In 2010 I had my fourth heart attack, the first one had been at age 38. I was lucky to be alive! I was only 49 years old, had been eating exactly as the American Heart Association recommends for 11 years, on daily aspirin to prevent blood clots/stroke because I was high risk for both, as well as 11 prescriptions daily to manage my chest pains, hypertension, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, GERD, IBS, gastroparesis (a complication of the diabetes), Systemic Lupus Erythmatosus, and migraines. In the hospital, I begged the cardiologist to "Give me another pill" to fix me. He said he had done all he could and I needed agressive treatment: a quadruple bypass, and I should go home and get my affairs in order and schedule my surgery quickly. I thought it was the Genetic Wheel of Fate, and there was nothing I could do but wait to die. A few days later I researched 'how to reverse heart disease' and over and over I read the same thing whatever website I was on, and a light bulb went on in my head: if cholesterol is causing the plaque and blockages in my arteries, and cholesterol only comes from animals, STOP EATING IT. So, I did.
I began to feel more energy, and even though I didn't restrict my plate portions and ate until I was full, excess pounds began falling off. I continued eating vegan (and discovered I was gluten sensitive at this time) and gluten free and within 4 months my primary doctor took me off ALL of my medications. One year later and VERY surprised to see me alive, and even though my total cholesterol (while on statins) had dropped from 395 to 102, my cardiologist insisted on a follow up heart cath to assess my 85% and 90% blockages he had seen the year before. He was shocked to see the arteries only about 50% blocked and wanted to know how. I told him I stopped eating all meat, dairy, and eggs, and he said with all seriousness, "Don't tell my other patients this."
I am walking, living proof that a vegan diet is the 'cure' for heart disease and other chronic illness. My numerous chronic conditions no longer require medications and are essentially gone! I take ZERO prescriptions now, have the energy of a 20 year old, and the clear arteries of a two year old! I am so thankful for what I learned from reading The China Study and watching Forks Over Knives, as well as Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. I am so grateful to Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr, M.D. for his life saving research and willingness to publish it and go against mainstream medicine who stand only to profit from heart disease and other chronic illness created by the SAD (Standard American Diet)!
Some of the research:
--->Kaiser Permanente Thrive's Permanente Journal Review: "Research shows that plant- based diets are cost-effective, low-risk interventions that may lower body mass index, blood pressure, HbA1C [blood glucose control over time], and cholesterol levels. They may also reduce the number of medications needed to treat chronic diseases and lower ischemic heart disease mortality rates. Physicians should consider recommending a plant-based diet to all their patients, especially those with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or obesity." http://1.usa.gov/1k20IIi
--->The CHIP Program, a 6-year study emphasizing a whole food, plant-based diet, can lead to rapid and meaningful reductions in chronic disease risk factors:http://1.usa.gov/1k9TrIG
--->Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. showing that 99.4% of 198 people with cardiovascular disease on a plant-based diet for 3.7 years avoided major cardiac events (2014):http://bit.ly/UlQpF3
--->Dean Ornish, MD regression of coronary atherosclerosis with intensive lifestyle changes - 10% fat whole foods vegetarian diet, aerobic exercise, stress management training, smoking cessation, group psycho- social support - for 5 years (1998): http://bit.ly/1ry42iM
--->"An 18-week dietary intervention using a low-fat plant-based diet in a corporate setting improves body weight, plasma lipids, and, in individuals with diabetes, glycemic control.": http://1.usa.gov/1k9Urwy
---> "Vegetarian diets confer protection against cardiovascular diseases, cardiometabolic risk factors, some cancers and total mortality. Compared to lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets, vegan diets seem to offer additional protection for obesity, hypertension, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular mortality.": http://1.usa.gov/1nh1dPA
--->Adventist Health Study-2 "Vegetarian dietary patterns were associated with lower body mass index, lower prevalence and incidence of diabetes mellitus, lower prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and its component factors, lower prevalence of hypertension, lower all-cause mortality, and in some instances, lower risk of cancer.":http://1.usa.gov/1nQzQIj
--->"The dietary portfolio approach of combining a range of cholesterol-lowering plant foods may benefit cardiovascular disease risk both by reducing serum lipids and also blood pressure.": http://1.usa.gov/1mzzG7Q
--->5 Ways to Avoid Cardiovascular Disease Without Medication: http://bit.ly/1o4XHZn
*Image via Vegan Street