More Cardiologists Recommending Plant-Based Diet
It's exciting to see more doctors learning how dietary excellence plays a major role in the prevention and reversal of disease! Dr. Kim A. Williams, a cardiologist at Rush University in Chicago (and the next president of the American College of Cardiology), has embraced a whole-food, plant-based diet and now recommends it to his patients.
Dr. Williams states that it was a patient of his that motivated him to investigate a plant-based diet. One of his patient's nuclear heart scan revealed "very-high-risk findings -- a severe three-vessel disease pattern of reversible ischemia." This motivated her to follow Dr. Dean Ornish's program for reversing heart disease. After approximately 6 weeks, her chest pain had resolved and her follow-up scan had become "essentially normalized."
After seeing her results, Dr. Williams was concerned about his own LDL (bad) cholesterol. He discovered that his was high at 170, which placed him at a high risk for coronary artery disease. Studies show that heart disease in populations with LDL cholesterols below 80 is exceedingly rare.
Dr. Williams thought he was eating a healthy diet, since he didn't consume any red meat or fried foods. His diet included "leaner meats" such as chicken, fish, with a little dairy. However, after searching the USDA Nutritional Database, he was surprised to see that chicken contained more cholesterol than pork. (84 mg/100 g compared to 62 mg/100 g).
Dr. Williams made the transition to a cholesterol-free diet after seeing how Dr. Ornish's patients showed significant improvements on their one and five-year follow-up angiographies and PET perfusion scans. Purchasing store-bought meat substitutes helped him eliminate animal products in his diet, and after 6 weeks, his LDL cholesterol dropped to 90. Discussing the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet with his patients has now become a routine part of his medical practice. Whole plant foods offers powerful protection against heart disease. We hope to see more physicians and specialists like Dr. Williams adopt a nutritional approch in the prevention and reversal of disease. The entire article, "Vegan Diet, Healthy Heart?" can be seen here.
(Faux meat substitutes are commonly used by those making the transition to a meat-free diet during the early stages of transition. Although faux meat can be instrumental in making a successful transition, especially for children and those struggling to reduce or eliminate animal products in their diets, it's best not to consume these. The majority of these products contain highly refined ingredients, dairy, salt and vegetable oils. They may also contain isolated soy protein which raises a powerful growth stimulating hormone called Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1). This hormone is associated with the promotion of cancerous tumors, especially those of the breast, colon, lung and prostate. More information on isolated soy protein can be found here.)
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