If you eat the standard Western diet that most people eat in the United States, it is quite likely you will develop heart disease. A plant-based diet is the only diet proven to reverse heart disease.
Heart Disease Statistics
Shockingly, approximately two out of every three twelve-year-olds in the US has early signs of cholesterol disease.
Heart disease is devastating to both our health and our economy. It’s the leading cause of premature death in both men and women globally, and it is largely preventable and reversible.
Cardiovascular disease, listed as the underlying cause of death, accounts for nearly 801,000 deaths in the US. That’s about 1 of every 3 deaths in the US. About 2,200 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day, an average of 1 death every 40 seconds.”–American Heart Association (AHA)
Half of the men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms,” says Alan Gertler, M.D., associate professor of medicine in UAB’s Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and part of UAB’s Heart & Vascular Services. “The first manifestation of a heart problem oftentimes is sudden death.”
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Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Through Proper Nutrition
Despite the misconception, research shows that cardiovascular disease is largely preventable. A whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet can prevent, delay, or even reverse the progression of atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries due to plaque build-up) and development of coronary artery disease, and reduce the risk for heart attack.
This should not come as a big surprise because whole food plant-based diets (WFPB)are naturally high in fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, prebiotics, probiotics, and enzymes. And they are low in saturated fats and endotoxins.
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, the author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, is a ground-breaking pioneer in preventive and restorative cardiovascular medicine that has repeatedly demonstrated the healing powers of proper nutrition on diseased coronary arteries.
I believe that coronary artery disease is preventable, and that even after it is underway, its progress can be stopped, its insidious effects reversed.
I believe, and my work over the past twenty years has demonstrated, that all this can be accomplished without expensive mechanical intervention and with minimal use of drugs.
The key lies in nutrition—specifically, in abandoning the toxic American diet and maintaining cholesterol levels well below those historically recommended by health policy experts.”–Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
The Lifestyle Heart Trial found that 82% of patients diagnosed with heart disease who followed this plant-based diet program had some level of regression of atherosclerosis and 91% had a reduction in the frequency of angina episodes, whereas 53% of the control group, fed the American Heart Association diet, had progression of atherosclerosis.” —The Permanente Journal NCBI
Only one way of eating has ever been proven to reverse heart disease in the majority of patients: a diet centered around whole plant foods. If that’s all a whole-food, plant-based diet could do—reverse our number-one killer—shouldn’t that be the default diet until proven otherwise?
The fact it may also be effective in preventing, treating, and arresting other leading killers seems to make the case for plant-based eating simply overwhelming.”–Dr. Michael Greger, NutritionFacts.org
I have heard a lot of amazing cases, but this is the first one where a patient, just hours from surgery, Googles his way out of a bypass.
I had the pleasure of hearing this story first-hand from the author, cardiologist Dr. Robert Ostfeld, founder and director of the Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.
Kaiser Permanente in Support of Plant-Based Nutrition
In 2017, Kaiser Permanente, the largest healthcare organization, came out in support of plant-based nutrition with their Healthy Living: Eat Healthy Live Better program.
“As I see skyrocketing incidences of conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, I am profoundly aware that there is so much potential for preventing or even reversing most of these problems through very inexpensive lifestyle changes centered on proper nutrition.” — Carmelo Mejia, MD, Internal Medicine, Kaiser Permanente
Latest Research Linking Diet and Heart Disease
- Healthful Diet Prevents Heart Attacks
- High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
- Fruit Prevents Heart Disease
- Plant-Based Diet Reverses Heart Disease
- Processed Meat Linked to Heart Failure
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to my favorite products. If you purchase via my links, I may make a small percentage at no cost to you. Thank you!
These articles will also be very helpful:
- What is a Plant-Based Whole Food
- Jeff Novick’s 10 Simple Recipes in Less than 20-Minutes
- What’s in My Plant-Based Medicine Cabinet? I Mean Pantry!
- Beginners Guide to Plant-Based Grocery Shopping
- Guide to Dining Out on a Plant-Based Diet