How Low Should Your Cholesterol Levels Be?

Ide­al­ly, your total cho­les­terol should be below 150 mg/dL. Accord­ing to William Castel­li, who was the med­ical direc­tor of the Fram­ing­ham Heart Study for many years, peo­ple with a total cho­les­terol val­ue of less than 150 mg/dL sim­ply don’t get heart attacks. And once someone’s total cho­les­terol is that low, the ratio between the “good” and “bad” cho­les­terol sim­ply doesn’t mat­ter.

The total cho­les­terol val­ue is the sin­gle most impor­tant clue to a person’s risk of heart attack. Once the cho­les­terol lev­els in the blood rise to, say, the mid-160s, then the ratio of good ver­sus bad cho­les­terol (HDL ver­sus LDL) real­ly starts to mat­ter.

William Castel­li once explained, “Four out of five peo­ple on this earth can’t get their cho­les­terol over 150; they don’t get heart attacks. One out of five peo­ple can’t get their cho­les­terol down to 150. They do get heart attacks. And almost all of them live in afflu­ent coun­tries.” The “four out of five peo­ple” Castel­li meant live in soci­eties that eat a low-fat, high-fiber, large­ly plant-based diet. That kind of diet keeps blood cho­les­terol lev­els nat­u­ral­ly low.

Coronary Artery Disease Is Not a Mental Disorder

Many lay­men and even many doc­tors like the idea that peo­ple can give them­selves a seri­ous phys­i­cal dis­ease just by hav­ing bad thoughts, unpleas­ant feel­ings, or annoy­ing per­son­al­i­ty traits. Yet it’s hard to find any sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence that these psy­cho­log­i­cal phe­nom­e­na have any real effect on health. Nev­er­the­less, the attempt to “psy­chol­o­gize” phys­i­cal ill­ness per­sists.

Although many peo­ple like the idea that their thoughts can influ­ence their health, peo­ple can be amaz­ing­ly resis­tant to the idea that their food choic­es mat­ter. If I were a psy­chol­o­gist, I would use my train­ing to fig­ure out why our doc­tors in the Unit­ed States ignore the over­whelm­ing evi­dence that the stan­dard Amer­i­can diet is the under­ly­ing rea­son for our major caus­es of death and dis­abil­i­ty. I’d try to fig­ure out ways to help peo­ple real­ize that they’re eat­ing their way into an ear­ly grave. I’d try to find ways to help peo­ple improve their diet, so that they can improve their health. Instead, psy­chol­o­gists have been try­ing to prove that coro­nary artery dis­ease is a men­tal dis­or­der. It would be fun­ny if it weren’t so trag­ic!

By the end of World War II, any­one with com­mon sense and access to the sci­en­tif­ic lit­er­a­ture should have real­ized that coro­nary artery dis­ease results from the foods that peo­ple eat, not from the kinds of thoughts and feel­ings that go on in their minds. For exam­ple, heart dis­ease became rare in Nor­way after the Nazis stole their farm ani­mals and the Nor­we­gians had to switch to a low-fat, plant-based diet. Rich, fat­ty foods were also in short sup­ply for the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion in Ger­many dur­ing the war. As a result, Ger­man civil­ians stopped dying of heart attacks, despite all the stress and ter­ror of Allied bomb­ing raids.

After see­ing these data, Nathan Pri­tikin real­ized that heart dis­ease results from the foods peo­ple eat, not from the emo­tion­al stress in their lives. When he got a diag­no­sis of coro­nary artery dis­ease, he cleaned up his own diet and encour­aged oth­ers to do the same.

Nev­er­the­less, Amer­i­cans still clung to the idea that heart dis­ease is a men­tal dis­or­der. First, peo­ple thought that the cause was “emo­tion­al stress.” Then they blamed “type A per­son­al­i­ty.” Then they blamed “pes­simism.” It’s all a crock. Lots of peo­ple in Chi­na had emo­tion­al stress, type A per­son­al­i­ties, and pes­simism. Yet research showed that they weren’t dying of heart attacks, because their aver­age cho­les­terol was shock­ing­ly low by Amer­i­can stan­dards, thanks to their low-fat, high-fiber diet.

