Why Has the American Approach to Heart Disease Failed? | Chris Kresser

Why Has the American Approach to Heart Disease Failed?


Published on

A recent New York Times article correctly suggests that diet and lifestyle changes are far more effective ways to prevent and treat heart disease than statins and stents. But what diet, and what lifestyle? Is it as simple as avoiding “artery-clogging saturated fat,” as the author suggests? Read on to find out why the American approach to heart disease has really failed.

Heart disease in America is on the rise.
Saturated fat has been demonized for decades as the primary cause of heart disease. istock.com/a_namenko

Jane Brody wrote an article in The New York Times called “Learning from Our Parents’ Heart Health Mistakes.” She argues that despite decades of advice to change our diet and lifestyle in order to reduce our risk of heart disease and improve our heart health, we still depend far too much on drugs and expensive procedures like stents.

She says:

Too often, the American approach to heart disease amounts to shutting the barn door after the horse has escaped.

To support this argument, she refers to a recent paper published on the Tsimane, an indigenous population in the Bolivian Amazon. The study found that the rate of coronary atherosclerosis in the Tsimane was one-fifth of that observed in the United States (and the lowest that has ever been measured). Nearly nine in 10 Tsimane had unobstructed coronary arteries and no evidence of heart disease, and the researchers estimated that the average 80-year-old Tsimane has the same vascular age as an American in his mid-50s.

I certainly agree with Ms. Brody so far, and her analogy that the American approach to heart disease amounts to shutting the barn door after the horse has escaped is spot on.

The problem is what comes next, as she attempts to answer the question of why the Tsimane have so much less heart disease than Americans:

Protein accounts for 14 percent of their calories and comes primarily from animal meats that, unlike American meats, are very low in artery-clogging saturated fat. [emphasis mine]

Does Saturated Fat “Clog” Your Arteries?

Artery-clogging saturated fat? Are we still using that phrase in 2017?

As I’ve written before, on average, long-term studies do not show an association between saturated fat intake and blood cholesterol levels. (1) (I say “on average” because individual response to saturated fat can vary based on genetics and other factors—but this is a subject for another article.)

If you’re wondering whether saturated fat may contribute to heart disease in some way that isn’t related to cholesterol, a large meta-analysis of prospective studies involving close to 350,000 participants found no association between saturated fat and heart disease. (2)

Does saturated fat really “clog” your arteries?

Are “Clogged Arteries” the Cause of Heart Disease?

Moreover, as Peter Attia eloquently and thoroughly described in this article, the notion that atherosclerosis is caused by “clogged arteries” was shown to be false many years ago:

Most people, doctors included, think atherosclerosis is a luminal-narrowing condition—a so-called “pipe narrowing” condition. It’s true that eventually the lumen of a diseased vessel does narrow, but this is sort of like saying the defining feature of a subprime collateralized debt obligation (CDO) is the inevitable default on its underlying assets. By the time that happens, eleven other pathologic things have already happened and you’ve missed the opportunity for the most impactful intervention to prevent the cascade of events from occurring at all.

To reiterate: atherosclerosis development begins with plaque accumulation in the vessel wall, which is accompanied by expansion of the outer vessel wall without a change in the size of the lumen. Only in advanced disease, and after significant plaque accumulation, does the lumen narrow.

Michael Rothenberg also published an article on the fallacy of the “clogged pipe” hypothesis of heart disease. He said:

Although the image of coronary arteries as kitchen pipes clogged with fat is simple, familiar, and evocative, it is also wrong.

If Heart Disease Isn’t Caused by “Clogged Arteries,” What Does Cause It?

The answer to that question is a little more complex. For a condensed version, read my article “The Diet-Heart Myth: Why Everyone Should Know Their LDL Particle Number.” For a deeper dive, read Dr. Attia’s article.

Here’s the 15-second version, courtesy of Dr. Attia:

Atherosclerosis is caused by an inflammatory response to sterols in artery walls. Sterol delivery is lipoprotein-mediated, and therefore much better predicted by the number of lipoprotein particles (LDL-P) than by the cholesterol they carry (LDL-C).

You might think that I’m splitting hairs here over terminology, but that’s not the case. It turns out that this distinction—viewing heart disease as caused by high LDL-P and inflammation, rather than arteries clogged by saturated fat—has crucial implications when it comes to the discussion of how to prevent it.

Because while it’s true that a high intake of saturated fat can elevate LDL particle number in some people, this appears to be a minority of the population. The most common cause of high LDL-P in Americans—and elsewhere in the industrial world—is almost certainly insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. (I explain why in this article.)

And what is one of the most effective ways of treating insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome? That’s right: a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet!

News Flash: Diets High in Saturated Fat May Actually Prevent Heart Disease

Perhaps this explains why low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets (yes, including saturated fat) have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

For example, a meta-analysis of 17 low-carb diet trials covering 1,140 obese patients published in the journal Obesity Reviews found that low-carb diets were associated with significant decreases in body weight, as well as improvements in several CV risk factors, including decreases in triglycerides, fasting glucose, blood pressure, body mass index, abdominal circumference, plasma insulin, and C-reactive protein, as well as an increase in HDL cholesterol. (3)

(In case you’re wondering, low-carb diets in these studies had a null effect on LDL cholesterol: they neither increased nor decreased it.)

