Heart disease scares me. I am terrified of having a heart attack or stroke and beginning a long and painful process of fading away. I read Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., M.D. in 2012. Around the same time, I watched the documentary Forks Over Knives. This was the first time I learned that heart disease is preventable… and completely reversible. Up until that point, I felt completely ignorant of heart disease – which is the leading cause of death globally.
But heart disease, as Dr. Esselstyn puts it, is a “a toothless paper tiger that need never exist.” It is a disease of affluence. It is – in most cases – a choice.
My family and I are vegans; we do not consume anything with a mom or a face. We eliminated added oils, eat plenty of beans, whole grains, fruits and veggies. I felt fairly protected.
Then about a month ago, my father had a stroke. It encouraged me to take another serious look at our diet and lifestyle. I picked up a copy of The End of Heart Disease by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.
It’s four hundred pages long. It covers lots of ground. And it has changed the way I approach our veganism. What impresses me most about Dr Fuhrman’s approach is his ability to back up each point with the science behind the directives. I won’t get into the science here, but if you’re interested in learning more, buy the book here. I do not get an affiliate fee. It’s $12 bucks. It will save your life.
It made me change the supplements I take. I added nuts and seeds to my diet. I have eliminated refined grains, salt, and sweeteners. And I eat way more kale than I ever thought I could eat.
Heart disease is reversible. And things can reverse pretty quickly. After only a few short months of eating a whole foods, plant-based diet, it seems that the risk lowers significantly.
Ask yourself, as Dr. Fuhrman suggests, “How would the future you want to eat?”