How Not To Die from Heart Disease

Valentine’s Day falls in the month of February – a day we think of love and friendship which is symbolized by a heart. Keeping our heart healthy should be our number one priority.

The most likely reason most of our loved ones will die is heart disease. It’s still up to each of us to make our own decisions as to what to eat and how to live—but, we should make these choices consciously, educating ourselves about the predictable consequences of our actions.

Atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries, begins in childhood.

By age ten, the arteries of nearly all kids raised on the Standard American Diet already have fatty streaks—the first stage of the disease.

Then, the plaques start forming in our twenties, get worse in our thirties, and then can start killing us off. In our heart, it’s called a heart attack. In our brain, it can manifest as a stroke.

So, if there is anyone reading this older than age ten, then the choice isn’t whether or not to eat healthy to prevent heart disease; it’s whether or not you want to reverse the heart disease you likely already have.

Is that even possible? When researchers took people with heart disease, and put them on the kind of plant-based diet followed by populations that did not get epidemic heart disease, their hope was that it might slow the disease process down—maybe even stop it. But, instead, something miraculous happened.

The disease started to reverse; to get better. As soon as patients stopped eating artery-clogging diets, their bodies were able to start dissolving some of the plaque away, opening up arteries without drugs, without surgery—suggesting their bodies wanted to heal all along, but were just never given the chance. That improvement in blood flow to the heart muscle itself (on the left as shown in the video link below) was after just three weeks eating healthy.

Let me share with you what’s been called the best-kept secret in medicine. The best-kept secret in medicine is that sometimes, given the right conditions, the body can heal itself.

You know, if you whack your shin really hard on a coffee table, it can get all red, hot, painful, swollen, inflamed—but, will heal naturally, if you just stand back and let your body work its magic. But, what if you kept whacking your shin in the same place, day after day—in fact, three times a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). It’d never heal!

You’d go to your doctor, and be like, “Oh, my shin hurts,” and the doctor would be like, “No problem,” whip out their pad, write you a prescription for painkillers. You’re still whacking your shin three times a day. Oh, it still really hurts like heck, but oh, feels so much better with those pain pills on board. Thank heavens for modern medicine.

It’s like when people take nitroglycerine for crushing chest pain—tremendous relief, but you’re not doing anything to treat the underlying cause.

Our body wants to come back to health, if we let it. But, if we keep redamaging ourselves three times a day, we may never heal.

One of the most amazing things I learned in all my medical training was that within about 15 years of stopping smoking, your lung cancer risk approaches that of a lifelong nonsmoker. Isn’t that amazing? Your lungs can clear out all that tar, and eventually, it’s almost as if you never started smoking at all.

And, every morning of our smoking life, that healing process started, until… wham!…our first cigarette of the day, reinjuring our lungs with every puff—just like we can reinjure our arteries with every bite, when all we had to do all along, the miracle cure, is just stand back, get out of the way, stop redamaging ourselves, and let our bodies’ natural healing processes bring us back towards health. The human body is a self-healing machine.

Sure, you could choose moderation—hit yourself with a smaller hammer. But, why beat yourself up at all?

I don’t tell my smoking patients to cut down to half a pack a day. I tell them to quit. Sure, a half pack is better than two packs a day—but, we should try to only put healthy things in our mouths.

We’ve known about this for decades: American Heart Journal, 1977. Cases like Mr. F.W. here; heart disease so bad, he couldn’t even make it to the mailbox—but, started eating healthier, and, a few months later, he was climbing mountains. No pain.

There are all these fancy, new, anti-angina, anti-chest pain drugs out now. They cost thousands of dollars a year. But, at the highest dose, may be able to prolong exercise duration—as long as 33 and a half seconds. It does not look like those choosing the drug route will be climbing mountains anytime soon.

See, plant-based diets aren’t just safer and cheaper. They can work better, because you’re treating the actual cause of the disease.

Healthy eating with a plant-based diet can help you be around your loved ones longer.

For more information be sure to check out my latest videos including this one How Not To Die from Heart Disease on NutritionFacts.org.

In health,

Michael

Dr. Michael Greger

Dr. Greger is a graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture and Tufts University School of Medicine. He is also the founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He is a physician, author and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety and public health issues. He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, testified before Congress, appeared on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Colbert Report,” and was an expert witness in the defense of Oprah Winfrey in the “meat defamation” trial. He is the author of the international bestseller “How Not To Die.” Currently, Dr. Greger serves on the advisory board for The Only Vegan At The Table and the North Texas Community Health Initiative. He is also the founder of NutritionFacts.org, a nutrition information website with hundreds of videos available for free. “Mondays With Michael” is a weekly column featuring the latest in science-based nutrition information.

 

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Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Health

Every year millions of people make resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, exercise more and eat healthier. They start of with gusto and within a couple of weeks have abandoned their resolution. It can take six weeks to form a habit. If you made a diet change at the beginning of the year and stuck with it, by now, it would be a habit, but if you veered off the road, it isn’t too late to get back on track.

There’s only one diet that’s ever been proven to reverse heart disease in the majority of patients—a diet centered around whole plant foods.  So, anytime anyone tries to sell you on some new diet, do me a favor. Ask them one simple question: “Has it been proven to reverse heart disease—you know, the number one reason you, and all your loved ones, will die?”  If the answer is “No,” why would you even consider it?  Only one diet has ever been proven to do that.  That’s not cherry-picking—there’s only one cherry.

