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Thread: Heart Attack proofing yourself..."The Last Heart Attack" CNN

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    Senior Member Greg44's Avatar
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    Heart Attack proofing yourself..."The Last Heart Attack" CNN

    Very interesting news report on CNN about how you can basically heart attack proof yourself by following a vegan diet. The story showcased former President Bill Clinton and others.

    I have heard this before and seen several of the doctor's featured in the article at one of the first VegSource Conferences in Southern CA, a few years ago.

    They show some very convincing evidence. I like the one doctor who says that we ate ourselves into this problem (Western Diet - heart attack/strokes/etc) and we can eat ourselves out of it.

    It is kinda a long story 40 minutes - but very compelling. I urge you to watch it and let me know what you think.

    http://www.vegsource.com/news/2011/0...ial-video.html

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    I was very disappointed by that presentation. It failed to discuss what drugs these people are also taking, except it slips in a quick reference when discussing the studies about the diet where it says that these people are also on cholesterol lowering medication (at about 32:30). What is the point of the diet if you have to take drugs, too?

    The real important point is made early in the program, but never developed. That point is that HDL (the so-called "good cholesterol") is what cleans out the bad. But there is no discussion about whether this approach does anything to improve HDL or really works without the drugs. It's very misleading IMO.

    Incidentally, high HDL is not only linked to lower heart disease, but also increased longevity overall. The CNN program completely ignores this well-accepted science and does not analyze the treatments on these terms.

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    Senior Member Greg44's Avatar
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    Dragline - some good points, the Dr/reporter mentioned the "small" peer review in the journal - that those who were on the diet and took cholesterol lowering drugs. I don't think that is the case with most of Dr. Esselstyn's patients - from the lectures I have heard him give in the past. I have ordered his book, so I am interested in learning more about this studies.

    HDL levels improve with exercise -- as per my doctor keeps reminding me! My HDL's have always been slightly below the acceptable range.

    I am sure time restraints prevented them from looking at all aspects of heart health care, but I think the point of the benefits of a plant based diet was made. Granted not an easy transition to make -- even for me, I have been a vegetarian for almost a dozen years, but to go vegan - will be a challenge.

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    After having read The China Study, I'm a complete believer. We still eat very small amounts of meat and dairy, but probably less than 10% of what the normal "meat and potatoes" American eats......

    The ability of diet to reverse heart disease is certainly less than its ability to prevent it in the first place, hence some folks still needing cholesterol and other drugs despite diet changes, but it still makes a difference.

    and the Michael Pollan advice.....eat food, not too much, mostly plants......certainly rings true to me.

    I'm just glad to see this departure from the "Great American Way of Eating" moving into the mainstream and getting coverage. Perhaps we CAN do something about the epidemic of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. in this country once more and more people recognize the dangers of the "way we've always eaten".

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Great the awareness Bill Clinton can raise! There have been a lot of doctors who have been banging the drum for years on deaf ears--Dean Ornish, Joel Fuhrman, Neal Barnard.

    One of the most surprising vegan converts lately has been Ruben Studdard, and he was very open about it. Now, Bill Clinton. Very interesting!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    Senior Member Anne Lee's Avatar
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    I'm a daytime vegetarian per Mark Bittman. I tried to go daytime vegan but I really like yogurt with breakfast or a salad dressing of buttermilk and mayo with lunch. Dinners tend to be light on meat, vegetariarn/vegan at least three times a week. On vegetarian nights, the dairy is an accent rather than the main course (except on macaroni and cheese nights).

    My reasons for starting this were more environmental than health related. BUT since I've started, my blood pressure which was solidly in the prehypertensive range (130/90) is down (118/82). Since the women in my family on both sides have a medical history of high blood pressure I think it's important I work on this.
    Formerly known as Blithe Morning II

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    Senior Member Rosemary's Avatar
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    I've read The China Study as well as Esselstyn's book. I think that they have a good start at convincing data, but the jump from a study of casein to a full vegan diet didn't really work for me. I actually was expecting a lot more data from The China Study than actually appeared in the book. However, the results that Esselstyn's patients have had certainly are amazing.

