What is the Best Diet for a Healthy Heart?

The improvement of arterial function on a complete plant-based diet seems so pronounced that cardiac patients can achieve a 90% reduction in angina attacks.

Endothelial dysfunction is the initial stage in the development of peripheral artery disease, heart disease, and stroke. As I discuss in my video Plant-Based Diets and Artery Function the remarkable finding is that progressive endothelial dysfunction – the decline in the functioning of our arteries – is not a inevitable consequence of aging

We can maintain the arterial function we had in our 20s in our 60s, like the older Chinese. This possibility may be due in part to the consumption of green tea, but important dietary differences related to increased consumption of vegetables and fish, with a lower consumption of other meat and dairy in the traditional Chinese diet, could contribute to protection in ancient Chinese arteries. ”

This is probably not the fish. Pooling all the best double-blind, placebo-controlled studies has shown that fish oil supplementation has no significant effect on endothelial function. By far the largest study conducted to date, a comparison of fish oil doses equivalent to one, two or four servings of fish per week found no effect of these omega-3 fatty acids at all. long chain.

This is consistent with the studies that also looked at the consumption of whole fish. Overall, there was no significant association between fish consumption and endothelial function. In fact, in women, those who ate the most fish had the worst arterial function. Women who ate fish more than twice a week had a significant change in endothelial function compared to those who never or rarely ate.

So, if it’s not the fish, could it be the plants? Vegetarian diets seem to have a direct beneficial effect on endothelial function. In fact, the arteries of vegetarians dilate four times better than the arteries of omnivores. But, could this be simply because vegetarians tend to smoke less? In the five minutes after you smoke a single cigarette, our endothelium is on your knees, completely tight, and this happens if you smoke or simply breathe in second-hand smoke.

But the diet study completely excluded all smokers. Beneficial effects were independent of non-dietary risk factors. In fact, a healthy diet can even override smoking. The preservation of endothelial function in older Chinese can help explain why they have such low rates of heart attack despite their high prevalence of smoking.

And, the improved arterial function was well correlated with the duration of vegetarian consumption: The longer they ate, the better their endothelial function seemed to be. This was a cross-sectional study, however, a snapshot in time, so you can not prove the cause and effect. What we need is an interventional test – put people on the plant diet and see if their arterial function improves – which is exactly what Dr. Dean Ornish has fact, showing a significant increase in arterial function compared to control.

Is it just an intangible risk factor test result, or does it really have real-world implications? Do their arteries expand naturally so much better than their chest pain actually improves? Ornish showed that in his diet program and herbal lifestyle, heart patients had a 91 percent reduction in angina attacks. In contrast, patients in the control group, who were advised to follow the advice of their personal physician for advice on diet and lifestyle, reported an increase of 186% angina.

This “marked reduction in the frequency, severity and duration of angina pectoris [chest pain with the plant-based lifestyle intervention] … was maintained at similar levels after 5 years. This long-term reduction in angina pectoris is comparable to that achieved after coronary artery bypass grafting or angioplasty, “but without the knife”.

But that was in the 1990s, when Ornish was studying only a few dozen patients at a time. How about a thousand patients who adopt a healthy lifestyle through a complete herbal diet? In three months, nearly three quarters of patients with angina pectoris have become without angina.

Wait a second. The Ornish program involves a number of other healthy lifestyle interventions, such as exercise. How do we know that it was the diet? This is precisely the subject of my video Herbal Treatment for Angina .

What would happen if, instead of following an herbal diet, you go on a low carbohydrate diet? You do not want to know. But if you must, check out low carb diets and coronary blood flow.

 

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