Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-based Cure

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The New York Times bestselling guide to the lifesaving diet that can both prevent and help reverse the effects of heart disease

Based on the groundbreaking results of his twenty-year nutritional study, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn illustrates that a plant-based, oil-free diet can not only prevent the progression of heart disease but can also reverse its effects. Dr. Esselstyn is an internationally known surgeon, researcher and former clinician at the Cleveland Clinic and a featured expert in the acclaimed documentary Forks Over Knives. Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease has helped thousands across the country, and is the book behind Bill Clinton's life-changing vegan diet.

The proof lies in the incredible outcomes for patients who have followed Dr. Esselstyn's program, including a number of patients in his original study who had been told by their cardiologists that they had less than a year to live. Within months of starting the program, all Dr. Esselstyn's patients began to improve dramatically, and twenty years later, they remain free of symptoms.

Complete with more than 150 delicious recipes perfect for a plant-based diet, the national bestseller Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease explains the science behind the simple plan that has drastically changed the lives of heart disease patients forever. It will empower readers and give them the tools to take control of their heart health.

 

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Compelling science tasty recipes

User Review  - Laurel S. - Overstock.com

The decadeslong research on preventing and reversing heart disease through nutrition is powerful and compelling. The last half of the book offers many tasty recipes to make the food transition easier ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Ganeshaka - LibraryThing

(As background music for this review, I suggest "I'm a believer" by The Monkees) I'm a nutrition information junkie. My interest started back in the 1970's with Adelle Davis's books Get Well and Eat ... Read full review

Contents

Foreword by T Colin Campbell viii
3
Someday Well Have to Get Smarter
13
Seeking the Cure
19
A Primer on Heart Disease
29
Moderation Kills
35
Living Breathing Proof
46
Why Didnt Anyone Tell Me?
57
Simple Steps
67
I2 Brave New World
94
Part Two The Joy of Eating
113
Breaking the Fast
127
Sauces Dips Dressings and Gravies
157
Vegetables Plain and Fancy
173
2O Soups Thick and Delicious
186
Sandwiches for All Occasions
207
Wonderful Easy Desserts
265

Frequently Asked Questions
76
Io Why Cant I Have Heart Healthy Oils?
82

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Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

PART ONE
The Heart of the Matter
I
Eating to Live

"IT WAS A FRIDAY in November 1996. I had operated all day. I finished, said good-bye to my last patient, and got a very, very bad headache. It hit me in a flash. I had to sit down. A minute or two after that, the chest pain started. It radiated up my arm and shoulder and into my jaw."
These are the words of Joe Crowe, the doctor who succeeded me as chairman of the breast cancer task force at the Cleveland Clinic. He was having a heart attack. He was only forty-four years old. He had no family history of heart disease, was not overweight or diabetic, and did not have high blood pressure or a bad cholesterol count. In short, he was not the usual candidate for a heart attack. Nonetheless, he had been struck--and struck hard.
In this book, I tell Joe Crowe''s story, along with those of many other patients I have treated over the past twenty years. My subject is coronary artery disease, its cause, and the revolutionary treatment, available to all, that can abolish it and that has saved Joe Crowe and many others. My message is clear and absolute: coronary artery disease need not exist, and if it does, it need not progress. It is my dream that one day we may entirely abolish heart disease, the scourge of the affluent, modern West, along with an impressive roster of other chronic illnesses.
Here are the facts. Coronary artery disease is the leading killer of men and women in Western civilization. In the United States alone, more than half a million people die of it every single year. Three times that number suffer known heart attacks. And approximately three million more have "silent" heart attacks, experiencing minimal symptoms and having no idea, until well after the damage is done, that they are in mortal danger. In the course of a lifetime, one out of every two American men and one out of every three American women will have some form of the disease.
The cost of this epidemic is enormous--greater, by far, than that of any other disease. The United States spends more than $250 billion a year on heart disease. That''s about the same amount the nation spent on the first two and half years of its military venture in Iraq, and fully twice as much as the federal government allocates annually for all research and development--including R&D for defense and national security.1
But here is the truly shocking statistic: nearly all of that money is devoted to treating symptoms. It pays for cardiac drugs, for clot-dissolving medications, and for costly mechanical techniques that bypass clogged arteries or widen them with balloons, tiny rotating knives, lasers, and stents. All of these approaches carry significant risk of serious complications, including death. And even if they are successful, they provide only temporary relief from the symptoms. They do nothing at all to cure the underlying disease or to prevent its development in other potential victims.
I believe that we in the medical profession have taken the wrong course. It is as if we were simply standing by, watching millions of people march over a cliff, and then intervening in a desperate, last-minute attempt to save them once they have fallen over the edge. Instead, we should be teaching them how to avoid the chasm entirely, how to walk parallel to the precipice so that they will never fall at all.
I believe that coronary artery disease is preventable, and that even after it is under way, its progress can be stopped, its insidious effects reversed. I believe, and my work over the past twenty years has demonstrated, that all this can be accomplished without expensive mechanical intervention and with minimal use of drugs. The key lies in nutrition--specifically, in abandoning the toxic American diet and maintaining cholesterol levels well below those historically recommended by health policy experts.
The bottom line of the nutritional program I recommend is that it contains not a single item of any food known to cause or promote the development of vascular disease. I often ask patients to compare their coronary artery disease to a house fire. Your house is on fire because eating the wrong foods has given you heart disease. You are spraying gasoline on the fire by continuing to eat the very same foods that caused the disease in the first place.
I don''t want my patients to pour a single thimbleful of gasoline on the fire. Stopping the gasoline puts out the fire. Reforming the way you eat will end the heart disease.
Here are the rules of my program in their simplest form:
You may not eat anything with a mother or a face (no meat, poultry, or fish).
You cannot eat dairy products.
You must not consume oil of any kind--not a drop. (Yes, you devotees of the Mediterranean Diet, that includes olive oil, as I''ll explain in Chapter 10.)
Generally, you cannot eat nuts or avocados.
You can eat a wonderful variety of delicious, nutrient-dense foods:
All vegetables except avocado. Leafy green vegetables, root vegetables, veggies that are red, green, purple, orange, and yellow and everything in between.
All legumes--beans, peas, and lentils of all varieties.
All whole grains and products, such as bread and pasta, that are made from them--as long as they do not contain added fats.
All fruits.

