Plant-based Diet Lowers Coronary Heart Disease

A plant-based diet, rich in healthier plant foods is associated with substantially lower CHD risk

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology today indicated that higher intake of a plant-based diet index rich in healthier plant foods is associated with substantially lower CHD risk, whereas a plant-based diet index that emphasizes less-healthy plant foods is associated with higher CHD risk.

You can’t be healthy as a french fry vegan

Popular Science suggests that simply being a vegan won’t make you healthy. Eliminating meat from a terrible diet doesn’t really make it any healthier, according to a study released today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. In fact, the study found that participants whose mostly-plant-based diets (think vegetarian or vegan) included a lot of processed foods, such as sugary beverages and French fries, were more likely to develop heart disease or die during the study period than people who avoided processed food—even if that meant eating a little meat.

Avoid processed foods

TCTMD agrees: Several cardiologists have been purporting a plant-based diet for years. The current findings underscore the notion that adhering to a healthy plant-based diet would mean steering clear of refined products and saturated fats, and instead focusing on “whole grains as the main form of carbohydrate, unsaturated fats as the predominate form of dietary fat, an abundance of fruit and vegetables, and adequate n-3 fatty acids,” they conclude.

Cardiologists agree

After realizing that meat consumption was negatively affecting his heart health, New York’s Highland Hospital Chief of Cardiology has adopted a plant-based diet. John C. Teeters, MD was inspired by a speech given by longtime vegan doctor Caldwell Esselstyn at the American College of Cardiology Conference, in which Esselstyn described remarkable success stories for patients with heart disease after they switched to a plant-based diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods. The day after he heard Esselstyn’s speech, Teeters—who grew up consuming a meat-centric diet in North Carolina—eliminated animal products from his plate. Since his transition, the cardiologist lost 57 pounds and has become an advocate for plant-based education. (source: vegnews)

A reversal of fortune

The famed physician, researcher, and clinician Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute conducted a 20-year study that many feel proves a plant-based, oil-free diet can prevent heart disease, stop its progression and even reverse it completely.

Interested in what Dr. Esselstyn has to say? Watch this presentation from 2012:

Got diabetes? Go vegan

Long time vegan cardiologist, Dr. Kim A. Williams, the president-elect of the American College of Cardiology, often sees patients who are overweight and struggling with hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol. One of the things he advises them to do is to change their diets.

Specifically, he tells them to go vegan.

Dr. Williams became a vegan in 2003 because he was concerned that his LDL cholesterol — the kind associated with an increased risk of heart disease — was too high. Dr. Williams wrote about his reasons for going vegan and his belief in the cardiovascular benefits of a plant-based diet in a recent essay at MedPage Today. (source: NYT)

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