Doctor encourages a “heart-attack proof diet” instead of pills and procedures
A doctor has created what he believes is a “heart attack proof” diet, regardless of a person’s family history with cardiovascular health.
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. shifted the focus of his own career from performing surgeries to promoting nutrition in an attempt to shift American diets to something that reflects cultures around the world where heart disease is not such a common killer, including rural China and central Africa.
His proposed diet excludes meat, eggs, dairy and added oils. Others, including the American Heart Association, argue that diet is just one key factor in heart health, along with weight, blood pressure, exercise, and other variables.
Statistically, 83 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease and many risk factors of the disease, such as obesity, are at all-time highs. One challenge of the diet is getting Americans, who have historically eaten meat and dairy products at most meals, to buy into such a radical life transformation.
Esselstyn, who is featured in the documentary “Forks Over Knives,” holds regular seminars at the Cleveland Clinic where he explains the science of plant-based nutrition and where his wife offers practical cooking and food preparation advice.
He encourages people to start the diet before they develop heart disease symptoms since most heart attacks strike without warning. “The first symptom of your heart disease may be your sudden death,” he explains.
Esselstyn hopes that his work on this diet and other heart research is just the beginning of a transformation of how we approach health, not with pills and procedures, but with lifestyle alterations.