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.
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.
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.