Could the Biggest Factor in Heart Disease Be Processed Foods?

Cardiovascular Care

Nov 25

The leading cause of the leading cause of death might just be what the hell we’re eating. Intuitively we’ve known this for years. In our article, The Disease of Our Time, we point out the simple fact that our hunter/gatherer bodies are having a really hard time surviving in cubicles while we stuff ourselves with crap.

But knowing something intuitively isn’t science. Science demands testing and data.

First let’s look at this graphic.

Statistics Courtesy of the CDC

Again, heart disease comes in first, followed by cancer. The thing is, we consistently point to metabolic disorder (part of our mission here) because it is metabolic disorder that contributes to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Now recently (November 2019), the American Heart Association brought scientists together for a conference where the scientists presented their research. Keep in mind that it was the American Heart Association, bought off by segments of the food industry, that promoted margarine over butter for decades until they were caught and forced to apologize for their lack of ethics.

Since then they’ve tried to be above board on where their funding comes from, while publishing actual science. [See their disclaimer below.]

But since they (and the most of the rest of the world) have bought into the lipid hypothesis, the results of their scientific sessions currently published on the internet all point to these key factors in heart health:

  • blood pressure
  • cholesterol levels
  • blood glucose levels
  • avoiding tobacco products
  • body weight
  • physical activity

Again we see the big lie. Cholesterol levels have nothing to do with your heart health. Oxidized cholesterol levels do. This is a night and day distinction.

Imagine how much money would be lost if everyone just quit using their cholesterol drugs. The statistics just do not support artificially lowering your cholesterol. And we’ve pointed this out all over our pages.

So we’re going to ignore the bullshit for a bit, while we present the data presented at this conference.

Researchers from the CDC reviewed the diets of over 13,000 adults that were tracked between 2011 and 2016. The most interesting factor, at least to us, is that just small changes in diet can produce large effects.

Let’s look at their findings:

  • people whose diets were made up of mainly processed foods are 50% more likely to have heart problems.
  • A diet of 70% (or greater) processed foods had the greatest risk of developing problems.
  • A diet of 40% or less were dramatically lower in risk.

“This study underscores the importance of building a healthier diet by eliminating foods such as sugar-sweetened beverages, cookies, cakes and other processed foods,” said Donna Arnett, Ph.D., past-president of the American Heart Association and dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. “There are things you can do every day to improve your health just a little bit. For example, instead of grabbing that loaf of white bread, grab a loaf of bread that’s whole grain or wheat bread. Try replacing a hamburger with fish once or twice a week. Making small changes can add up to better heart health.”

But what I loved best about the page we’ve quoted above is the AHA’s disclaimer:

Statements and conclusions of study authors presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect the Association’s policy or position. The Association makes no representation or guarantee as to their accuracy or reliability. The Association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific Association programs and events. The Association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations and health insurance providers are available at

So there you have it. We are what we eat.

That’s not changed since the time of Hippocrates.