Dietary interventions for heart disease - Healthy Eating

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Dietary interventions for heart disease

TheAwfulToad profile image
29 Replies

This is one of the most extraordinary videos about heart disease I've seen, and I thought it might be of general interest. Dr Lundell is a retired heart surgeon who became distressed by seeing people traipse through his operating theatre with the same old problems, and asked himself: why is this happening? Can't we do something about it?

He gives a very lucid explanation of the underlying disease process, part of which involves explaining how "high cholesterol" cannot possibly be the proximate cause. He found the answers to his questions, and it appears he successfully helped a lot of patients not to die too early, simply by advising them to eat right.

For his pains, he was struck off.

You may be aware that a similar story played out in the case of Dr Gary Fettke in Australia, who wanted to put a stop to the ever-increasing numbers of diabetics coming to him to have limbs removed. That story had a happier ending: the authorities eventually apologised and exonerated Dr Fettke.

Pay close attention to the discussion of statins. As he describes, these powerful drugs are approved only for the treatment of "hypercholesterolemia" - a made-up disease with no apparent real-world consequences. They are not prescribed to prevent heart disease, because the manufacturers know full well that they don't do that, at least not via their cholesterol-lowering mechanism. The current consensus is that they have a very small impact, in some patients, via an anti-inflammatory effect; but nobody can actually say that, because that would make their cholesterol-lowering effect an undesirable side-effect. Which, in fact, it is.

I worry sometimes that I'm turning into one of the tinfoil-hat types who see conspiracies everywhere. I console myself with the popular aphorism: you're not paranoid if they really are out to get you.

29 Replies
JT489 profile image

Fascinating and clear, oh my! 🌈

PandQs profile image

Hi AwfulToad, I’ve just watched this video and found it so interesting. I feel a bit evangelical about seeing light about sugar damage. Everyone who comments on my weight loss, I tell them it was SUGAR all along that was the enemy, not the butter and cream. Keep sharing the knowledge! Many thanks for this post.

Fran182716 profile image

Just on my lunch break so will come back later to watch this 😀

Zest profile image

Thanks for this video TheAwfulToad - it was interesting to hear Dr Lundell's perspectives.

Zest :-)

Cooper27 profile image

Interesting, thanks for sharing.

Yet more reasons to restrict sugar intake. If only sugar wasn't everywhere!

andyswarbs profile image

Is lundell a quack? Whatever the answer to that question I would advise caution listening to someone who is giving advice about heart disease at the same time as promoting if not selling supplements for heart disease and much more.

TheAwfulToad profile image
TheAwfulToad in reply to andyswarbs

Did you even watch the video? I do you the courtesy of watching yours before I critique them.

He isn't selling anything. He's just telling people to stop overdosing on sugar.

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to TheAwfulToad

Okay TAD, so I watched the video - twice so far. I can see a conspiracy theory saying that the cholesterol story is wrong. I can see someone who has performed some kind of heart operations with a personal theory on causation. But what does all this amount to? Has he published papers and subjected them to peer-review?

Let's compare his work to, say Dr Caldwell Essyltyn who is still working on heart disease at research level after 60 years with a lifetime of peer reviewed papers - and he's still going! Here's a shortlist of some articles. So he is not a heart surgeon whose experience is limited to the kind of heart operations he has undertaken. He is someone who has subjected himself to the rigour of peer-review time and time again.

I could talk about say Dr Garth Davis who is a practising bariatric surgeon, who advocates strongly for a whole food plant based diet. We can all list expert opinion.

The fact is expert opinion is pretty well the bottom of the pile when trying to look at evidence on best practice. Yes, experts can come up with useful and important ideas that challenge existing theory. That's why we have research that gets published and gets reviewed by peers. That's why we have meta-analyses that can review many years of work and come to conclusions about the are supported by the vast body of evidence.

That's not to say everything Dwight Lundell says is rubbish. Just that the theories he develops don't hold up to strong rigour. I think, for example that his conclusions on cholesterol are misguided. I am yet to hear of just one peer-reviewed study that shows that cholesterol does not obey the Hegsted equation. The Hegsted equation has stood the test of time. It says that if you already eat a lot of cholesterol then eating a little bit more will not raise your cholesterol. It is in ignoring import of that equation is one place that Lundell's story goes awry.

But what really matters is long term studies. Keto, paleo etc so forth so far have only short term studies, perhaps 6 months at best 5 years. And remember I am not talking anecdotes, I am talking about peer-reviewed studies. Compare that with whole-food plant based studies with extraordinary success of 30 years and more.