Saturated Fat Is a Red Herring

Instead of focusing so much on saturated fat intake, which is almost certainly a red herring, why not focus on other aspects of the Tsimane’s diet and lifestyle that might contribute to their low risk of heart disease? For example:

  • They are extremely active physically; Tsimane men walk an average of 17,000 steps a day, and Tsimane women walk an average of 15,000 steps a day—and they don’t sit for long periods. Ms. Brody does mention this in her article.
  • They don’t eat processed and refined foods. We have been far too focused on calories and macronutrient ratios and not enough on food quality. We now know that hunter–gatherers and pastoralists around the world have thrived on both high-carbohydrate, low-fat diets (like the Tsimane, who get 72 percent of calories from carbohydrate) and low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets (like the Masai and Inuit). But what all hunter–gatherer diets share in common is their complete absence of processed and refined foods.

Perhaps if we stopped focusing so much on the amount of fat and carbohydrate in our diet and started focusing more on the quality of the food we eat, we’d be better off.

And of course we also need to attend to the many other differences between our modern lifestyle (which causes heart disease) and the ancestral lifestyle (which prevents it), including physical activity, sleep, stress, light exposure, play/fun, and social support.

The Tsimane study illustrates exactly why an evolutionary perspective on diet, lifestyle, and behavior is so important. It helps us to generate hypotheses on what aspects of our modern way of life may be contributing to chronic diseases like atherosclerosis and gives us ideas about what interventions we need to make to prevent and reverse these diseases.

  1. not joining just stopped reading a lot of BS here that mostly is a discussion between a couple people without an understanding
    of what they are talking about. Chris should not accept these discussions but simply report Fact and support.

  2. Chris, I am a health practitioner and also a chapter leader for Weston Price. I have had elevated cholesterol my whole life (I was diagnosed with Hashimotos about 6 years ago). I had an IQ Lipid panel and all my LDL #s were high and my LPa was 126. I have been a healthy all organic clean eater for a long time. I was vegan for some years ago and then was diagnosed. Since then I eat good quality grass-fed beef, some chicken and wild salmon. I had been eating ghee and coconut oil as I am an Ayurveda practitioner. My TCM doctor suggested that I stop both but continue having grass-fed beef but eat oatmeal each day and barley for dinner every night. She also asked that I limit fats. The result after only 30 days was that my ALL numbers came down pretty significantly and even the LPa went to 116. This obviously works for me so I guess my point is that one size doesn’t fit all and we have to tailor dietary needs to each person. My real test will be after 6 months to make sure it wasn’t beginners luck and that this will sustain the numbers coming down. That being said I have a zero calcium score, great cholesterol ratios, low BP, normal EKG and echo so I am not overly concerned with cholesterol as we know it is not the definitive marker for heart disease. Even still every doctor has wanted me to go on statins so even though we know lifestyle is important they are still pushing the meds regardless.

  3. I completely agree that the most important steps are to cut out sugar and processed foods, and to exercise intensely. However, when you say, that “the American approach to heart disease has failed”, you have to address the statistics that are put out by the AHA and other mainstream organizations. See this graph: http://www.who.int/chp/chronic_disease_report/photos/large_chart_heart_disease.jpg?ua=1, and this one: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4830a1.htm#fig1 in this article: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4830a1.htm. It is possible that the decline in heart disease deaths is due completely to the decrease in rheumatic heart disease and to improved care of heart attack survivors, but I don’t think that’s the whole story.
    Your headline is misleading and click-baity. There’s a whole lot wrong with conventional medicine. But when we criticize it carelessly, we risk falling into the same traps that they do.

    • From the UK:
      ‘ Heart disease ‘on the increase’. The number of people suffering from heart disease is rising, according to latest statistics. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) revealed one in eight people have heart disease – a 5% increase since 1989. Some 2.7m Britons have coronary heart disease although the death rate has actually fallen since the 1970s with the introduction of better treatment.’

      • Unfortunately the quote from the BBC is dated 2004. For the latest thinking see ‘Fat but fit myth busted’ by Dr Assem Malhorta, cardiologist. This was quoted several times on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme yesterday, 17 May.

    • Too much exercise can raise cortisol levels and create many related problems. Moderate exercise is the healthiest option, now..

    • Too much exercise raises cortisol levels which can lead to other health problems like Metabolic Syndrome. Moderate, simple exercise is recommended these days..

  4. Medical research frequently barks up the wrong tree via correlation. Skip the research. Also skip the sweets and grains. Instead eat real, fresh whole foods that you prepare yourself and you can’t go too far wrong.

    • I agree at 100%. Chris made a very good article.
      Correlation is exploited to support business driven campaigns.

  5. The NYT desperately needs a real science writer…Long past time for Jane Brody to go. She is so wedded to the low-fat dogma.

    • I agree! Jane Brody’s “Personal Health” column in the NYT is consistently eye-rolling and forehead-slapping. I stopped reading it long ago, because even when she appears to be writing on an interesting topic, it is inevitably the most dated, basic, unthoughtful information she could possibly find. A simple Google search on any of her topics is more likely to turn up a more nuanced and current perspective. It mystifies me why the Times continues to publish her.

    • Could not agree more! That the NY Times still lets her publish this false premise is beyond me. C’mon, Jane, wake up and smell the bacon! I’d like to send her Nina Teicholz’s, “The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet.” Then sit her down and force feed her a 12 oz. fatty rib eye steak.

  6. “The only true bad fats are hydrogenated oils and vegetable oils.”

    Not true!! EVOO contains some bad fats just like nuts and all oils. I used to use EVOO, I’ve stopped!!

    ” Your seemingly high fat duet didn’t give you heart disease, there was another factor. ”

    You’re correct, my high fat (good oils) diet didn’t give me heart disease. I NEVER said that!! I said that a lack of Vit C contributed to the problem.

    “Heart disease is complex and almost impossible to detect the root cause in conventional medicine. Something was aggravating inflammatory responses within your body.”

    Since I was in Ketosis the great majority of the time there is little chance that it was an inflammatory response. Ketosis keeps inflammation in check…..that’s why my allergies, asthma and diverticulosis disappeared (no inflammation)

    “That can be anything from a processed food diet, poor thyroid function, leaky gut, or all the above.”

