Taking Cardiovascular Health to Heart

Taking Cardiovascular Health to Heart

Ever heard the saying, “serious as a heart attack”? The origin of this phrase is easy to understand, as a heart attack is generally regarded as one of the most detrimental afflictions known to mankind, therefore not something to be taken lightly. Unfortunately, judging by the increasing popularity of the standard American diet and the corresponding rates of cardiovascular illnesses worldwide, the issue of cardiovascular health isn’t being taken seriously enough.
As reported by the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease (CVD) kills an estimated 17 million people every year and is the leading cause of deaths worldwide.
For proponents of a plant-based diet, the connection between cardiovascular health and diet is very clear. However, according to the basic dietary guidelines proposed by leading health organizations around the world, the link between animal based products and cardiovascular illness is not being properly addressed – at the expense of the millions who fall victim to the devastating consequences each year. For instance, animal based products - like meat, eggs and dairy - are commonly referred to by medical professionals and standard food pyramids as healthy dietary components, despite scientific evidence that links them to a vast majority of diseases. Not to mention, the standard American diet, with its unfortunate popularity around the world, is very high in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol – leading risk factors for coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and heart attacks. Red meat in particular has long been blamed as a leading cause for cardiovascular illness due to the high levels of arterial clogging fats and cholesterol. However, recent findings indicate that these aren’t the only contributing factors when it comes to linking cardiovascular disease and meat. New research from scientists at the Cleveland Clinic recently began shining even more light on this subject, pointing the finger at the chemical called trimethylamine n-oxide (TMAO). The way it works, meat contains an amino acid called carnitine which, when utilized by certain gut bacteria during the digestive process, results in the formation of TMAO. Abundantly present in the digestive systems of those who habitually consume animal products, TMAO aids cholesterol in the infiltration of arterial walls and prevents the body from excreting excess cholesterol. As cholesterol begins to build up in arteries, it forms plaque, a substance that prevents oxygen-rich blood from flowing to the body’s organs. Over time, plaque buildup can lead to heart attack, stroke and even death. According to the Cleveland Clinic study’s leading author, Dr. Stanley Hazen, “A diet high in carnitine actually shifts our gut microbe composition to those that like carnitine, making meat eaters even more susceptible to forming TMAO and its artery-clogging effects. Meanwhile, vegans and vegetarians have a significantly reduced capacity to synthesize TMAO from carnitine, which may explain the cardiovascular health benefits of these diets.” Couple that with the fact that fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat, salt and sugar, and high in dietary fiber, folate, favonoids and antioxidants, and you get a diet that reduces your risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and excess weight – all significant risk factors for cardiovascular disease! Research has also shown that nuts – a dietary staple in most vegan and vegetarian diets – can help to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol, in turn, reducing the risk for heart disease by as much as 30-50 percent! Making healthy choices can go a long way to improving your heart health, so in addition to maintaining an active lifestyle and getting plenty of sleep, it’s important to choose a plant-based diet in order to protect your most valuable organ! And for those who want to arm their defenses even more, we’ve created the Hallelujah Acres Cardiovascular Get Started Support Kit to help jumpstart your body’s incredible self-healing abilities and address existing cardiovascular concerns. Check out our website for more information on the Cardiovascular Support Kit and the Cardiovascular Monthly Maintenance Kit – the perfect accompaniments to The Hallelujah Diet for promoting ultimate cardiovascular protection!

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