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We know that cardiac disease remains the #1 killerof the US adult population -- but do you really get what’s happening, why cholesterol might matter, and
how to give yourself the best fighting chance against
the new ‘Bubonic Plague,’ of sorts?
Here are 3 little-known facts about cardiac disease
that will likely change the way you view living ‘healthy’:
- Cholesterol is not necessarily bad, not even the “bad” kind.
- Heart Rate Recovery (HRR) may
be one of the best predictors
of cardiac disease -- even more important than resting heart rate,
according to many practicing clinicians and cardiologists that I know.
- A low-fat diet may be one of the fastest ways to create cardiac disease (controversial.)
a primary instigator of cardiac and vascular disease. As the son of a
Vascular Surgeon, I recognize the importance of reducing cholesterol
to prevent the advancement of life-threatening disease; however, many
factors need to be considered:
- How high are your
triglycerides? If your triglycerides are high, your high
cholesterol could be a symptom of inflammation in your body due to the way
you’re breaking down carbohydrates, rather than the primary causal issue
taking place in your body.
- What is the ratio between
your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and “good” (HDL) cholesterol?
If you have less than a 2:1 ratio, meaning that your HDL is relatively high compared
to your LDL, this can actually be a negative cardiac risk factor. For example, an
HDL of over 60 is suggestive that you have a lower risk of cardiac disease -- so long
as your total cholesterol is not over 180, which is the recommended max level by the
American Heart Association. www.mystubbonbellyfatloss.blogspot.com (2)
- What else is in your diet
or environment that may be causing inflammation?
Before you begin taking a pharmaceutical prescription to counteract cholesterol
in your body, it could be a good idea to have a candid discussion with your physician.
If you smoke, eat trans fats, lots of preservatives, live in a toxic environment, or are
chronically stressed, your body could be inflamed for reasons outside of your
cholesterol intake. This means that you could be taking a drug to lower your cholesterol,
which is the only true indicator that you’re doing something else wrong. When your
cholesterol numbers improve on the drug, you’re actually masking the true cause of
Next, let’s talk about Heart Rate Recovery (HRR) and its application to
monitoring your health and preventing cardiac disease. HRR is measured
10 and 60 seconds after you finish exercising, to determine how quickly
your heart can get back to its resting rate. A healthy heart should be able
to relax by at least 20-30 beats per minute within the first 60 seconds after
exercising and should be within 10-15 beats of your resting heart rate
within the first couple minutes after a workout or intense exercise set.
If your heart is unable to recover quickly from intense exertion, then the
demands on your body completely change, and so will your exercise outcome:
- Hormones will become
imbalanced as a result of prolonged sympathetic
stimulation (fight or flight response not calming quickly enough, causing
prolonged catecholemine release.)
- You may experience a
reciprocal blood pressure response, killing your
following set or energy level to follow a workout. In other words, if your
heart rate is higher than your body wants, you’ll automatically lower your
blood pressure by dilating your arteries, allowing your body to undergo
less stress; however, your energy level will plummet as a result of this
response and you’ll instantly feel tired.
- You’ll hit your ‘lactate
threshold’ too early, which limits your exercise potential
and tolerance. Your lactate threshold is the point at which your body stops
consuming oxygen for energy and begins to develop lactic acid as a byproduct
of a different form of an energy cycle. This lactic acid creates soreness, shuts
down signals to our muscles, and ends our workouts. Increasing your lactate
threshold is paramount to your success in working out, or in achieving better
Finally, I feel it’s important we discuss an extremely controversial topic: Low Fat Diets.
I find them to be evil and the wrong idea, altogether -- logically speaking, they don’t
make any sense to me. Think about it this way -- we have 3 macronutrient groups
in the foods we eat: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Here’s how this works:
- In the first 15 minutes we exercise or move, we tend to lean on carbs as our primary energy source.
- From 15-40 minutes, we lean mostly on proteins as an energy source.
- From 40 minutes up until 2-3 hours, fats serve as our primary energy source.
is relative. “The wall,” which is commonly referred to in marathon runners is the
point at which you become totally carb depleted, and this tends to take place around
mile 23 in most competitive runners. If we are not able to transfer our energy
requirements between carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, we can carb deplete much
faster. It’s “fat” that allows us to balance macronutrient use for much longer, leading
to prolonged energy and a wall happening as far out as possible -- without fats, we
don’t stand a chance.
A low-fat diet appears to be a healthy option -- with the goal of reducing cholesterol
and blood pressure -- when the body has inflammation, other macronutrients aren’t
properly balanced and sequenced, and exercise isn’t a part of someone’s life. Sadly,
this is the state of the ‘average’ American and what I believe to be the #1 confounding
variable of all low-fat diet studies; we need to isolate a truly ‘healthy’ person from the
‘average American,’ and then repeat the studies -- those who are unhealthy should
pursue an anti-inflammatory diet for at least 6 weeks before beginning a high fat/low
carb diet -- I’ll bet we get different results.
I beg of you to consider the natural role of cholesterol in our bodies when inflammation
isn’t present, to utilize HRR as a measure of your level of fitness and health, and high
fat/low carb diets as a possible long-term option once you correct for other variables.
Your health and vitality depend upon the simple decisions you make today, and the logic
you can apply to all of the health information you’ve learned; I believe you’ll make the
Your health is important to me, but you need to understand how to customize health
recommendations and prioritize bodily systems for the best end result. The first step
is education, but you’ll want to see results while you’re learning. Then my 3rd blog is www.pregnancysolution.blogspot.com (3).
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Enjoy your reading and stay with us.
Bernard Chikere Gakwe.