    I already had my thyroid checked (it was totally normal), I wasn’t eating any processed food, I’ve never had leaky gut.

    I appreciate your input but I’m living proof that I’m doing the right thing. There is no reasonable person who would claim that lack of Vitamin C won’t cause Scurvy (internal bleeding), arterial wall dysfunction.


    • A lack of vitamin c is extremely rare. Where you not eating vegetables? Poor absorption of vitamin c, or any nutrient for that matter, could be a sign of intestinal permeability (leaky gut). There’s no bad fats in nuts or olive oil. Where are you getting this information? Olive oil is primarily oleic acid (omega 9 fat) and nuts are primarily linoleic acid ( omega 6 fat). Both of these are healthy and help control inflammation responses within the body. Long term ketogenic diets aren’t all that healthy either, in some situations under the guidance of someone they can be done long term, but it isn’t recommended to do them long term by yourself. People on long term ketogenic diets need their thyroid monitored regularly.

        • It’s pretty easy to google EVOO or any type of nut for nutritional information. Here’s a site on one EVOO product, check out the Sat and Poly UnSat fats:


          Nuts are the same. This is something that I had no idea about before my heart attack!!

          “A lack of vitamin c is extremely rare. Where you not eating vegetables? Poor absorption of vitamin c”

          I never said anything about “poor absorption” of Vit C. You can’t say that a lack of Vit C is extremely rare because most people have a Vit C deficiency. It doesn’t take a complete absence of Vit C to cause damage. A Vit C deficiency is all that’s required. You don’t see Scuvy in today’s society because we all get some Vit C but that doesn’t mean that we’re getting enough. Humans (unlike most other mammals) don’t produce their own Vit C. We produce NONE!! If you have a Vit C deficiency there is a likely hood that your arteries may not properly heal (when damaged). Anytime they don’t heal naturally Cholesterol (Lipoprotien A) must patch the damaged area to preclude eventual blood loss (scurvy). This “back up” repair system is an evolutionary adaptation when humans stopped producing their own Vit C.

          Evidently no one has watched the Dr Rath’s video???

          • I haven’t watched the video but I do know that the Vitamin C supplement has to be the COMPLETE form with the Bioflavonoids not just the citric portion. And the food form is the best of all. And yes, you can /take-eat/ a ton of things, but if you’re not ABSORBING it then it’s of NO use. Personal case in point! Took me a while to figure that out.

            • Shelia, you are correct!! The great majority of Vit C supplements are NOT the “real thing”!! That’s why I eat fresh grapefruits and lemons everyday.

              The following was taken from the “Paleoleap” website:

              “So what is this wonderful scurvy-preventing nutrient? Like most other micronutrients, Vitamin C doesn’t just have one job. It’s a powerful antioxidant, and a cofactor for several important reactions. It’s crucial for the formation of collagen, the tissue that makes up much of our joints and skin. Because your body can’t repair itself without collagen, wound healing is dependent on adequate Vitamin C status – that’s why people with scurvy notice open sores that don’t seem to heal. It also helps the body absorb and use iron (this is why anemia can be a symptom of scurvy even in people whose dietary iron intake is adequate).
              Vitamin C actually has a fairly interesting story. Biologically, humans are one of the few animals that can’t make our own Vitamin C: we’re totally dependent on getting it from food. In that respect, we’re in a tiny group of apparently unrelated animals that includes a handful of our fellow primates, guinea pigs, bats, and a few species of birds
              Not everyone agrees that “preventing scurvy” is the relevant standard, though. Simply avoiding an obvious deficiency isn’t the goal here; we’re looking for optimal health. Even people who never get diagnosed with scurvy can still suffer from a low-level inadequacy of Vitamin C, marked by fatigue, weight loss, and inexplicable aches and pains (this is sometimes called “latent scurvy”). None of that sounds particularly fun, so the ideal diet and supplement routine should prevent low-level deficiency as well as outright scurvy.”

              As to Dr. Rath’s video….I stumbled across it in my search for answers to my clogged arteries. It makes a lot of sense (looking back at my previous diet). The “collagen” that was mentioned in first paragraph is vital to the repair of the inner lining of all our veins and arteries!!! Without enough collagen (and Vit C) to make a repair we’ve developed cholesterol to cover (patch) any artery damage to basically “plug the leak”.
              The Inuit tribes don’t get CVD nearly as often as we do even though they don’t eat vegetable/fruits….but they do eat raw meats and animal organs not mention the rest of the animal!!


              • Cholesterol is also necessary to produce hormones, as well as support the adrenals which are also instrumental in wound healing and inflammation reduction.
                As far as the sun not being good for your arteries, or something like that I read on here….then every native African would have CVD too! Or anybody else living near the Equator.
                Nah, our diet is the culprit in all of these things. You ARE what you eat. Taking me a long time to figure that out also and that I can’t game the system. I guess G0d knew what he was doing. =) But we keep try to ‘improve’ on it for monetary gain. And of course convenience. Faster. But is it – Life – better.

                • Oops…miss read the comment on sun being bad for you. My bad. LESS sunlight is bad for you. Got it!

            • EVOO is one of the better oils but in my case, since I had a heart attack, I have to avoid any oils or fats that contain any bad fats at all. Normally EVOO is good for you, I used to take some everyday (before heart attack). But the heart healthy diet I’m on doesn’t allow for much EVOO or much fat at all. I need to keep my LDL super low for quite some time to hopefully clear out my arteries and maybe grow new arteries. I eat macadamia nuts because they have one of the best percentages of good VS bad oils. Of course I also take Omega 3 and 6 oils among many other supplements.


