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Blocked Arteries: Clean Them Out Naturally

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Alternatives to Conventional Treatments for Heart Disease

Fortunately, there are alternatives to bypass surgery, angioplasty, and medications. However, many patients--and even physicians--are not aware of these options. Preventive medicine experts have now proven that blockages in heart blood vessels can be reversed by changing one's lifestyle. Perhaps what is more important, when used properly, lifestyle agents such as stress control, smoking cessation, diet, and exercise have no harmful side effects. The only side effects are desirable ones--contributing to a better quality of life and a decreased risk of diseases of many types in addition to heart disease.

Those individuals with heart disease who become aware of the facts as outlined in this book are confronted with a vital question: "Am I willing to make the common sense lifestyle changes necessary to reverse my disease?" If the answer is "no" it is likely that either angioplasty or bypass surgery will be unavoidable at some point.

The Standard Heart Disease Diet

Some hospitals in various parts of the world offer nutrition classes for individuals who are trying to deal with heart disease. This diet instruction focuses mostly on two main issues: decreasing saturated fat and to a lesser extent decreasing cholesterol in the diet. Comprehensive programs also tailor the dietary advice to help overweight patients lose weight. In 1992 the National Institutes of Health's "Expert Panel" spelled out these goals with specific guidelines.11 Their guidelines were similar to those enunciated by other prestigious individuals or groups such as the Surgeon General,12 American Heart Association13 and National Academy of Sciences.14 The guidelines are somewhat effective, but fall short of yielding the desired results.

In this chapter you will see a diet that is far superior to the diets suggested by these institutions. However, their recommended diet is worth examining because of the widespread popularity it and similar diets enjoy. It is called the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP).

The NCEP diet recommends limiting daily cholesterol intake to 300 mg per day in the Step I diet, and to 200 mg in their most restrictive or Step II diet. In both diets, fat is to be kept at or below 30 percent of the total calories. Saturated fat is to make up only eight to ten percent in the Step I diet, and less than seven percent in the Step II diet.

How do these levels of cholesterol intake compare to that of the average American? Approximations indicate that men consume 270 to 400 mg per day and women consume 200 to 260 mg per day.15

Therefore, most women and many men are already below the NCEP cholesterol goals of 200 or 300 - but have we seen a large decrease in heart disease? Hardly. We can be glad that Americans overall have lowered their cholesterol levels, but we cannot be satisfied to only begin the race. We want to win it. A dietary cholesterol of even 220 mg is still higher than the optimum amount, as we shall further illustrate. In addition, Americans also consume significant amounts of fat in their diet, including saturated fat, which of itself has a blood cholesterol-raising effect.

11 National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel. Second Report of the Expert Panel on detection, evaluation, and treatment of high blood cholesterol in adults. National Institutes of Health Publication No. 93-3095. September 1993 p. II-1.

12 U.S. Surgeon General. The Surgeon General's report on nutrition and health. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service; 1988. DHHS Publication No. (PHS) 88-50210.

13 Krauss RM, Deckelbaum RJ, et al. Dietary guidelines for healthy American adults. A statement for health professionals from the Nutrition Committee, American Heart Association. Circulation 1996 Oct 1;94(7):1795-1800. Or Dietary guidelines for healthy American adults. A statement for physicians and health professionals by the Nutrition Committee, American Heart Association. Circulation 1988 Mar;77(3):721A-724A.

14 National Research Council, Committee on Diet and Health, Food and Nutrition Board, and Commission on Life Sciences. Diet and health: implications for reducing chronic disease risk. Washington (DC): National Academy Press; 1989.

15 Adapted from: McDowell MA, Briefel BB, et al. Energy and micronutrient intakes of persons ages 2 months and over in the United States: Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, Phase 1, 1988-91. Advanced Data Number 255 Oct 24, 1994. DHHS Publication No. (PHS) 95-1250.

Notice of Credit
The article above is compliments of the Uchee Pines Institute, Seale, Alabama, a teaching and treatment facility devoted to natural remedies. For mor information, call 334-855-4781,e-mail:, or visit their Website:

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