to the American Heart Association, 75 million Americans currently have heart disease, and the numbers are growing. While many in the American medical community continue to insist that heart disease is caused by high cholesterol, a new paradigm is being offered for consideration.
Some health practitioners are suggesting that it is inflammation in the arterial wall that causes heart disease rather than high cholesterol. If true, this could create a shift in how chronic illnesses, including heart disease, will be treated in the future.
For years, the accepted treatment for heart disease has been a combination of statin medication designed to lower cholesterol and a low-fat diet. However, instead of helping the problem, the country now faces an epidemic of heart disease, along with rising obesity and development of diabetes. Even though an alarming one quarter of the population is currently taking statin medications, death from heart disease continues to rise.
Those who suggest that inflammation is to blame offer a simple explanation. Inflammation is the body’s way of defending itself from bacteria, viruses or other unwelcome intruders. This type of inflammation is necessary, healthy and short-lived. However, if the body is regularly exposed to unnatural substances like processed foods, chronic inflammation can be the result.
When it comes to the diet, it has been suggested that chronic inflammation is caused by:
• An excess of simple carbohydrates (sugar, white flour and all products made with these ingredients)
• Over-consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like corn, soybean and sunflower oils
The consumption of simple carbohydrates causes levels of blood sugar to spike, which triggers the release of insulin from the pancreas. High levels of blood sugar and/or the release of insulin can result in a pro-inflammatory response. If individuals eat these types of foods several times a day the result is going to be chronic inflammation.
While omega-6 fatty acids are not unhealthy in and of themselves, the problem lies with an imbalance between these and omega-3 fatty acids. This imbalance causes inflammation in the body. Many health-conscious people have started taking Omega-3 supplements
to help maintain a healthy heart as well.
Proponents of an anti-inflammatory approach offer the following dietary advice for improving heart health and boosting overall health:
• Eat whole, natural foods (or at least foods closer to their natural state). The human body is not equipped to efficiently process additives, food coloring, preservatives and other chemicals in processed foods. Therefore, when these foods are eaten, the body launches an immune response which causes inflammation.
• Reduce consumption of omega-6 fats like corn, soybean and safflower oil, and replace with extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
• Eat plenty of dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach and romaine lettuce. These are rich sources of anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
• Replace corn-fed beef that is high in omega-6 fats with healthier, grass-fed beef.
• Cook dishes that contain the spice turmeric. This wonder spice found in curry contains powerful, anti-inflammatory properties.
• Take Vitamin D-3 and Omega-3 supplements
Additional Causes of Chronic Inflammation
In addition to certain foods, there are other lifestyle factors known to contribute to chronic inflammation. These include environmental pollutants, lack of exercise, poor sleep, smoking and stress.
Many experts are concluding that cholesterol is not the issue when it comes to heart disease, and common sense verifies this notion. Without inflammation, cholesterol is free to move through the body. When arterial walls are inflamed, unhealthy cholesterol gets stuck, accumulates, and results in heart disease. Other conditions that are thought to be caused by chronic inflammation are high blood pressure, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
Consider taking a fish oil supplement such as Omega Max Gold that multiplies the benefits of Omega-3. These supplements are designed to help support a healthy heart. Purchase Omega Max Gold today.