Health A-Z Archives: Heart Disease

Heart and Heartbeat

According to national statistics the No 1 cause of death in South Africa and the Western World is HEART DISEASE.

According to Udo Erasmus“These deaths are the result of EATING HABITS BASED ON IGNORANCE AND MISCONCEPTIONS.

Scripture tells us “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6

All current research indicates clearly that heart disease is a disease resulting from a faulty lifestyle. Dr. Dean Ornish, well-known heart specialist has proven conclusively that heart disease can be prevented and even reversed within 2 years if a healthy plant based vegan lifestyle is followed.

Causes of Heart Disease

Excess cholesterol and fat causes red blood cells to clump together, reducing oxygen carrying capacity. The blood viscosity increases and becomes thick and sluggish. Animal protein is also high in arachidonic acid a fatty acid that encourages blood clotting, high blood pressure and inflammation.
You need to reduce your intake of animal fat and protein by trying to not eat these foods no more than once a day (3 x a week would be better and a totally vegan – animal product free – diet is the best). A diet high in these 2 – cholesterol and animal fat) provides the building blocks for HD. A single meal high in these fats (Found in all animal products) will cause the body to release Thromboxane, which causes the arteries to constrict, and the blood to clot faster.

  • Alcohol also causes an increase in clotting, and raises blood triglycerides,
  • Smoking, causes free fatty acids to be released in the blood, causing arteries to constrict. It also increases viscosity of the blood; causing more deaths from heart disease than from lung cancer. Within 3 years of quitting smoking you will reduce the risk of HD by 34%
  • Thyroid deficiency – under activity is due perhaps to a deficiency of iodine (found in Barleylife  because it contains kelp – seaweed-) or vitamin B1 (refined sugar depletes this) or gluten intolerance. This reduces fat metabolism, increasing blood fat levels and cholesterol. Too much protein in the diet can also cause thyroid deficiencies, as can any substance affecting the endocrine system like artificial sweetners or lack of the good fats
  • Stimulants – such as caffeine, encourage the constriction of arteries and blood clot formation.
  • Physical fitness – the fitter you are the less viscous and easier it is transport your blood. If you have blockages and you exercise vigorously exercise increases the tendency of the arteries to constrict and the blood to clot. Exercise with a bad diet is dangerous; however moderate exercise with a good diet will prevent HD
  • Sunlight - lowers blood fats and cholesterol and lessens viscosity.
  • Emotional stress- Chronic stress results in a permanent flight or fright state of the body, the heart beats faster, blood clots quicker and the muscles and arteries contract. Eating the right diet you take in enough magnesium, which helps you handle stress. Exercise; taking time out and a balanced spiritual life all help the body cope with stress. Barley grass is particularly high in magnesium as are mots dark green foods, for convenience you can drink BarleyLife in powder or capsule form.

What can you do?

  1. Follow The Natural Way 5 steps, which will help you increase the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables to at least 75%

  2. Dr Dean Ornish advocates a vegan diet in his book “Reversing Heart Disease”; a worthwhile read, get it. But the best to read is Dr Colin Campbell’s “China Study

  3. Reduce your intake of animal protein immediately to not more than once a day and preferably every 2nd day, ideally not at all and replace all protein needs with raw nuts or seeds and legumes. For awesome recipes see Recipe book 1 & 2

  4. If you already have heart disease, and want to reverse it a vegetarian or vegan diet is best, follow option 2 in chapter 3 of The Natural Way.

  5. Start an exercise program, but do so gently and make sure you have a full check up with your doctor before you get going. It would be a good idea to have a personal trainer for at least the first month preferably 3.

