Dr. Dwight Lundell is an ex-chief of staff at the Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa. He set up the Healthy Humans Foundation, which promotes human health. Recently, Dr. Dwight left heart surgery in order to focus on the nutritional treatment of heart disease and ailments.

After 25 years of experience and more than 5.000 open-heart performed surgeries, Dr. Dwight admits to being wrong. After taking part in education seminars, training with prominent physicians and being bombarded with medicinal and scientific literature and research, he and the other physicians consider that heart disease was caused by high levels of cholesterol.

Prescribing medications for high cholesterol and regulating the fat intake was the only accepted treatment. A balanced low-fat diet was considered to lower the levels of cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. However, it was shown that this therapy does not work.

A few years ago, they found out that the inflammation of the artery walls was the main cause of the heart disease. This discovery is gradually changing the way in which heart disease and other chronic issues are treated. The traditional dietary recommendations have led to epidemics of diabetes and obesity.

Even though over 25 % of the world’s population takes statin medications and the intake of fat was reduced, a greater number of Americans will die this year of heart disease than before.

According to the statistics from the American Heart Association, over 75 million Americans are now suffering from heart disease; over 20 million have diabetes, whereas over 57 million Americans have pre-diabetes. Younger people are the most commonly affected by these medical conditions each year.

Namely, if there is not body inflammation, cholesterol cannot accumulate on the artery walls and cause heart disease or stroke. If there is not inflammation in the body, cholesterol would be able to move throughout the body as it is supposed. The inflammation causes the cholesterol to accumulate on the walls of the arteries.

Inflammation is the body’s defense against foreign invaders, like a virus, bacteria or toxin. The inflammation cycle perfectly protects the body from these foreign invaders. But, if the body is chronically exposed to toxins or substances, chronic inflammation is caused. It is as harmful as the acute inflammation is helpful for the body.

Smokers willfully expose themselves to substances and toxins that harm the body. However, other people follow the traditional dietary recommendations to consume foods that are low in fat, but high in carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fat, without knowing that they are damaging their blood vessels.

This leads to chronic inflammation, which in turn causes heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes. As we said before, the inflammation of the blood vessels is caused by the low-fat diet, which was recommended by the long-established recommendations.

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CAUSES OF CHRONIC INFLAMMATION?

The increased consumption of processed carbohydrates, like flour and sugar, and omega-6 vegetable oils, such as soybean, sunflower and corn, are considered the main causes of chronic inflammation.

Imagine rubbing a brush over the skin on a regular basis, until it becomes red and starts to bleed. You continue rubbing the skin every day for five years. If you can put up with this unbearable pain, you skin would be bleeding and the swollen areas would become worse with each rubbing.

This can help you to visualize the inflammation process in the body, regardless of where it takes place, externally or internally. The foods we consume create injuries, which lead to more injuries, causing the body to respond with inflammation. The body responds alarmingly as foreign invaders attack it. Foods rich in carbohydrates or sugar and omega-6 processed foods have been the basis of the

American diet for many years. These foods have been harming our bodies without being aware of it.

How does the consumption of these foods lead to chronic inflammation?

When we eat simple carbohydrates, like sugar, the levels of blood sugar increase rapidly. The pancreas responds by secreting insulin, whose function is to transport sugar to each cell where it is stored for energy. However, if the cell does not need sugar, it rejects it in order to prevent extra sugar.

When the cell rejects the glucose, the blood sugar increases releasing more insulin and converting glucose into fat. The molecules of extra sugar attach to different proteins, which in turn harm the walls of the blood vessels. This injury of the blood vessel wall causes inflammation.

To prolong shelf life, processed foods, like fries or chips, are manufactured with omega-6 vegetable oils. Even though omega-6 fatty acids are necessary – as they are a part of the cell membrane regulating what goes in and out of the cells – they have to be in balance with omega-3 fatty acids. However, if there is an imbalance in the body, the cell membranes produce cytokines, chemicals that cause inflammation.

In addition, the consumption of these foods causes obesity, which additionally overloads the cells that produce pro-inflammatory chemicals. Therefore, this increases high blood sugar and makes the injury worse.

Moreover, the consumption of processed food turns into a vicious circle, which causes diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process remains unabated. It is a fact that the more we eat processed and prepared food, the more we stimulate inflammation. The body cannot process sugar-packed or processed foods rich in omega-6 vegetable oils.

One way to prevent inflammation is to consume organic food. If you want to build muscle, you should eat protein. Consume colorful vegetables and fruits to increase carbohydrate intake. Avoid or cut down inflammation-causing omega-6 oils, such as soybean oil or corn oil, and processed foods made from them as well. Instead of soybean oil or corn oil, use grass-fed butter or olive oil.

A tablespoon of soybean oil has 6.940 mg of omega-6 oil, whereas a tablespoon of corn oil has 7.280 mg of omega-6 oil. Moreover, animal fats have less than 20 % of omega-6 oils and are less likely to cause inflammation that the polyunsaturated oils.

The science that saturated fat increases blood cholesterol and causes heart disease is unreal. The cholesterol theory and the low-fat dietary recommendations created the foods, which are now causing the epidemic of inflammation.

As people were advised to consume foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and avoid saturated fats, the epidemic of arterial epidemic now is causing heart disease and other health ailments. You can reverse the damage in the arteries by consuming whole and fresh, unprocessed foods and avoiding inflammatory foods.

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Dr. Dwight Lundell is an ex-chief of staff at the Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa. He set up the Healthy Humans Foundation, which promotes human health. Recently, Dr. Dwight left heart surgery in order to focus on the nutritional treatment of heart disease and ailments.After 25 years of experience...