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Diet For Heart Disease

( Originally Published 1921 )

Diet is a matter of quality, not of quantity, in its relation to the heart. In general, of course, people who overload their systems with unnecessary food put a burden upon the heart, but this does not damage it specifically. If, however, they eat some food with which they disagree, they are sure in the long run to be damaged. You will notice that I said "with which they disagree" and not "which disagrees with them." In this statement lies the whole philosophy of the diet of heart disease.

The facts seem to be that, as people go along through life and are subjected to various experiences, such as nervous shocks, severe diseases, accidents, operations, or business worries, they develop changes in their systems, whereby the cells in their bodies become intolerant of certain foods. When the system of a person becomes intolerant of a certain food, that food acts as an irritant, and instead of nourishing the body does it harm. Sometimes this disagreement with food is inherited. Occasionally when people disagree with food, they are made sick by it whenever they eat it. That is a fortunate thing, for they soon learn to avoid the things that are bad for them. Unfortunately, that is not the case with the foods that cause heart disease. When meat becomes a poison to a person and is producing heart and kidney trouble, it often at the same time acts as a stimulant and is agreeable.

If you want to find out in an easy way whether food is harming you, give it up for a time and see how much you miss it. If you crave food intensely after you have given it up, it is a sign that your system has become dependent on that food, and it is possible that it is acting as a poison. So it is an excellent plan for every one to try from time to time and see whether he can get along without certain things. The person with heart trouble should avoid those foods with which he disagrees. The determination of what these foods are is a long story and will be taken up in another chapter.

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