The Diet I Recommend To Patients Who Want To Lose Weight Or Protect Their Heart

Written by Dr. Joel Fuhrman

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The standard treatment options for heart disease includes drugs; invasive testing; and expensive, dangerous surgical procedures. However, heart disease is a lifestyle disease, and research has documented that it is almost completely preventable and even reversible through a diet rich in plant foods and lower in processed foods and animal products.

The key is to avoid the foods that damage the cardiovascular system and instead eat the foods that promote cardiovascular health. However, the dietary protocols shown to have the most dramatic benefits in the past have been extremely low in fat, excluding nuts and seeds, a food group with widely reported benefits for weight maintenance and cardiovascular health.

For more than 25 years I have been utilizing what I call a nutrient-dense, plant-rich diet, containing nuts and seeds (that I call a nutritarian diet), to effectively normalize high blood pressure, resolve type 2 diabetes, and reverse heart disease (even advanced cases). My experience has demonstrated that attention to micronutrient density and the addition of seeds and nuts can offer even greater cardiovascular benefits.

This effectiveness of this diet-style was demonstrated in a recent study investigating the outcomes on more than 2,000 people who applied my dietary recommendations — including a variety of green and colorful nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits; a variety of beans and legumes; and whole food fats in the form of nuts, seeds, and avocado.

The participants were surveyed and provided medical records detailing the changes they experienced in their weight, blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides after adopting a nutritarian diet. That data was compiled and analyzed, then published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine and showed striking weight loss and cardiovascular benefits.

Weight loss diets are notoriously prone to failure; studies on weight loss usually report losses of only 6 to13 pounds after two years of dieting. A nutritarian eating style is different. Respondents to this survey who started out obese and then changed to a nutritarian diet experienced an average weight loss of more than 50 pounds at the two-year mark.

In those who started out with hypertension, there was a 26 mmHg average reduction in systolic blood pressure. In respondents who were not taking cholesterol-lowering medication, there was an average 42 mg/dl decrease in LDL cholesterol. Blood pressure and LDL are major cardiovascular risk factors, so reductions of this size offer meaningful protection from heart disease.

This study also presented many case histories demonstrating a dramatic reversal of heart disease. Importantly, patients maintained their new eating styles and are free of heart disease many years after their original dietary shift.

This research adds to the body of literature demonstrating that nutritional excellence is more powerful than drugs and should be standard information supplied to patients with chronic medical conditions.

Patients need options other than just managing symptoms with medication and invasive surgical procedures, which typically allow the underlying pathologies to advance. With a nutritarian diet, patients can remove the cause of their disease and restore the health of the heart and blood vessels.

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For more on the nutritarian diet, visit my website.

And are you ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE web class with nutrition expert Kelly LeVeque.

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