The Plate’s Not Much Better Than the Pyramid

The Unit­ed States Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture has ditched its creepy Food Pyra­mid, which for many peo­ple con­jured up gris­ly images of Aztec human sac­ri­fice.

aztecpyramid

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the USDA’s new “plate and cup” graph­ic still pro­vides dead­ly nutri­tion­al advice. It still urges peo­ple to eat far more fat, cho­les­terol, cal­ci­um, and ani­mal pro­tein than is good for them. Thus, it will con­tribute to our major caus­es of death and dis­abil­i­ty in the Unit­ed States, with­out doing much to solve any of our real pub­lic health prob­lems.

myplateThe new “plate and cup” graph­ic is sim­ply a way to com­mu­ni­cate the lessons from the most recent edi­tion of Dietary Guide­lines for Amer­i­cans. Fed­er­al law requires these guide­lines to be reviewed, and updat­ed if nec­es­sary, every five years. The guide­lines are cre­at­ed by a joint com­mit­tee of the USDA and the US Depart­ment of Health and Human Ser­vices, with input from oth­er fed­er­al agen­cies and the pub­lic. The 2010 edi­tion was issued in Jan­u­ary 2011.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the guide­lines are designed to address two nonex­is­tent prob­lems, while fail­ing to help peo­ple avoid or recov­er from our biggest caus­es of death and dis­abil­i­ty. The guide­lines are designed to ensure that Amer­i­cans con­sume “enough” pro­tein and cal­ci­um, even though it’s prac­ti­cal­ly impos­si­ble to find any real human beings who have a true defi­cien­cy of either one. Mean­while, the guide­lines actu­al­ly encour­age peo­ple to eat foods that increase the risk of heart dis­ease, can­cer, type 2 dia­betes, low back pain, osteo­poro­sis, and autoim­mune dis­eases such as arthri­tis and type 1 dia­betes.

Nutri­tion sci­en­tists have known for more than 100 years that human pro­tein needs are eas­i­ly met by any prac­ti­cal plant-based diet, as long as peo­ple are eat­ing enough food to get enough calo­ries. For more than 50 years, they’ve known that all of our com­mon sta­ple plant foods pro­vide enough of all of the essen­tial amino acids. Peo­ple would get plen­ty of pro­tein even if they ate noth­ing but pota­toes; thus, there’s no jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for urg­ing peo­ple to eat ani­mal-based “pro­tein foods.”

The “pro­tein foods” that come from ani­mals pose seri­ous health risks. They are devoid of fiber and digestible car­bo­hy­drates. Instead, their calo­ries come in the form of fat and pro­tein. Any over­load of pro­tein stress­es the liv­er and kid­neys. Worse yet, ani­mal pro­teins also tend to pro­mote can­cer, osteo­poro­sis, and autoim­mune dis­ease. The heavy dose of cal­ci­um from dairy foods actu­al­ly seems to increase, rather than decrease, the risk of osteo­poro­sis.

The cur­rent guide­lines also encour­age peo­ple to eat far more fat than is good for them. The cur­rent guide­lines do encour­age peo­ple to eat less sat­u­rat­ed fat, but to replace it with polyun­sat­u­rat­ed fats. The result would be only a slight­ly low­er risk of heart dis­ease, off­set by a high­er risk of can­cer. Most peo­ple should keep their fat intake to 10% or less of calo­ries.

The Dietary Guide­lines for Amer­i­cans do encour­age peo­ple to eat more fruits and veg­eta­bles and to replace refined grain prod­ucts with whole-grain prod­ucts. How­ev­er, they fall far short of telling peo­ple how they can achieve opti­mal health. That’s a scan­dalous fail­ure, con­sid­er­ing how many Amer­i­cans lack health insur­ance and thus have lim­it­ed access to pro­fes­sion­al guid­ance, includ­ing advice from a reg­is­tered dietit­ian.

Like our government’s fail­ure to pro­vide an effi­cient, pub­licly-financed uni­ver­sal health­care sys­tem, the short­com­ings of the Dietary Guide­lines for Amer­i­cans rep­re­sent our government’s fail­ure to “pro­mote the gen­er­al wel­fare.” Instead, our food and health­care poli­cies pro­mote the wel­fare of the pow­er­ful cor­po­ra­tions that finance our elec­tions and whose lob­by­ists stalk the halls of Con­gress.

These prob­lems have per­sist­ed for decades. They are not going to solve them­selves. These prob­lems will be solved only if health activists work to elect Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Sen­a­tors and a Pres­i­dent who care far more about human beings than about cor­po­ra­tions and if health activists pro­vide such pres­sure dur­ing the “pub­lic com­ment” phase for the next edi­tion of the guide­lines that USDA will have no choice but to serve the Amer­i­can peo­ple instead of the food indus­try.