  6. Increase your intake of natural fatty acids by including natural plant fats on a daily basis. Unheated, unprocessed plant fats (Avocado, olives, nuts and seeds and cold pressed oils such as extra virgin olive oil , Aimega  & Flax oil) help to transport cholesterol out of the blood stream to the cells where you need it. This has a dramatic effect on cholesterol levels and helps clear the arteries of deposits over time

In 1961 the first bypass surgery was performed (removal of a vein from patient’s leg which is then spliced around the coronary artery blockage).
Twenty years later, in the 1980’s, three controlled clinical studies demonstrated that bypass surgery provided only marginal benefit and that heart disease had increased considerably. Possible problems that occur during bypass surgery are: heart attack, strokes, infection, or death! A third of all bypass patients suffer some transient or permanent neurological damage or decrease in intellectual ability. 50% of bypassed arteries clog up after 5 years and 80% after 7 years.

In 1977 a less invasive procedure called “Angioplasty”, in which a small balloon is passed through a tube inside a blocked coronary artery, was invented. 33% of arteries treated this way will clog up again in 4-6 months. Both approaches require a huge financial commitment and are usually only available to the well off.

None of these procedures, including drug therapy and heart transplants, address the fundamental issue of what caused heart disease in the first place!

All current research indicates clearly that heart disease is a disease resulting from a faulty lifestyle. Dr. Dean Ornish, a well known heart specialist and author of “Reversing Heart Disease” has proven conclusively (research published in the Journal of the American Medical association 1985; 254(10):1337-41, 1983; 249:54-59) that heart disease can be prevented and even reversed if a healthy lifestyle is followed. For more published research see chapter 2 references in above book; I highly recommend that you read this slowly and carefully.

What you need to follow a healthy lifestyle, is knowledge of how your body works so that you can make wiser choices. Many people believe that High blood pressure is one of the causes of heart disease (which it is), but rather than correcting the problem through healthy diet and lifestyle, they take “something” to lower the blood pressure. Some side effects of blood pressure medication are, Diabetes, impotence, fatigue, lung problems (recurrent bronchitis or pneumonia), and blood cell disorders!

Seventeen large studies involving 43 000 patients showed that decreasing BP with drugs did not significantly reduce the incidence of death due to heart disease.

On top of that, diuretics commonly prescribed with blood pressure medication often increases the risk of sudden cardiac death or heart attack.

Then cholesterol is blamed for many a heart ailment but few people realise that without cholesterol you would die. We are continually told to decrease our LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase our HDL or good cholesterol. Honestly… bad cholesterol is the stuff you get second hand from animals, good cholesterol is the stuff your body makes. Geneticaly high levels are only high because your body may need a lot more cholesterol due to a variety of reason;
Cholesterol is needed for
Brain function
Cell memebranes
Manufacture hormones

Converts into Vit D in skin from sunlight resulting in healthy bones and immune system

Our liver makes cholesterol and dumps it into the blood stream where it waits for the right vehicle to come and pick it up and take it to the cells where it is needed. The right vehicle  is natural unheated unsaturated fats found in all plant food in abundance but especially on fats that are liquid at room temperature with flax oil having the most open bonds to transport the cholesterol away from the arteries most efficiently.

If we do not eat the right fats the cholesterol stays in the arteries clogging them and the cells keep sending a message to the brain and then liver to make more cholesterol. Eating the right unheated unprocessed plant foods will transport the cholesterol where it is needed.

Many people are put onto statin drugs to lower cholesterol levels without realising that it can cause memery loss and a whole lot of other problems, worst of all being muscle weakness and pain and your heart is a muscle so go figure! Statin drugs do not prevent heart disease – they just stop your liver producing the cholesterol it needs, they can actually cause it so make sure you know all the side effects. What amazes me most is that doctors try to lower the liver’s natural production of cholesterol but don’t say a word about the unnatural  animal fats in animal flesh and other products such as cheese, fish and fish oil! Surey removing all animal products is safer than taking drugs that can weaken your heart?

Heart Disease is a term which describes a variety of heart disorders.

