CNN’s Wolf Blitzer talks to the doctors behind the diet that helped Bill Clinton lose two-dozen pounds.
Bill Clinton’s Vegan Weight Loss Secret and His 4 Heart Disease Reversal Gurus:
We previously told you about the weight loss possibilities of plant-based diets. Now additional testimony comes from former President Bill Clinton, who also reveals how a plant-based diet might reverse heart disease.
Transcript of Bill Clinton’s Weight Loss Interview
Wolf Blitzer: How do you lose so much weight? What kind of diet are you on?
Bill Clinton: The short answer is I went on essentially a plant based diet. I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruits. I drink a protein supplement every morning. No dairy. I drink almond milk mixed in with fruit and a protein powder, so I get the protein for the day when I start the day out.
It changed my whole metabolism and I lost 24 pounds. I got back to basically what I weighed in high school. But I did it for a different reason, I mean I wanted to lose a little weight but I never dreamed this would happen.
I did it because after I had this stent put in I realized that even though it happens quite often that after you have bypass that you lose the veins because they are thinner and weaker than arteries. The truth is that it clogged up, which means that the cholesterol was still causing build-up in my vein that was part of my bypass and thank God I could take the stents.
I don’t want it to happen again. So I did all this research and I saw that 82 percent of the people since 1986 who have gone on a plant based [diet], no dairy, no meat of any kind, no chicken or turkey[…] I eat very little fish — once in a while I will have a little fish, not often. If you can do it, 82 percent of the people who have done that have begun to heal themselves. Their arterial blockage cleans up, the calcium deposit around their heart breaks up.
This movement has been led by a doctor named Caldwell Esselstyn at the Cleveland Clinic, Dean Ornish you know out in California, the doctors [T. Colin and Thomas M.] Campbell — father and son who wrote The China Study and a handful of others. We now have 25-years of evidence.
So I thought, well since I needed to lose a little weight for Chelsea’s wedding, I will become part of this experiment. I will see if I can be one of those who can have a self-clearing mechanism. We’ll see.
Wolf Blitzer: I hope you are healthy for many years and get to see grandchildren for many years to come.
Bill Clinton: Me too, that is really the big deal. You know why? Hillary and I, we are happy, we love our son-in-law. And we would like to be around if there are grandkids, we would like to do our part.
Wolf Blitzer: Mr. President, good luck.
Bill Clinton: Thank you.
Bill Clinton’s Heart Disease Reversal Gurus
Who are these doctors and researchers cited by former president Clinton? Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., is the author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Dean Ornish, M.D., is the author of Dr. Dean Ornish’s Programme for Reversing Heart Disease, and the Campbells are the authors of The China Study.
Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. wrote Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease using results from his 20-year study that proved a plant-based diet could cure heart disease. Rather than just treating symptoms of heart disease, Esselstyn’s focus is on prevention through a plant-based diet free of oil. His findings prove a vegan diet can not only prevent, but can also reverse heart disease. His case studies include patients who were given less than a year to live prior to seeing him, yet after mere months on Esselstyn’s diet, their symptoms reversed, and 12 years later, they were still symptom free.
Below is a radio interview of Dr. Esselstyn, which focuses on the benefits of a plant-based diet.
Dr. Dean Ornish is the author of The Spectrum, The Fatigue Prescription, Healing from the Heart, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, The Food Revolution and Eat More, Weigh Less, among others. He is also the founder of the nonprofit Preventative Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California. The Ornish Diet, or Life Choice Diet, is based on a low-fat vegetarian diet that is free of simple sugars and alcohol.
The semi-vegan diet is not an extreme diet in that it still allows for the moderate consumption of nonfat dairy. It also allows for small amounts of processed foods like whole grain cereals, some salad dressings and select crackers.
Ornish’s main emphasis is cutting down on fats, which includes avoiding oil, avocados, fish, nuts and seeds, olives, and products with over two grams of fat per serving.
Below is a TED.com video of Dean Ornish on the misconception that genetics rule our health fate.