Heart Disease – A Paper Tiger?

Heart disease is a major killer in our society. It is caused by the gradual clogging of the arteries by a plaque. Plaque is deposits of cholesterol and fat. As the plaque in the artery walls increases, the diameter of the blood vessel shrinks and the supply of blood diminishes until the tissue it supplies dies, causing a heart attack. Aggravating factors include hypertension, smoking, family history and diabetes as well as cholesterol levels.

Medical treatment of heart disease has primarily been aimed at treating hypertension, stopping smoking, statin drugs that lower cholesterol levels and surgical intervention with stents and bypass procedures.

But is this really the best way to do it? Recent work has shown that major dietary change scan have a huge impact on cholesterol and heart disease. Dr. Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic worked with 12 “end stage” heart patients. An “end stage” heart patient is a patient who will not be helped by heart surgery and their life expectancy is about a year or less. He placed them all on the Vegan diet and 20 years later, 11 or the 12 were alive and well! I have seen catheterization X-rays on a patient showing severe coronary obstruction before the diet which became completely normal after the diet! These are amazing results! It means there can be a much easier way to treat this disease that does not involve surgical procedures. It means you can greatly reduce or even eliminate your risk of heart disease by making a change in your diet.

If you look at other countries such as Japan or China, you will see a much lower incidence of heart disease as their diet is largely fish and fruits and vegetables. The diet that Dr. Esselstyn recommends is to eat no meat, no fish, no dairy and no oil. Don’t let this scare you. The first three weeks of this diet are the hardest. After that you will notice your weight is coming off and you have much more energy and you will feel surprisingly good! By doing this you can often lower the cholesterol to less than 150 and the LDL to less than 79 which are levels that allow the arteries to clean out and normalize.

There are many books and supplements that can help you achieve these numbers. Do a little exploring and a little experimenting with diet, and you can do wonders!