Can Plant Based Diet Reverse Heart Disease?

Can Plant Based Diet Reverse Heart Disease?
Can Plant Based Diet Reverse Heart Disease?

Can Plant Based Diet Reverse Heart Disease?

As a paramedic, I once attended a man who suffered a fatal heart attack while snowmobiling with friends. Just 36 years old, he left a wife and two children. And his case wasn’t unusual.

Alarmingly, this CDC map charting heart-disease death rates in men begins tracking them at age 35. But what if they had a way to become “heart-attack proof?”

We can start by looking at the cause of heart attacks – Plaque, made of cholesterol deposits, accumulates inside arteries causing them to narrow. This process, called atherosclerosis, leads to reduced blood flow and eventually to a heart attack.

In this NutritionFacts video, Dr. Greger reviews an article published in Nutrition in Clinical Practice. The article is written by Dr. William Clifford Roberts, a leading authority on treating cardiovascular disease and The American Journal of Cardiology’s long-time editor-in-chief.

He has a simple answer to stopping plaque from building up, “If our cholesterol level is low enough, there’s nothing our body can build the plaque with.”

A later Baylor Medical Center Proceedings report reviewed in this video confirms Dr. Roberts’ observation:

“[Heart disease] has a single cause, namely cholesterol, and… the other so-called atherosclerotic risk factors are only contributory at most.”

The specific culprit?

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is the “bad” (or plaque-building) cholesterol. And for Dr. Roberts, the optimal “heart attack proof” LDL number is…

under 70!

“If such a goal was created, the great scourge of the Western world would be essentially eliminated.”

A target LDL of less than 70 would put a healthy total cholesterol figure at around 150.

How does anyone achieve and maintain an LDL below 70? Dr. Roberts offers two options.

Option 1: Begin a lifetime regimen of statin drugs in your 20s.

Option 2: Become, in his words, “a pure vegetarian fruit eater.”

So, a lifetime of drugs, or plant-based eating? For me, the choice is easy — a 100-percent, cholesterol-free vegan diet! 

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