Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease

100 Acre Woods
By 100 Acre Woods Latest Reply 2015-03-13 22:49:26 -0500
Started 2011-10-12 19:05:38 -0500

Hi! Is anyone following the diet outlined in Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, MD's
Book on Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease?
Or is a Vegetarian? If so, I'd like to speak with you.
For those of you who has not read the book, I would highly recommend it! I consider it Must Read!


37 replies

Heart-Healthy-Bob
Heart-Healthy-Bob 2012-02-25 19:21:45 -0600 Report

I've been eating vegan for the last 7 months, and gluten-free for the last two.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2012-02-26 23:54:15 -0600 Report

Bob,

If you are going gluten-free try making the jump to wheat-free. Gluten is not the only protein in wheat that will make you sick!

HH

redorangedog
redorangedog 2011-10-20 13:17:38 -0500 Report

Redorangedog, The benefits of consuming fruits, vegetables, and olive oil are borne out in three recently published European studies. One study published online January 19, 2011 in the European Heart Journal found that people who consume more fruit and vegetables have a lower risk of dying from ischemic heart disease. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Heart study involved more than 300,000 people between the ages of 40 and 85 who enrolled in the study between 1992 and 2000, were followed-up for an average of eight-and-a-half years. Data from eight European countries contributed to the study findings. Another study, composed of 20 healthy. elderly men and women, found that eating a Mediterranean-style diet, of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, fish, whole grains, and wine, reduces endothellial damage and improves the endothellium's regenerative capacity. Endothellial breakdown is a basic step in the atherosclerotic disease process, and endothelial dysfunction leads to a number of inflammatory disorders.Endothelial cells line the interior surface of blood vessels and form an interface between circulating blood and the rest of the vessel wall. The cells line the entire-circulatory system and allow blood to flow smoothly. A third study examined the association between consumption of fruit, vegetables and olive oil and the incidence of coronary heart disease among 29,689 women between 1993 and 1998. Researchers found a strong reduction in CHD risk among women in the highest group of consumption of leafy vegetables and olive oil. The studies were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, February 2011. I have been a vegetarian for over 53 years. Thank you for the recommendation of Dr. C. Esselstyn's book. It sounds like an interesting read. I believe that Heart disease can be prevented by most people and reversed by most through life-style changes. However, there are some people that have strong genetic factors that switch on when the immune system is compromised.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-10-23 00:47:04 -0500 Report

red,

Good stuff thanks for the post. The only thing I would add is watch out for the glycemic effect of fruits and whole grains. Two slices of whole wheat bread can raise yor blood sugar as much as two tablespoons of sugar.

HH

redorangedog
redorangedog 2011-10-25 23:37:47 -0500 Report

Redorangedog, Because many factors in foods may influence their rates of digestion and glycemic responses, and because most of these factors are not listed in food tables and many have nothing to do with food composition, it is not possible to predict the physiologic effect of a food on the basis of its chemical composition. Therefore, the glycemic index was developed as an index of the physiologic effect of foods to supplement information on chemical composition. It was reasoned that such information may allow a better understanding of the effects of carbohydrate foods and aid in the selection of appropriate foods for therapeutic diets. The glycemic index is defined as the blood glucose response to a 50-g available carbohydrate portion of a food expressed as a percentage of the response to the same amount of carbohydrate from a standard food,which has been either glucose or white bread. Bread is the preferred standard and gives glycemic index values 1.38 times greater than if glucose is the standard (because glucose produces a glycemic response 138% that of white bread). The variability of certain foods has been found due to subtle differences among foods, such as the method of processing, different varieties of potato, and the ripeness of banana. Different individuals may have vastly different absolute glycemic responses to a food, depending upon their glucose tolerance status. The glycemic index normalizes each person's response to that of a standard food, so differences among people are removed. The glycemic index values are the same in normal and diabetic people. Responses vary from day to day. Most fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, fructose and products low in carbohydrates have a low GI, range 55 or less. Medium GI range 56-69, are, whole wheat products, basmati rice, sweet potato, sucrose, baked potatoes. High GI range 70 and above are, white bread, most white rices, corn flakes, breakfast cereals, glucose, maltose

