Updated: Jun 16, 2020
This is something many of us presume to be if we don't look fat on the outside. I have heard many say that they can eat what they want because they "aren't fat". This is a myth.
My late father-in-law had a quadruple heart bypass when he was in his 60's. And he wasn't "fat". No one could believe that his arteries were so clogged up. After surgery, he was put on a lifetime of drugs and told that he probably had a good 10 years before his arteries would clog up again. He died about 11 years later while on holiday in Italy. Collapsed while shopping, hit his head on the tiled floor and died in hospital. Definitely not the best way to leave this earth.
Did the doctors recommend that he change his diet after the operation? Yes. Change to low-fat or fat free options. That obviously did not work.
While low fat options in itself is not bad advise, the doctors meant low-fat milk, low-fat, ice cream, low-fat yogurt, fat free this, that and the other.
Low-fat options for processed foods means that once the fat is removed, the taste of the product will change, so food manufacturers need to make up for this taste deficit by adding other things. Like, more added sugar and other harmful health-depleting additives. Will touch on this in another blog.
So although being obese is a rapidly growing problem globally, we must not be complacent into thinking that just because we don't look fat from the outside, our insides are fine.
Our bodies are very intelligent. It will keep functioning, even at the lowest nutritional input, till it can't manage anymore. And most of us don't know how to interpret the messages our body sends us. In the case of being 'fat', there are some signals our body may send, like high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, (for the men) erectile dysfunction, weakness or dizziness, male pattern baldness, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations, leg or calf pain.
So if the low-fat processed foods are not ideal, what can we do to make sure our arteries remain clear? The answer is changing how you eat on a daily basis, staying away from animal products that all have artery clogging saturated fat. Can we reverse clogged arteries naturally without having surgery? Yes we can!
The standard medical protocol for clogged arteries (which leads to high blood & cholesterol levels) & CVD (cardiovascular disease) has and is by using medication and surgery, whether is a bypass, angioplasty or stent.
Dr Dean Ornish, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco did a 5-year study on a controlled group of people who had moderate to severe CVD. At the end of the 5 years, those that followed a whole-food plant based diet, showed significant reversal in their arteries. Whereas the other group that made little to no changes had more heart issues.
Now what causes our arteries to become blocked? Saturated fat! All animal products contain saturated fat, even the leanest cuts of meat. Let's just look at olive oil.
What?!?! Olive oil?! That's supposed to be good for the heart!
Firstly, ALL fat is 9 calories / g. So 1tbsp of olive oil = 13.5g fat = 120 calories. Olive oil has the highest calorie density of any food, 4000 calories / lb or 2.2kg.
It also has a poor ratio of Omega 6 to 3 (14:1) when the ideal should be 4:1.
Saturated fat content is 14%. We should ideally be aiming for 7% or less.
But we all need good fats!! I don't disagree with you. However, those need to come from whole foods like nuts, seeds and avocado. Not from oils. The heart healthy logo on any product is a marketing ploy used to dupe you into buying a particular product.
Excessive saturated fat, olive oil included, has been shown to stiffen the walls of the arteries, which in turn, made them unresponsive to nitric oxide, who's job is to dilate blood vessels and increase the flow of oxygen.
In 2000, Dr Vogel did a study on "the postprandial (after eating a meal) effect of components of a Mediterranean diet on endothelial function.
Olive oil decreased blood flow to tissues after blood pressure cuff was inflated & deflated repeatedly. Blood flow should start immediately once the cuff is deflated. This was not the case after consuming olive oil. It appeared to have a paralysing on the blood vessels, preventing them from dilating normally.
So how can we eat out? If you need to eat out, choose steamed vegetables or a salad with lemon juice. Eating out is a luxury we can do without. The best thing to do for your health long term, is to make your own food at home as much as possible.