Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. The most common type is coronary artery disease. Risk factors include high cholesterol, being overweight, and high blood pressure. Heart disease is also can be a contributing factor to many other diseases like type-2 diabetes and cancer.
I have experienced how changing to a plant-based diet and lifestyle can affect your overall health. I attended the McDougall 10-day Live-In Program at the McDougall Health and Medical Center in Santa Rosa, CA (in June 2007) to find an alternative to standard medical practices for the treatment of high cholesterol and blood pressure with medications. I discovered that a low-fat plant-based diet was my answer. I experienced the results of thousands of others who follow a whole food, plant-based diet: medication free and achieving optimal health, vitality and a feeling of well-being. In the 10 days, I was educated by Dr. John McDougall about basic nutrition, plant-based nutrition, chronic diseases, and current medical research; while receiving medical advice/diagnosis of Dr. McDougall. By changing to a low-fat plant-based diet it saved me from taking costly medications and perhaps avoided some standard medical procedures for heart disease.
Also, during this program I saw other attendees health improve, type-2 diabetics’ blood sugar levels were normal within a few days and some were completely off medications, arthritis patients were pain free, the average reduction in blood cholesterol was 15% in one week and everyone experienced average weight loss of 3-5 pounds, the results were remarkable in just ten days. It’s the FOOD! We all eat the same deliciously prepared foods of starches, green and yellow vegetables. Meals like spinach lasagna, bean burritos, wonderful soups and salads.
These results are backed by decades of scientific research such as the one study by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. of the Cleveland Clinic, and author the book ‘Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease’, found that a low-fat whole food, plant-based diet, with 10% or less of total fat intake, does prevent and reverse heart disease. He published his benchmark long-term nutritional research on arresting and reversing coronary artery disease in severely ill patients—some with heart disease so advanced that standard intervention techniques such as bypass and angioplasty were no longer an option—have had the progression of their disease stopped or reversed after adopting the diet.