC needed two years to withdraw the beta-blocker recommendation. His delay led to the death of a half of a million people.
Recently, the Forbs published a revised version of the article was published, which explained in details all the risks and consequences of the publication of a fraudulent research and its practical use in clinics.
“They write about a culture of neglect in which few if any participants have anything to gain by finding or reporting scientific misconduct. They cite numerous examples in which misconduct has been alleged but the responsible actors– authors, home institutions, journals, and medical societies– have responded in only the most minimal and non aggressive fashion. The portrait they paint is of a scientific and medical establishment devoted to not rocking the boat.”
Heart Attack Prevention
You should not wait until you experience the first symptoms or a heart disease, in order to begin taking care of your cardiovascular health, as the most common heart disease symptom is actually death.
Therefore, follow these instructions in order to prevent heart issues and protect your health:
- Reduce stress
- If you are resistant to leptin or insulin, eliminate all sugars, as well as processed fructose and grains. This is due to the fact that a diet rich in sugar promotes insulin and leptin resistance, which is the main cause of heart disease
- Your vitamin D levels should be optimal, so you can get them from being exposed to the sun, a tanning bed, or you can take as oral vitamin D3 supplements
- Avoid long sitting, as you should sit no more than three hours during the day. Moreover, it is advisable to make 10,000 steps throughout the day.
- Eat unprocessed saturated animal fats. Moreover, numerous people will benefit a lot from incorporating more healthy fat in the diet to 50-85% of daily calories
- Eat a healthy, organic diet, and combine it with a regular workout. You can use a mix of core work, high-intensity interval training, stretching, and strength training.
- Statins may cause numerous side effects, and their benefits are questionable. Only in the case of a genetic familial hypercholesterolemia, patients may benefit from their use. The symptoms of this condition include abnormally high cholesterol, resistant to lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet and a regular exercise
- You should frequently walk barefoot to the ground, as in this way, you will help the transfer of free electrons from the earth into your body, which represents one of the most powerful antioxidants and will effectively treat inflammation in the body.
- 1 The Heart Foundation Heart Disease Facts
- 2 WebMD Sudden Cardiac Death
- 3 RTT News September 24, 2014
- 4 Lancet. 2004 Sep 11-17;364(9438):937-52.
- 5 Business Standard September 2, 2014
- 6 BMJ2013;347:f7267
- 7 Science Daily October 28, 2013
- 8 Canadian Medical Association Journal September 22, 2014
- 9 Circulation. 2007; 116: 1725-1735
- 10 BMJ 2011;343:d4169
- 11 European Heart Journal 2014: 35(3); 131-137
- 12 Eur Heart J (2014) 35 (36): 2433-2440.
- 13 Forbes September 23, 2014