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to andyswarbs

For a detailed critique on Lundell readers might wish to visit seesangelsinthearchitecture... which addresses in a very detailed way some of what are described as Lundell's half-truths and straw men, what the blog considers silly statements and indeed the lack of evidence.

sleeksheep profile image

His comments are nearly identical to what Dr Sanjay Gupta said about the use of statins and the role cholesterol plays in our blood.

Leaving his personal interactions with the Arizona Medical Board aside as they have no bearing on what the main points of his web post are about.

-Statins are not a wonder drug

-Sugar is not tolerated by our body when constantly stressed.

-Carbohydrates are partly to blame for obesity .

The negative consequences of taking them is not given enough emphasis .

I am one of the "get diabetes 2 " if prescribed and loss of muscle mass from long term usage

If this had been explained knowing I was a pre diabetic I would have refused them.

Some drugs you have to balance what quality of life they give against some minor side effects. Statins are not in this category unless your recovering from a heart attack.

I just watched the video and thought it to be good and truthful.

Two of my sons went to university college school in hampstead.

When I was cutting some of the fat of the steaks that was cooking for them they ask me not to cut it off as they liked it. And it wasn't fat that was fating, it was sugar.

This was what they learned in school.

That was 20 years ago.

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to

We cannot go with anecdote and gut feeling (well of course we can). But the better way is to go with solid peer-reviewed research.

And if simply sugar was the culprit then surely Dr Kempner's rice diet (rice, table sugar, fruit etc)) research would have failed miserably. It did not fail, and indeed was a success. The fact is life is not simple. We do not know the whole story whether it is around cholesterol, statins, sugar, fats, carbs. Theories abound and there is much contradictory information.

However when one looks at the totality of evidence around fats and heart disease then I suspect whatever you learned at school does not take into account the overwhelming evidence.

JerMan22 profile image
JerMan22 in reply to andyswarbs

Thank you, andyswarbs, for giving this your best effort.

While it is true that "we don't know the whole story", the largest, best-designed studies ever made looking at diet's effects on health represent an overwhelming message: eat less meat and more vegetables, fruit, and other whole plant-based foods.

Some will ask me for references to those studies, but I'm under no obligation to continue to spend my time providing proof to those who continue to ignore it. No study is perfect in every way, but I've seen so much evidence from so many studies, it's led me to conclude that a thousand imperfect studies outweigh a few other also-imperfect studies. You will make your own judgment call of course.

Everyone has a life to live with choices to be made. Please make those choices by looking for the facts as honestly as you can. Try not to confuse people with contrary opinions unless you can back them up with strong evidence, because to do so may actually cost someone - or many someones - their health and more.

in reply to andyswarbs

Yes, i have read contradictory information on a number of health issues.

I do try and find out what information is reliable and not tinted with bias.

Ofcourse I ignore if I don't like the way there written.

I think am a member on 8 forums here on HU, and there is lot of valuable information that I like to share with my friends and family.

A friend of mine was always complaining of hart burn and not feeling well.

I advised him to stop eating fried foods and add more vegetables and fruit to his diet.

He did that and he is so much better for it.

The other thing I asked him to consider was to recognize that he life style was very stressful and would also need to make some changes. He did that too.

Enjoy what time you have left in your life..think positive.

Alisongold profile image

I have listened to this video twice, twice more and I should grasp the pathophysiology!! Here at the coal face trying to follow ‘ evidence based practice’ , this really concerns me. Please don’t worry about preaching to the converted, type 2 diabetes and heart disease are serious threats to our health and life expectancy as well as a crippling drain on our resources.

sleeksheep profile image
sleeksheep in reply to Alisongold

On the Atrial Fibrillation site there is a cardiologist who does a lot of web video's

and he explains statin use in an easy to follow way.

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to sleeksheep

A good summary. Some key points missing include autopsies on 6 yr olds from US car crashes showed they ALL had artery clogging ie atherosclerosis. So typically anyone and everyone on a SAD diet is likely to have the early signs of heart disease. Secondly heart attacks in most patients do not happen until the artery is over 90% clogged. When main arteries are clogged the body uses smaller ones, if I am right, your epithelium as a backup route to make sure of blood supply. The heart attack then happens when a main artery blockage eventually bursts. This is why most people go for many years if not decades thinking they are fit and healthy.

It is a bit like cancer, even the best modern techniques can only detect the cancer that has already been building in your body for at least 10 years. Which of course is when it is often far too late.

in reply to andyswarbs

SAD diet indeed. But why Standed American Diet?

Should it not be Typical American Diet. TAD.

Like to know how this TAG on what Americans eat come about.

I did goggle it but nothing on that.