The French Paradox and the Japanese Paradox

By now, you’ve cer­tain­ly heard about the “French Para­dox,” a dream that entered Amer­i­can con­scious­ness in 1991, when it was described on the tele­vi­sion pro­gram 60 Min­utes. Accord­ing to this dream, drink­ing red wine will pro­tect you from heart dis­ease, even if you eat lots of high-fat, high-cho­les­terol food. Although the risk of heart dis­ease was low­er in France than in Britain, the dif­fer­ence was not due to some mag­i­cal prop­er­ties of wine. It was due part­ly to under-report­ing of coro­nary artery dis­ease as a cause of death and part­ly due to a time-lag effect. It takes a while for a fat­ty diet to clog up your arter­ies, and the French hadn’t been eat­ing as much fat as the British had been eat­ing for as long as the British had been eat­ing it. These expla­na­tions had been pub­lished in the British Med­ical Jour­nal in 1999. You can read the arti­cle for free here.

If you want to elim­i­nate your risk of heart attack, not just decrease it a lit­tle, you’d eat a low-fat, pure­ly plant-based diet.

Alco­holic bev­er­ages, includ­ing wine, can have sev­er­al effects that influ­ence a person’s risk of dying of a heart attack. Winos who die of cir­rho­sis of the liv­er often have amaz­ing­ly clean arter­ies. That’s because their liv­er lost the abil­i­ty to make cho­les­terol. Even mod­er­ate intake of alco­holic bev­er­ages can have sev­er­al effects on coro­nary artery dis­ease. The antiox­i­dants in some alco­holic bev­er­ages, includ­ing wine, could pre­vent LDL cho­les­terol from becom­ing oxi­dized, and thus could help reduce the buildup of ath­er­o­scle­rot­ic plaque. Of course, you could get these same antiox­i­dants from plant foods that haven’t been fer­ment­ed. Alco­hol can also thin the blood, and thus help to decrease the chance of a fatal heart attack or ischemic stroke. On the oth­er hand, it would increase the risk of a fatal hem­or­rhage. I haven’t seen any con­vinc­ing evi­dence that adding any form of alco­hol to a low-fat, plant-based diet would pro­vide any health ben­e­fits.

The French para­dox turned out to be a myth. How­ev­er, there are some Japan­ese para­dox­es that are real. One involves cig­a­rette smok­ing. The oth­er involves obe­si­ty and dia­betes.

Japan­ese smok­ers are less like­ly than Amer­i­can smok­ers to get lung can­cer. This is called the Japan­ese Smok­ing Para­dox. Some peo­ple think that it’s because Japan­ese are smok­ing safer cig­a­rettes or have some mag­i­cal pro­tec­tive genes. The more ratio­nal expla­na­tion is that the Japan­ese have been eat­ing less fat and ani­mal pro­tein and more veg­eta­bles than Amer­i­cans have been eat­ing. Eat­ing the tra­di­tion­al Japan­ese diet, as opposed to the stan­dard Amer­i­can diet, helps to pro­tect peo­ple against many kinds of can­cer, not just lung can­cer.

Anoth­er para­dox involves Japan­ese chil­dren. Over the past few decades, Japan­ese chil­dren have been get­ting fat­ter, and the inci­dence of type 2 dia­betes among Japan­ese chil­dren has been going up. This has been hap­pen­ing even though their calo­rie intake hasn’t increased sig­nif­i­cant­ly. They have been eat­ing a lot more fat and ani­mal pro­tein. In oth­er words, they’ve been get­ting a small­er per­cent­age of their calo­ries from car­bo­hy­drates, which were main­ly in the form of white rice. So why do the low-carb gurus keep telling me that we need to eat more fat and less car­bo­hy­drate? Is this anoth­er para­dox? If so, what should we call it?

Calcium Supplements: More Heart Attacks, but Also More Osteoporosis

Women in the Unit­ed States are con­tin­u­al­ly pres­sured by their doc­tors and by the media to eat a high-cal­ci­um diet and take cal­ci­um sup­ple­ments, sup­pos­ed­ly to pre­vent osteo­poro­sis. I resist this advice, because I’ve known for more than 20 years that osteo­poro­sis is actu­al­ly most com­mon in the pop­u­la­tions with the high­est cal­ci­um intakes. Now, a study just pub­lished in the British Med­ical Jour­nal warns that cal­ci­um sup­ple­ments could also raise the risk of heart attack, which is the major cause of death in women in the Unit­ed States.

I found out about the link between high cal­ci­um intakes and osteo­poro­sis in the late 1980s, while I was edit­ing a hand­book for dieti­tians. The author wrote that osteo­poro­sis is com­mon only in soci­eties where peo­ple eat a lot of dairy prod­ucts. I was shocked by this infor­ma­tion. Lat­er on, I found that both the high pro­tein con­tent and the high cal­ci­um con­tent of dairy foods are impli­cat­ed in caus­ing osteo­poro­sis. For years, Har­vard pro­fes­sor Mark Heg­st­ed warned peo­ple that osteo­poro­sis was a result of the same kind of diet that caus­es heart dis­ease. He specif­i­cal­ly warned that high cal­ci­um intakes prob­a­bly make osteo­poro­sis worse. Sad­ly, his warn­ings fell on deaf ears.

Read­ing the arti­cle in the British Med­ical Jour­nal made me angry. The study it described was a meta-analy­sis, which means that it com­piled the results of sev­er­al clin­i­cal tri­als. The researchers found 15 clin­i­cal tri­als in which women were giv­en either cal­ci­um or place­bo, most­ly for the pre­ven­tion or treat­ment of osteo­poro­sis. What angered me was the dates of the stud­ies. The ear­li­est one was pub­lished in 1989, the lat­est in 2008. Even by the time the ear­li­est of those stud­ies was done, there was already plen­ty of rea­son to believe that cal­ci­um sup­ple­ments would have made the women’s osteo­poro­sis worse, not bet­ter. In oth­er words, human research sub­jects were sub­ject­ed to unnec­es­sary harm. That sort of thing is a huge vio­la­tion of med­ical research ethics. It’s also ille­gal in civ­i­lized coun­tries.

Med­ical researchers are sup­posed to do their home­work before they start enrolling human beings in a clin­i­cal tri­al. By the time that first study was done, it was already obvi­ous that high cal­ci­um intakes make osteo­poro­sis worse, not bet­ter. Har­vard pro­fes­sor Mark Heg­st­ed explained the prob­lem in an arti­cle pub­lished in 1986, before the first of the stud­ies includ­ed in the meta-analy­sis.

It’s bad enough that the aver­age doc­tor has had lit­tle to no train­ing in nutri­tion or dietet­ics. What’s even worse is that some of the doc­tors who are doing nutri­tion stud­ies evi­dent­ly don’t both­er to read the sci­en­tif­ic lit­er­a­ture on nutri­tion before they start exper­i­ment­ing on human beings.

Accord­ing to the arti­cle in the British Med­ical Jour­nal, there were 143 myocar­dial infarc­tions in the patients assigned to take cal­ci­um and 111 myocar­dial infarc­tions in the patients assigned to take a place­bo. If these women had been giv­en prop­er coun­sel­ing on how to make them­selves heart-attack-proof, all of these heart attacks could have been avoid­ed.

Pho­to by Ger­man Teno­rio

My Cholesterol Is Too Low for the Heart Attack Risk Calculator!

I tried to use the Nation­al Cho­les­terol Edu­ca­tion Program’s Risk Assess­ment Tool for Esti­mat­ing Your 10-Year Risk of Hav­ing a Heart Attack. I entered my data on the form, and I got back an error mes­sage, telling me to enter a total cho­les­terol val­ue of 130 or greater! Accord­ing to the cal­cu­la­tor, even if my cho­les­terol went up to 130 mg/dL, I’d still have less than a 1% chance of hav­ing a heart attack with­in the next 10 years.

(Note: here’s a live ver­sion of the tool, which does not give an error mes­sage: https://www.cardiosmart.org/healthwise/calc/006/calc006)

If I ran the Nation­al Cho­les­terol Edu­ca­tion Pro­gram, I’d real­ly edu­cate peo­ple about cho­les­terol. I’d tell them the sim­ple truth: that when you keep your total cho­les­terol at less than 150 mg/dL, coro­nary artery dis­ease ceas­es to exist. Near­ly every­one can eas­i­ly achieve that goal by eat­ing a low-fat (<10% of calo­ries), plant-based diet.

Instead, the NCEP tells peo­ple that a total cho­les­terol lev­el of  up to 200 mg/dL is “desir­able.” Lots of peo­ple with this “desir­able” cho­les­terol lev­el are dying of heart attacks, which is why many peo­ple, includ­ing many doc­tors, are con­fused.Pho­to by win­nifredx­oxo

Clinton’s Heart Problems Really Are a Result of His Diet

Why Won’t More Doctors Tell Their Patients How to Make Themselves Heart-Attack Proof?

