Lets remember that you have about 70,000 miles of blood vessels running through your body. AT Still, MD, DO the founder of my osteopathic profession stated that the rule of the artery is supreme and he was dead right. He also drove his students to always find and fix the cause. Our leading cause of death is due to atherosclerosis/heart disease. Without blood flow tissues degrade and die. Do you know that in adulthood we lose 0.5 % of blood flow to the brain per year and by age 65 on average we have lost 20% total flow to the brain. Less blood flow, more cell death, increase risk for dementia. The leading cause of chronic low back pain and degenerative disk disease is lack of blood flow (ischemia) due to atherosclerosis. The research shows that saturated fat, oils, sugar, salt, white flour and dairy products create endothelial (the innermost single cell lining of your arteries) inflammation and destruction. We should eat a diet that minimizes all of these if we want to reverse any accrued damage and given that most of us grew up on a standard american diet we all have have plenty of work to do.
Endothelial damage has been documented in infancy so it is never too soon to be talking about it and preventing it.
Unfortunately ‘healthier’ diets like the paleo diet or the Mediterranean diet have yet to demonstrate atherosclerosis reversal. So the gold standard is the no oil, no sugar, no animal or dairy, minimal or no salt whole food plant based diet. This is the diet that I follow very happily. I look forward to my meals and I love what I eat. I also love knowing that with every meal and am reversing disease and improving blood flow. It only takes 3 weeks on this dietary plan to reset your taste buds to their natural state. Then you will find how much more you can taste the sweetness and savoriness in natural whole foods.
To read more on this, Read the recently published How Not To Die by Michael Greger, MD. You can go to my website drkyle.com for more resources as well.
Dietary Guidelines to Treat and Prevent Atherosclerosis
1. Choose plant-based foods: vegetables, beans, whole grains, and fruit.
2. Minimize refined grains, added salt, and sweeteners.
3. Include some nuts and seeds; avoid oils.
4. Avoid foods containing saturated and trans fats.
5. Have a reliable source of vitamin B12.
Minimize or avoid the RED ZONES for optimal health and disease prevention and reversal.
Kyle Homertgen, DO
Osteopathic and Lifestyle-Based Family Medicine
Monroe Health Center
Benton County Health Services