  7. I have a practical (real life) example to write about when it comes to high fat/high protein diet. I have diverticulosis, as such I found that eating carbs and sugar aggravated my condition. To prevent the pain and bleeding (Diver) I stopped eating carbs (less than 30 g per day) and minimal sugar (less than 15G per day). I ate mostly protein and good oils (cold pressed, high quality olive oil) and I stayed on this diet for over 3 years. I was in Ketosis most (if not all) the time. I also found that my sinus allergies and asthma went away on the low carb/lo sugar diet. Now the bad news……..I had a heart attack 7 months ago. They found three arteries partially blocked (90 percent, 70 percent and 70 percent). After tons of reading and research I found that beef and chicken (and even fish) have some bad fats. Even EVOO contains some bad fats!! Even nuts contain bad fats. I also found that not eating enough Vit C (real vitamin C) will disable your body’s ability to repair damaged arteries. Once an artery is damaged (caused by high blood pressure or high blood sugar) the body will repair the damage using Vit C, but in the absence of sufficient Vit C the body will use Cholesterol (fat/Calcium) to patch the arterial damage (back up system). In the extreme case of Vit C deficiency we develop Scurvy. Scurvy is characterized by a breakdown of the arterial walls (internal bleeding). This is why we (in America) call the British people “Limies”. Without limes (Vit C) the sailors would develop Scurvy and die. Without sufficient Vit C the body will “try” to fix (patch) the artery damage via the fat/calcium route. With ample fat (high cholesterol) in the blood stream the body will continue to “pile on” the fat or calcium eventually blocking blood flow.
    I used to eat (ingest) almost no Vit C, yes I took a Vit C supplements but that isn’t the same as a lime, lemon or grapefruit. Either way, I had a heart attack. I have since changed my diet. I now eat egg whites (zero fats), fruits/vegetables (zero fats) and some low mercury tuna (not too much). Oh yes, lots of lemons and grapefruits!!
    I had stopped exercising years ago (on the low carb/sugar diet) because I was losing too much weight. But now I have to exercise to both clear out my arteries and/or grow new arteries in my heart.
    The arteries that were clogged (arteriogram) were the smaller “diagonal” arteries. I experienced extreme angina for many weeks after the heart attack and I was put on numerous medications to prevent the angina (isosorbide mononitrate, atorvanstatin, aspirin etc) . They told me that the clogged arteries were too small to stent or to bypass and sent me home to die.
    I exercised ( a lot) and ate the foods described above and now I’m angina FREE and exercising daily. I’m cutting back on the statins, alpha blockers, aspirin, etc.
    So, in closing……eating good oils is good for you but in the end , if you don’t get enough of the minerals/vitamins you need to repair your arteries it won’t make much of a difference. Yes, you can lower your LDL and your triglycerides….BUT if you don’t get the vitamins and minerals needed to repair any damage your arteries will experience it won’t make any difference.
    Looks like I’m going to live even though the doctors never told me to do any of things I’m doing for myself. My angina is gone, I exercise a lot (every day), eat a very low fat diet (LDL – 33, HDL – 44, triglycerides – 65). I don’t know what else to do??? But my angina is gone and I can exert myself without any pain. My doctors were of little help and if it wasn’t for all my research I would probably be dead!!


    • Sorry but I’m not buying that story of yours. If your LDL gets to 33 your dead. And you can’t “grow” new arteries. The only true bad fats are hydrogenated oils and vegetable oils. Your seemingly high fat duet didn’t give you heart disease, there was another factor. Heart disease is complex and almost impossible to detect the root cause in conventional medicine. Something was aggravating inflammatory responses within your body. That can be anything from a processed food diet, poor thyroid function, leaky gut, or all the above. If the problem isn’t correct the same thing will occur on a high carb diet as well.

      • Well…..I’m not dead??? In fact I’m in pretty good shape for being 65 years old!! I ride my bike for an hour everyday, keeping my heart rate at above 120 for at least 45 min. My LDL used to be 31 (3 months ago) but I’ve cut back on the Statin drug (against the cardiologist recommendations) to helpfully boost my HDL (which is more important). My HDL used to be 36 (3 months ago) now it’s 44. When I had my heart attack my LDL was 185 (which isn’t bad). But in the absence of Vit C it didn’t make any difference.
        As for growing new arteries…..there have been numerous “documented” studies showing that the heart can grow new arteries to compensate for areas of the heart that are low on oxygen. Other extremities can also grow new arteries, just do a google search and you’ll see many “documented” studies.
        Besides….I have pictures (angiogram) of my clogged arteries, I have (experienced) the dreadful pain of angina for many, many weeks following my heart attack. Those pains are GONE!!! If my arteries are clogged (as the angiogram shows) why has my angina disappeared?????????
        There are only 2 explanations…either I’ve started to clear out my arteries (diet changes) OR I’m growing new arteries. Otherwise I’d still be experiencing the angina. Angina doesn’t just GO AWAY!!! If fact, as the arteries get more clogged (CVD progresses) the angina gets worse and worse and you end up in the hospital again.
        Do some research, then get back to me.

        • Sounds like you need to do some research in what causes heart disease (and research in lipid analysis for that matter) because some of your statement is way off in left field. It’s impossible to grow new arteries, this isn’t even debatable. It is possible to unblock arteries, however preventive actions to prevent such a blockage in the first place is best. A 33 LDL will kill someone, I’m a lipidologist here in the great state of Arizona so I know quite a bit about analyzing lipid profiles. Healthy LDL levels are between 130 and 160 for most general people. BTW, LDL isn’t bad, it’s a antimicrobial agent that rises when there is an infection. People with real low LDLs have extreme compromised immunity. A 44 HDL is on the low side, here at our facility we like to see 65 to 85 zone for HDL.

