The Kaufmann Diet and Heart Health, Pt. 2
What Does Heart-Healthy Look Like On The Kaufmann Diet?
Despite the fact that much of the so-called “conventional wisdom” related to heart disease and diet has been disproven, much of the advice given by cardiologists has remained the same. We are told that in order to prevent heart disease, we should cut out fats––particularly saturated fats––limit animal protein, and limit dairy to either low-fat or non-fat items.
A diet that is low in fat typically means a diet that is higher in carbohydrates. However, we know that such a diet (which is typically high in sugar), contributes to inflammation within the body, which is what science is now pointing towards as the underlying cause of heart disease. Ironically, the diet many Americans eat in the name of preventing heart disease may be doing more to encourage its the development of heart disease.
So given what we know about inflammation and heart disease, what would a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle actually look like?
Sugar and most simple carbohydrates should likely be avoided. Particularly, anything with added sugar should be avoided (which eliminates the majority of processed and fast foods), but even foods like the sweeter varieties of fruit should likely be enjoyed in moderation and not as a staple of the diet.
Eliminating sugar typically means eliminating anything with grains, as well––even whole grains. Grains, like rice and oats, along with foods made with grains (like pasta, bread, etc.) are all high carbohydrate foods, which convert very quickly to sugar during digestion.
The idea of eliminating grains––particularly whole grains––strikes against much of the dietary advice we are given from conventional cardiology. This is largely because whole grains are a good source of fiber, a nutrient that has been shown to be extremely beneficial for heart health, but is greatly lacking in many people’s diets.
Fiber, however, is found in abundance in a number of whole foods that are not grains, such as avocados, nuts, berries, and leafy greens. It simply is not necessary to include grains in the diet for the sole purpose of getting dietary fiber.
Regardless, eating fiber is important, particularly on the Kaufmann Diet.
Fat is an important nutrient, particularly in the form of Omega 3 fatty acids. There are a variety of different foods that are rich in fat that can and should be enjoyed for heart health, including nuts, avocados, olive oil, macadamia nut oil, cold-water fish (such as salmon, tuna, etc.).
Many people seek to eliminate foods like beef, lamb, or eggs because of the saturated fat and cholesterol content. Generally, the advice we have been given is to eliminate as much animal protein as possible, for fear of raising triglycerides and cholesterol. However, what we have discovered in more recent years is that high cholesterol and triglycerides are not necessarily what cause clogging of the arteries, themselves. Diets rich in sugar can cause cholesterol to oxidize into the plaques we see that block arteries, leading to heart disease. So, eating animal protein that is high in fat is not necessarily the problem, with obvious moderation.
Choosing the right kinds of meats is key. Organic, grass-fed meats are typically best in cases of bison, lamb, beef, etc. Wild caught fish and pastured chicken/turkey are likely the best options, as well.
We know that inflammation plays a key role in the development of heart disease, and we know that the presence of fungus and yeast in the body can raise those levels of inflammation.
Underlying fungal and yeast infections likely play a much bigger role in a wide variety of health problems than conventional medicine assumes, yet not much time is spent discussing the health implications of these organisms in a doctor’s medical training. Eliminating yeast via diet and supplements may be one more way that you can protect yourself against heart disease, and other diseases.
Independent of diet, regular exercise is perhaps the most important component of maintaining good heart health. Exercise has been shown to keep blood pressure levels within range and keep the heart strong.
Manage Stress Properly
How we deal with stress can have a profound effect on the environment inside our bodies. This is a commonly overlooked component of health. Constantly-raised levels of cortisol and other stress hormones in the body can create an environment that promotes disease inside the body; mitigating or limiting stress is a good way to protect yourself from heart disease.