Vegan Health ArticlesResolving the Coronary Artery Disease Epidemic through Plant-Based Nutrition - New recommendations for a healthy diet
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From Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD

The expert faculty at the First National Conference on the Elimination and Prevention of Coronary Artery Disease have issued a new set of recommendations:30

1) Present nutritional guidelines of government and national health organizations do not provide a maximal opportunity either to arrest or to prevent coronary artery disease.

2) The optimal diet consists of grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit, with <10%-15% of its calories coming from fat.

This diet minimizes the likelihood of stroke, obesity, hypertension, type II diabetes, and cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, rectum, uterus, and ovary. There are no known adverse effects of such a diet when mineral and vitamin contents are adequate.

3) Children and adolescents require major attention to develop early habits of optimal nutrition. Schools should assume a significant leadership role in achieving this goal.

4) Speculation about the degree of public compliance with a low-fat diet must not alter the accuracy of the recommendations.

At the 1999 national cholesterol summit meeting, Dr. William Castelli was asked what he would do to reverse the coronary artery disease epidemic if he were omnipotent. His answer: "Have the public eat the diet of the rural Chinese as described by Dr. T. Colin Campbell," author of the Cornell China study (personal communication, William Castelli, Sept. 2-3, 1999). A recent prospective study of diet quality and mortality in more than 40,000 women confirms the benefits of consuming a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and grains.31

At a recent national meeting on hypertension, the original DASH study32 was updated.33 It was found that a diet emphasizing grains, vegetables, and fruit (and including low fat dairy and lean meat), with particular attention to reducing sodium intake, resulted in blood pressure reductions equivalent to those produced by hypertension drugs. 33

In addition, Dr. Dean Ornish has reported both 1- and 5-year data that support a plant-based approach to control coronary artery disease.16

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health. We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice. We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found. Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body. If you have a health problem, see your own physician.