redorangedog
redorangedog 2011-10-27 16:54:27 -0500 Report

Redorandedog, Thank you for reading and responding to my post. In practical terms whether metabolic syndrome is a condition or not. There is no magic pill for it. You simply have to treat the individual risk factors. The key steps are: A. Lose weight if you are overweight. It is essential to reduce your caloric intake and or burn more calories via physical activity. Losing just 10 to 20 pounds can restore insulin sensitivity and help control blood sugar and blood pressure. B. Choose healthy carbohydrates. Cut down or out surgery foods and refined-grain products such as white bread and starchy snack foods. Instead, eat more high fiber foods—that is, vegetables, beans, whole grains and fruits. Fiber slows the digestion of the carbohydrates, so there's less effect on insulin and blood sugar. Omit sugary drinks; a recent study in Diabetes Care linked them to the components of metabolic syndrome. C. Cut down on sodium. That will lower blood pressure in sodium-sensitive people. D. Limit alcohol if your triglyceride level is high. or avoid it altogether. Though it can modestly raise HDL (good) cholesterol, alcohol can boost triglycerides. E. And keep in mind: Exercising regularly can not be overemphasized. Even when it doesn't produce weight loss, it can increase insulin sensitivity and have cardiovascular benefits These are very difficult tasks, depending on how we were raised It is harder to break bad habit's than it is to develop new ones. However, when you see results you are apt to stay with your new life style changes. Imagine yourself healthy, full of energy, buff and beautiful. Take off your shirt and see a six-pack (of muscles) and you will want to turn off the TV and get up and throe a few basketballs, take the dog for a walk (they are chick magnets), or simply go for a walk and see how many people are out there doing the same thing. I have met so many good friends from my neighborhood, just by taking a walk after dinner. People walking for the same reasons, better health. Before too long people were knocking on my door asking me to join them in a walk. How can you say no?

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-10-26 21:33:29 -0500 Report

red,

Yes, Glycemic Index (GI) is a good way of comparing foods. But, also look at Glycemic Load which factors in not only the GI of a food but how much of it you eat. Just eating low GI foods is not the whole answer. If you eat twice as much of a low GI food it can provoke the same blood sugar effect as a smaller amount of a high GI food.

HH

redorangedog
redorangedog 2011-10-27 17:21:20 -0500 Report

Redorandedog,Hi HeartHawk, thanks for reading my post and responding. Very good point. If you eat twice as much of anything you are consuming twice the calories which alone is not a good choice. But especially if you are insulin sensitive to food. Balance is the key. The American Diabetes Association supports glycemic index but warns that the total amount of carbohydrates in the food is still the strongest and most important indicator, and that everyone should make their own custom method that works better for them.

100 Acre Woods
100 Acre Woods 2011-10-23 10:20:24 -0500 Report

Hi! Ezekiel bread can be found a Health Food stores. That is a very dense bread that is made up of several different grains. While it is sliced much thinner Than many commercial breads, it us much more filling. While I realize every Diabetic is different, it does not spike mine. I lost 13 lbs on this diet and am feeling much better.

redorangedog
redorangedog 2011-10-27 17:33:52 -0500 Report

Redorandedog, Hello, 100 Acre Woods, that sounds like a beautiful place. I think Ezekiel bread has a good amount of sprouted grains that are used in this high fiber, hunger stopping bread. It is satisfying and stave's off hunger. It tastes good too. And as the theory goes, it keeps the blood sugar from spiking reducing the oxidative stress to the vasculature. Great choice.

100 Acre Woods
100 Acre Woods 2011-10-14 22:07:11 -0500 Report

For anyone that is interested, I have discovered that the diet is a Vegan diet plus no oils including canola and olive oil. In the book the Dr explains that a patient was on a Vegan Diet but also ate Olive Oil on his salads. When the patient stopped eating olive oil altogether, his Angina cleared up completely within a matter of weeks. ( Wierd but true).

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-10-14 23:09:10 -0500 Report

100:

Vegan can be a great diet - but watch out for overloading on wheat-based products to make up the calorie deficit when you eliminate fats and protein!

HH

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-10-12 22:10:27 -0500 Report

100,

Perhaps my only criticism of Esselstyn is that he offers his program as a "one size fits all" solution when in fact we are different. I switched from a low-fat (Ornish) to a low-carb (Davis) diet basically on a dare after seeing cholesterol numbers from several low-carbers. I tried it and saw huge drops in LDL and huge increases in HDL. Dr. Davis has hundreds if not thousands of followers who can attest to his low-carb, wheat free approach.

Of course, to repeat, we are all different. I carry the ApoE2 gene which handles fat well but not carbs. ApoE4 carriers are the opposite and cannot handle fats well.

The bottom-line is there is no magic bullet. The best bet is to know your body as best you can and make intelligent choices!

