Bill Clinton’s Vegan Weight Loss Secret and His 4 Heart Disease Reversal Gurus
We previously told you about the weight loss possibilities of plant-based diets (“I lost 40 pounds in six months as a vegan: Joi Ito,” “Vegetarianism for Weight Loss: Tips for Omnivores.”) And now additional testimony comes from former President Bill Clinton, who also reveals how a plant-based diet might reverse heart disease.
Transcript of Bill Clinton’s Weight Loss Interview
Wolf Blitzer: How do you lose so much weight? What kind of diet are you on?
Bill Clinton: The short answer is I went on essentially a plant based diet. I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits. I drink a protein supplement every morning. No dairy. I drink almond milk mixed in with fruit and a protein powder, so I get the protein for the day when I start the day out.
It changed my whole metabolism and I lost 24 pounds. I got back to basically what I weighed in high school. But I did it for a different reason, I mean I wanted to lose a little weight but I never dreamed this would happen.
I did it because after I had this stent put in I realized that even though it happens quite often that after you have bypass that you lose the veins because they are thinner and weaker than arteries. The truth is that it clogged up, which means that the cholesterol was still causing build-up in my vein that was part of my bypass and thank God I could take the stents.
I don’t want it to happen again. So I did all this research and I saw that 82 percent of the people since 1986 who have gone on a plant based [diet], no dairy, no meat of any kind, no chicken or turkey[...] I eat very little fish — once in a while I will have a little fish, not often. If you can do it, 82 percent of the people who have done that have begun to heal themselves. Their arterial blockage cleans up, the calcium deposit around their heart breaks up.
This movement has been led by a doctor named Caldwell Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic, Dean Ornish you know out in California, the doctors [T. Colin and Thomas M.] Campbell — father and son who wrote The China Study and a handful of others. We now have 25-years of evidence.
So I thought, well since I needed to lose a little weight for Chelsea’s wedding, I will become part of this experiment. I will see if I can be one of those who can have a self-clearing mechanism. We’ll see.
Wolf Blitzer: I hope you are healthy for many years and get to see grandchildren for many years to come.
Bill Clinton: Me too, that is really the big deal. You know why? Hillary and I, we are happy, we love our son-in-law. And we would like to be around if there are grandkids, we would like to do our part.
Wolf Blitzer: Mr. President, good luck.
Bill Clinton: Thank you.
Bill Clinton’s Heart Disease Reversal Gurus
Who are these doctors and researchers cited by former president Clinton? Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., is the author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Dean Ornish, M.D., is the author of Dr. Dean Ornish’s Programme for Reversing Heart Disease, and the Campbells are the authors of The China Study.
Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. wrote Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease using results from his 20-year study that proved a plant-based diet could cure heart disease. Rather than just treating symptoms of heart disease, Esselstyn’s focus is on prevention through a plant-based diet free of oil. His findings prove a vegan diet can not only prevent, but can also reverse heart disease. His case studies include patients who were given less than a year to live prior to seeing him, yet after mere months on Esselstyn’s diet, their symptoms reversed, and 12 years later, they were still symptom free.
Below is a radio interview of Dr. Esselstyn, which focuses on the benefits of a plant-based diet.
Dr. Dean Ornish is the author of The Spectrum, The Fatigue Prescription, Healing from the Heart, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, The Food Revolution and Eat More, Weigh Less, among others. He is also the founder of the nonprofit Preventative Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California. The Ornish Diet, or Life Choice Diet, is based on a low-fat vegetarian diet that is free of simple sugars and alcohol.
The semi-vegan diet is not an extreme diet in that it still allows for the moderate consumption of nonfat dairy. It also allows for small amounts of processed foods like whole grain cereals, some salad dressings and select crackers.
Ornish’s main emphasis is cutting down on fats, which includes avoiding oil, avocados, fish, nuts and seeds, olives, and products with over two grams of fat per serving.
Below is a TED.com video of Dean Ornish on the misconception that genetics rule our health fate.
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II
The China Study explores the detrimental effects of animal products on the human body. Contrary to many modern diets, the Campbells promote a low-protein diet and use scientific studies to critique modern low-carb diets.
“After a long career in research and policy-making, I have decided to step ‘out of the system.’ I have decided to disclose why Americans are so confused,” said Dr. Campbell. “As a taxpayer who foots the bill for research and health policy in America, you deserve to know that many of the common notions you have been told about food, health and disease are wrong.”
The book, published in 2005, looks at the positive effects a plant-based diet has on cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, degenerative brain disease, AIDS and many other illnesses. The book is based on the China Project and also “examines the source of nutritional confusion produced by powerful lobbies, government entities, and opportunistic scientists,” theChinaStudy.com says.
The China Study highlights the benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet to ward off disease and suggests supplementing with vitamin B12 and ensuring the body gets enough vitamin D, ideally through natural sunlight.
Is Heart Disease Reversal Really Possible?
The studies by Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Ornish and the Campbell doctors argue yes, and back up their assertion with some concrete scientific evidence. In any case, adopting a plant-based diet certainly has not been shown to have detrimental effects on the heart.
If you want more evidence, PLANEAT is a health documentary being released in November. It will examine the detrimental effects of animal products in our diet and will feature both Dr. T Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. The documentary will go beyond the effects of meat and dairy on our bodies, and examine the negative effects those industries have on our planet as a whole. The film offers feasible diet solutions as well as hope for our hearts and the environment.
See the PLANEAT trailer below.