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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.

Caldwell Esselstyn

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.

Dean Ornish

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.

(Previously in CalorieLab Joi Ito reported on his trip to Dean Ornish’s Preventive Medicine Research Institute (PMRI) retreat.)

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.

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11 Responses to “Bill Clinton’s Vegan Weight Loss Secret and His 4 Heart Disease Reversal Gurus”

  1. Sandy says:

    Hard to believe, given his culinary history, but good for him!

  2. Dr. J says:

    A cousin of mine, from the San Francisco area, found Dr. Ornish after having two heart attacks in his sixties. He is one of the oldest, if not the oldest patient, being in his nineties, of Dr. Ornish today!

  3. Lisa says:

    I have a friend who was really overweight and lost 60 lbs after becoming vegan. I have been a vegan for 17 years; I am in my 50’s and feel like 30’s. I am so glad I discovered the vegan way to eat, because I feel so good!

  4. Peter says:

    He has milk with fruit and protein powder in the morning? These are three things that the older Chinese population in The China Study have never eaten … well, they have some fruit once in a long while when they can afford it, but no milk, no protein powder. They get their protein from pork and chicken and fish. Sorry to bust your bubble.

  5. Destiny says:

    I think that there is so much that our body can do if we give it the right things to work with.

  6. Eugene says:

    In Response To Peter Above:

    The article said he drinks ALMOND milk, NOT cow’s milk.

    Almonds are nuts…

    Pasteurized & homogenized Cow’s milk is implicated with arterial
    disease, so when you have SERIOUS cardiovascular problems
    like President Clinton has experienced, then it is wise to stop
    drinking milk. When you get serious with your health, you can’t
    afford to take chances. Remember, he’s not a kid any longer!

    Also, humans are the only flesh and blood creature that
    keeps trying to ingest milk from another species after being
    weaned from HUMAN mother’s milk. Besides, the countries that
    ingest the most dairy products have the most osteoporosis
    (low bone density) — That is a FACT!! 3rd world countries that
    eat little or no milk products have the LEAST osteoporosis. Get
    most of your calcium from RAW GREENS. After all, look at the
    tremendous bone structure of cows! They eat GREENS (RAW
    GRASS is their natural diet)!

    President Clinton should study the Pauling Therapy (take
    Vitamin C powder + l-Lysine + l-Proline) to clean out his
    arteries. I have an 80 year old friend that tried it and his
    heart is now normal after suffering a serious heart attack
    2 years ago and his arteries are clear now! He says he’ll
    never stop taking the Pauling Theapy because he feels so
    good! And he’s glad he is not a cardiac cripple because that’s
    what the doctors expected. He takes NO DRUGS at all!!
    Only nutritional supplements and runs around Portland like
    a kid with boundless energy! Just GOOGLE ‘Pauling Therapy”.
    Our friend takes 1 to 2 GRAMS of Vitamin C for each 25
    pounds of body weight. He takes the same amount of
    l-Lysine as Vitamin C and about 2 or 3 GRAMS of l-Proline.
    Lysine and Proline are amino acids. You divide up the dosage
    so you take it in 3 or 4 times in the day. Just mix all 3 together
    and then divide it up and take it ON an EMPTY stomach. So
    simply take it before breakfast, lunch, & dinner and the last
    dose near bedtime. He also takes Grape Seed Extract. The
    most POTENT one we have found that is also the most
    cost-effective is to buy the Soopergrape.com powder.
    Our friend has had sticky blood for years and now instead of
    taking aspirin to get his blood to flow better, he takes the
    Soopergrape grape seed extract. The pure powder is better
    because it does NOT have anything added to it. He knows
    it works because he is diabetic and has problems checking
    his blood sugar reading. His blood doesn’t want to come out
    when he sticks his finger to get a blood sample, except if he
    takes either aspirin or grape seed extract. Now I see doctors
    recommend taking grape seed extract for those who are
    sensitive to aspirin! Besides, you don’t have the negative
    side effects of aspirin (one of them is death) when you take
    grape seed extract (it has been in the human diet for thousands
    of years from fruit and wine).

    Have a good day!

  7. Jan says:

    We found Dr. Ornish’s work and diet after my husband was diagnosed with severe heart disease and put on the transplant list. When we made the decision to forgo the transplant and fine an Ornish doctor, the regular cardiologist thought we were nuts and basically told us to enjoy the three months or less we had together. That was 10 years ago. On his last checkup, my husband’s heart registered 90% of normal. In fact the doctor is amazed and is now studying Ornish’s work for himself.

  8. Les Lamay says:

    I’m on a seafood diet, I see food, and eat it.

  9. Joe says:

    Wow just read this.. If Bill can lose weight, I can lose weight! haha

  10. dawn says:

    I have heart disease,and I want to do the plant based diet to reverse it,but I am already too thin ,5’6 106 pounds. I can’t eat nuts due to diverticulitis too. How can I incorporate this diet ?

  11. Ryan Reynold says:

    Major thanks for the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Really Cool.

    Best Web Design

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