In fact, if that’s all a plant-based diet could do—reverse the number one killer of men and women, shouldn’t that be the default diet, until proven otherwise?  And, the fact that it can also be effective in preventing, arresting, or reversing other leading killers—like type 2 diabetes and hypertension—would seem to make the case for plant-based eating simply overwhelming.

So, why don’t more doctors prescribe it? How could there be such a disconnect between the science and mainstream medical practice?  Well, look, it took 25 years before the first Surgeon General’s report against smoking came out. It took more than 7,000 studies, and the deaths of countless smokers, before the powers-that-be officially recognized the link. You’d think after the first 6,000 studies they could have given people a little heads up or something? Powerful industry.

In fact, even after the Surgeon General’s report came out, the medical community still dragged their feet. The American Medical Association actually went on record refusing to endorse the Surgeon General’s report. Why? Could it have been because they had just been handed a ten million dollar check from the tobacco industry? Maybe.

So, we know why the AMA may have been sucking up to the tobacco industry—but why weren’t individual doctors speaking out? Well, there were a few gallant souls ahead of their time writing in, as there are today, standing up against industries killing millions. But, why not more?  Maybe, it’s because the majority of physicians themselves smoked cigarettes—just like the majority of physicians today continue to eat foods that are contributing to our epidemics of dietary disease.

What was the AMA’s rallying cry back then? Everything in moderation. “Extensive scientific studies have proven that smoking in moderation…” Oh, that’s fine. Sound familiar?

Consumption of animal foods and processed foods may cause at least 14 million deaths around the world every year. 14 million people dead. Those of us involved in this evidence-based nutrition revolution are part of a movement with 14 million lives in the balance every year.

Plant-based diets may now be considered “the nutritional equivalent of quitting smoking.” How many more people have to die, though, before the CDC encourages people not to wait for open heart surgery to start eating healthy, as well?

Until the system changes, we have to take personal responsibility for our own health, for our family’s health. We can’t wait until society catches up to the science again, because it’s a matter of life and death.

Last year, Dr. Kim Williams became President of the American College of Cardiology. He was asked, in an interview, why he follows his own advice to eat a plant-based diet. “I don’t mind dying,” Dr. Williams replied, “I just don’t want it to be my [own] fault.”

This year, it is time to really look a your lifestyle and take personal responsibility for your health. You can do it.

For more information be sure to check out my latest videos including this one Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Health on NutritionFacts.org

In health,

Michael

Dr. Michael Greger

Dr. Greger is a graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture and Tufts University School of Medicine. He is also the founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He is a physician, author and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety and public health issues. He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, testified before Congress, appeared on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Colbert Report,” and was an expert witness in the defense of Oprah Winfrey in the “meat defamation” trial. He is the author of the international bestseller “How Not To Die.” Currently, Dr. Greger serves on the advisory board for The Only Vegan At The Table and the North Texas Community Health Initiative. He is also the founder of NutritionFacts.org, a nutrition information website with hundreds of videos available for free. “Mondays With Michael” is a weekly column featuring the latest in science-based nutrition information.

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Dr. Michael Greger joins The Only Vegan At The Table

Dr. Michael Greger

I am proud to announce that Dr. Michael Greger has joined the advisory board for The Only Vegan At The Table and the North Texas Community Health Initiative.

Dr. Greger is a graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture and Tufts University School of Medicine. He is also the founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He is a physician, author and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety and public health issues. He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, testified before Congress, appeared on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Colbert Report,” and was an expert witness in the defense of Oprah Winfrey in the “meat defamation” trial.

Greger is the author of the international bestseller “How Not To Die.” He is also the founder of NutritionFacts.org, a nutrition information website with hundreds of videos available for free.

I am also proud to share with you a new weekly column by Dr. Greger called “Mondays With Michael” where he shares the latest in science-based nutrition.

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Sept. 16, 2016 is National Guacamole Day!

How do you show your love for avocados? Vegans, vegetarians and omnivores know that within this dark green fruit (yes, it is a fruit, not a vegetable) is a healthful yummy that has been a staple to parties and sport-watching events all over America. According to Fine Dining Lovers, over 4.25 billion of these cholesterol-free, sodium-free, sugar-free, gluten-free pear-shaped diet dynamos are consumed every year. We love avocados so much that on Super Bowl Sunday 53.5 million of them are consumed. Who knows how many tortilla chips we eat.

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Eating Vegan at a Non-Vegan Restaurant

What do you do when you are the only vegan at the table?

Even in meat-centric cities like Dallas, Texas you can find options, but you have to know where to look.

Salum Restaurant offers diners fresh, local, American cuisine in an upscale atmosphere that is perfect for special occasions as well as weekly get-togethers with friends.  This non-vegan restaurant is a gemstone for vegans.  I was first introduced to this restaurant while reviewing another one of Abraham Salum’s restaurants – Komali Mexican Cuisine. At that time, I wasn’t exclusively a whole foods, plant-based eater. My first meal at Salum Restaurant took me on a trip down the eastern seaboard with the perfect marriage of the freshest ingredients I had ever tasted all on one plate. I was in heaven.

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Raw, Quick & Delicious!: 5-Ingredient Recipes in Just 15 Minutes

FinalRawQuickDeliciousCover

It is hot and everybody is busy but you have to eat. So, what shall it be? Standing over a hot stove or turning on the oven doesn’t sound like a good idea. There is a solution to summer eating dilemma – “Raw, Quick & Delicious!: 5-Ingredient Recipes in Just 15 Minutes” by Douglas McNish.

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About Me

Robin D. Everson’s appreciation for art, food, wine, people, and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. As a multi-faceted entrepreneur, Robin brings a unique look at the world of business through her many interviews and articles. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture.