a Diet Low in Fat and Cholesterol Can Help You
Heart and blood vessel problems, such as angina and
hypertension, disorders such as diabetes and hypoglycemia, which involve the
body’s ability to handle sugar, and other ailments as well, are beginning to be
recognized as primarily due to the diet we consume. The diet eaten in advanced countries such as
has a total fat content of 40 to 50 percent of calories consumed. It is also very high in refined
carbohydrates. Scientific investigators
have found that in poorer countries, where the people eat a diet, usually fewer
than 20 percent of calories in fat, consisting mainly of
unrefined carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, these
diseases are almost never found. The
more fat and refined carbohydrates eaten, the more degenerative disease
problems are found.
have studied the effects of our typical diet in laboratories and clinics and
have confirmed the suspicions that the large amounts of fat and refined carbohydrates
consumed in this country can bring on these degenerative diseases. A diet in which fat and refined carbohydrates
are sharply curtailed can cause these disease symptoms to lessen and even to
The kind of
fat does not seem to matter. The fats
may be those from dairy products, such as those found in whole milk, butter,
and cheese; or in the form of vegetable fats as found in the oil of nuts,
seeds, avocados, olives, and vegetable oil spreads such as margarine or nut
butters; or fat as found in animal foods.
It is the total amount of fat of all kinds that is consumed that
matters—the more fat, the more disease symptoms.
to the fat contained, animal muscle tissue of all kinds—beef, pork, lamb,
poultry, fish, shellfish, but especially organ tissue (liver, brains, kidneys)
and eggs (chicken eggs, fish roe)—introduce still another harmful substance
into our body—cholesterol. While the
body needs some cholesterol, it produces all that it requires. If additional cholesterol is added to the
diet, it becomes stored in the blood and tissues, since the body is unable to
excrete it. In the presence of blood
that has a high concentration of fat, the excess-stored cholesterol, in time,
causes lesions called plaques to form inside the blood vessels. This condition is known as atherosclerosis.
On our usual
high fat diet, these plaques begin to form even in the very young, gradually
building up over a period of time and narrowing the channels in the blood
vessels. This narrowing of the blood
vessels reduces the amount of blood flow to the tissues served by these
vessels, and in time, the heart compensates by elevating the blood pressure
more and more, producing high blood pressure or hypertension.
If the blood
vessels that serve the heart (coronary vessels) become sufficiently clogged by
plaques, any circumstance that further reduces the already diminished oxygen
sup-ply to the heart muscle will cause the heart to “cry out” in pain—the
terrible pain of angina. A slight
exertion such as running a short distance, an emotional episode, or even a
single fat meal, can bring on an angina attack.
In one experiment, the angina patient subjects did nothing but drink a
glass of cream. Even though they were at
complete rest, all of them suffered angina attacks.
A fatty meal
reduces the oxygen supply to all of the body tissues, not only to the vessels
serving the heart. This will happen even
if plaques do not clog your arteries—though few adults are so lucky, unless
they have been on a lifelong low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Even in a baby, fat steals oxygen from the
body cells. It steals oxygen from the
tissues just as carbon monoxide does when taken in by smoking. In the case of fat, this happens because of
several mechanisms. When the digested
fat is broken down, it forms tiny fat balls, which tend to clump together in
the bloodstream. These aggregate with
solid elements in the blood and block the blood flow in the tiniest arteries,
thus depriving the cells in the tissues fed by those arteries of needed oxygen
nourishment. The tiny fat balls also
coat these solid elements in the blood.
As a result, the red blood cells that are the body’s oxygen carriers
become stuck together in formations resembling rows of coins. The clumping of the red blood cells further
slows the circulation, depriving the tissues of even more oxygen. When the clumped red blood cells reach the
lungs, where they should take up oxygen from the air breathed in, being clumped
together, much of their surface area is not free to pick up oxygen. In this way, much less oxygen is carried back
into the tissues, which are still further deprived of oxygen.
It is because
of this process of depriving the body cells of oxygen that fats enable
cholesterol to form the atherosclerotic plaques. The artery walls become more easily
penetrated by fats and cholesterol when the blood that bathes them is deficient
in oxygen, thus encouraging the plaques to form. On a high-fat diet, the process of plaque
formation goes on hour after hour, day after day, in all of the arterial
vessels throughout the body. In the
course of many years, the constant narrowing of these vessel channels by the
ever-growing plaque formations causes many symptoms. High blood pressure and angina are two of the
common symptoms. Other symptoms include
a gradual deterioration in hearing and vision, and even senility and impotency.
Low-fat Diet Advantages
studies, it has been shown that by going on a diet in which fat and cholesterol
intake are sharply reduced, the plaque-forming process can be reversed and the
symptoms produced by the artery damage lessened or even eliminated. Refined carbohydrates and added salt have
been found to contribute significantly to the development of heart and blood
vessel problems. On a low-fat diet, the
plaques or sores that are narrowing the arteries should gradually begin to
disappear so that near-normal circulation will be restored.
diet has proved successful in reversing diabetes and hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a pre-diabetic stage, caused
by similar abnormal conditions in the blood.
Diabetes and hypoglycemia appear under circumstances that occur when the
concentration of fats in the blood is very high. By lowering the blood fats by a diet low in
fats of all kinds and low in simple carbohydrates like sugar, honey, and
molasses, a Canadian investigator, Dr. I. M. Rabinowitch,
treating 1,000 diabetics over a five-year period, had a high rate of
success. Even insulin-dependent
diabetics no longer required insulin or other drugs in 25 percent of the cases.
Had the diet been even lower in fat content, Dr. Rabinowitch
would have obtained an even higher reversal rate, based on the experiences of
fats bring about a situation where the insulin from the pancreas is unable to
effectively act upon blood sugar.
Studies have been done where perfectly normal young men were made
diabetic in a period of days or even hours, depending upon how fast fats were
introduced into their blood. When fats
were introduced rapidly, by injection into the bloodstream instead of by diet,
they became diabetic in two hours. The
scientists who did this study were also able to reverse diabetes by chemically
lowering the blood fats.
If you would
lower your blood fats by a gradual and permanent means by your diet, the fast
results you could obtain would surprise you, if you adhered to the diet
Certain kinds of arthritis also respond well to a diet
by which blood fats are reduced. High
blood fat levels cause the watery part of the blood (plasma) to seep out of the
tiniest arteries (capillaries) at an abnormally high rate, due to the pressure
built up in the capillaries when the circulation becomes slowed. The resultant swelling or edema produced in
the tissues pro-vides the environment conducive to the development of arthritic
symptoms. When the edema and slowed
circulation in the capillaries are improved, marked relief and recovery can occur. Other diseases also have shown an improvement
on this type of diet, such as colitis, gallbladder disease, hypertension (high
blood pressure), and obesity.