Nathan Pritikin, Dean Ornish, and Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. found that a lifestyle intervention based on diet would
usually halt the progression of coronary heart disease and even reverse it. Other
clinicians and researchers who advocate a very-low-fat whole-food plant-based diet
include Connor, McDougall, Fuhrman, Barnard, Campbell, Jenkins,
Greger, and Shintani. Their patients have had similar beneficial health results
from nutrition-based interventions.
Their studies have shown that although addressing all risk factors is important,
a modified, healthier diet is among the most powerful lifestyle changes that can
reduce the risk of CVD. The Ornish diet is ultra-low-fat (ULF) whole-food plant based
“beans and greens.” Only about 10% of total calories are from fat, no saturated
or trans-fats are allowed, and added sugars and refined grains are limited.
The diet consists of natural unrefined plant-based foods, fruits, vegetables, legumes,
whole grains, soy, and cereals, avoids meat, refined grains, and refined grain products,
minimizes non-fat dairy, or eliminates dairy, and eliminates added sugars, seafood,
and most processed foods. Esselstyn’s advice is to not eat “anything with
a face or a mother” The ULF plant-based diet is high in fiber and low in rapidly
absorbed simple sugars, so it has a low glycemic index.
Ornish has found that the addition of exercise and stress management additionally improves the outcomes of
his lifestyle modification program. Ornish’s patients had more than a 90% reduction in the frequency of angina, on average,
a 40% reduction in LDL cholesterol, measurable regression in the amount of
their coronary artery stenosis, and improved blood flow to the heart. Esselstyn’s
studies also showed that a nutrition-based intervention could stop and reverse the
progression of very severe coronary artery disease without medicine or surgery.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel