Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease – Almost…

Dr. Dwight Lundell, a Heart Surgeon, who I really appreciate, recently wrote an article on what really causes heart disease. He is among the first crop of cardiologists, let alone surgeons, to admit that his field has been wrong about what causes heart disease.

Dr. Dwight Lundell, is able to admit he was wrong about an earlier stance on what causes heart disease, and I think that not only takes a lot of guts, but that it’s resolving and liberating not only for him but for thousands, if not millions of others to hear. Of course, this message has been out there for sometime, particularly by people like Dean Ornish, and Caldwell Esselstyn M.D and Joel Fuhrman MD who are among our Lifestyle Health and Science Advisory team here at nutrientrich.com. Caldwell Esselstyn, calls heart disease a “toothless paper tiger”!

FYI: Heart disease is a lifestyle-induced disease, not a natural consequence of aging, and you don’t have to suffer from it, especially since it’s caused by nutrient poor diets.

Here’s what Dr. Lundell has to say:

We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.

I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labelled “opinion makers.” Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol.

The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice.

This is a strong admission on his own volition and I really applaud it. Don’t you? But what he says next is why I say “almost”!

These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.

The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences. Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.

The information in this article is right on the money until you get to point highlighted in red above, and it reveals what this truth telling article is still covering up, which is at the root of some of the biggest nutritional debates of all time such as basing your diet on animal products or plant foods, the disease-causing effects of saturated fat and cholesterol and what are the causes of inflammation and advanced chronic diseases?

Dr Lundell goes on to say that the causes of inflammation are due to our increased consumption of processed foods and that the intake of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol are basically “absurd”. I am not going to take up that debate in this blog post with a comprehensive review of the scientific literature, but when someone says…

“Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades.That saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.

….It’s time to get concerned. 

The leading books on the subject of reversing heart disease, such as Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn MD, Cholesterol Protection for Life by Joel Fuhrman MD, The Lifestyle Heart Trial by Dean Ornish tell a very different story. You may know these books as the ones that provided the guidance that reversed President Clinton’s heart disease after recurring blockages, even after bypass surgery, and prompted him to become a near vegan. They are the first books that pop up when you search on “reversing heart disease” and all say different. Not entirely different to what Dr. Lundell is saying, but they don’t conveniently leave one of the biggest causes of inflammation and heart disease overlooked– and that is substantial amounts of animal foods, fat, cholesterol AND protein.

Not to mention, countless studies say that increased consumption of dietary saturated fat and cholesterol and really significant amounts of animal foods in general that also provide dietary arachidonic acid (which we don’t need from dietary sources) are at least in part causes of heart disease. What do you think is getting pulled out of the arteries during bypass surgery? It’s saturated fat and cholesterol among other plaque forming substances.

Here’s a nutrition facts video from Nutrient Rich.com adviser Michael Gregor M.D.

Here is why this valuable article is itself somewhat “Inflammatory”; this articles is not complete and is not really accurate. It’s an article that is about the cholesterol theory and how it led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine did make a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats, meaning polyunsaturated oils, neither of which are nutrient rich foods. We do now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.

But low fat diets do not define nutrient rich healthy foods! He also leaves us with the message that we need to eat the foods our grandmothers fed us, which is “more protein (animal protein) loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol and other inflammatory substances, and colorful fruits and vegetables which of course contain none.

This articles makes some great points, but it will leave you just as misled as you may have been when you started reading it, with a diet style that will likely land you in the hospital needing open heart surgery.

Some salient points.

  1. We have no dietary need for dietary saturated fat and cholesterol to begin with. If you never ate any more saturated fat or cholesterol ever again from animal products, you would never be diagnosed with a saturated fat or cholesterol deficiency. You produce your own. If we have no need for those substances, then what are they doing in our bodies once they get there?These substances are doing what thousands of nutritional researchers around the world are saying they do which is clog our arteries and promote inflammation.
  2. Inflammation is NOT the cause of heart disease. It’s by definition an “effect” not a primary cause. What’s causing the inflammation?
  3. I agree, it’s not just saturated fat and cholesterol, it’s those substances, plus animal protein itself which raises IGF-1 among other inflammatory markers that many of the top nutritional doctors in the worldare talking about, plus ingested toxins (such as hormones, and dioxin…) and toxic metabolites from the breakdown of animal protein… and all the refined foods and synthetic chemicals that people eat.
  4. It’s not enough to say “stop eating processed” foods, when many nutrient-rich healthy foods are processed each day when we make a simple smoothie! We have to minimize or eliminate “nutrient poor foods” such as animal products and refinedfoods. Animal products are nutrient poor by definition, not only because they are low in a variety of vitamins and minerals and essential fats, but they have no carbohydrate, water, fiber, or phytochemicals and are extremely addicting foods that gives rise to consumption of all kinds of refined foods, from the hamburger bun on down.
  5. Animal products are not whole foods. They are if you define them as being “natural”, but they are not the original natural source of nutrients that humans, including all animal life– cows, chickens and turkey’s alike depend on. A whole food is plant-based and nutrient rich. And “nutrient rich” is defined not only by what a food has in it that we need, but also what it doesn’t have that we don’t need from dietary sources. In other words, it’s defined as much by what it has in it, as it is by what it does not have in it. You’ll learn more about this in Switch to Rich The Nutrient Rich Way to Eat and The Nutrient Rich Healthy Eating System that will explain in detail what makes a food nutrient rich.

This article is a good step in the right direction, but for perspective, it’s promoting one of the biggest cover ups in nutritional history. It’s the same coverup that Dr. Atkins promoted, that the Paleo Diet people promote, the Weston Price people promote, the Nourishing Traditions promote, and the typical fitness-diet promotes and that is that saturated fat, and cholesterol and animal protein itself do not promote disease, when they do.

Also, healthy eating is not simply about whether or not you are eating saturated fat and cholesterol, it’s about whether or not you are getting the nutrients needed by the body to thrive. And if you are eating more animal protein, you don’t be getting the nutrients I’m talking about. The ones that make your immune system work!

If you want to detoxify your body, lose weight naturally without dieting with these lower carb, high animal protein weight loss-only diets; optimize your health and reverse lifestyle induced diseases caused by nutritional ignorance, age slower, look younger and maximize your longevity… eating a diet based on nutrient poor animal foods is not your answer. You’ve got to make the Switch to Rich!

You want to eat up to 90% or More Plant Based Nutrient Rich® and optimize the way you eat for nutrient density as part of a successful lifestyle. Do that and you won’t suffer from inflammation, and heart disease because your body will be so flooded with immune system enabling, body cleansing, cause removing nutrient’s that your body that your exposure to inflammation will be limited to when you get splinters and the like.

Read the whole article here.