HH

DTJ1
DTJ1 2011-11-12 15:45:46 -0600 Report

Hi HH,

Are there any independent labs that do the ApoE2/ApoE4 testing?

Thx
DTJ1

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-11-12 17:07:05 -0600 Report

dtj,

Yeah ApoE is now pretty much a mainstream test now and available just about everywhere. When a lab doesn't have the capability they will simply send the blood draw to one of many reference labs that can do the test. Berkeley Heart Labs has a lot of info on this and I have done an articles for HeartConnect that discusses it.

http://www.heartconnect.com/heart-conditions-learning-center/general/1292-understanding-and-using-blood-tests-for-heart-health-part-1

HH

100 Acre Woods
100 Acre Woods 2011-10-13 16:16:48 -0500 Report

While I did not have your facts, I did notice that it is a one size fits all diet and that there is bound to be someone that it won't work on. What I do like about it is that it definitely seems to work for the majority of the population. At least it is a very good starting point for many. Many patients have lived 20 years past the time that other doctors have ran out of answers. And the best thing about it is that anyone can do it.

I am interested in knowing if there are any Vegetarians in the group. If not, then that would help to support his no meat theory. I myself, have just received the book. The most I've done is stop eating meat and to start eating oatmeal. I've a long way to go. My brother has been on the diet for about 45 days and has lost about 15 lbs. But he has also thrown running and playing tennis into the mix.

HeartHawk
HeartHawk 2011-10-14 23:05:16 -0500 Report

100:

You hit the nail on the head. We really are all different. If I eat oatmeal my blood sugar skyrockets! Others, not so much. Again, my best advice is to try different approaches until you find what works for you!

HH

100 Acre Woods
100 Acre Woods 2011-10-14 23:22:26 -0500 Report

I agree. But if you hadn't of tried the oatmeal, you never would have known. If people don't try this diet, they will never know.
I would hate not to tell the people about this diet and then let them make the decision. Then for me not to tell them and that would have been the one thing that could have helped them. I want to let it be their decision - not mine. If the diet e
Reverses their heart problems, then
Bravo! If it doesn't, what did they lose?

Maja1959
Maja1959 2011-10-15 05:53:30 -0500 Report

I still need to get the book. But a trainer at the gym told me to add dry oatmeal to applesauce. Seemed to help the bland taste of oatmeal. Not sure how the applesauce would fit into the diet. Just a thought.

100 Acre Woods
100 Acre Woods 2011-10-15 14:16:15 -0500 Report

No sugar added applesauce would fit very well into the diet. That is a great idea. Actually the book tells about one patient who uses unsweetened applejuice. Some add soymilk. Honey, Cinnamon, raisins, peaches, strawberries, apples or anything like that. But you actually don't have to eat oatmeal if you don't want. It is actually any whole grain. Wheat, bulgur, anything like that. Many people eat Ezekial Bread that you get at a health food store. There are several different types of whole grains to choose from. But please, get the book. I think you will find it very interesting. I know that I did!

Maja1959
Maja1959 2011-10-15 15:02:17 -0500 Report

Eventually down the line I may. This heart thing makes me so tired. This is too new and so much to wrap my head around. Thank you for sharing. I was pretty amazed how much I got my numbers down just by watching what I ate. My A1C came from a 7.6 to a 6.7 and my cholestrol came down to a 137 the rest of the numbers just fell into place. Now to see if my ejection % comes up in Dec when the do my echo. I am at 20% and they say that is finding its own way to fire. The whole deal makes me nervous. But I am taking meds and trying to follow orders and stay positive. Thanks again for the advice. The applesauce and oatmeal in the morning is actually very good.

100 Acre Woods
100 Acre Woods 2011-10-15 14:35:20 -0500 Report

Thank you. The book really is a great book and I do think it can help many people. He does offer out various dietary options and urges you to find what works for you just as long as you stay within the parameters of what I now know is a Vegan diet plus not eating any oils. I did find one man in Athritis who has been on this type of diet for years. He has a history of heart problems in his family. He didn't say that he had ever read this book. He states that he and his family is very happy. He Is 61 yrs old, weighs what he weighed in highschool. His cholesterol is low. Blood pressure very good. He knows that he can't eat fats so he excluded the oils from his diet. He doesn't crave or want any other type of diet. He wouldn't have it any other way. He stated that the Arthritis problem is due to personal abuse ie from his job, sport or whatever.

Next Discussion: Male nurse »