HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE
To understand blood pressure, imagine the water pipes in your house, clogged with dirt and grease, with only a trickle of water coming through. You turn up the water pressure. This works for awhile, but soon more sludge and dirt enter the system to clog the pipes. Finally, you increase the water pressure to its highest setting and the pipes burst. Similarly, narrowed arteries force the heart to strain. Saturated fats thicken the blood, causing the heart to work even harder. Atherosclerosis deposits, as a result of a diet high in fat and cholesterol is the main cause of high blood pressure.
The first evidence that arteriosclerosis was caused by diet came from the soldiers in Korea. Medical autopsies showed that 77% of the American soldiers had blood vessels narrowed by arteriosclerotic deposits. On the other hand, autopsies of equally young Korean soldiers showed that their arteries were free from these deposits. Doctors theorized that genetics was the reason for the Koreans healthy arteries. This theory was dismissed when the Koreans were put on US army rations and started to develop arteriosclerosis.
From 1963 to 1965 the International Arteriosclerotic Foundation examined over 20,000 autopsied bodies from different countries. The findings were definitive. The greater the consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol in a diet, the higher the rate of heart attacks and strokes from arteriosclerotic deposits.
When the news hit the media, the meat, egg, and dairy industry financed studies to denounce this theory of arteriosclerosis. They declared that animal foods were not the only source of cholesterol, pointing an accusatory finger at coconuts, kernel oil, and chocolate which also contain saturated fats.
Scientists have researched for further evidence against the danger of a high fat diet. Dr. Wissler at the University of Chicago fed one group of Rhesus monkeys a high fat diet and a second group the same diet with less saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. The group of monkeys that ate the standard diet had six times more arteriosclerotic deposits.
Dr. Mark Armstrong at the University of Iowa tried a similar experiment by putting monkeys on a diet high in egg yokes. Their arteries quickly became encrusted. They discovered that, unlike humans, only true carnivores could handle saturated fats and cholesterol in their diet without ill effects to health. If a dog is given a 1/2 pound of butter with its meat ration he will not develop arteriosclerosis. However, adding 2 grams of cholesterol to a rabbit's food will produce changes in its arterial wall.
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