#1 Killer

What is the #1 Killer?

Heart disease is the top killer of men and women in the US. Every year over 780,000 Americans have a heart attack. Genetics have little to do with the prevalence of this disease in America because it affects populations of different ethnicities at almost the same rate. Hispanics, African Americans, and whites all have a 20-25% prevalence of death from heart disease.1

Is it preventable?

Yes, heart disease is preventable and even reversable through a healthy vegetarian diet and lifestyle.2 Changing your lifestyle means increasing exercise, intake of fruits and vegetables daily, and decreasing intake of animal products. Several doctors including Caldwell Esselstyn, Dean Ornish, Robert Rosati, Neal Barnard, John Mcdougall, Joel Fuhrman, and many others, have shown that heart disease can be reversed through a change in diet.

What causes heart disease?

A diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol can gradually contribute to clogging of the arteries. Foods such as beef, eggs, butter, cheese, chicken, and fish, all contain saturated fat and cholesterol. High blood cholesterol can lead to deposits of cholesterol in the arteries. Specifically small particles of LDL cholesterol accumulating in the arteries contribute to heart disease.3 Inflammation also causes a narrowing of the arteries.4

What increases your risk?

  1. Inactivity
  2. Obesity
  3. High Blood Pressure
  4. Smoking
  5. High Cholesterol
  6. Diabetes5

 What lowers your risk?

  • Vegetarian diet6
  • Exercise
  • Increasing fiber intake

References:

1.  Miniño AM, Murphy SL, Xu J, Kochanek KD. Deaths: Final data for 2008. National Vital Statistics Reports; vol 59 no 10. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2011.

2. Esselstyn CB Jr, Ellis SG, Medendorp SV, Crowe TD. A strategy to arrest and reverse coronary artery disease: a 5-year longitudinal study of a single physician’s practice. J Fam Pract. 1995 Dec;41(6):560-8.

3. Landray MJ,  Sagar G, Muskin J, et al. Association of Atherogenic low-density lipoprotein subfractions with carotid atherosclerosis. QJM. 1998 May; 91(5): 345-351.

4. Hansson GK. Inflammation, Atherosclerosis, and Coronary Artery Disease. [N Engl J Med] 2005 Apr 21; Vol. 352 (16), pp. 1685-95.

5. National Center for Health Statistics. Health, United States, 2010: With Special Feature on Death and Dying. Hyattsville, MD.

6. Marsh Kate, Brand-Miller Jennie. Vegetarian Diets and Diabetes. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, Volume 5, issue 2 (March 2011), p. 135-143