Bill Clinton's Story. From Couch Potato & Junk Food Aficionado to Plant-Based Booster
In spite of having the best health care from the country's top physicians, Clinton still ended up with quadruple bypasses, two stents, & medication. And even Clinton knew he was heading into trouble if he didn't do something serious about changing his diet.
Clinton had the trifecta of heart disease risk: he had a family history of heart disease, he was overweight & out-of-shape, and he was eating all the wrong foods.
When Clinton's stents failed in February of 2010, his doctor said, "This isn't a result of diet or exercise--it's a mechanical failure of stents." But statins, stents, & the Mediterranean Diet aren't always enough to stop heart disease. And moderation & pharmaceuticals aren't enough to stop the onslaught of atherosclerosis.
Last year Clinton decided to hit the books & read what the medical literature had to say about preventing and reversing heart disease through diet. He discovered that there is only one way to do this--a strict plant-based diet loaded with green leafy vegetables, and without meat, chicken, fish, dairy, or added oils.
The two physicians who pioneered this type of treatment are Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. and Dr. Dean Ornish. With nothing to lose, Clinton decided to conduct his own personal clinical trial.
For over a year he's been eating 100% plant-based. No dairy, no meat, no fish, and almost no oil.
First of all, Clinton unabashedly says, "I like the stuff I eat. And if anything, I'm getting stricter about my diet as time goes on." He's lost 27 pounds, all his blood tests are good, he has more energy, needs less sleep, and feels great. He's almost down to his lowest weight since high school--185 pounds.
The Heart Attack Proof Diet
Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. has been teaching patients to prevent & reverse heart disease through a plant-based no-oil diet since 1985.
According to Esselstyn, heart disease is a food-borne illness, and one's risk of having a heart attack is not sealed in stone by one's family history or genetics. If you change what you eat--and you can make yourself heart-attack proof. Click here to learn more.
Esselstyn looked at the diets of indigenous people around the world. In the communities where no heart disease existed, it turned out that the people were eating a mostly plant-based low-fat diet: The Papua New Guinea highlanders, the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico, and some rural Chinese.
What do you eat on this diet?
Vegetables-lots of green leafy ones to restore & heal the endothelial lining of your blood vessels. Kale, Swiss Chard, Cilantro, Collards, Bok Choy, Parsley, Spinach, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower
Beans/Legumes; "light" tofu--cautious use of low-fat soy meat substitutes. Many are highly processed, high-fat junk food.
Gupta followed up with his own research, checking the medical literature for sound studies on the use of plant-based diets to prevent & reverse heart disease. He was impressed with Dr. Esselstyn's research at the Cleveland Clinic.
5 years later no patients who followed the diet had another cardiovascular event
Three-quarters of Esselstyn's patients saw their blockages reduced.
Dr. Erin Michos, a cardiologist at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease at Johns Hopkins University, says diet can reverse heart disease, but some people just aren't willing to make the necessary changes.
Gupta points out that Dr. Esselstyn's diet prescription runs counter to the powerful lobbies of the meat, dairy, & egg industries--not to mention our fast-food culture. Could that be another reason that it hasn't gone mainstream?
Most doctors & their families eat meat themselves, making them less likely to offer a plant-based diet as a prescription to prevent heart disease.
Two Patients Who Chose Diet Over Surgery to Prevent Another Heart Attack
The 41 year-old Male
He didn't smoke, was in good shape, and ate well. His was a case of bad genes.
At age 31 he already had eight stents placed in his arteries. At age 41 he had four more.
Clearly, stents weren't working for him. He decided to contact Dr. Esselstyn after learning about his successes last September through Wolf Blitzer's CNN interview.
No surprise that his doctors thought Esselstyn's diet was too extreme. "Unnecessary," they told him. But after having multiple stents he was losing confidence in their advice.
Next Step. The Esselstyn Diet.
He attended Dr. Esselstyn's one day session at the Cleveland Clinic in December 2010 and has religiously followed the diet since then. (Learn more here: "What I Learned From Dr. Caldwell and Ann Esselstyn's Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease "School")
Since December Dr. Esselstyn's patient has lost 48 pounds.