    I've also read Gary Taubes' books which provide endless references from his research that suggest that the cholesterol-heart disease link was overblown and that insulin is a larger factor.

    I suspect that it is possible that the factor - dietary proteins/fats or insulin response - that initiates heart disease in an individual is genetically determined and not the same for every person.

    I'm always astonished when I see summaries of per capita meat consumption, like this
    http://chartsbin.com/view/bhy
    which says that in the U.S., consumption averages 270 lbs/person per year (the data is in kilograms). That is about 3/4 lb meat/day. And that doesn't include dairy or eggs.

    We are not a vegan family, but we do have a limited consumption of meat and dairy compared to the average American diet; we eat responsibly-raised animals and eggs, which have a different fatty acid profile.

    A research librarian blogs about "plant-strong diet" here
    http://www.happyhealthylonglife.com

    What I've noticed from reading her blog is that, although she does follow a strict vegan diet, she also doesn't eat many foods that would cause a rapid insulin response, such as refined sugars or flours. I think it is probably difficult to separate these items in a dietary study, since people who are motivated to follow a healthy diet will make many changes toward that goal.
    Last edited by Rosemary; 9-2-11 at 7:50am.

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    You make an important observation, Rosemary. It is possible to eat a healthy vegan/vegetarian diet, but it is also possible to eat an unhealthy one too, and there is a stronger correlation between health and eating natural, unprocessed food than any particular kind of food. Pollan's books cover this very well. Many/most bad health results are caused by processed sugars and de-fiberized carbohydrates, particularly those created out of corn.

    Here is the work done in this area by someone who has done the research on the insulin issue and explains what happens in the body when you eat these things: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM

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    The Happpy Healthy Long Life blog espouses a completely fat-free vegan diet. Hasn't it been proven that the body needs some fat to maintain health. Seems like yes your circulatory system might be healthier without fat but not sure about the other parts, ie brain.

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I’m on the opposite side of this issue; I couldn’t disagree more strongly with its premise. Dean Ornish has his followers quit smoking, take up meditation and exercise, dabble in group therapy, eschew sugar and refined grains, shun all fats including harmful omega-sixes, and then credits his magic vegan diet for any cardio-improvements that ensue. T. Colin Campbell cherry-picked data from the original study to fit his own particular worldview (see Denise Minger for a detailed deconstruction of his version) and advance his ideas of how we should all be eating. Poor President Clinton looks like a dead man walking, thanks no doubt to heavy doses of statins (which are useless/dangerous for just about anyone except 50-year-old men with a history of heart attack) and whatever wacky low-fat diet he’s been put on by the medical-industrial establishment. They’ll kill him off yet.

    There are plenty of studies that refute the “facts” presented here, but you have to dig* to find them. Ancel Keys and his politically-advanced lipid theory have been debunked repeatedly, but you wouldn’t know it to read the popular press. Grain producers and processors and Pharma have a vested interest in foisting a starch-heavy, protein poor, and fat-free diet on us, and their success is evident in skyrocketing rates of what Dr. Robert Atkins used to call “diabesity.”

    *Malcolm Kendrick, MD; Drs. Michael and MD Eades; Gary Taubes; John Briffa, MD; William Davis, MD; Dr. Jay Wortman; Tom Naughton; Denise Minger, Lierre Keith, Uffe Ravnskov for a start, and countless studies, including this one, that shows absolutely no correlation between saturated fat and illness:

    http://www.ajcn.org/content/early/20...27725.abstract

    If we really want to see “the last heart attack,” I propose we combine a more paleo-style diet with a simpler, community based lifestyle (see the Roseto effect), moderate exercise, and a skeptical attitude toward the propaganda foisted on us by corporate media.
    Last edited by JaneV2.0; 9-3-11 at 1:09pm.

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