As a society in todays world, we are the most unhealthy we have ever been. Between all the chemicals we put in our foods, the refined sugars, and ultra processed vegetable oils, its no wonder why according to the CDC 647,000 people died from heart disease. It was the leading cause of death in the US in 2020.
What is Heart Disease?
Heart disease is any type of disorder that affects the heart or the blood vessels that supply it with blood. It is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease, which is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply the heart with blood. This can lead to blockages and decreased blood flow, which can result in a heart attack. Other types of heart disease include arrhythmias, heart failure, congenital heart defects, and cardiomyopathy.
Suspect #1: Vegetable Oils
Some say vegetable oils were originated as a healthier option to saturated animal fats for cooking. After some research, that seems to be a contradictory reason.
Vegetable oils are usually very high in polyunsaturated fats, which are easily damaged when heated. These damaged fats can form dangerous compounds called aldehydes, which may cause inflammation and oxidative stress in the body. Additionally, vegetable oils are often heavily processed and may contain harmful substances, such as trans fats, which can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems.
Aldehydes are known to cause inflammation in the body which is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease. Aldehydes can also make the arteries stiffer, narrowing the blood vessels and reducing blood flow to the heart. This can lead to higher blood pressure, which can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. Additionally, aldehydes can increase cholesterol levels, leading to a buildup of plaque in the arteries that can further increase the risk of heart disease.
So, these “healthier” cooking oil options such aas canola, corn, or vegetable oils really arent much healthier if you ask me!
Suspect #2: Refined Sugars
Eating refined and processed sugars can increase the risk of developing heart disease. This is because refined sugars and processed foods are high in calories, low in nutritional value, and can cause a spike in blood sugar and insulin levels . This can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of developing conditions such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes, which are all risk factors for heart disease. Additionally, many processed foods are high in trans fats, which are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
John Yudkin was a British physiologist who conducted research into the effects of sugar on human health. His research showed that high levels of sugar consumption were linked to elevated cholesterol levels, obesity, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. He argued that sugar should be regulated like tobacco and alcohol and should be labeled with warnings about its potential health risks. Yudkin’s research was largely ignored and instead, the focus was shifted onto the role of saturated fats in heart disease.
There is evidence that the leaders of the sugar industry did pay off scientists to place the blame for coronary heart disease on saturated animal fats instead of refined sugar . In 1965, the Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) paid two Harvard researchers $6,500 to downplay the link between sugar and heart disease and instead focus on the link between saturated animal fats and heart disease. The SRF also funded research aimed at discrediting Yudkin’s research and ultimately managed to successfully redirect attention away from sugar and instead focus on dietary fat as the main dietary culprit for heart disease.
I truly believe that our consumotion of highly processed vegetable oils, and highly refined sugars are the two biggest causes of heart disease. Our ancestors who survived by hunting and gathering were able to maintain much better physical states than we are. They worried about infections and true pandemics, not a crisis like heart disease. It wasnt nearly as common in our past generations and I am a firm believer it is because of their nutrition and our lack of it; their physicality and our lack of it.