Heart disease: Canadian treatment using vegetables over drugs

"What we’re told by pharmaceutical companies is that only 10 per cent of the cholesterol in our bloodstream is what we consume, and the rest is made by our liver. What they don’t tell us is that the Western diet causes the liver to over produce cholesterol — a pretty significant ‘oops we forgot to tell you’ on the part of pharmaceutical companies,”

Many doctors treating heart disease tend to prescribe drugs known as statins like Lipitor, but some physicians in Canada are trying a new method: a vegan diet.

Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in Canada. It kills 47,627 Canadians every year.

Dr. Shane Williams is a community cardiologist in Bracebridge, Ont. He’s been a vegan since 2010. Vegans don't eat meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or honey. They do however, eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes.

“People do not know the power of food," Williams told CBC News

For the past four years, the cardiologist has been slowly refocusing his patients on lifestyle changes.

“The challenge is that this takes time,” said Williams.

Starting in 2011, he started using a plant-based diet for patients who were interested and added group counselling sessions circling on veganism.

Williams says this is making a big difference in patients who are willing to keep an open mind about their diet.

“I see it here first hand, and it is simply amazing,” he said.

Liam Cragg, 59, of Bracebridge, Ont. is one case.

In 2012, he went to the hospital because he exhibited signs of a heart attack. Cragg followed up with his family doctor a week later who referred him to Williams. After four months on a mostly plant-based regime, Cragg noted a big difference.

“I was at least 30 pounds lighter, my waistline had shrunk by four inches and my knees didn’t ache anymore,” said Cragg.

Williams says he commonly spends 60 minutes or more with patients at their initial assessments.

“My experience is that most cardiologists tend to spend 15 to 25 minutes on a first assessment," explains Williams, who says he's trying to get "into the mechanics of a particular patient’s motivation for their eating habits."

The cardiologist would like to see more doctors take an alternative approach in treating patients and specifically, honing in on their behaviour.

“What concerns me is that most doctors do not realize the power of food as an alternative to medication,” said Williams.

He is not alone about his theories about veganism and heart disease.

Dr. William Roberts, a prominent cardiovascular pathologist and the editor of the American Journal of Cardiology, also believes that a vegan diet is the solution to heart disease in the Western world.

Roberts contends that the cause of heart disease is elevated cholesterol from not eating vegan.

“Human beings are far more like herbivores than carnivores,” he said.

Some experts argue that the structure of our teeth, and the length of our intestinal tract, are indications that humans are more herbivore oriented. While carnivores have sharp teeth, the majority of ours are flat, which is ideal for grinding fruits and vegetables. Carnivores have short intestinal tracts, but ours are very long.

Meat consumption has been linked to higher risks of developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes and there’s a lot of evidence connecting diet and disease.

For example, in plant-based cultures like rural China, central Africa, the Papua highlanders in New Guinea and the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico, coronary artery disease is almost nonexistent.

When these people adopt Western, animal-based diets however, they quickly develop heart disease.

Roberts argues that the plant-based diet is both cost effective and safe.

“If we put everyone on drugs then thousands of people would suffer side effects, so of course a vegan diet is the least expensive and safest means of achieving the plaque preventing goal,” he said.

Heart disease: treatment using vegetables over drugs - Health - CBC News
I'm sure most doctors wouldn't prescribe a vegetarian diet because of the likelihood someone could actually change their diet so significantly is pretty low.
When I had my heart attacks in 96, I went on a strict vegetarian diet for 2 months, then slowly reintroduced chicken and fish. To help clear clogged arteries I ate a cup of stewed rhubarb every day for two weeks and abstained for a week and consumed it again for two weeks. This stuff is like Draino for the arteries, but can become toxic if taken for more than two weeks at a time. Doctors won't tell you that either. They also tell you not to consume any oil which is stupid. Oil is essential for keeping your blood flowing normally. Hemp oil is best in salads. It is the oil most balanced for human consumption. Do not cook with it as it breaks down when heated into something unhealthy for your body.

My doctor prescribed Lipitor and after three days I gave it back to him. When he asked me why, I said that it made my crap so much it felt liker my brains were being sucked out my azzhole. He said, "Oh!" Like the prick didn't know it was a serious side effect.
He probably knew it was a side effect but not all of his patients would experience it.
bill barilko
#5  Top Rated Post
Vegan diets don't actually help a person live a longer life but they do make it seem longer.
It isn't necessary or even always safe to go vegan. A well balanced diet and excercise will do the trick. Stay out of rotten ronnies.
I think vegetarian is healthier than vegan.
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalfloss View Post

I think vegetarian is healthier than vegan.

Certainly easier to ensure you are getting all the required nutrients and minerals.

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