Back in 1855, a promi­nent Bap­tist preach­er told his flock, “A lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.” Nowa­days, lies can trav­el even more quick­ly, thanks to the mag­ic of the Inter­net. On Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 11, 2010, the Asso­ci­at­ed Press sent around a news item titled “No cure for heart dis­ease, Clinton’s case shows.” Accord­ing to the arti­cle, for­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton has just had more surgery to unclog his coro­nary arter­ies. He had a quadru­ple bypass in 2004, and now he has just had surgery to open up one of the bypass­es. Accord­ing to the Asso­ci­at­ed Press, Clinton’s car­di­ol­o­gist, Dr. Allan Schwartz, told a news con­fer­ence, “This was not a result of his lifestyle or his diet.” That’s a lie.

Com­pare what Dr. Schwartz said with the opin­ion of Dr. William Castel­li, who had been chief of the famous Fram­ing­ham Heart Study. When an inter­view­er asked how many heart attacks can we wipe out by changes in lifestyle, Dr. Castel­li respond­ed, “All of them. There are five bil­lion peo­ple on this earth. Four-bil­lion-plus will nev­er get a heart attack. Why can’t we be like them?” Castel­li explained that keep­ing cho­les­terol low through eat­ing a healthy diet has added ben­e­fits: “Stud­ies from Chi­na show that if your cho­les­terol is low, you won’t get breast or colon can­cer or dia­betes either.”

To make our­selves immune to coro­nary artery dis­ease, we sim­ply need to keep our total cho­les­terol below 150 mg/dL. Castel­li explained, “Your cells need cho­les­terol to make cell mem­branes and hor­mones. But when your total cho­les­terol is over 150—or your LDL [“bad”] cho­les­terol is over 90—the cells have more cho­les­terol than they can use and no way to get rid of the excess. They can’t break down or oxi­dize it, so it starts to pile up as a waxy deposit that will even­tu­al­ly choke the cells.”

Pop­u­la­tion stud­ies have shown that peo­ple who eat a low-fat, plant-based diet are “immune” to coro­nary artery dis­ease. Even when a pop­u­la­tion with a high risk of heart dis­ease is deprived of their favorite fat­ty, ani­mal-based foods, as a result of food rationing dur­ing wartime, their risk of heart attack plum­mets. It comes right back after peo­ple resume their old eat­ing habits, so the prob­lem is dietary, not genet­ic. Dr. Cald­well Essel­styn (http://www.heartattackproof.com/) has shown that even patients with advanced coro­nary artery dis­ease can make them­selves “heart-attack proof” by switch­ing to a low fat (<10% of calo­ries), plant-based diet.

Bill Clinton’s heart dis­ease could have end­ed his life and may still do so. One promi­nent physi­cian has point­ed out that bypass surgery does almost noth­ing to save lives, and he pro­voked a con­tro­ver­sy by argu­ing that Clinton’s bypass surgery has had a detri­men­tal effect on the for­mer President’s men­tal func­tion­ing. The bypass surgery itself dis­lodges bits of crud from the major arter­ies, which then cause tiny block­ages (mini-strokes) in the brain. The decline in men­tal func­tion­ing after bypass surgery is so well rec­og­nized in med­ical cir­cles that they have a slang term for it: “pump head.”

Like the sex scan­dal that led to his impeach­ment, Clinton’s heart prob­lems result from his indul­gence of unhealthy appetites. Arti­cles about Clinton’s heart prob­lems rep­re­sent a “teach­able moment” to tell the Amer­i­can pub­lic what a healthy diet real­ly is. Yet once again, this oppor­tu­ni­ty is squan­dered.

Pho­to by shared­fer­ret

What People Can Achieve by Eating a Low-Fat, Plant-Based Diet

If you have any chron­ic health prob­lem, I don’t care what it is, con­sid­er mak­ing a change in your diet. Often, a sim­ple exclu­sion diet pro­to­col can help you cure dev­as­tat­ing dis­eases like type 2 dia­betes or rheuma­toid arthri­tis. It can also make you heart-attack-proof and reduce your risk of can­cer. A change to a low-fat, plant-based diet is sim­ple and cheap and has no side effects. If you have any seri­ous health prob­lem, talk to a reg­is­tered dietit­ian (look for the “RD” after their name) as well as your doc­tor before mak­ing a change in diet.

Lose Weight

The secret to effort­less weight loss is to go ape and eat plants. Switch to a high-fiber, low-fat diet based on unre­fined starch­es and lots of veg­eta­bles. Eat as much of these foods as you can hold, and you’ll be less tempt­ed to snack on high-calo­rie junk food.