It works. In the first continuous twelve-year study of the effects of nutrition in severely ill patients, which I will describe in this book, those who complied with my program achieved total arrest of clinical progression and significant selective reversal of coronary artery disease. In fully compliant patients, we have seen angina disappear in a few weeks and abnormal stress test results return to normal.
And consider the case of Joe Crowe. After his heart attack in 1996, tests showed that the entire lower third of his left anterior descending coronary artery--the vessel leading to the front of the heart and nicknamed, for obvious reasons, "the widowmaker"--was significantly diseased. His coronary artery anatomy excluded him as a candidate for surgical bypass, angioplasty, or stents, and at such a young age, with a wife and three small children, Dr. Crowe was understandably disconsolate and depressed. Since he already exercised, did not use tobacco, and had a relatively low cholesterol count of 156 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), there seemed to be nothing he could modify, no obvious reforms in lifestyle that might halt the disease.
Joe was aware of my interest in coronary disease. About two weeks after his heart attack, he and his wife, Mary Lind, came to dinner at our house and I had a chance to share the full details of my research. Both Joe and Mary Lind immediately grasped the implications for Joe of a plant-based diet. All at once, instead of having no options, they were empowered. In Mary Lind''s words, "It was our own personal disaster, and suddenly there was something small we could do." Immediately, Joe embarked on my nutrition program, refusing to take any cholesterol-lowering drugs, and he redefined the word commitment. He stuck to the plan rigorously, eventually reducing his total blood cholesterol count to just 89 mg/dL and cutting his LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, from 98 mg/dL to 38 mg/dL.
About two and a half years after Joe adopted a strict plant-based diet, there came a point when he was exceptionally busy professionally, under considerable stress, and he noted a return of some discomfort in his chest. His cardiologists, worried about the recurrence of angina, asked for more tests to see what was going on.
On the day of his follow-up angiogram, I went to Dr. Crowe''s office after work. After we greeted each other, I thought I saw moisture in his eyes. "Is everything OK?" I asked.
"You saved my life," he declared. "It''s gone! It''s not there anymore! Something lethal is gone! My follow-up angiogram was normal."
Nearly ten years later, Mary Lind recalled that they had wondered, that first evening at our house, "how the Esselstyns did it"--how we had managed to completely change the way we eat. "Now it''s part of our family," she says. "We''ve eaten the same things for a long time, and I''m on autopilot."
Later, when I asked Joe what made him decide to change, he responded very simply. "We believed you," he said, and added, "since I had nothing else, the diet came first. If I had had bypass surgery, diet would not have been first. The diet set us on another path, empowered to do something we knew we could do."
Joe Crowe''s angiograms--both the original, taken after the heart attack, and the follow-up, two and a half years later--are shown in Figure 1 (see insert). It is the most complete resolution of coronary artery disease I have seen, graphic proof of the power of plant-based nutrition to enable the body to heal itself.
The dietary changes that have helped my patients over the past twenty years can help you, too. They can actually make you immune to heart attacks. And there is considerable evidence that they have benefits far beyond coronary artery disease. If you eat to save your heart, you eat to save yourself from other diseases of nutritional extravagance: from strokes, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis, adult-onset diabetes, and possibly senile mental impairment, as well. You gain protection from a host of other ailments that have been linked to dietary factors, including impotence and cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, rectum, uterus, and ovaries. And if you are eating for good health in this way, here''s a side benefit you might not have expected: for the rest of your life, you will never again have to count calories or worry about your weight.
An increasing number of doctors are aware that diet plays a crucial role in health, and that nutritional changes such as those I recommend can have dramatic

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