Heart Disease

Heart Disease

by | Aug 21, 2020 | Cardiac Health, Healthy Living | 0 comments

Written by Kristi Jensen

August 21, 2020

strawberries heart

Heart Disease

Ashraf, 41 a taxi driver in the neighborhood of Karrada, a community that lies south of the Tigers river which runs through the ancient city of Baghdad, Iraq. A busy thoroughfare to shuttle people around the city the old and new part of the city. Ashraf often times would dine with his friend Yessir at their usual place Al-Farat Maqhaw (cafe). He orders his favorite malfouf   shawarma with Makallel (barbecue lamb meat sandwich with pickles) and finish with a Qahaw (coffee), a Turkish delight and a cigarette, while they reminisce about childhood memories. 


As a child growing up to teens in the land of Alf Laylah wa-Laylah, One Thousand and One Nights, the above scenario is a common sight in the lives of Iraqis. You become accustomed to see among relatives and family friends many like Ashraf and Yessir who consume a high fat and high sugar diet not aware that the dietary habits could result in a life threatening health condition as a heart attack or a stroke. 


According to the World Health Organization the number of worldwide Cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths for 2019 was 17.9 million1. John Hopkins studies show that “Cardiovascular disease continues to be the leading cause of death in the US. About 1,400,000 annually2.” The American Heart Association estimates the daily deaths from CVD for the same period to be 2,6003


Harvard Medical School research, shows that the heart beats about “2.5 billion times over the average lifetime, pushing millions of gallons of blood to every part of the body. This steady flow carries with it oxygen, fuel, hormones, other compounds, and a host of essential cells. It also whisks away the waste products of metabolism” 4. No wonder, Nabi Dawud, Prophet David wrote almost 3,000 years ago in Zabur 139:14, that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” 5


According to American Heart Association it states that “heart disease is related to a process called atherosclerosis”6The term is often used interchangeably with the term “cardiovascular disease”. It generally refers to conditions that lead to a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or stroke. Other heart conditions, such as those that affect your heart’s muscle, valves or rhythm, also are considered forms of heart disease7


There is a common believe that heart attacks or strokes are the result of blocked arteries due to accumulation of cholesterol in the cells of the blood vessel lining. However, recent research indicates that less than 30% of occurrences are related to narrowed blood vessels due to concentration of cholesterol known as plaques in the artery8


Researcher Libby, explains that “Most heart attacks and many strokes stem from interior plaques that sudden rupture, spawning a blood clot that blocks blood flow”9. There are several dynamics played out in the process of plaque formation. The basic ingredients of the process are: fatty molecule-protein lipid, oxidation and sugar. By combining these three elements a plague is developed within the lining of the artery walls. He further explains that when LDL (bad cholesterol) from the blood collects in the intima of the interior wall of the artery, it passes through when LDL is at a low concentration in the blood. But when it is high the excess lipid-protein LDL gets stuck in the cell matrix. 


As time passes the excess LDL accumulates in interior wall of the artery when the protein portion of LDL and a sugar molecules in the blood bind to each other resulting in oxidization of cholesterol. The new form of oxidized cholesterol will then causes inflammation in the artery causing the body’s immune system to mistakenly attack it for bacteria and thus atherosclerosis or heart disease is developed10.  


Dr. Collin T. Campbell stated in his book “The China Study”20  that coronary heart research among Japanese American living in California and Hawaii had higher blood cholesterol level and incidence of coronary heart disease than Japanese living in Japan. The research pointed to diet and that blood cholesterol increased ““with dietary intake of saturated fat, animal protein and dietary cholesterol.” On the flip side, blood cholesterol “was negatively associated with complex carbohydrate intake….”12.


Author Ellen G White, wrote in 1905 that “Grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables constitute the diet chosen for us by our Creator. These foods, prepared in as simple and natural a manner as possible, are the most healthful and nourishing. They impart a strength, a power of endurance, and a vigor of intellect, that are not afforded by a more complex and stimulating diet”13.  


According to research grains, fruits nuts and vegetables contain no cholesterol and  the only source of cholesterol is found in animal food14


It will be wise to omit harmful foods from our diet and replaced with a nutritional foods. The following list can assist in our selection:


Foods to Avoid14 
Fried foods to avoid french fries, doughnuts and fried chicken Saturated fats, vegetable oils and Lard
Smoking, caffeine, alcohol and carbonated sodas White Sugar and flour – convert to sugar in blood
Shortening, microwave popcorn Don’t table salt but use sea salt moderately.
Baked cakes, cookies and pies  Frozen pizza
Custard and Pancakes mixes Parmesan cheese


Some of the listed items were adopted14

Daily we faces choices in life and the best choices are lasting ones. Adopt 

The New Life Principles, it will add quality and quality to your life. 


  1. Trust your Maker more and Stress less – Be thankful and grateful to Allah for blessing you. 
  1. Have a refreshing rest daily and weekly
  1. Enjoy Sunshine daily – it adds cheer to your life.
  1. Eat more grains, fruits, vegetables and nuts and avoid high fat high sugar foods.  


  1. Exercise daily – 30 minutes
  1. Hydrate yourself – Drink a lots of water – 
  1. Live Temperately – Abstaining from that     

      which is harmful and using in moderation 

      even that which is good.

  1. Invest Time in others – “It is more blessed 

      to give than to receive”. Nabi Isa

  1. Fresh air – Clean your lungs daily.
  1. Educate yourself about health.


It’s Allah’s desire “that you prosper in all things and be in good health”15. 


A healthy body is a healthy mind.



  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cardiovascular-diseases-(cvds)
  2.  https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/gim/research/content/cvd.html  
  3. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack 
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/heart-health 
  5. https://my.bible.com/bible/100/PSA.139.14.NASB 
  6. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/consumer-healthcare/what-is-cardiovascular-disease 
  7. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heart-disease/symptoms-causes/syc-20353118. 7
  8. https://www.healthline.com/health/heart-disease/oxidized-cholesterol-what-you-should-know. 
  9. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/atherosclerosis-the-new-view/ 
  10. Ibid https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/atherosclerosis-the-new-view/
  11. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/atherosclerosis-the-new-view/
  12. The China Study (p. 117). BenBella Books, Inc.. Kindle Edition. 
  13. Health and Happiness, An Inspiration Books 1980. p212.
  14. https://nedleyhealthsolutions.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=+proof+positive
  15. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/trans-fat/art-20046114   
  16. https://my.bible.com/bible/114/3JN.1.NKJV.



Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur.

Nulla porttitor accumsan tincidunt. Vestibulum ac diam sit amet quam vehicula elementum sed sit amet dui. Proin eget tortor risus. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nulla porttitor accumsan tincidunt. Curabitur arcu erat, accumsan id imperdiet et, porttitor at sem. Vivamus magna justo, lacinia eget consectetur sed, convallis at tellus. Curabitur non nulla sit amet nisl tempus convallis quis ac lectus. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum ac diam sit amet quam vehicula elementum sed sit amet dui. Donec sollicitudin molestie malesuada. Sed porttitor lectus nibh. Sed porttitor lectus nibh. Praesent sapien massa, convallis a pellentesque nec, egestas non nisi. Curabitur non nulla sit amet nisl tempus convallis quis ac lectus. Donec rutrum congue leo eget malesuada. Nulla porttitor accumsan tincidunt. Curabitur arcu erat, accumsan id imperdiet et, porttitor at sem.

Related Articles

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.