          • “Sounds like you need to do some research in what causes heart disease (and research in lipid analysis for that matter) because some of your statement is way off in left field. It’s impossible to grow new arteries, this isn’t even debatable. It is possible to unblock arteries, however preventive actions to prevent such a blockage in the first place is best. A 33 LDL will kill someone, I’m a lipidologist here in the great state of Arizona so I know quite a bit about analyzing lipid profiles. Healthy LDL levels are between 130 and 160 for most general people. BTW, LDL isn’t bad, it’s a antimicrobial agent that rises when there is an infection. People with real low LDLs have extreme compromised immunity. A 44 HDL is on the low side, here at our facility we like to see 65 to 85 zone for HDL.”

            Based on what you have written I should be dead, I should have been dead long ago. But I’m not…can you explain why I can ride my bike for 1 hour (non stop) for an hour keeping my HR above 120 with no angina or any other issues??
            Yes, Lipids play a role in artery repair and function, I won’t argue that point. What I am saying is that fats in the blood become a problem only after there is damage to the internal walls of the arteries. If the arteries can not repair themselves (Vit C and other minerals/vitamins) then the fats (in the blood) become a problem. I have one of the best immunity systems of anyone I know…I never get sick (colds, flu, infections). My wife gets sick, my kids get sick, my friends get sick but I never get sick. I don’t even get a flu vaccine because I never get the flu (I’m 65 years old). I am quite aware of the normal LDL/HDL range guidelines, they’re printed on the Lipid/CDC panel results. My Cardiologist was delighted with the LDL/HDL readings (I wasn’t). I knew that my HDL needed to be higher, that’s why I cut the statin in half (against my cardiologist recommendations). My HDL rose to 44 which is in range recommended for someone with heart disease (heart attack victim).

            Please take the time to listen to Dr. Rath then let me know what you think??


            Thanks for your interest and keep the responses coming..


            • Treblig, you will never get a vaccine of any kind again if you watch the docu-series THE TRUTH ABOUT VACCINES by Ty Bollinger! Very well done with lots of studies and shocking, even criminal actions, by the CDC, FDA, universities, researchers, and Big Pharma especially. Here’s the link to the final episode still playing until tonight 4/20.
              P.S. And statins DO just what they are ‘prescribed’ to prevent. This I learned from reading some of Suzanne Somers books of her interviewing doctors. Another big money making scam at our health’s expense.
              Glad you are doing well.

              • The last time I received a vaccine was in 1972 (40 years ago). I had joined the military and a flu vaccine was mandatory. I (for the first time in my life) got the flu. I’ve never gotten another vaccine since then. I never get sick (flu, cold, infections). My only ailments have been asthma (since the age of 12), diverticulosis (at 55) and sinus allergies (all of which are caused by inflammation)….besides the heart attack. So…I’m OK now. A few more months on the bicycle and a few more months on these statins and nitrates I should be good to go.
                Or according to Jackson…I’m already dead or dying!!!

                thanks for the support!!!

                • Well if you watch the video you will see that they have a HEALTH 2020 //GOAL// of vaccinating the whole world by 2020. This is no joke. They are passing laws, already in CA as the role model, so you will not have a right of refusal!!! It will be tied to getting a license, job, education, & like you say military. And there are another 140 NEW vaccines in the pipeline being developed now. Oh, you will definitely want to know what is being planned for your body WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT. Calif. SB 277 passed. There were protests. The vaccines are an unopposed, fast-track, money-maker for drug companies that DO NOT prevent the diseases and are not safe in and of themselves. Many are contaminated with other viruses, fetal human and animal DNA, formaldehyde, metal toxin levels THAT ARE ILLEGAL, and other unbelievable adjuvants. Good Luck to us all. We have to wake up! Oh and they will certainly know now that they have your medical history on digital record.

            • Mike, thanks for posting those web sites. I had a heart attack late last year and, believe me, it was painful!!!! They did an angiogram and found three of my diagonal arteries 90, 70, and 70 percent blocked. The cardiac specialist said that the arteries were too small to stint and even too small to bypass so they basically gave me no OPTIONS. I got home (after three days at the hospital) with baby asperin, Metroprolol Succinate ER, Atorvastatin and isosorbide mononitrate…..Oh yes, also nitroglycerin (the one you put under your tongue). I was experiencing severe angina many times a day on all those medications. I had to take the NITRO (under the tongue) 5/6 times a day. The Cardiac Specialist could not offer anything except drugs with NO PROGNOSIS for the future. It made me angry that the specialist knew so little about my condition. I even changed doctors to no avail.
              So I took things into my own hands. I did a ton of research on line and found that you can both grow new arteries and even clean out the clogged arteries. So I followed the advice I found on line and have been able to “cut back” on my medications. I have been able to completely stop taking the NITRO (under the tongue). My angina no longer hits me when I’m sleeping or when I’m sitting at my computer. I exercise every day and eat only certain foods. I’ve been doing this for 8 months now. When I got out of the hospital I couldn’t sweep the floor without the “crushing” angina…but now I can get on the eliptical and get my HR up to 135 for 30 minutes without a problem.
              I told my Cardiologist about all the things I have done and he told me that he does not recommend decreasing the medications. I’ve stopped the asperin and decreased the Isosorbide and the statin. I actually don’t think I need any of the medications but I’ll slowing ween myself off all the drugs as things improve.
              If I didn’t know any better I would think that the Doctors are only there to help the drug companies. I have the print out of my clogged arteries, it doesn’t look good, but they won’t do another angiogram to see if things have improved. So I can only assume that I’m either growing new arteries OR I’m clearing out the clogged arteries. The doctors have no idea but I KNOW that I have greatly improved.
              I haven’t had an angina attack for 3/4 months. I have to get my heart rate up to at least 140 to even feel the slightest angina (I’m 65 years old). I’ll do my own prognosis and I prognosticate that in 8 more months I will have no angina no matter how hard I exercise.
              I’ll keep eating the way I’ve been doing and keep exercising to build up my new arteries and hopefully clear out the remaining clogs. If my arteries are getting unclogged then I’m solving my problem. If I’m growing new arteries then I don’t need the old ones that are clogged….Either way I WIN!!!


              • Hi Treblig… I’ve recently had two episodes of heart attack ‘symptoms’ (while asleep), but have had no pain or evidence that I’ve actually had a heart attack. I’m currently seeing a cardiologist and have undergone some diagnostic testing to see what may have caused the symptoms, as everything else looks really good. Results next Friday… Historically I have had high cholesterol (300+), yet ALL of my heart disease markers (i.e. CRP, HDL/LDL ratio, Triglycerides, etc.) are in the VERY LOW RISK category, which is puzzling. In doing my own research, I’ve come to the conclusion that how the heart is functioning is really what it’s all about! I’m a very physically active 58 year old and have seen absolutely no drop in my stamina when doing strenuous activities (e.g. 10 sets of 10 burpees with 30 seconds rest). So whether it’s because of collateral’s, no blockages, or whatever else, until I experience something that indicates a problem (assuming my tests come back okay) I’m going to assume I don’t have one. Because worrying that I DO have a problem is surely going to elevate my Sympathetic nervous system, which will make me even MORE prone to having a cardiac event!

                BTW.. another great website is ‘Track Your Plaque’ if you haven’t already found it. http://www.drdach.com/Track_Your_Plaque.html

                All the best!

                • One of the few ways the doctors can determine if you’ve actually had a heart attack is by checking for a certain protein in your blood. Evidently when the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen to the point that it could be damaged your body produces this certain protein. My “troponin” level was elevated when they checked it at the hospital on the day of my heart attack. This is the reason they wouldn’t let me go home even though all the symptoms had gone away completely. I had recently had a sonogram of my heart and an EKG and they both were perfect. So just because things might seem fine doesn’t mean that there isn’t a problem. They also performed a sonogram on my heart while I was in the hospital for my heart attack (it came out perfect). After the “angiogram” it was obvious that some of my heart arteries were clogged. Even my Cholesterol levels were just fine 180, I’ve never had high Cholesterol so, evidently, that also doesn’t matter.
                  One very interesting thing that I figured out many months after my heart attack was that the very stressful dreams that I had been having before my heart attack were related. I know this because ever since my angina went away the stressful dreams have also stopped. I hypothesize that during my sleep I would start a regular dream but then as the angina begin (as I slept) my body would experience the stress of the angina (while sleeping). Because of the “angina” stress the dream would change direction and it would turn into a very stressful dream. In my dreams everything would go wrong and I would always be put into an impossible “scary” situation with no way out. I would wake up with my heart pounding and afraid to go back to sleep. Now I know that I was having minor heart attacks as I slept. Eventually the angina got so bad that I would wake up with pain in my pectoralis muscle and pain running down my left arm. I would shrug it off thinking that I had fallen asleep on my arm and cut off the circulation. But one day I woke up in pain and the pain wouldn’t go away. It kept getting worse and worse and worse until I had to go to the hospital.
                  So the dreams were a tell tale sign of what was to come!! Now that the angina is gone so are the stressful dreams.. Now I have normal dreams.
                  I believe you can also have your arteries (and heart) checked by CT scan which should also show any clogging of the arteries.
                  Good Luck,

      • Terri, No one “told” me that intense exercise was good for me. I couldn’t get any information (AT ALL) from either of the cardiologists that I visited so I did tons on research on line. Found a few Doctors who showed that you can exercise your way out of the angina if you do it carefully. I started out slow but then again, my angina wouldn’t let me exercise really hard at all. I worked my way, over an 8 month period, up to where I’m at today. If I had tried to exercise intensely the angina would stop me (dead in my tracks). I couldn’t even walk briskly for more than 5 minutes. I even had to take the nitro (under the tongue) so I could exercise at all (mild exercise). But as I’ve improved either by growing new arteries or by clearing out my arteries I can now exercise pretty hard without any angina. I can still feel mild angina if I get my heart rate up to 145/150 but it’s not very painful at all.
        I don’t have any major heart problems. My valves are in great shape, my heart function is really good. My EKG is great. The only problem was the three clogged diagonal arteries. After I came home from the hospital I would get pretty severe angina (many times a day) while sleeping or just sitting at the computer (this was while taking all the meds they gave me). Those days are long gone.
        So that you understand what I did….I started with mild, slow exercise and slowly worked my way into more vigorous exercise. In a few more months I predict that I will be completely off all these meds and still be able to hit my max heart rate (for my age) while exercising.
        I’ll either DIE or DIE trying!!


        • Very glad to hear that you no longer have heart problems, trebling. That must be a wonderful relief–best wishes 🙂

  8. I just wanted to know that I’ve read a few of your articles and I appreciate your approach to the avoidance of fallacy, pointing out the fallacy in others’ conclusions and also your reluctance to draw conclusions unless logic and evidence overwhelmingly indicate they are true. This will always be a world with more questions than answers. Correlation does not infer causation. Everyone needs to accept that and deal with the fact that so many things are not easily knowable. There is never an excuse for sloppy science.

  9. On 11 April BBC2 aired a programme ‘Obesity: How Prejudiced is the NHS? Professor Rachel Batterham investigates whether prejudice against obese patients is stopping them from accessing potentially cost-effective surgery, even when recent scientific research suppports intervention …..’.

