Heart Health

Cardiovascular Disease and Low Carbohydrate Diet

I suspect that most people who read this article will find the information counterintuitive.

We are constantly being bombarded with health "information" via the news media, to the point where we have cultural assumptions that no one questions anymore. Unfortunately, much of this is "misinformation" and should be regarded with at least a wary eye - if not downright skepticism. After all, remember who funds most of these studies - large drug companies and food manufacturers. Being suspicious of a hidden agenda might possibly save your life.

The current mythology might lead you to believe that, if you avoid fat, limit your intake of meat, and eat a diet rich in carbohydrates you can live forever. After all, fat causes cardiovascular disease and makes you gain weight. Eat plenty of carbohydrates for health and stamina, and to control your weight. Unfortunately, those statements are almost totally wrong.

First of all, as my Dad was always fond of saying, "They fatten up cows on corn." In actuality, it is carbohydrates that increase our blood lipid levels and our body fat, strain our pancreas and promote the development of both diabetes and cardiovascular disease - not to mention obesity.

In my experience, particularly with older patients, increasing protein consumption actually improves overall energy and strength. As biological entities, we require protein for a variety of essential functions: to build tissue, make hormones, and synthesize blood, to name just a few. Interestingly, protein cannot be created in the body from either carbohydrate or fat. On the other hand, both fat and carbohydrate readily interconvert - one to the other.

Where fat is concerned, we need some essential fatty acids for life. Cholesterol is also vital for our existence. Every cell in your body contains cholesterol as an integral part of the cell membrane. Yet, you might think "cholesterol is poison," if your only sources of nutritional information were the popular media and advertising.

Currently, the US is being inundated with "no fat" or "low fat" foods which have been engineered for mouth feel, taste and palpability - not nutrition. Most of these foods substitute carbohydrates for fat. Remember, in your body, excess carbohydrate is immediately converted to fat.

When we eat a meal high in carbohydrates (either sugar or starch), several things happen:
1. Your blood sugar rises precipitously, resulting in a surge of insulin production.
2. The insulin surge initially suppresses your adrenal function.
3. The blood sugar peak later overstimulates the adrenals to produce glucocorticoids, resulting in a precipitous drop in blood sugar.
4. The insulin surge stimulates fat cells to convert glucose to fat - saving it for a "rainy day."
5. The insulin surge activates a section of the brain to increase consumption of carbohydrate rich foods.

The result is a vicious cycle spiraling into ever-increasing levels of carbohydrate consumption. And, unfortunately, in America these are often refined carbohydrates which are nutrient-poor, and readily converted to sugar - resulting in an even higher insulin peak.

The bottom line: A diet rich in vegetables and good quality protein with limited amounts of complex carbohydrates and fruit. For more details, request The Cave Man Diet from our office. This is a dietary program which runs very contrary to popular wisdom!

[Contact RFHC for a copy of the Cave Man Diet]

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