Heart disease is the NUMBER ONE KILLER of both men and women in western civilization. Cardiovascular diseases claim more lives than all forms of cancer combined. It is predicted to become the number one global disease by 2020. Coronary heart disease consists of an inflammatory buildup of blockages in arteries to the heart muscle.
It seems that heart disease has become ubiquitous among everyone who eats a typical western diet. The Heart and Stroke Foundation posted current statistics on heart disease in Canada.
The Hardcore Numbers:
- One person dies every 7 minutes from heart disease or stroke.
- Annually more than 350,000 thousand Canadians are hospitalized for heart disease or stroke.
- Up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke is preventable by adopting healthy behaviours.
- Insufficient consumption of vegetables and fruit is one of the major risk factors of heart disease and stroke.
- 62%, or over 3 in 5 of Canadian adults are overweight or obese.
- 31% of Canadian children and youth aged 5 to 17, an estimated 1.6 million, are overweight or obese.
- Only 15% of adults accumulate the recommended 1 hour and 30 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity.
All oil, including everybody’s favorite olive oil, destroys the endothelium. What is that? A very fragile, one-cell-layer-thick lining of the 10,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body. It has two main functions: it provides a very low coefficient of friction for the vessel walls and so makes the work of the pump, the heart, easier. It also releases nitric oxide, a vasodilator. It’s a remarkably beautiful system.
When you are exerting yourself and need more blood and oxygen to your muscles, the pump beats faster and the pipes get bigger which is known as vasodilation. Also, when you stand up and gravity has a more direct pull on your blood, your blood pressure would fall and you would faint except that your pipes constrict.
What do leading doctor’s have to say regarding olive oil consumption?
Dr. Robert Vogel: Contrary to our hypothesis, our study found that omega-9 (oleic acid)–rich Olive Oil, impairs endothelial function after eating. If you’ve been using olive oil because you think it’s healthy, it’s time to think again. The olive oil constricted blood flow by a whopping 31% after a meal in a Vogel study.
Dr. Lawrence Rudel: Rudel ran a five year study feeding olive oil and saturated fat to African Green monkeys. The monkeys metabolize fat in the same way as humans, so they’re good stand-ins. At the end of five years, their autopsies showed that the monkeys who were fed olive oil had higher HDLs (the good cholesterol) and lower LDLs (the bad cholesterol) than the ones fed the saturated fat diet. The big surprise here: Both groups had exactly the same amount of coronary artery disease. The higher HDLs & lower LDLs of the olive oil group were meaningless. Rudel later repeated the study on rodents, and got the same results.
Dr. Dean Ornish: It’s 100% fat and 14% of it is saturated. At 120 calories a tablespoon it’s very easy to eat too much of “a bad thing”. It won’t raise your LDL as much as butter or other saturated fats will, so it might look like it’s reducing your cholesterol, but it’s still raising it. It’s just not raising it as much other fats would! It’s the omega-3’s that reduce inflammation and are “heart healthy”, and olive oil has very little omega-3, maybe 1%. It’s mostly omega-9, which has been shown to impair blood vessel function.
Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn: We must look at the lessons learned from cultures where there is a virtual absence of coronary artery heart disease such as rural China, the Papua Highlands of New Guinea, Central Africa, and the Tarahumara Indians of Northern Mexico. Their nutrition is plant based without oil.
To paraphrase John Kennedy “Ask not what your country can do for your health, ask what you can do for your health.”