    I was astonished that the programme said nothing about how morbid obesity could be prevented by proper healthy lifestyle education about diet and exercise before it was too late.

  10. Processed foods are the biggest indicator of coronary artery disease. To be even more specific, it’s mostly the consumption of industrial seed oils and high fructose corn syrup. One lesser known food that causes atherosclerosis is peanuts. This one isn’t that known however scientists have been using peanut oil to induce atherosclerosis in many animals for study purposes for decades. Dr. Cordain cites a study showing a particularly dangerous lectin (agglutinin I believe is the name) found in peanuts that is believed to be responsible for this. He claims that this lectin survives any sort of roasting and sprouting methods and can slip pass the intestinal barrier into the bloodstream which causes direct inflammation of the arterial lining. All this to say, I’m not on some sort of anti-peanut crusade. I realize many people enjoy their peanut butter, even those that are health conscious. It’s just important to realize the potential dangers. Some people also don’t do grain products that well either. If you arthritic symptoms from grain consumption, that’s inflammatory, which means your c-reactive proteins are probably elevated and that also increases artery disease chance. Of course things like sleep deprivation are a problem as well. Even less exposure to sunlight is bad for the artery system, sunlight increase nitric oxide production and dilates the blood vessels increasing endothelial function. A lot of factors, not to mention the more we age the more susceptible we become to atherosclerosis anyways. One thing that is pretty clear is fat, carb, and salt consumption have little to no factor. I recommend following a WAPF diet to achieve optimal dieting, or a paleo diet in the case of grain sensitivity. If you need to lose weight temporarily eat a low carb diet to regain optimal weight and curing insulin dyregulation.

  11. Another factor, Chris is that these H/G folks are, pretty much by definition, eating the diet that their metabolisms have become evolved to process. Anecdotal evidence exists that implies we get into trouble when we depart from our ‘ancestral diet’, whatever that may have been. If it’s high carb, then that may be what works for you. Given, as you say, that it is high quality.

    • and give people tools on how to tackle it, learn that our bodies run in cycles and learn not to feel guilty if we go back to our old habits sometimes. It takes a long time to break old habits and build new ones but the more we put it to practice the easier it becomes each time.

    • Don’t forget that today’s processed foods are intelligently designed to appeal to the salt/sweet tastes we’ve come to know and love. Lab rats will cross dangerous territory to snag a Fruit-Loop, but will not for rat chow. The food chemists have it all figured out, and whether that is deemed “emotional” or not is subjective.

      • I agree. It is not a matter of self-discipline. We are ‘engineered’! The best thing to do is get your GUT in order. You will solve 90% of ALL your problems: allergies, blood sugar, mood, etc.

  12. I would like to see an article on why the French seem to be in much better health, at least not obese like Americans, could it be that they don’t have all the non , low fat garbage that our stores have? Real butter and overall, healthy high fat foods, our bodies need the fat! Just saying.

    • Pick up a copy of Julia Child’s cookbook, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, and you’ll see that the recipes use real ingredients to make meals that are actually quite close to being Paleo. The SAD diet, with all its processed and fake foods, may have infiltrated France to some extent, but in general the French have always been pickier about the quality of what they eat. Also, portions are smaller. They stay thin by not pigging out, which translates to better health.

  13. Btw it looks like olive oil sint so healthy after all


    and this

    Dietary Fatty Acids and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Men: The Kuopio
    Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study.
    Virtanen JK, Mursu J, Tuomainen TP, Voutilainen S.
    Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2014 Sep 25. pii: ATVBAHA.114.304082. [Epub
    ahead of print]


    OBJECTIVE: The epidemiological evidence of the role of dietary saturated fatty acids (SFA) in the development of coronary heart disease (CHD) is inconsistent. We investigated the associations of dietary fatty acids with the risk of CHD and carotid atherosclerosis in men with high SFA intake and high rates of CHD.

    APPROACH AND RESULTS: In total, 1981 men from the population-based Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study (KIHD), aged 42 to 60 years and free of CHD at baseline in 1984 to 1989, were investigated. Food consumption was assessed with 4-day food recording. Multivariate nutrient-density models were used to analyze isocaloric replacement of nutrients. CHD events were ascertained from national registries. Carotid atherosclerosis was assessed by ultrasonography of the common carotid artery intima-media thickness in 1015 men. During the average follow-up of 21.4 years, 183 fatal and 382 nonfatal CHD events occurred. SFA or trans fat intakes were not associated with CHD risk. In contrast, monounsaturated fat intake was associated with increased risk and polyunsaturated fat intake with decreased risk of fatal CHD, whether replacing SFA, trans fat, or carbohydrates. The associations with carotid atherosclerosis were broadly similar, whereas the associations with nonfatal CHD were weaker.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that SFA intake is not an independent risk factor for CHD, even in a population with higher ranges of SFA intake. In contrast, polyunsaturated fat intake was associated with lower risk of fatal CHD, whether replacing SFA, trans fat, or carbohydrates. Further investigation on the effect of monounsaturated fat on the CHD risk is warranted.

    • Actually, real high-quality olive oil is extremely healthy (and does have a percentage of saturated fat) and most paleo/ancestral health experts will tell you the same, including Chris. It’s loaded with polyohenols and healthy monounsaturated fat, is low in PUFA and is actually very heat tolerant. And Chris referred to it here, but some people including myself are genetically predisposed to being hyperresponders to saturated fat (~20% of the population, actually) to where it doesn’t “clog” our arteries, but it skyrockets our LDL-P numbers.

  14. Harvard sent me one of its email articles stating that saturated fat causes cardiovascular disease,

    I wrote them back saying
    “When are you going to cut out the crap about saturated fat causing CVD?”

    I can’t believe that Harvard is using its prestigious reputation to purvey lies. And they STILL are telling lies about cholesterol causing CVD.
    Are they getting huge donations from Big Pharma???

    • Probably. Some eye-opening information in general can be had with two docu-series produced by Ty Bollinger.
      The Truth About Cancer
      The Truth About Vaccines
      You will be SHOCKED about the out & out criminal activity of our government, universities, CDC, FDA, and others!! Mass corruption everywhere! And Lives, especially innocent children and our very future society, are being jeopardized by greed!
      I can’t imagine that it is any different with the cholesterol B.S..

    • Google these five words:

      harvard fraud jama 2016 sugar

      You’ll get 4,700,000 hits. Just read the first one and you’ll read about how three Harvard scientists were bribed by the sugar lobby to blame fats and cholesterol for coronary heart disease when their own studies showed it was carbohydrates and sugar. They published in the New England Journal of Medicine ion 1967 and in the past 50 years, Harvard and their dietary and medical cohorts around the world have sent billions of people to an early grave.

      The story details how the scientists were individually bribed by the sugar lobby but it doesn’t tell the bigger story. Harvard received around $12 million for the college as well, and that was in 1960’s dollars when a Mustang cost $2,300 and a house cost $15,000.

      • From what I have read “sugar” acts like broken glass in the arteries. It damages (lacerates) the inner walls (so does high blood pressure)…..but the important part of the conversation should be about how the lacerations are healed (because no one knows how to prevent the arterial damage). We all know that Cholesterol (fats/Calcium) will be deposited onto the lacerations as a temporary fix to preclude internal bleeding. Now….”How do you ensure proper healing of any arterial damage to preclude the build up of fats/Calcium???” If you can prevent the arterial damage OR make sure that it’s properly repaired then no fats/Calcium will be attached to the arterial walls???

        What am I missing??/


  15. Mote interested is correlation between total fat intake and coronary disease which clearly isnt in favour of high fat diets

    • Amokij, did you read the article above? It clearly states that high fat diets are beneficial to the heart. What you’re saying is the same misleading stuff that the food industry and uninformed doctors convinced us of in the ’90’s.

  16. It would have been really interesting to know how much Vitamin C the Tsimane people eat (ingest). Although their diet seems to be a healthy diet without Vitamin C arteries will eventually be damaged and the only choice the human body has is to cover the damage with Cholesterol (eventually clogging the artery)??
    As Dr. Rath explains (see below), bears stuff themselves with fat (to the extreme) then sleep for 6 month (no exercise) , yet they don’t get heart disease??? Most mammals produce their own Vitamin C and don’t get heart disease…WHY?? Humans don’t produce Vitamin C. Here’s a video that explains it all:

    Dr. Matthias Rath

    Maybe the author of this article can determine how much Vitamin C the Tsimane people ingest …….this would be would/could be the most important factor??


    • I’d be willing to bet that, since the Tsimane are most likely eating their meat “nose to tail”, as most HG societies do, and eating a lot of seasonal fruits/veggies, they are getting 5 to 10 grams of C per day from their diets, plus a hefty dose of omega 3 fats. And, since they do their 15,000 to 17,000 steps mostly outdoors, they are getting a lot of sun exposure, making their Vitamin D levels many times higher than that of US residents.

      • We also need to remember that we don’t seem to need the same level of ‘vitamins and minerals’ when we’re not eating many carbs. We eat cleaner and more efficiently, so the need isn’t as high. That said, animal proteins have everything we need without a single carb necessary. I enjoy my veg a lot more these days knowing I don’t have to eat 5-10 servings everyday if I don’t feel like it.

    • For God’s sake can you stop going on about your bloody Vitamin C. If you were such an expert then you’d know that Broccoli, Bell Pepper and about 17 other vegetables contain more Vitamin C than your precious citrus fruit.
      Yes, you probably ate crap food, not enough vegetables. there is no need for any human being to eat Citrus fruit as long as bell peppers, broccoli and cauliflower exist – much easier to cook, prepare and eat without all the sugar and acids you will get your teeth rotten from eating oranges.
      now, calm down, eat your broccoli and all will be good.

      • Very well said Jake. I recommend a small dish of blueberries to start the day on a healthy, Vitamin-C-rich breakfast.

    • Read up on the Linus Pauling protocol if you haven’t already. Vitamin C, lysine and proline are used to increase collagen synthesis and reduce lipoprotein(a).

      • I have researched the Linus Pauling protocol and have taken steps to address the issues associated with collagen synthesis. As I work my way out of my clogged arteries I’ve done numerous things to improve my heart and artery health. I was on the elliptical just yesterday as was able to get my heart rate up to 140 for over 20 minutes. That might not seem like a big deal to many but for a 65 year old that suffered a heart attack 9 months ago….that’s a big deal. I have cut back on all my medications and haven’t felt the angina for many months. I can chop wood, mow the lawn and trim trees, 9 months ago I couldn’t sweep the floor without intense pain. The doctors would never give me a prognosis, all they would say is, “Take all these pills and we’ll see if we can control your angina attacks”. Otherwise there was nothing they could do to help me.
        I guess you could say that the internet (research) saved my life!!!!


  17. You are right again Chris, boy does conventional thinking got it all wrong, thank you ! I believe, more and more people are becoming informed thanks to advocates and educators such as yourself.

    • Yes. And we thank them! Sometimes at great risk to their careers and even their lives.
      We have been used as convenient, unaware, money-making guinea pigs for too long. It is time we become collective opposers. Afterall…money talks. Use their own weapon against them.
      God Bless.

[if lte IE 8]
[if lte IE 8]