Alisongold profile image
Alisongold in reply to sleeksheep

Really helpful and sensible explanation of who benefits from statins and the need to avoid magnesium deficiency. Thanks.

sleeksheep profile image
sleeksheep in reply to Alisongold

Yes I have benefited from his clear explanations with AFIB.

He has a good cover on why magnesium is so important in the link above also.

cheritorrox profile image

I wonder what evidence they used to have him struck off. Apalling.

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to cheritorrox

If interested in why he was struck off read the link I provided on Quackwatch

which has details of where he did not follow medical procedure, how he filed for bankruptcy and are fair bit more..

JerMan22 profile image
JerMan22 in reply to andyswarbs

When I read the Quackwatch article, I was nodding in agreement about 99% of the time, but this rubbed me the wrong way:

QW>> Tactic #6: Silly statements

Some of the statements are just absurd. For example, he concludes with this statement:

Lundell > “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.” < Lundell

QW> But, if things were this simple, then no one in the past (before processed foods) would have died of heart attacks or strokes. But, people did die of heart attacks and stroke, long before Twinkies and Big Macs. This suggests, to anyone who thinks about it for even a minute, that Dr. Lundell’s simplistic “it’s all about inflammation and it’s all from processed foods” claim is just wrong. Not just in error, but absurdly in error.' <<<QW

Me: The point that the QW article is making (I believe) is that grandma's diet wasn't perfect either. From my point of view, this is true; that diet included meat and animal products. But, if you move these foods into Lundell's group of "inflammatory foods", then this particular Lundell statement is true. Of course, Lundell (and grandma) very likely would object to this interpretation of his statement, but meat has been shown to be "inflammatory", so it makes me happy.

in reply to andyswarbs

Very interesting to start with.

The guy performs over 5,000 hart operations and most of them could have been easily prevented had the patients been given the standard right information.

My thoughts were, this can't be real. But then doctor shipman come to mind, and as there have been many other doctors that too had misgivings

I thought what a barstuard.

But when it went down to not paying tax and going to prison, I thought it completely unnecessary to bring in things like that and it changed my thoughts to the writer been nasty. And can not be believed.

So I ignored the whole lot.

MTCee profile image

Dr Lundell sounds like a very caring and thoughtful person who just wants to help people live a healthier life. It sounds like he got into trouble by annoying the drug companies, by casting doubt on their supposed wonder drug statins.

Questioning what causes inflammation in our bodies is paramount to stopping it. If it is high levels of blood sugar as many other people are also concluding, then keeping out blood sugar levels down is the key to good health. I don't see why this is such a contentious issue. It seems so straight forward.

andyswarbs profile image
andyswarbs in reply to MTCee

He is certainly well-meaning, and I am sure he had the success he claims. However, as I have said, in nutrition what may seem simple often is not. I think this is true of carbs which convert to glucose and so the simple answer for diabetics is to cut out the carbs. If it was that simple then Dr Neil Barnard (a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, and he received the American College of Lifestyle Medicine’s Trailblazer Award in 2016) would not have had the success he reports in this video

If I can highlight one piece of research he reports on where they took people on standard diabetic diet and compared them with people on a low-fat vegan diet. No other changes were allowed, including exercise. The research is reported at concludes "In an analysis controlling for medication changes, a low-fat vegan diet appeared to improve glycemia and plasma lipids more than did conventional diabetes diet recommendations."

MTCee profile image
MTCee in reply to andyswarbs

I didn't have time to watch the whole hour and quarter of this video, but thank you for posting it. The speaker speaks with a lot of zeal. Clearly he's convinced about his theories. But if I ate most cereals I'd get very ill and if I ate lots of starchy vegetables I'd put on weight. So while his diet may work for him and others, it wouldn't work for me, so by extension, it therefore wouldn't work for everyone.

I have to be very careful what I eat both from a gluten point of view and because my family of origin have a predisposition towards developing diabetes. I've found a lifestyle that works for me and it isn't the one the speaker is promoting. I eat mostly non starchy veg, eggs, dairy, some fish and a very small amount of meat. I occasionally eat rice, quinoa and potatoes. On alternate days, I fast until evening and then have a normal meal. I take lots of exercise because I have a small energetic spaniel who enjoys walks. Last year I lost two stones by living this way and I intend to lose another two stones this year. I put the weight on in the first place by listening to people telling me that a low fat way of eating with lots of "healthy" whole grains would be best for me, so you can understand how I find it hard to believe people who recommend this way if eating.

People have to listen to their own bodies and follow a way of eating that works for them. If your way of eating works for you thats wonderful, but no one diet can possibly work for everyone.

in reply to MTCee

Really good for you that you have found your own way that works for you.

MTCee profile image
MTCee in reply to

Thanks, just wish it hadn't taken me 50 years to find it 🙄 😄

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