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Smart Heart Living Bulletin, Vol 4 Issue 1 -- Heart disease and the Standard American Diet
November 15, 2012

November 2012 A subscription based eBulletin devoted to your Smart Heart Living.

If you know someone who could benefit from the information in this eBulletin... pass it on!!!
Sandra Thornton
I hope you enjoy this issue of Smart Heart Living Bulletin. If you do, please share it with others!
Send us your ideas for future issues and your heart stories.
Best regards,
In this issue:

Heart Disease and the Standard American Diet. Is it Making Us All Sick?

For our long-time subscribers, hello again! We know it's been a LONG time since our last edition.

There are lots of reasons for this which you can read about below.

Most significantly is an about face we've taken regarding diet and lifestyle. Believe me, this was not taken lightly. In fact, it's taken considerable time to make the shift in thinking, lifestyle and to make the appropriate changes to the website.

What's Going On?

renovationsFirst, on a personal front, we've been doing MAJOR renovations to a house and property we purchased in the fall of 2009.

Did I say major?

Tearing out walls, new flooring and ceilings throughout, gutted and re-built the kitchen, ripped off and replaced part of the roof, tore down and built a garage. I think you get the idea!

Needless to say, that kind of activity is pretty much all-consuming.

Are we done? Not by a long shot! But most of the major stuff is done so it feels like things are under control and we can get back to some degree of normalcy!

An encounter with the Scalpel

aortic valve prothesisAnother big event is that exactly one year ago I had open heart surgery to replace my bicuspid (two flaps instead of three) aortic valve.

We had known for years that I would require this surgery to replace the defective valve I was born with - the doctors were monitoring the performance of my valve regularly.

On November 21, 2011 my surgeon removed my aortic valve, enlarged my aortic root, and inserted a bovine (cow) bio-prosthesis.

Open heart surgery, as many of you can attest to, is an incredible assault to the system but our bodies are amazing. Since my recovery I have been feeling fantastic!

Food, Nutrition and Your Health

But here's the most significant change.

A short while before we moved, we started to delve into the realm of food and nutrition, and it's impact on disease and health.

Yes, that's a huge topic. And it's controversial.

But over the last three years we've pretty much changed our thinking regarding what constitutes a "heart healthy" or for that matter, just a "healthy" diet.

This resulted in a lot of unease and soul searching about the information on heart healthy eating and living that we had on our website.

paleo food pyramidBecause of all the research and reading we've done, we're now firmly in the camp that believes that the dietary recommendations governments, along with most doctors, nutritionists, dieticians, and health organizations, are feeding us (if you'll pardon the pun) consist of mostly really, really bad information.

It may be hard to believe at first, but in fact, it's those recommendations that seem, in large part, to be contributing to so many of the health problems we see in today's western civilization, whether that be North America, western Europe, Australia, etc.

What About You?

Are you ready and willing to open your mind to some new ideas? To a different way of thinking about health and nutrition? paleo pyramid

Maybe you're wondering why you would do that? And that's a fair question so let's start there.

A good question to ask yourself is this: Has the "official" nutrition and dietary advice we've been given for the past 40 to 50 years resulted in better health for western populations as a whole?

Unless you've been living in complete isolation, you know the answer is a resounding NO. We're in serious trouble.

You can't escape the barrage of media reports about the obesity epidemic, the rampant increase of diabetes and heart disease, and numerous other diseases that threaten and claim a huge portion of the population.

What Do You Think?

If you're reading this it's likely that you, or somebody close to you, has heart disease.

All we'd like to do is to challenge you to think about this situation, about the worsening of overall health in our society, about the link between what we eat and health, and about your own situation.

We've come to our own conclusions. We challenge you to pursue some new knowledge with an open mind. Take a look at the resources listed on these pages of the Smart Heart Living website.

There are books, websites and podcasts where you'll be exposed to lots of ideas and solid scientific information from reputable sources (including a number of doctors and researchers) - some of which may shock and surprise you. It sure left us scratching our heads!

Why Are We Doing This?

As Tom Naughton says in his entertaining, but very enlightening documentary, Fat Head, we've been fed a lot of bologna!

Our health begins with what we eat. It's the fuel that determines our overall level of health. If we consume poor quality, or worse, the wrong fuel, it can lead to significant health problems - the health problems we see all around us today.

There is no, and there never has been any, scientific evidence to support the idea that humans should be eating a diet that is predominantly grain and starch based. And as a species we NEVER consumed anywhere near the amount of sugar that is currently in our North American, or as it's come to be know the SAD - Standard American Diet.

Humans evolved over 2.5 million years as hunter gatherers, eating a lot of nutrient dense, fat-rich meat, foraging vegetables, and gathering seeds and berries in season.

At Smart Heart Living, we now try to emulate that type of eating.

Information presented here is not intended to replace the advice of your physician. Consult your doctor before changing diet or exercise programs. was created as a resource for those living with heart disease, their loved ones, and anyone else interested in a heart healthy lifestyle. Browse the site, bookmark relevant pages, and send us your comments!

If you're living with heart disease, share your story for the benefit of others by creating your own page on the Smart Heart Living website!

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