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Sugar, Soda Pop, and its Impact on Chronic Disease

What Really Causes Heart Disease?

In the article “World Renown Heart Surgeon Speaks Out on What Really Causes Heart Disease” [1] Dr. Dwight Lundell, a heart surgeon, is the past Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery at Banner Heart Hospital, Mesa, AZ. Dr Lundell left surgery to focus on the nutritional treatment of heart disease. He is the author of “The Cure for Heart Disease” and “The Great Cholesterol Lie.”

In this article, Lundell states - What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are (sugar, flour, and all the products made from them; and the consumption of too much omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn, and sunflower that are found in many processed foods. There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, the cause of chronic diseases, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation-causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.

Sugar Love

Richard Johnson, a nephrologist at the University of Colorado Denver, asks “Why is it that one-third of adults [worldwide] have high blood pressure, when in 1900 only 5 percent had high blood pressure?”… “Why did 153 million people have diabetes in 1980, and now we’re up to 347 million? Why are more and more Americans obese? Sugar, we believe, is one of the culprits, if not the major culprit.” “It seems like every time I study an illness and trace a path to the first cause, I find my way back to sugar.” [2]

Johnson summed up the conventional wisdom this way: Americans are fat because they eat too much and exercise too little. But they eat too much and exercise too little because they’re addicted to sugar, which not only makes them fatter but, after the initial sugar rush, also saps their energy, beaching them on the couch.

The solution? People need to stop eating so much sugar. When they cut back, many of the ill effects disappear. The trouble is, in today’s world it’s extremely difficult to avoid sugar.

Slash the Risk of Chronic Disease

Chronic diseases are proliferating around the globe, affecting ever more people here in the U.S. and taking hold at ever younger ages. [3] [4] We are losing an enormous number of years from our lives and an incalculable amount of life from our years.

What makes this truly tragic is that it is almost entirely preventable. [5] We have known exactly what it takes to reduce the aggregate burden of chronic disease by fully 80 percent for decades.

This means that we all have the means available to slash our personal risk of ALL major chronic disease -- heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, dementia -- by 80 percent. It means if we used what we have long known -- there are fully eight chances in 10 that our loved ones who have been diagnosed with any of the above, would not be.

The journey to health begins with one step. We readily get caught up in a pattern where each thing that conspires against our health -- lack of sleep, excess stress, weight gain, poor eating, lack of exercise -- compounds the next, until the degenerating spiral takes our quality of life right down the drain. This process can be reverse engineered one step a time, [6] so we are climbing a spiral staircase up to the health and vitality we want and deserve.

Lifestyle is more powerful medicine than anything ever developed by a pharmaceutical company. [7]



[1] Lundell, Dwight. “World Renowned Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease.”, 19 Aug. 2012,

[2] Cohen, Rich. “Sugar Love.” National Geographic, National Geographic, Aug. 2013,

[3] Katz, M.D. David. “Dr. David Katz: Health at an Impasse, the Case for Getting Past Collusion.” New Haven Register, New Haven Register, 17 Nov. 2013,

[4] Katz, M.D. David. “Rising Rate Of Youth Strokes: Why It Was Predictable.” The Huffington Post,, 15 Feb. 2011,

[5] Katz, M.D. David. “What REALLY Kills Us.” LinkedIn, 10 Nov. 2013,

[6] Katz, M.D. David. “Holistic Medicine: How To Define It.” The Huffington Post,, 6 Mar. 2011,

[7] Katz, David L. “Money, Medicine and Myopia.” HuffPost, HuffPost, 5 Apr. 2013,


Dr. Mike Milligan graduated first in his class from Southern Illinois University Dental School in 1978. He practices general dentistry full time. He is a Founding Member, Board Member, Past President, and Fellow of the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health. He is Founder and President of “Saving Lives Through Oral Systemic Health.” Dr. Milligan has authored several articles and he speaks to healthcare groups nationwide.