Types of Heart Disease

  • Pericarditis, an inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart
  • Myocarditis, an inflamed heart muscle
  • Atherosclerosis, build up of fatty deposits in artery causing coronary heart disease/thrombosis
  • Hypertrophy, increase in heart muscle due to hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Congenital Heart Disease is a heart disease present at birth. Correct living cannot repair this, but if all other organs are functioning fully due to correct living habits, the heart will have less strain on it.
  • Coronary Heart Disease – damage done to heart muscle resulting from reduced blood supply due to thickening of the arteries (fatty deposits)

The Three Basic Ways to Avoid Heart Disease

Make sure that you have:

1. A Strong Healthy Heart

  •   Eat a high-raw diet and natural foods
  •   Regular exercise

2. Good Blood Condition – (consider the following)

  • Excess cholesterol and fat causes red blood cells to clump together, reducing oxygen carrying capacity. The blood viscosity increases and it becomes thick and sluggish (reduce and best remove intake of animal fat protein).
  • Toxins in the blood due to incorrect diet and food putrefying in the colon especially when constipation exists (auto-intoxication) will affect the blood.
  • Alcohol also causes an increase in viscosity (stickiness), as well as elevating blood triglycerides, destroying nutrients, and immobilizing enzymes.
  • Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) can be caused – mainly due to refined carbohydrates and high protein diet.
  • Smoking – carbon monoxide displaces oxygen in the bloodstream which destroys vitamin C. Nicotine causes free fatty acids to be released in the blood, causing arteries to constrict, and the heart rate steps up. It also increases viscosity of the blood.
  • Stress – this is only dangerous when the blood’s viscosity is up as the blood pressure is raised, which means the heart has to work extremely hard to pump the thick blood through the system.
  • Thyroid deficiency – under activity is due perhaps to a deficiency of iodine or vitamin B1(refined sugar depletes this). This reduces fat metabolism, increasing blood fat levels and cholesterol. Too much protein in the diet can also cause thyroid deficiencies, as can any substance affecting the endocrine system.
  • Physical fitness – the fitter you are the less viscous and easier to transport is your blood.
  • Sunlight – this lowers blood fats and cholesterol, lessens viscosity, and oxygen levels increase.

3. A Good Condition of the Arteries

  • These takes years to damage, a typical Western diet will result in badly conditioned arteries.
  • A drastic change in diet, with regular gentle exercise, and lifestyle adjustment will reverse the damage done to arteries in time – usually 2 years.

Heart Disease can be identified before it is too late, however, it is often the case that the first signs of heart disease is a fatal heart attack.

General Signs of Advancing Cardiovascular Disease

  • Premature ageing, blotchy skin
  • Florid face
  • Arcus Serilis (light ring around iris of eye)
  • Deteriorating eyesight
  • Deteriorating hearing
  • Slowing reaction, vagueness
  • Lack of stamina
  • Low resistance to colds and infections
  • Drowsiness after eating
  • Dizziness on exertion
  • Poor circulation, sensitivity to cold
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swollen tissues
  • Leg pains
  • Angina (chest and arm pains)
  • Sweating (for no reason)
  • Increased thirst and appetite and rapid loss of body water (diabetic symptoms)

The only way to reverse this is a high-raw, vegan diet with mild exercise (building up to ½ an hour a day). Fasting is extremely beneficial, but must be supervised, preferably by a medical doctor familiar with both fasting and heart disease.
Follow the 5 Basic Steps; exclude all animal products (i.e. a vegan diet). Make sure you read Dean Ornish’s book –Reversing Heart Disease and Dr Colin Campbell’s “China Study”

WHAT IS WRONG WITH OUR DIET?

Most of our present eating habits is based on traditional dietary principles, which we have deviated from to the point where many of us live in the fast lane and survive on fast food.
A typical breakfast might be :  coffee with milk, sweeteners or sugar ;  a bowl of cereal with milk and/or sugar that contain perhaps additives and colourants ;  a slice of toast with egg, etc.

Mid-morning might be tea, coffee, doughnut, toasted sandwich or chocolate, etc. and so the day progresses.

