Cardiovascular disease is a symptom of the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of disorders that centre around the development of insulin resistance. As insulin resistance develops, fatty acids accumulate in the visceral organs, especially the liver, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Macrophages and other immune cells then infiltrate the accumulated adipose tissue and this causes systemic inflammation that leads to cardiovascular disease.
High Quality Nutrition
High quality diets are diets containing beneficial nutrients but are also devoid of the causative factors of disease. In this respect they contain high amounts of fibre, unrefined whole grain carbohydrates, plant material, dairy, fruits, vegetables and unprocessed meats. In addition they are devoid of sugar and other fructose containing foods that are implicated in the development of insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome.
Traditional Diets Are High Quality Diets
Traditional diets such as the Okinawan, Mediterranean, Massai, Eskimo and Norwegian diets are high quality diets. They contain little sugar and are rich in plant foods and antioxidants and fibre. These types of diets are all very different, but are all cardioprotective because they prevent and reverse the insulin resistance that is the cause of the metabolic syndrome. Studies show that those who regularly consume these diets are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Sugar And Fibre
The thing that all traditional and high quality diets have in common is that they have low sugar to fibre ratios. Diets that reverse this ratio by increasing the sugar and decreasing the fibre content are of nutritionally low quality. The Western diet is one such low quality diet, and increasingly its consumption is being associated with insulin resistance, non-alcoholic fatty liver, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.
>High quality diets and traditional diets are also rich in micronutrients. Increasingly, deficiencies of certain micronutrients is becoming associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This is because vitamins and minerals are required for correct metabolic function and deficiencies inhibit metabolic pathways. People consuming the Western diet are known to be deficient in a number of vitamins and minerals and this may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease.