Almost everyone has this disease, and unfortunately that leads many to believe that it's somehow a normal condition. The illness we're talking about is called arterial sclerosis, but many people are more familiar with the common description: hardening of the arteries. This disease can lead to heart attack or stroke. Don't simply accept this condition as normal – follow our recommendations and do something about it.
What surprised doctors during the Korean and Vietnam wars?
Scientific findings concerning the beginning and progression of arterial sclerosis were obtained at the end of the Korean and Vietnam wars. The bodies of fallen American and Asian soldiers were examined. While around 70% of the young soldiers from the US, aged between 20 and 22, already showed signs of vascular disease (i.e. arterial sclerosis), there was no disease present in the bodies of the Asian soldiers who were the same age. On the contrary, the vascular systems of the Asian soldiers were completely healthy. The Western diet, with high amounts of animal products and fats, had already left it's mark on the bodies of the young Americans.
From this we can assume that almost everyone who adheres to a normal Western diet, which means eating a lot of animal-based products and fatty foods, to a greater or lesser degree suffers from arterial sclerosis. This disease develops very slowly over time, and our bodies are clever when it comes to adapting. The blood is rerouted around the blockages in the arteries, and it might be years before we start to notice these changes in our circulatory systems. The disease simply progresses – medical professionals now accept that practically every over 80 year old in the West is affected by arterial sclerosis. Many people with such circulatory problems simply don't reach this advanced age, and the exceptions often only do so through the placement of stents or bypass surgery. Today coronary heart disease is the most common cause of death in the Western world.
Although the proof is overwhelming concerning the causes of this disease, i.e. one's lifestyle, some healthcare professionals still emphasize factors like genetic predisposition or heredity as the main reasons people develop such circulatory conditions. This is moreover easier for many to accept, as the people who follow this line of reasoning need not alter their lifestyles. They can simply take medications, though in doing so the real problem is not actually being addressed.
Simple, scientifically proven measures improve your chances for a life without heart disease
Our advice is that you not wait until you notice the physical symptoms of arterial sclerosis; instead, you should take action proactively. The following recommendation will certainly significantly reduce your risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke. In addition, your well-being, vitality and general health with be greatly improved.
- Have your cholesterol levels checked regularly, and strictly follow the advice you receive if you have high cholesterol. Talk with your healthcare provider about effective measures that you can take to improve your health, i.e. things you can do instead of taking medication. Ideal cholesterol level should be below 150mg/dl, and your LDL cholesterol should be under 100mg/dl.
- Improve your diet and eat more quality, plant-based foods (e.g. vegetables, fruits, starches). Eat less animal-based foods – so less meat, fish, milk and dairy products – and avoid plant-based oils to the extent possible.
- Reduce the amount of stress in your life, and avoid stressful situations.
- Make sure that you are getting enough physical activity, and spend time outdoors in the fresh air. Get your blood pumping.
- Avoid harmful substances like alcohol and tobacco, and cut down on the amount of caffeine you consume.
Good news: A healthy lifestyle can even reverse the progress of arterial sclerosis!
The most important among the above recommendations is improving the way you eat for the long term, specifically shifting to a more plant-based diet that is low in fat and includes a lot of high quality foods. You should only rarely be eating animal-based products, fatty foods or heavily processed foods (e.g. sugar and white flour). If you stick with it, the condition of your arteries will quickly improve, and the arterial calcification process can even be reversed. This improvement has been proven in research conducted in the US, sometimes to such an extent that surgery could be avoided.
Source: T. Colin Campbell, Thomas M. Campbell, The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health, revised edition, 2016.
Dr. T. Colin Campbell is true American icon, and he is one of the most reputable diet researchers today. His father suffered a heart attack at the age of 61, and he passed away after suffering a second heart attack at the age of 70. Dr. Campbell is now over 80 years old, and he continues to enjoy good health.
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