October 25, 2012

A growing consensus that Inflammation, not cholesterol, causes heart disease

Dr. Stephen Sinatra, a cardiologist with 30 years of experience has written the Great Cholesterol Myth and says

"You know cholesterol is found at the scene of the crime for heart disease, but it's not the perpetrator.  I was doing angiograms on people with 150, who had far advanced heart disease," he recalled. "And the converse, I was doing angiograms on somebody with cholesterol of 280 and they had no heart disease."

If cholesterol doesn't cause heart disease, what does? Sinatra is among a growing number of physicians who point the finger at inflammation, which is caused by a number of things. Eating too much sugar is at the top of the list.
Sinatra believes statins are far too over-prescribed… for many statin users, the risks outweigh the gains.

"The side effects of statins are grossly under-reported," he said.

Muscle pain and fatigue are two of the key complaints he hears from statin users.  "These are statin side-effects," he concluded. "However, a lot of the doctors and patients think they're getting older. They're not getting older, these are statin side effects."

Patients over 70 years old are especially vulnerable.  "They can't remember names. They can't remember where they put their glasses or keys. They forget sometimes who they are," Sinatra explained.
"Cholesterol is sort of your friend. Sugar is your foe. It's the villain. It's your enemy," he said. Sugar damages arteries, increases blood pressure, and ages your organs.

In addition to avoiding foods that contain a sugar, reducing inflammation also involves avoiding foods that turn into sugar once you eat them.
These are called refined carbohydrates…the "white" foods, such as white bread, white bagels, white hot dog or hamburger buns, white pasta, white rice, white tortillas, and so forth.
In place of all that sugar, Sinatra advises replacing it with vegetables and fats. He also highly recommends eating unsaturated fats such as nuts, avocados, fish, and olive oil.  He touts saturated fats like butter, unprocessed meat (the kind you get in the meat department, not the deli) and one of his favorites: coconut oil.
Avoid trans fats like the plague. "I call trans fats unguided missiles that really cause enormous inflammation in the blood vessels," Sinatra said.
Posted by Jill Fallon at October 25, 2012 10:49 AM | Permalink