Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. is a surgeon, researcher and former clinician. This book presents the results of his 20-year nutritional study, which shows that a plant-based, oil-free diet can prevent the progression of coronary heart disease, and even reverse its effects. It includes a range of research findings and stories from real-life patients, as well as >150 recipes you can use to start taking control of your health and life. In this Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease summary, we’ll share the key insights about his health program. The insights can be used by medical researchers, professionals and organizations, or anyone who’s interested in better health. Do get more details from our complete book summary bundle with text, infographic and audio formats.
You can Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
Coronary artery disease is the #1 killer in Western societies. At the time this book was published in 2007, more than half a million people in the USA were dying from coronary artery disease. About 1.5 mil suffered from known heart attacks, and another 3 mil were estimated to suffer from “silent” heart attacks, i.e. they didn’t know they were having a heart attack until after the event.
About 50% of all American men and 30% of all American women will have some form of heart disease in their lifetime. Each year, the USA alone spends >$250 billion on heart disease, including cardiac drugs, heart-bypass surgeries, lasers, stents etc.
With scientific progress, surgery has become much more sophisticated. Yet, it can be costly, painful, risky and even disfiguring. More importantly, surgery can only treat the symptoms to delay the progress of the disease. It doesn’t cure the disease itself, nor prevent its development or progression.
Dr. Esselstyn believes that it’s much better to tackle the root of the problem by treating the underlying disease. In our complete version of the Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease summary (click here for the full 16-page summary), we’ll dive into the details about:
• Types of heart disease and their causes;
• The critical role of fat and cholesterol in heart disease (and a range of chronic diseases);
• Supporting evidence from a range of real-world studies and Dr. Esselstyn’s own experiments and experience;
• The limitation of various surgical or mechanical interventions, and why nutrition is the best solution to reverse and prevent heart diseases by tackling the root causes; and
• Why such nutritional recommendations have not been widely the governmental and medical authorities and experts.
Arresting Heart Disease with the Right Nutrition
The key is to keep your (i) total blood cholesterol to <150 mg/dL and (ii) LDL cholesterol to <80 mg/dL through a plant-based nutrition (and low doses of cholesterol-reducing drugs if necessary). At this level, you simply cannot deposit fat or cholesterol into your coronary arteries, so it’s guaranteed to arrest the progression of heart disease (or even reverse it).
In a nutshell, this is Dr. Esselstyn’s plant-based, oil-free diet:
DO NO EAT:
• Any meat, poultry, fish or eggs, i.e. “anything with a mother or a face”. Fish may contain essential arginine and omega-3 fatty acids, but there’re healthier sources (below).
• Dairy products, including butter, cheese, yogurt, and milk.
• All types of oil, including olive oil and canola oil.
• Refined grains, including white rice and enriched flour products which have lost much of their nutrients and fiber.
• All types of nuts if you have heart disease. People without heart disease can consider walnuts as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, though Dr. Esselstyn recommends to avoid nuts altogether since it’s easy to over-consume them to increase cholesterol levels.
DO EAT a variety of these nutrient-dense foods:
• All types of vegetables, including leafy greens (e.g. kale, spinach, bok choy), root vegetables (e.g. sweet potatoes, yams), and other vegetables of varying colors (e.g. broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, eggplants, radishes, celery, onions, carrots, cucumbers). Heart patients should avoid avocado given its high fat content.
• All legumes, including beans, peas, and lentils.
• All whole grains (e.g. whole rye, whole oats, barley, buckwheat, cornmeal, wild rice) and products from whole grains (e.g. bread, pasta, cereals) without added fats.
• All types of fruits. Since fruits have high sugar content, ideally limit your fruits consumption to 3 servings a day and avoid pure fruit juices.
• Beverages, e.g. water, oat milk, no-fat soy milk, coffee, tea, and alcohol (in moderate amounts).
Generally, if you consume a full range of plant-based foods, you’ll have all the protein, fat and nutrients you need. In our full text, graphic and audio summary of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (get full summary bundle here), we’ll share more about:
• Possible dietary supplements (e.g. Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, Omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed meal or chia seeds, etc.).
• Important points to note about the nutritional program, including the need for strict compliance.
• Tips to help you get started and succeed with this healthy lifestyle and dietary change, with 4 strategies to counter likely obstacles.
• Tips for healthy cooking, with sample recipes (e.g. Easy Blueberry Muffins, Colorful Broccoli Salad, Eggplant-Tomato Melt, Mushroom Ratatouille, Roasted Pears with Maple Crunch), out of over 150 recipes from the book.
Other Details in “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”
In the book, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. shares a range of empirical research, examples of his patients’ journey to recovery, diagrams and angiogram scans (to provide visual evidence of how coronary artery disease can be arrested/reversed), and various exchanges with authorities and experts in the medical/nutritional fields. He also addresses common questions and concerns about plant-based nutrition, and provides a wide range of food recipes that’re compliant with his nutritional program. do get a copy of the book for the full details, get our complete book summary bundle for an overview of the facts and strategies for preventing and reversing heart disease, or visit www.dresselstyn.com.
If you’re interested to learn more about nutrition and health, do read more about the extensive research in The China Study summary, learn from the longest-living people in the world in The Blue Zones summary, or understand how our body has evolved with time and lifestyle changes The Story of the Human Body summary.
Get rid of chronic heart diseases once and for all with this nutritional program!