The American Heart Associations War on Valentine’s Day!

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So, let’s just get down to brass tacks and say it, the American Heart Association is The World’s Greatest Terror Organization.

cute hostage American Heart Association
Terror

They’re on track to kill millions and ruin the lives of anyone who falls under their influence.  And it’s insidious, they’re everywhere.  They tag your food, they own the news, they own the politicians, there’s nowhere to run….

Whoa, let’s step back a minute and do a Tarantino like time shift…

So, it’s mid-February and there’s love in the air.  Or at least, there’s talk of hearts going on around here.  And by “here”, I mean the gym and by “heart” I mean “February is American Heart Month” and by “talk” I mean there are posters all over the gym talking about ways to totally keep a healthy heart.

Did you know that without a heart, you would die?  That the heart is responsible for doing vital bodily functions like beating and letting you know when you’re nervous?  Bet you did not know that 10 out of every 10 deaths occur when the heart stops beating for 5 minutes or longer?  It’s an amazing organ.  I just found this out.

Even more insidiously, most women have hearts too (the heart is the number one killer of ladies 20 and over, don’t you know), and they totally need a “you go, girl” moment to let them know about it.  How you say? Wear red, ladies.  Wear red.

wearing red for hearts
Now we know what you care about because you wore red and its February

If you are a man and reading this, I’m here to help because the does not care about you, they have no sartorial suggestions.  Me?  I care.  I suggest you start by wearing …ummm…green.  Just kidding, my only fashion advice is to not wear jeans in the gym.  Please.

So now that you know.  What can you do to protect your heart, you may ask.  This is where things get crazy.  In a totally non-ironic, we mean this for real, way, the American Heart Association will put you in a time machine and take you back to 1975 to tell you how to care for your heart.

Don’t believe me?  Look at the advice that the AHA wants you to follow:  First, avoid fatty foods.  Also, avoid salt.  You know what else?  You need lots of slow cardio and throw in some carbs too.   It’s almost as if there’s been no scientific progress in the last 40 years.

So, yeah, the American Heart Association wants you to care for your heart by destroying it.  I mean, first they give the ladies some tasty fashion advice and then they sneakily try to kill them.  what gives?

heart-attack
But I ate skinless chicken breasts and tons of fruit!

Any time the AHA tells you something, you need to repeat to yourself, “There has never been any link between fatty foods and heart disease.”  Ok, now let’s go forward.

So, right off the bat, the AHA is hating on fat.

Again, what can be said?  Pushing fruit first and low fat diets are essentially more of the same “eat carbs” avoid fats propaganda we’ve heard for decades.  And it’s propaganda that’s wrong.  A piece of fruit is generally a carbohydrate grenade.  On the other hand, I am chalking up their eat a vegetable suggestion to be accidentally correct.

Indeed, I found this recent study “Contrary to what we’ve been told, eliminating or severely limiting fats from the diet may not be beneficial to cardiac function in patients suffering from heart failure, a study at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine reports. Results from biological model studies conducted by assistant professor of physiology and biophysics Margaret Chandler, PhD, and other researchers, demonstrate that a high-fat diet improved overall mechanical function, in other words, the heart’s ability to pump, and was accompanied by cardiac insulin resistance.”

Going to the AHA website, I find that they grudgingly started adding protein to the list, advising you to eat some fish. Which is nice.  Go for reddest, fattest fish you can find is my advice.  Them?  Sure, eat two 3.5 ounce servings a week (wow, way to go out on a limb there, 7 ounces of salmon a week????????).

three point five ounces what
3.5 ounces, really!

Otherwise, steam yourself some skinless chicken breasts. Right?  Eat some boring low fat, lean protein.  But really, you know that AHA just hates giving this advice.  Because meat is bad.

