Man Refuses Surgery after Googling Diet for Reversing Heart Disease

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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 by finding information about a diet for reversing heart disease. He heads down a path of health on a plant-based diet.

diet for reversing heart disease

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.

How to reverse heart disease

While lying nervously in his hospital bed, he began to think that maybe there was another way to approach this disease, so he went online. There, he read about the impact of a whole-food, plant-based diet on heart disease, and he decided that was the path for him.

He called the nurse, gave back his hospital gown, and despite the pleas of his medical team, signed himself out of the hospital against medical advice. Mr. J’s nurse was so concerned that before he was able to leave, she called his wife to have her convince him to stay. He did not. Later, the nurse even called Mr. J at home to plead for his return. He politely declined.

Soon thereafter he found our Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore. He was already taking all the appropriate medications, and he chose to completely change his lifestyle as well.

He fully embraced a whole-food, plant-based diet without oil and had perhaps the most remarkable turnaround I have ever seen. Within one week, he went from being able to walk only a block before feeling tightness in his neck to walking 25 blocks without incident! Fast-forward three months and he was back to exercising two to three hours each day without symptoms. That is what I call remarkable! Read entire article HERE

Montefiore Health System

As of March of 2017, Montefiore Health System now plays the documentary Forks Over Knives in five of their hospitals, in front of roughly 2,300 patient beds. They also offer plant-based meals to patients. All of this is due to the driving efforts of Dr. Ostfeld and his team!

Now, when I visit my in-patients, I know that I have my plant-based posse with me. I discuss the diet with the patient (and perhaps their family), we order the patient plant-based meals (we call them “Heart Healthy Vegan” in our system), and I ask them all to watch the film (I even offer to turn it on before leaving the room!).

This is a terrific lecture by Dr. Robert Ostfeld, Confessions of a Reformed Cardiologist: A Plant-Based Diet and Your Heart. 

The Plant-Based Lifestyle Is the Best Medicine I’ve Ever Prescribed is an article that is definitely worth reading.

Below is a quote from Dr. Ostfeld that I share with students in my Food for Life classes on a regular basis.

Outside of an emergency medical condition that requires an urgent intervention, I have never seen anything come close to providing the breadth and depth of benefits that this lifestyle offers.”

This is an amazingly inspiring physician that dedicated his life to heart disease reversal and truly is making a difference! He earned his MD at Yale and his MSc in epidemiology at Harvard, and he is an associate professor of clinical medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Follow Dr. Ostfeld on Twitter to keep up with the trail he is blazing for his patients–and all of us–in the heart-healthy plant-based medical community.

Research continues

Recently, Ostfeld and a group of highly respected researchers, doctors and nutritionists published this special-themed issue on plant-based nutrition and cardiovascular disease in the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology. It is the first such themed issue in academic literature thanks to amazing contributing authors, including T Colin Campbell, Ph.D.,  Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., Kim Williams, MD, Micaela Karlsen, MSPH, Kathy Jacob Pollard, Julieanna Hever, & Thomas Campbell, MD.


Our plant-based starter kits are a great way to begin this new healthy lifestyle because they include a book, a set of DVD lectures from Dr. Neal Barnard, and a folder full of helpful literature from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Want more amazing encouragement? Check out these other Whole Food Plant-Based Diet (WFPB) Success Stories.

prevent and reverse heart disease book
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, from Cleveland Clinic. Click to view on amazon. Affiliate link.

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  1. My husband and I have eaten a plant based diet for about 10 years. It has treated our bodies so kindly. I wish everyone knew what a difference there would be in their well-being after giving up animal products as well as sugars, sodas and chips, etc. I am thrilled that the medical profession is starting to realize what a plant diet means. As a nurse friend told me, “If everyone ate like they should, I would be out of a job!!” We are fortunate in that our personal physician has nutritional knowledge and guides us.

  2. This was my same experience almost 3 years ago. I was a 30 year vegetarian at age 68 when I was told I needed a triple bypass immediately. Fortunately the surgeon was scheduled two weeks out and I started googling alternatives. I found Dr Esselstyn who saved me from the triple bypass. I followed his advice…WFPB, NO OIL, no nuts, avocado or dairy. 10% fat only and within a couple of months my arteries were cleared. A year later I went back to another cardiologist who was local and did a nuclear stress test. My results were so good he thought I had opted for the bypass. Lol. Please get How to reverse and prevent heart disease by Dr Esselstyn. Also add: 6 servings of steamed greens daily with balsamic vinegar to your protocol as advised by Dr E. Any questions?….text me. It’s my life’s mission to share this incredible experience ?? I forgot to mention that I lost 40#’s and have kept it off for 3 years…easily?

  3. This is a post that I plan on sharing to my Facebook page because people need to become more aware of the ‘medicine’ that is in their veggies! The info here is also something that I will be sharing in my blog so that my subscribers can begin to understand that even the medical community is getting on board the ‘healthy-rainbow-food-train’! Here’s to more of us learning to eat healthy (and I’m toasting you with my breakfast green smoothie)!

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