From Medications to Nutrition

My name is Jeff. I’m a 61-year-old physically-active guy with a normal BMI and a family history of heart disease. Let me tell you how I journeyed to become a plant-based eater.

In 2003, my total cholesterol was 248. Due to the potential side effects, I was apprehensive about taking statins; But after years of high cholesterol tests, my doctor convinced me to begin medication.

In 2011, I read The China Study based on Bruce’s recommendation. I fluctuated on my use of statins over the next few years, and in August of 2018, my cholesterol was 244. I discussed my test results with my doctor; he suggested I get a Calcium Heart Score Test and base my decision on statin use based on the results. My score came back at 471. Only 10% of men my age have a higher score, and it is evidence that there is a 90% chance that plaque was blocking one of my arteries. My chance of having a heart attack or stroke was high.  Not my best day. It scared me.

Previous to this test result, I had read “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” by Caldwell Esselstyn M.D. Dr. Esselstyn and others (i.e. Dean Ornish M.D.) have proven that not only can coronary-heart disease (CAD) progression be stopped, but can actually be reversed, by lowering cholesterol to 150 through the adoption of a whole-food, plant-based diet with 10% of calories from fat. I went home after my Calcium Heart Score Test to tell my wife I was going on the Esselstyn diet that day.

A follow-up test 3-months later showed a total cholesterol of 104 (a 57% reduction) and also, importantly, an LDL number of 46, down from 171 (a 73% reduction)!  Because of these results, my doctor has lowered my statin dosage to the minimum. I have maintained the diet rigorously for 6-months and feel great. I love eating this way for reasons that go beyond just health concerns.

My goal, if possible, is quite medication altogether. I owe a debt of gratitude to Bruce and Mindy for their commitment
to spreading the knowledge of whole-food, plant-based nutrition. I thank them for arming me with the resources and knowledge to attack my CAD head-on. Their years of study and experience is concisely presented at the One Day to Wellness workshop and will greatly benefit anyone looking to improve their health.

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