Last June, before changing his diet, his cholesterol was total of 208, LDL of 93, HDL of 41, and triglycerides of 368.
His most recent test results are: total cholesterol of 89, LDL of 19, HDL of 53, and triglycerides of 83.
The transformation is nothing short of amazing.
This CNN article wasn't part of Gupta's documentary, but part of series of articles leading up to show. Don't miss reading the entire inspirational story here.
Jimbo is this how you eat? VillagesPL what about you? You 2 must be having a heart attack about Gracie's thread about Pot Luck meals.
Seriously, I have read books written by Dr. Ornish. I believe the science behind it. But how many of us can live like that? Most are not so disciplined. Don't you want to have a good steak or hotdog? Eating all the vegetables, seeds, beans, and legumes is not comfort food for sure. I guess don't frequent the many restaurants here in TV. You would be hard pressed to find any of the allowed foods on the menu.
Life is short. We should enjoy it. If Kale and beans floats your boat-go for it. I'll take the Mac & Cheese thank you very much.
Forgive My Edge-I'm from New Jersey.
A new poll
With numerous groups pushing Meatless Mondays, Tofurky Tuesdays, or other campaigns to cut back on meat one meal or day per week, The Vegetarian Resource Group wondered how often Americans are eating vegetarian meals. In order to find an estimate, VRG commissioned Harris Interactive® to conduct a national telephone poll.
Seventeen percent of Americans stated that they “don’t eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry at many of my meals (but less than half the time)” and 16% don’t eat these foods at more than half of their meals (but not all the time). Thus, 1/3 (33%) of the country are eating vegetarian meals a significant amount of the time (in addition to vegetarians)!
n this survey, approximately 5% of the country say that they never eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry. About half of these vegetarians are also vegan; that is they also don’t eat dairy or eggs. Note that we had respondents select that “I never eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry” or “I never eat meat, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy, or eggs.” Because we use the word “never” and give the definition rather than having respondents self define, our numbers may be lower than other polls. We also did not ask about honey.
This survey was conducted by Harris Interactive by telephone within the United States on behalf of the Vegetarian Resource Group between March 30 and April 3, 2011 among a nationwide cross section of 1,010 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race, education, region, number of adults in household, and number of telephone lines were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.
In theory, with probability samples of this size, one could say with 95 percent certainty that the results for the overall sample have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. There are several other possible sources of error in all polls or surveys that are probably more serious than theoretical calculations of sampling error. They include refusals to be interviewed (e.g., non-response), question wording and question order, and weighting. It is impossible to quantify the errors that may result from these factors.
HOW OFTEN DO AMERICANS EAT VEGETARIAN MEALS (no meat, fish, seafood, poultry)?
6% One meal per week
4% One full day per week
17% Many of my meals, but less than half the time
16% More than half my meals, but not all the time
5% Never eat meat, fish, seafood, or poultry
48% Thus we estimate this is the audience for good tasting vegetarian foods that fit individual needs.
48% Say they eat meat, fish, or poultry at all my meals. (The remainder didn’t know, refused to answer, or said none of the above.)
When I was young I ate plenty of hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, pastries, etc.. You name it and I have probably eaten it. And I enjoyed it back then, just as you do now.
However, I just got more and more interested in being and staying healthy as I got older. I didn't want to end up with XYZ diseases. How much fun would that be? No fun at all.....people suffer from those diseases. So there may be a little bit of a trade off. But the end result is that I'm 71 and enjoying good health. And I don't have to take any medications. What's that worth? It's worth a lot to me.
And, guess what? After a period of time you don't miss any of those processed foods. It's the same as when someone stops smoking. At first they can hardly stand to be without a smoke. Then, over time, they feel better and forget about smoking. It's much the same with food.
I laughed at the pot luck thread, in fact I posted a few vegan dishes
Our diet is very diverse there are as many different things we eat as you.
It is not plain or boring, I guarantee that if we didn't tell you it was vegan you would never know the difference.
