Man Who was Vegan for 40 years dies of heart attack at age 66—why?



If you’ve read The China Study or read Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s book “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” then you’ve been exposed to The Framingham study which basically says that people who have a cholesterol level below 150 are “heart attack proof”. And that a vegan diet prevents heart attacks.

So how were the people in this video with cholesterol at 239 able to have 70% lower heart attack risks even though they ate meat? And why did the guy who was vegan for 40 years die of a heart attack?

And why does the Esselstyn diet work? (his patients did not have a further heart event in the 20 years they followed his diet–so it was even HIGHER than the 70% reduction than the Mediterranean group).

Well, many vegans eat tons of Omega 6 oils in stir frys and in whole nuts which are high even most raw vegan diets.

This is what creates inflammation. The Esselstyn diet however,  is a LOW-FAT diet that completely eliminates all oils, nuts, seeds and avocadoes.

If one includes lots of green smoothies and salads such as in a raw vegan diet that has no added fats like nuts or avocadoes, then your Omega 3 to 6 ratio becomes a very healthy 1:1 ratio. Since Omega 6 fats compete for the same receptors in your body, it is not a good idea to increase your Omega 3 intake to match your Omega 6 consumption. You need to DECREASE Omega 6 consumption and then add in leafy greens for a better ratio. Most fruits and veggies already have plenty of Omega 6’s in them.

So, eliminating meat and dairy does not necessarily protect you as much as lowering ALL FATS and then including lots of leafy greens.

This is an important distinction for vegans to make since the word “vegan” just describes what one doesn’t eat. While it’s a great start, it’s not enough for health and longevity and protection from certain diseases.

One does NOT have to eat flax seeds in order to get your daily quota either. Leafy Greens if consumed two heads of lettuce a day, will provide plenty of Omega 3’s. Blend up some green smoothies with leafy greens and fruit and call it a day.

I realize that Dr. Greger’s way of expressing himself has been found difficult for some, so I apologize in advance if the sing-songy voice is hard to listen to, but if you can get past that, the information is good.

Homocysteine is a build up from amino acids, a.k.a. protein. Therefore, lower overall protein intake lowers our amino acid intake. Folic acid is very abundant in leafy greens. In fact, the name “folate” came from the word F-O-L-I-A-G-E. So again, green salads and green smoothies comes to the rescue. To be safe, supplement with B-12 if you feel the need to. In addition, Omega 3 fats have also been implicated in helping keep brain disorders at bay. Spinach and romaine lettuce are very high in iron AND vitamin C….are you seeing a theme here? Corn is high in selenium and zinc.


happy salad

One last benefit of green smoothies and salads: they have the alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium that help keep osteoporosis at bay. Add in strength training weight bearing exercise as well. Eliminate coffee, soda and salt which are all acidic and wash out calcium. Grains and beans are also high in phosphorus which creates an acidic effect so keep those to a minimum.

Finally, sea vegetables are high in minerals like calcium, iodine AND Omega 3 fats. Eaten in moderation, they are a great addition to a vegan diet. Fill with jicama “rice” and dip in a delicious lemon/date/ginger sauce and enjoy.

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