Only Diet Proven to Reverse Heart Disease

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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.

reverse heart disease diet

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

reverse heart disease diet
Visual of heart disease reversal in a male in his forties.

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

reverse heart disease diet
warning signs of clogged arteries from PCRM

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,

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.

Patient Refuses Bypass Surgery after Googling Plant-Based Nutrition
reverse heart disease diet
A true story of heart disease reversal told by cardiologist, Dr. Robert Ostfeld.

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

prevent and reverse heart disease
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. Click to view on Amazon. Affiliate link.

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About Terri Edwards

Hi guys! I am the content creator behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy.  I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…

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  1. Hi everyone ๐Ÿ‘‹ I am male 54 years old, , 16 months ago I got a stent on my artery coronary left. The artery was clogged 100 percent, then after 1 week I stopped all medication.
    Now for more than 10 months I am following strictly plants based diet, all symptoms disappeared after 6 and 9 months .
    I will be happy to find people here with same situation like mine. Thanks

  2. My wife and I have been doing WFPB (mostly) SOS-free since the end of January. I can say for 100% certain that I have lost close to 20 pounds, and I do, in point of fact, feel WAY better than I did.

    I’m 54 years old, and I had my first heart attack at 44, three months before my 45th birthday. Since then, I’ve been to the cath lab three times, I’ve had a second (believed) heart attack, I have five stents, and I have two current 60%+ blockages. (I say “believed”, because there were no elevated troponin or CPK levels, with a normal EKG, and no other “classic” symptoms, but when my wife begged the ER attending MD to hold me in observation, and the cardiologist asked to take me to the cath lab the next morning, he found a 95% and another 80% blockage… He said “I wouldn’t have made it to Flint”, and I was in Jackson, MI, at the time, a slightly over one hour drive…)

    What I want to know, and NOBODY can seem to answer the question, is this: Can a plant-STRONG diet do the same thing, if slower? I ask because I love nuts, I love avocado, I love soy products, and I still crave sweets, a dietary space filled by local honey… (the soy is the only thing that has saved me falling RIGHT back into the meat-eating…) All of those things are verboten on Dr. Esselstyn’s diet plan. I still avoid completely fast-food and meat, cheese, eggs, excessive oil, processed sugar, and absolutely minimal consumption of artificial sweeteners…

    If anyone can shed any light on this, and help me find even rudimentary information on the subject, it’d be appreciated!

    1. Hi David- I would suggest reaching out to a friend of mine that happens to be a plant-based cardiologist in Asheville, NC. His name is Dr. Brian Asbill, and he would be able to answer your questions. He recently cofounded a group of doctors called RUCKUS Health, and their contact page is in the link to Dr. Asbill above. Wishing you all the best with finding answers.

  3. I have CHF. Two valve (mitro and aortic) replacement. I am on coumadin for life. I also have a hectic schedule. Trying to cook and eat healthy has been challenging and dangerous. Eating vegetables, cooking with vegetable broth, and substituting soy products for meat kept my INR out of the projected range. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Hi Annie, I would suggest reaching out to this cardiac specialist that promotes a plant-based diet for patients. There is a contact form at the bottom of this page. Perhaps they can offer some expert advice specific to your case since they treat this disease.

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