Coronary Artery Disease Virtually Preventable
Coronary artery disease and hypercholesterolemia (i.e. cholesterol levels of 150 mg/dl or higher) are diseases of genetic susceptibility, if people do certain things; namely, if they consume a diet high in calories, fatty foods (meat and poultry, dairy products, fast and fried foods), and white-flour baked goods and low in whole, fiber-rich foods (fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains) - the typical, 30% to 50%-fat American fare. These very same dietary habits also cause various cancers (carcinomas of the breast, colon and ovaries, for example), as well as diabetes, diverticulitis and gallstones.
To me, this clearly explains why coronary disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer are the major killers in Western cultures.
The reason that some people develop coronary artery disease from diet-induced high cholesterol and not cancer is simply that they are genetically susceptible to the former condition but genetically resistant to the latter. On the other hand, when a person is genetically resistant to diet-induced elevated cholesterol but consumes a Western diet, he or she may be predisposed to develop the number two cause of death - cancer.
People living in other countries that are less technologically developed have a fiber-based diet resulting in cholesterol levels of 90 to 130 mg/dl, and do not have the high risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and gallstones typical of more highly developed countries. The same is true of people who eat macrobiotic or high-fiber diets.
There is a "natural human design" that dictates what type of diet we are meant to consume. It seems unlikely that the human body will tolerate a high-calorie diet that contains 30% fat or, for that matter, much sugar or artificial sweeteners, as in the ineffective National Cholesterol Education Program Step I diet.
Our biology would thrive on a high-fiber, whole-food, nearly vegetarian, 10% to 20%-fat diet, with foods such as brown rice, whole-grain pasta, stone-ground breads, boiled or steamed vegetables, fruits, bean dishes, nuts and seeds, and far less meat and poultry, white-flour breads and pasta and dairy products.
Of course, any of these "unhealthy" foods can be eaten once in a while, but to consume them often increases the risk of developing cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other diseases.
If American cardiologists wish to prevent coronary disease, they can do so by acceptance of a calorie-restricted diet higher in fiber (50 to 100 g/d) and whole foods of 10% to 20% fat content, rather than by altering our body chemistry via the inclusion of foods and medicines to which we are not truly suited.
Medical Tribune, September 8, 1994 - Editorial
By H. Robert Silverstein, MD
Courtesy of The Journal of Myocardial Ischemia, Volume 35, Issue 17, p 17.