Heart Surgeon Admits Huge Mistake

By Dwight Lundell, MD

We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often
acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we
are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong.. As a heart
surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart
surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and
scientific fact.

I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labeled
“opinion makers.” Bombarded with scientific literature, continually
attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease
resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol.

The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower
cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake.
The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart
disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy
and could quite possibly result in malpractice.

It Is Not Working!

These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally
defensible. *The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the
artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a
paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be
treated.

The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of
obesity and diabetes*, the consequences of which dwarf any historical
plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic
consequences.

Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin
medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our
diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever
before.

Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million
Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes
and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger
and younger people in greater numbers every year.*

Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is
no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel
and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol
would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is
inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.*

Inflammation is not complicated — it is quite simply your body’s
natural defense to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus.

The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from
these bacterial and viral invaders. However, *if we chronically expose
the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed
to process, a condition occurs called chronic inflammation*. Chronic
inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.

What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to
foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body?
Well, smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully.*

The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that
is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not
knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This
repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease,
stroke, diabetes and obesity. Let me repeat that. The injury and
inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet that has
been recommended for years by mainstream medicine.

What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply,
they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar,
flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of
omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found
in many processed foods.*

Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft
skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding.
Let’s say you kept this up several times a day, every day for five
years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a
bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated
injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that
could be going on in your body right now.

Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or
internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon
thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a
brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. *Several times a day,
every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more
injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately
with inflammation.*

While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond
alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded
with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for
long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six
decades. *These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.*

How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to
make you sick?

Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what
occurs inside the cell. *When we consume simple carbohydrates such as
sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes
insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it
is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose,* it
is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.*

When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises
producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.*

What does all this have to do with inflammation? *Blood sugar is
controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a
variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This
repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation.* When
you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is
exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood
vessels.

While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it
in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one
common denominator – inflammation in their arteries.

Let’s get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only
contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as
soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are
manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6’s
are essential -they are part of every cell membrane controlling what
goes in and out of the cell – they must be in the correct balance with
omega-3’s.

If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane
produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.
Today’s mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of
these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as
30:1 in favor of omega-6. That’s a tremendous amount of cytokines
causing inflammation. In today’s food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be
optimal and healthy.

To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating
these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities
of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having
high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a
vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure,
diabetes and finally, Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process
continues unabated.

There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and
processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by
little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to
consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.

There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning
to foods closer to their natural state. *To build muscle, eat more
protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful
fruits and vegetables*. *Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing
omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are
made from them. One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of
omega-6; soybean contains 6,940mg. Instead, use olive oil or butter from
grass-fed beef.*

Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to
cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled
polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your
head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart
disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood
cholesterol is also very weak. *Since we now know that _cholesterol is
not the cause of heart disease_, the concern about saturated fat is even
more absurd today.*

The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that
in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation.
*_Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to
avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats._* We now
have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and
other silent killers.

What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not
those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with
manufactured foods.* By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding
essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years
of damage in your arteries* and throughout your body from consuming the
typical American diet.

[Ed. Note: Dr. Dwight Lundell is the past Chief of Staff and Chief of
Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital, Mesa, AZ. His private practice,
Cardiac Care Center was in Mesa, AZ. Recently Dr. Lundell left surgery
to focus on the nutritional treatment of heart disease. He is the
founder of Healthy Humans Foundation that promotes human health with a
focus on helping large corporations promote wellness. He is the author
of The Cure for Heart Disease and

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