Yes we go out to eat, you be surprised at how accommodating the chefs can be be when you ask. The easiest is Thai food.
We only switched about 15 months ago, but prior to that hadn't had red meat in over 10 years.
Had plenty of fish, chicken, turkey etc. always watching what we ate never over weight but always thought about losing a few lbs.
Never had cardiac issues just noticed over the last 10 years my BP creeping up and my Dr saying what do you expect your getting older take 10mg, then it was 20 then 30 than 40 to get the BP normal.
It was that last increase that ****ed me off with all other parameters normal, you name it I had the test the answer-just take the BP you'll be fine.
After 4 1/2 months I no longer take any meds BP 110/70.
There are many other benefits in the positive way we look & feel.
Am I telling anyone to do eat a plant based diet, nope, if you care to read the documentation you can can make an informed decision on your own.
I will suggest one thing to see which is the best selling documentary on Amazon last year Forks over Knives that $15 may be the best investment in your retirement.
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107 in Movies & TV
#1 in Movies & TV > DVD > Special Interests
#1 in Movies & TV > DVD > Documentary
I just noticed this post for the first time. I've read all of the books you've been mentioning and seen the DVD......plus others in the past, such as King Corn about how all the farms were bought out by the big corn syrup producers and how it is literally in all of our processed foods nowadays.
I get the science behind it all.
Unless one lives alone and only has to think for themselves, it is really hard to "sell" the entire family on this regime.
They may also understand it, but not too many want to walk the walk.
We have a vegetarian neice who for the past twenty years has shunned all meat products (somewhat as a rebellion against her dad who sells meat)........the old story, "I won't eat anything with a face".
Well, I've asked her what she actually eats now that she is a young mom of two babies. She eats those soy products which are made into fake hamburgers and fake meat. I don't find them very appetizing.
To get her Vitamin B12, she said she eats GREEN BEANS but that is the only kind..according to her. She doesn't like any other legumes, such as our grandparents made into various soups, etc. No lentils, no white cannelini beans, no pea soup, etc.
Macaroni and cheese........broccoli, soy products.....that's about it.
I don't consider that a healthy diet.
I do "get" the kale and yams and legumes and no dairy and no meat.
Lots of fruits and veggies......no wheat..........in a nutshell. Yes to nuts.
But sometimes, one does crave a hamburger on the grill.
Do you bring your own food when invited to a barbecue?
Or, just eat the corn on the cob and a green salad?
No pasta salads, etc. No mayo, so no potato salad?
Crudites with dip get a little old after awhile.
Our adult kids eat very healthy and of all the stuff you seem to love.
But they also eat a wide variety of other foods that are on the "no no" list, but in moderation.
They run, they bike, they hike, they walk, etc.........rock climb.
You name it. This generation is very into outdoor activities.
I , as a child, loved white bean and escarole soup with lots of garlic and onions, etc........our kids also like the "peasant soups".........but still every now and then everyone craves a hot dog (as someone else said) or a hamburger...let's make that a cheeseburger.
Every now and then isn't going to kill anyone.
We were just chatting this morning about all of our friends who have died of cancer......or who have it.........they all were excellent athletes, into competitive cycling in Europe and U.S........ate like RABBITS........bone thin..........(so there shoots the obesity theory) , shunned fried foods.......shunned my eggplant parm recipe as the eggplant had to be breaded and fried. We are still alive. I don't make it but once or twice a year if one of the adult kids requests it during a visit. I try to avoid the "nightshades" myself, but they love it.
As also mentioned........a lot of it has to do with genetics.
As my mom would say, "when your number is up, it's up".
p.s. The thing I'm more concerned about than animal "fat" is the hormones and antibiotics that are fed to them.
p.s. 2: Re the Thai food which our kids also love at their favorite hometown Thai restaurant......
we used to love Chinese food, however, lately , it seems the chef there is overdosing with soy sauce
even though we say no M.S.G..........what ever they are using does cause swelling and inflammation.
So, unfortunately, there will be no more Chinese food. (I'd been trying the vegetarian versions of our favorites).
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