One of the world’s leading heart surgeons admits everything he thought he knew about heart health is wrong.
A leading American heart surgeon and author has written an article admitting that everything he thought he knew about heart health is wrong. On the website Preventdisease.com, Dr Dwight Lundell, who was a former chief of staff and chief of surgery at the Banner Heart Hospital and founder of the Cardiac Care Center before founding the Healthy Humans Foundation, begins by saying,
"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.”
Dr Lundell talks about physicians being educated on the role of elevated blood cholesterol on heart health, and the subsequent approach of prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a low-fat diet before going on to claim that it’s not working.
He then goes on to point the finger at the recent discovery of inflammation in the artery wall as the real cause of major heart issues, and points out that without inflammation being present in the body, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as part of the natural process, and wouldn’t accumulate in blood vessel walls and cause problems.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural physical response to anything your body views as a foreign invader such as bacteria, toxins or viruses, however this process can be triggered by external factors such as environmental toxins, foods the body wasn’t naturally set up to process and lifestyle factors such as smoking.
Dr Lundell explains this process in a very easy to understand way, especially pointing to mainstream diets low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower), sugar and carbohydrates.
“Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.”
It is such a process that the physician points to as causing the small injuries that he has personally witnessed to the thousands of arteries he has operated on. To make matters worse, he points out, if you are carrying excess weight, the body’s overloaded fat cells release pro-inflammatory chemicals which adds to the situation.
What can I do?
Dr Lundell’s advice lies with your diet, particularly upping your consumption of wholefoods.
"There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them." He continues, “By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body."
A healthy heart powers a healthy life in both the short and long term.