This all results in an extremely high acid forming diet in the region of 75% – 100%. This type of diet is also usually too high in animal fat, protein and processed foods

To maintain the right alkalinity in our blood for perfect health and energy we need a 75% alkaline forming diet with a maximum of 25% of our intake being acid forming.

We also need to reduce our intake of fat , protein and processed foods

Our diet is also laden with artificial additives, colourants and flavourants not to mention artificial sweeteners which drain our energy, affect our central nervous system and upset our hormonal system, often resulting in a slowed down metabolism and an impaired Immune System.  This contributes to many diseases including Heart Disease, Cancer and Diabetes.

We tend to think that correcting our diet is too complicated and expensive to contemplate and that fast food is easy food.  In the long run we only lose out by having low energy levels, suffering from tiredness, insomnia, premenstrual tension, mood swings, constipation and general ill health. What you need is knowledge to make better choices.

NOW THAT WE KNOW WHAT’S WRONG WITH OUR DIET, LET’S CORRECT IT.

I have already mentioned the need to change to a 75% alkaline forming diet with the reduction in animal protein, fat and processed foods, to do this you need to follow five basic steps :

1.         Eat at least one fruit meal per day,
2.         All snacks should be fresh or dried fruit or vegetables,
3.         No more than one protein meal a day,
4.         Start all cooked food with something raw,
5.         Try not to eat a concentrated protein with a concentrated starch.
Together with this you should be continuously listening to your body’s needs and replacing the normal cravings with healthy alternatives, i.e. substitute chocolates/sweets with raisins, dates or dried figs; Fizzy ‘colddrinks’ with fizzy natural alternatives like appletizer/grapetiser ;  biltong or crisps with  foods containing natural fats such as avocados , raw nuts or seeds, olives, sweet corn on the cob and cold pressed oils. (Often a craving for salty foods is the body’s way of telling you it needs Essential Fatty Acids); tea/coffee with coffee substitutes or herbal and fruit teas.

Never weigh or measure your food – it is unnatural and can lead to obsessive eating patterns.   Eat only when hungry, drink only when thirsty.

HOW ‘EATING RIGHT’ CAN MAKE YOU LOOK YOUNGER, BE SLIMMER and HAVE MORE ENERGY

Eating correctly can make you look and feel younger because, by following the five steps I have given you, you will automatically be taking in a lot more Vitamins A, C and E – the three anti-oxidants that help the body destroy and get rid of so-called free radicals or toxic substances that cause a lot of damage to the tissues and organs in the body.   These free radicals or toxic substances promote early degeneration or aging and cancer.

By including natural fats, i.e. avocados, nuts and seeds, you are taking in essential fatty acids in their natural form thus enabling the hormonal system – pituitary, thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas and ovaries – to function properly.   At the same time you will be getting plenty of Vitamin E (an Antioxidant that slows down aging and prevents degenerative disease)

By including all these foods your cells are satisfied and your cravings disappear and you tend to find yourself eating only when hungry while weight literally drops off.  Yes, even when you eat avocados and bananas!     By eating more simple and easier to digest meals, a lot more blood is available for brain functioning and one of the many benefits of eating correctly is a clear mind.

An automatic benefit is a cleaner more efficient motor (body), with a much higher energy output.

Don’t despair, remember that it took you 20, 30 or 40 or even 50 years to get into the state you are in and if it takes three months of perseverance, then it is worth the improved quality of life.

Keep looking back to see how far you have come, not forward at how far you have to go.

Remember too, that fanaticism in any sphere of life often destroys both the fanatic and his aims.

Professor Bernard Meyer “Fruit for Thought”

I believe that God desires that we look after our bodies without becoming obsessed. When you follow these basic steps you’ll find that instead of focusing on your health problems you’ll be focusing on the needs of others, your prayer life will improve and you’ll be living the ABUNDANT life that promised you!


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