This advice is just plain bad and the math on this is insane.  Let’s not even get into the chicken versus salmon diet and the deficiency of Omega 3 fats in the chicken diet.  You know, chicken is full of heart unhealthy omega-6 fats but not enough omega-3’s, right?  The AHA apparently doesn’t.   So, there’s some great weight loss advice (and you want to lose excess fat, not destroy your organs or muscles, right?), “eat chicken, derrr, it low in fat. but high in Omega-6 but me not know what omega-6 is for.”

If you could afford it, eat as much salmon as you can, put anchovies on your pizza, having kippering herring with brunch.  Eat a steak, enjoy some fat.

Next, the AHA is hating on salt.  Always with the low salt.  Throughout human history, salt has been as valuable as gold but now we know better, right?  They say salt leads to high blood pressure which of course leads to dead hearts.  Again, there’s no proof to correlate high blood pressure with salt intake.  It’s as if the last century of medical science is based upon misreading lab data.  It reminds me of the story of why Popeye eats spinach to get strong (a lab worker apparently overstated its iron content by a factor of one hundred.  Iron makes you strong, see).  Instead, we find studies like this, which state:

Intersalt, a large study published in 1988, compared sodium intake with blood pressure in subjects from 52 international research centers and found no relationship between sodium intake and the prevalence of hypertension. In fact, the population that ate the most salt, about 14 grams a day, had a lower median blood pressure than the population that ate the least, about 7.2 grams a day.

In fact, reading the research on salt is just infuriating.  Leave it to contrarian prophet Gary Taubes to find things like science that goes against the conventional ignorance: “A 1972 paper in The New England Journal of Medicine reported that the less salt people ate, the higher their levels of a substance secreted by the kidneys, called renin, which set off a physiological cascade of events that seemed to end with an increased risk of heart disease. In this scenario: eat less salt, secrete more renin, get heart disease, die prematurely.”  Again, the AHA is trying to kill you.

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Salt. The flavor of life, the electrolytes in your fountain of youth, the salary of olden days is not the enemy.  Stupid doctors and politicians are the enemy.  Relax, enjoy your salt.

We’ve seen studies that too little salt is bad for you.  Now, if you’re capable of reading between the lines, you’ll see the big picture is that current guidelines for salt intake is too low, you could probably double or triple it and still be fine.  What’s relevant is the testing mechanism, they measured sodium in the urine.  So let’s put on our thinking caps.  What is the study really saying?  Ah yes, if your pee is too salty, drink some water.  There’s a preferred urine salinity level for health.  Too much or too little can hurt your health.  But to read this as to only being relevant to salt intake is insane.   if you break down and eat a whole jar of salted peanuts or olives or sardines, relax.  Your heart will keep on ticking if you drink a glass of water.

Then there’s the exercise bit. Any exercise is good but not all exercise is created equal.  Slow and low cardio is not what your heart wants.  Lift those weight, move that ass fast.  Don’t just drone away on a cardio machine pretending to workout.

Oh right, there are studies showing that long term cardio hurts your heart.  And that weight lifting is beneficial.  Jimm Fixx was not available for comment.  Since the AHA already has you on an high Omega-6, low protein diet, your extended cardio is simply cannibalizing your organs, like your heart.  That’s not good.  Again, what is the AHA up to?

Finally, I found an interesting article that goes along these lines, that hyper endurance athletes’ hearts suffer.  “None of the younger athletes or the older nonathletes had fibrosis in their hearts. But half of the older lifelong athletes showed some heart muscle scarring. The affected men were, in each case, those who’d trained the longest and hardest. Spending more years exercising strenuously or completing more marathon or ultramarathon races was, in this study, associated with a greater likelihood of heart damage.”  Of course, that’s because extended cardio exercise eats protein and not fat like we’ve been led to believe.

So, basically, the AHA wants you to be obese with a weak heart.  Or at least, that’s what their advice will lead you to.  So, shrug off institutional ignorance and eat smart and workout right.

I learned a lot that day in the gym.  It turns out that they have no idea what they’re talking about.  They’ll just put posters up on the door that the get for free.  I also learned that the AHA hates science and probably hates you.  Just remember, if you’re a lady, to wear something red this month.

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