Stop Multiple Sclerosis

Dr. Roy Swank showed that you can stop the pro­gres­sion of mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis just by tak­ing the ani­mal prod­ucts and fat out of the diet. Dr. John McDougall is car­ry­ing on this research.

Become Heart-Attack-Proof

Dr. Cald­well Essel­styn took a bunch of patients with advanced coro­nary artery dis­ease and made them “heart-attack-proof” just by teach­ing them to eat the right kinds of food.

Cure Type 2 Diabetes

Dr. Neal Barnard proved that a low-fat, plant-based diet is bet­ter than the Amer­i­can Dia­betes Association’s stan­dard dietary rec­om­men­da­tions for con­trol­ling type 2 dia­betes. Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s patients with type 2 dia­betes become “undi­a­bet­ic” with­in a mat­ter of weeks if they eat that way.

Dramatically Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

T. Col­in Camp­bell, PhD, a world-famous nutri­tion­al bio­chemist and nutri­tion­al epi­demi­ol­o­gist, has shown that the more ani­mal-based foods peo­ple eat, the high­er their risk of can­cer. In ani­mal mod­els, sci­en­tists could turn the devel­op­ment of tumors on and off just by increas­ing or decreas­ing the amount of ani­mal pro­tein in the diet.

Fight Arthritis

Arthri­tis is not an inevitable con­se­quence of age. It is com­par­a­tive­ly rare in soci­eties where peo­ple eat a low-fat, plant-based diet. About 70% of peo­ple with the most com­mon form of inflam­ma­to­ry arthri­tis, rheuma­toid arthri­tis, can expect dra­mat­ic ben­e­fits, and often a cure, in less than 4 weeks of diet change. The diet must be fol­lowed strictly—medications are reduced and stopped as improve­ments occur.

Prevent Osteoporosis

Osteo­poro­sis is reversible, if you eat a plant-based diet, get rea­son­able expo­sure to sun­shine, and get some exer­cise. Believe it or not, dairy prod­ucts actu­al­ly make osteo­poro­sis worse.

Relieve Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

Inflam­ma­to­ry bow­el dis­eases occur almost exclu­sive­ly in parts of the world where the diet is high in meat and dairy foods, and are rare in coun­tries where peo­ple still con­sume starch-based, almost entire­ly veg­e­tar­i­an meals.

Avoid Surgery for Gallstones

Gall­stones are usu­al­ly made of cho­les­terol, and they result when peo­ple over­load their sys­tem with fat­ty, high-cho­les­terol foods.

Prevent Varicose Veins, Hemorrhoids, Hiatal Hernia, Uterine Prolapse

All of those dis­or­ders result from con­sti­pa­tion. When peo­ple strain to move their bow­els, the abnor­mal­ly high pres­sure in the bel­ly can dam­age the valves in the veins and push var­i­ous organs out of their nor­mal posi­tions.

Appendicitis and Diverticulosis

The high-pro­tein, low-fiber West­ern diet is the cause of appen­dici­tis and diver­tic­u­lo­sis.

The List Goes On and On

Many oth­er dis­eases have been shown to be the result of the rich, fat­ty, low-fiber stan­dard Amer­i­can diet. I should also have list­ed acne, bad breath, body odor, and erec­tile dys­func­tion, along with kid­ney and liv­er dis­ease. The sad thing is that many peo­ple unwit­ting­ly sub­ject them­selves to these dis­eases in their attempt to avoid “pro­tein defi­cien­cy,” even though pro­tein defi­cien­cy isn’t a real prob­lem in human beings. After all, where do goril­las get their pro­tein?

How Low Should Total Cholesterol Be?

Below 150 mg/dL, Accord­ing to Dr. Cald­well Essel­styn

Based on the ground­break­ing results of his 20-year nutri­tion­al study—the longest study of its kind ever conducted—this book explains, with irrefutable sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence, how we can end the heart dis­ease epi­dem­ic in this coun­try for­ev­er by chang­ing what we eat. Here, Dr. Essel­styn con­vinc­ing­ly argues that a plant-based, oil-free diet can not only pre­vent and stop the pro­gres­sion of heart dis­ease, but also reverse its effects.” http://www.heartattackproof.com/

Heart attack is vir­tu­al­ly nonex­is­tent in pop­u­la­tions whose heav­i­ly plant-based diet keeps the aver­age person’s total cho­les­terol below 150 mg/dL.