The Myth of Saturated Fat and the Link to Coronary Heart Disease


02 Sep
02Sep

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a disease that we are all aware of and one that has been generationally associated to high fat diets clogging our arteries. A recent study has shown that this is not the case and that good sources of high fatty foods should be consumed to fight CHD. Termed the Mediterranean diet consisting of vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, oily fish, yoghurt and cheese for example has been shown to significantly reduce the inflammatory process which causes artery thickening which leads to CHD. 

CHD is a inflammatory condition, to risk over simplifying the condition factors such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance cause inflammation within the body, this inflammation causes the thickening of the artery wall leading to restriction. 

Exercise is the way forward! People who walk briskly at or above 150 mins per week can increase life expectancy by 3.4–4.5 years independent of body weight. Regular brisk walking may also be more effective than running in preventing coronary disease. And just 30 min of moderate activity a day more than three times per week significantly improves insulin sensitivity and helps reverse insulin resistance within months in sedentary middle-aged adults. This occurs independent of weight loss and suggests even a little activity goes a long way.

Another risk factor for CHD is environmental stress. Childhood trauma can lead to an average decrease in life expectancy of 20 years. Chronic stress increases glucocorticoid receptor resistance, which results in failure to down regulate the inflammatory response. Combining a complete lifestyle approach of a healthful diet, regular movement and stress reduction will improve quality of life, reduce cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. Coronary artery disease is a chronic inflammatory disease and it can be reduced effectively by walking 22 min a day and eating real food. 

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