How can a plant-based diet help to prevent and reverse heart disease? Are there any adverse effects from a plant-based diet regime.
I reverse my CHF with a plant base diet, per my doctor. Love the food. The only hard part is if the rest of your family doesn’t come alone with the journey.
No adverse effects.
I’m not totally convinced that a plant based diet is the golden goose that the diet industry claims it to be. But if you are going vegan be sure to let your primary care doctor know. They will need to keep up with your vitamin b12 levels as you can only get them from animal sources. Don’t worry, your body stores years of the stuff, but be sure to keep an eye on it.
I have two suggestions for you to read, well, actually three. First read Eat to Live by Dr. Furman. Second read How Not to Die by Dr. Greger and Third the China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell.
I am a firm believer in the dietary benefits of plants. If you do not do anything else look at the nutrition studies website. Dr. Greger has an amazing story about his family and the benefits of a plant based diet. I personally have seen benefits from my father switching - his blood sugar is down from 200 daily to almost hypoglycemic values, his cholesterol also chronically high is down 25 points with only a month on the diet and his blood pressure is down. He currently has a stent in his right coronary artery and has taken BP pills for years! His goal is to get off the diabetes meds! I think he will. He is 73 and I gave him these three books for his birthday in March! He hugged my neck in mid April and thanked me for saving his life. I have been saying these things for years but giving him the books actually made him a believer.
My mother will not comply but he keeps on feasting on cheese, red meat and sugary sweets! She has had open heart surgery and is over weight, has RA, fibromyalgia, depression, CHF, and a whole other laundry list of things and refuses to believe her diet will make a difference or causes any of her problems. Her problems started in her early forties.
As the daughter of these two people I saw at a young age (during nursing school) what CAD and diabetes did to people. I made it my mission not to get diabetes or heart disease. I have always eaten very little meat. I couldn’t have dairy as a child (allergic) and always LOVED veggies! I believe these three things combined with my exercise routine (walking 3-4 miles daily) have saved me from their previously thought inherited medical problems. One of the things these books address is heredity. Do we inherit the problems or the problematic diet? After nursing school, I made changes to my diet.
I made even more changes after my mothers CABG. Now I have completely made the switch to #wfpb in the last year.
I did not do it overnight. It is a slow shift. My dad did it cold turkey. I have children at home still so we are transitioning.
But I do not have the problems my parents have. I firmly believe I would if I kept eating as they have eaten.
My blood pressure is normal to low, my resting pulse rate in in the upper 50’s/low60’s, my cholesterol is 130 with the HDL being off the chart high and my LDL being off the chart low, my blood sugar is normal. I gave up meat almost a year ago and have not missed it. I also gave up dairy after reading the China Study and How Not to Die this year.
These three statements have stuck with me from reading these three books.
- The largest animals on earth are herbivores (Eat to LIve).
- We are the only species of mammal that force milk on their young after they are weaned. (How Not to Die)
- If you are going to eat dairy you may as well eat the meat it comes from… (my thinking influenced by The China Study)
Since giving up dairy altogether – even ice-cream and cheese my asthma is almost non-existent. At my last appointment for a check up with my allergist the doctor came bursting through the door and said what are you doing different!!! I said I don’t know what do you mean. She said your numbers are amazing. (I had done the pulmonary function test and a Ni-Ox test which measures inflammation in my lungs by testing the air I breath out). It dawned on me that 3 or 4 weeks prior I have made the decision to give up dairy along with the meat I had given up a while ago.
I agree with the frustration/hard part is when your family does not come along on the journey but I have gotten my husband off meat – and we own a grocery store and he is a butcher!!! The next step for me with him is sugar but that is another battle I am going to have to save for a rainy day. LOL
I hope this helps you. Please take a look at the website if nothing else. Dr. Greger really brings it all together in a neat package if you only want to read one book. Dr. Campbell is a much more intense book with a lot of technical stuff but I enjoy that stuff as a nurse.
Oh! One more thing. Dr. Greger did find that just adding more fruits and veggies to your diet will make such a difference. He quoted one study comparing a couch potato who ate a #wfpd diet to a marathon runner who ate the standard American diet. Guess who had the better blood work? You guessed it, the #wfpb guy. So even if you are not going to go full bore #wfpb there are benefits to be had from just adding extra servings of fruits and veggies to your diet (at least 5 or more) The power of plants in unmatchable. Also, they debunk the vitamin supplement myths in these books as well.
Check it out!
I am a real believer in changing your diet to plant based. My change may not have been directly tp the heart but it helped BP a d weight.
I have been using Heartbeat in New York for my preventive care. The cv risk assessment and the “ask a question” feature work pretty well.