Over the years, mainstream medicine has wrongly tried to blame heart disease on anything that doesn’t fit their narrative—including cholesterol, eggs, dairy, and red meat.
But none of those claims ever panned out, according to the science.
And, of course, the greatest proof for the failure of their misguided approaches is that heart disease still remains the No. 1 cause of disease and death in the United States.
Fortunately, scientific research is finally shining a light on the real causes of heart disease (and death). In fact, a new study uncovered a HUGE—but seldom-discussed—cause that’s lurking just about everywhere in the grocery store.
I’ll tell you all about it in just a moment (and, more importantly, how to avoid it).
But first, let’s back up to talk about why it took so long for this useful scientific research to get going…
Mainstream medicine has been all wrong, all along
Until quite recently, mainstream medicine tried to blame heart disease on healthy, wholesome foods that naturally contain cholesterol, saturated fats, and sodium—such as full-fat, whole milk dairy, eggs, and red meat. (Meanwhile, they covered up the role sugar played in its development.)
Eventually, the science showed that eating these wholesome foods did not cause disease or reduce longevity. (On the contrary, the science shows eating these healthy foods actually reduces disease risk and improves longevity!)
The real problem stems from consuming “ultra-processed foods” that fill the shelves nowadays at your grocery store.
Ultra-processed foods refer to mass-produced, packaged foods that are high in sugar and carbs—such as candies, breakfast cereals, chips, cookies, crackers, frozen meals, granola bars, most sliced breads, packaged processed lunch meats, pre-made waffles, and tarts. (In other words, most of the ready-to-eat foods you find along the interior, center aisles of the grocery store.)
Sadly, 58 percent of all calories consumed in the U.S. diet now come from these ultra-processed “food” products.
But the human body just cannot recognize and metabolize the artificial ingredients in these fake “foods.” Plus, the processing results in the loss of beneficial nutrients. Therefore, weight gain, inflammation, and chronic diseases ensue.
Of course, about 10 years ago, when big food manufacturers realized some people were finally backing away from eating their original processed products (such as fat-free margarine spread, for example), they pivoted in an attempt to protect their profits.
Now—they’ve come up with a whole new line of fake meats and dairy products. And they’re trying to convince consumers that following a “plant-based diet” is better for human health…and for the environment.
But here again—the science just doesn’t support that claim. In fact, these fake, plant-based products are just as processed and unhealthy for you as any other type of ultra-processed product.
And that point brings me back to the new study…
Strong evidence links junk food with heart problems
This new study was featured in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Researchers looked at the link between ultra-processed food consumption and cardiovascular disease events in 3,000 men and women—with an average age of 53 years—who were in the offspring cohort of the famed Framingham Heart Study. (This group is largely made up of the children of the original Framingham study participants, which began way back in 1948.)
The researchers assessed the participants’ diets by using a food questionnaire and the handy NOVA Food Classification System, which I told you about last year. They found that participants consumed, on average, 7.5 servings per day of ultra-processed foods at the study’s outset.
Then, they followed the men and women for an average of 18 years.
During the study period, there were 648 cardiovascular events—including 108 deaths from cardiovascular diseases. And, as you might expect, men and women with higher daily intake of ultra-processed foods had a higher rate of heart disease and deaths from cardiovascular events.
Plus, the researchers noted a clear “dose-response” relationship. Which means the more processed foods a person consumed each day, the higher their risk of developing and dying from cardiovascular disease.
Specifically, for each additional daily serving of processed food, there was a:
- 5 percent increase in “overall” cardiovascular disease risk
- 7 percent increase in “hard” cardiovascular disease risk (such as suffering a heart attack)
- 9 percent increase in “hard” coronary heart disease risk (such as coronary insufficiency)
- 9 percent increase in risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases
(Not to mention, the participants who consumed more ultra-processed foods were more likely to develop Type II diabetes and high blood pressure compared to those who consumed less.)
The study also noted that specific foods raised heart attack risk, including:
- Ultra-processed white breads
- Ultra-processed meats (not whole or traditionally prepared meats)
- Snack foods
- Low-calorie soft drinks
Stephanie Schiff, an expert with Huntington Hospital in New York, read these findings and commented, “We have become a society that accepts food additives that we can’t pronounce or explain, foods that mimic other foods, foods that are reduced to a shadow of the original product.”
So, in the end, my advice remains the same…
Stick with healthy, whole foods
Instead of filling your diet with the ultra-processed garbage that provides zero nutritional value and increases your heart disease risk, stick to the healthy, unprocessed, whole foods that belong to the healthiest diet on the planet: the Mediterranean-type diet.
As a reminder, here are the types of whole foods you can enjoy on a Mediterranean-type diet:
- Full-fat dairy, including butter, eggs, cheeses, and yogurts
- Wild-caught fish and grass-fed and -finished, free-range meat, especially lamb, which has the best nutritional profile of all meats
- Nuts and seeds
- Five servings of organic fruits and vegetables
- Olive oil
- Whole grains and potatoes (with skins), in moderation
- Alcohol, in moderation
Also, try to get as much of your food as possible from small, local farmers. Even if they didn’t go through the expense and hassle of getting “organic” certification, many local farmers operate without harmful pesticides. So get to know your local growers!
I also suggest you check out my daughter and her husband’s organic farm co-op. They offer everything from organic eggs and produce to seasonal treats to arts and crafts. Details, directions, and updates are posted here regularly: www.CozziFamilyFarm.com.
P.S. For additional ways to help safeguard your heart, check out my Heart Attack Prevention and Repair Protocol. To learn more about this comprehensive, online learning tool—which provides a natural, heart healing pathway to low blood pressure, never taking a dangerous heart medication, and more—or to enroll today, simply click here now!
Source: “Ultra-Processed Foods and Incident Cardiovascular Disease in the Framingham Offspring Study.” J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021 Mar, 77 (12) 1520–1531. doi.org/ 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.01.047.