How Not To Die From Heart Disease

“How Not to Die from Heart Disease” The most likely reason most of our
loved ones will die is heart disease. It’s still up to each of us to make
our own decisions as to what to eat and how to live — but we should
make these choices consciously, educating ourselves about the predictable
consequences of our actions. Atherosclerosis, hardening of
the arteries, begins in childhood. By age 10, the arteries of nearly all kids
raised on the standard American diet already have fatty streaks —
the first stage of the disease. Then the plaques start
forming in our 20s, get worse in our 30s and
then can start killing us off. In our heart it’s called a heart attack;
in our brain it can manifest as a stroke. So if there is anyone watching
this older than age 10, then the choice isn’t whether or not
to eat healthy to prevent heart disease, it’s whether or not you want to reverse
the heart disease you likely already have. Is that even possible? When researchers took people with
heart disease and put them on the kind of plant-based diet
followed by populations that did not get epidemic
heart disease, their hope was that it might slow the disease
process down, maybe even stop it. But instead something
miraculous happened. The disease started to reverse,
to get better. As soon as patients stopped
eating artery-clogging diets, their bodies were able to start
dissolving some of the plaque away, opening up arteries without
drugs, without surgery, suggesting their bodies
wanted to heal all along, but were just never
given the chance. That improvement in blood flow to
the heart muscle itself (on the left) was after just three weeks eating healthy. Let me share with you what’s been
called the best kept secret in medicine. The best kept secret in medicine is that
sometimes, given the right conditions, the body can heal itself. You know if you whack your shin
really hard on a coffee table, it can get all red, hot, painful,
swollen, inflamed, but will heal naturally if
you just stand back and let your body work its magic. But what if you kept whacking your
shin in the same place day after day, in fact three times a day
(breakfast, lunch, and dinner). It’d never heal! You’d go to your doctor and
be like, “Oh, my shin hurts,” and the doctor would be like,
“No problem,” whip out their pad, write you a prescription
for painkillers. You’re still whacking your
shin three times a day. Oh, it still really hurts like heck, but oh, feels so much better
with those pain pills on board. Thank heavens for
modern medicine. It’s like when people take nitroglycerine
for crushing chest pain, tremendous relief, but you’re not doing
anything to treat the underlying cause. Our body wants to come
back to health if we let it. But if we keep re-damaging ourselves
three times a day, we may never heal. One of the most amazing things
I learned in all my medical training was that within about 15 years
of stopping smoking, your lung cancer risk approaches
that of a lifelong nonsmoker. Isn’t that amazing? Your lungs can clear
out all that tar, and eventually, it’s almost, as if
you never started smoking at all. And every morning of our smoking
life that healing process started until — Wham! Our first cigarette of the day,
reinjuring our lungs with every puff, just like we can reinjure our
arteries with every bite, when all we had to do all
along—the miracle cure— is just stand back, get out of the way,
stop re-damaging ourselves, and let our bodies natural healing
processes bring us back towards health. The human body is a
self-healing machine. Sure, you could choose moderation—
hit yourself with a smaller hammer— but why beat yourself up at all? I don’t tell my smoking patients
to cut down to half-a-pack a day, I tell them to quit. Sure, a half pack is better
than two packs a day, but we should try to only put
healthy things in our mouths. We’ve known about this for decades:
American Heart Journal, 1977. Cases like Mr. F.W. here —
heart disease so bad he couldn’t even make it to the mailbox,
but started eating healthier, and a few months later he was
climbing mountains, no pain. There are these fancy new anti-angina,
anti-chest pain drugs out now. They cost thousands of dollars a year, but at the highest dose, they may be
able to prolong exercise duration, as long as 33 and a half seconds. It does not look like those
choosing the drug route will be climbing mountains
anytime soon. See, plant-based diets aren’t
just safer and cheaper. They can work better because you’re
treating the actual cause of the disease.
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